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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Florida State Seminoles edition

Miami DOMINATED FSU tonight. Let’s discuss!!!

Miami Athletics

Welcome back, everyone!!! The Miami Hurricanes demolished the rival Florida State Seminoles 52-10 at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night. That marked Miami’s 4th consecutive win over their rivals from Tallahassee. Man, that feels SO GOOD to say.

Here’s our game recap by Wyatt Kopelman

Here’s our 3 stars by Marsh Thomas

And now, we get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

  • Winning. Winning is good. Winning ACC games is better. Winning ACC games over your Rival is better still. Winning ACC games over your rival to run your winning streak against them to 4 years in a row is even better-er. I love it.
  • 4 straight wins vs FSU means their seniors have never beaten us. I love it.
  • Miami’s first half. 38 points is a record for either team in any half in this storied rivalry. That seems good.
  • The 52 points Miami scored were the most either team has EVER scored in this rivalry. Setting records is good, if you ask me.
  • Miami had 333 yards of total offense in the 1st half on 6.4 yards per play. That’ll work.
  • Miami finished with 517 yards of total offense on 6.1 yards per play. 317 passing, 200 rushing. Yeah I like that.
  • QB D’Eriq King. Another strong game from QB1: 29/40 for 267 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs passing, to go along with 8 carries for 65 yards rushing.
  • RB Donald Chaney Jr. While fellow freshman Jaylan Knighton had received most of the early praise and stats, Chaney Jr. finally broke out and scored his first 2 college TDs. 7 carries for 35 yards of TOUGH running and 2 TDs. Remember the name.
  • TE Brevin Jordan. 5 catches for 41 yards and a TD. Not the biggest numbers ever, but Jordan’s TD started Miami on their historic run of points in this rivalry.
  • WR Michael Redding III. Another freshman with his first collegiate TD. Congrats!
  • WR Dee Wiggins. Yet again, Wiggins split FSU’s defense for a long TD on a post route. Same as last year. You love to see it.
  • All the experience. Miami was able to get guys from the 2-deep and 3-deep into the game in meaningful situations. That game experience will be invaluable for younger players moving forward.
  • 11 receivers caught passes today. That’s awesome.
  • 3rd down efficiency. Miami was 8/10 on 3rd down in the first half and 11-16 for the game. That’s what I’m talking about.
  • 4th down efficiency. 2-2 on 4th down, even getting one on the first drive of the game. Awesome to see.
  • After a Mark Pope muffed punt (more on that later), Miami’s defense made a GREAT play to force a terrible decision by FSU, capped by an incredible play by Jaelan Phillips.
  • 33 (!!!!) first downs
  • 6-6 red zone scoring
  • 6.1 yards per play
  • 5.4 yards per rush
  • 9.6 yards per completion
  • 16 chunk plays — 8 passes (15+), 8 runs (10+)
  • 13 TFLs
  • 6 sacks
  • 3 turnovers (all interceptions)
  • Held FSU to 10 points
  • Held FSU to 4.5 yards per play
  • Held FSU to 2-4 red zone scoring
  • Held FSU to 3 first half points

The Bad

  • Penalties. Penalties. PENALTIES!!!! 7 in the first half alone.
  • The way Miami came out for the 2nd half. Allowed an FSU touchdown, fumbled the ball on 4th and 2 across midfield, then allowed another FSU scoring drive. Okay, that next drive ended with an incredible tipped ball interception. But still the start of 2H was NOT great.
  • I’ll say it again: letting FSU score, a touchdown no less, to open the 2nd half. You can’t let bad teams like them do that. You just can’t.
  • D’Eriq King’s missed throws. There was an early vertical throw to Brevin Jordan that sailed that would have been 6. There was a post to Harley that was underthown. There was a square-in to Harley that was broken up.....but Pope was WIIIIIIIIIIDE open for a TD up the numbers. And there was another missed big play/TD throw that I can’t specifically remember. King was good, but if he wants to be great, those are throws he’ll need to hit.
  • More drops from the receivers. Yes, overall they played better this week than previously, but there’s still plenty, and I mean PLENTY of room for growth.
  • A fumble by Jaylan Knighton. Gotta hold onto the ball, especially on inside run, especially on 4th and 2 at midfield. Sure, the game was largely in hand at this point, but this is more about process than result. Gotta tighten up ball security.
  • 10 chunk plays allowed — 1 pass (15+), 9 rushes (10+)
  • Allowed 23 first downs
  • Allowed 73 plays

The Ugly

  • PENALTIES!!!!! Far too sloppy to compete against teams better than FSU. Gotta tighten up.
  • Let’s stay here on penalties. 8 for 80 yards, and that’s without a couple personal fouls that were offsetting. When you’re playing a bad team the likes of FSU, you can get away with that. But this has become a repeated point of discussion now. This is not an outlier. And this needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY because there are other teams on the schedule who will take these penalties and score with the new life they give an opposing offense. Fix it!
  • The lack of holding called against FSU. Look, I know Miami came out like gangbusters, but that doesn’t mean the refs can swallow their whistles. Repeated holds on the line (at the point of the run, or QB escaping pressure) and on the edge went uncalled. Time and time and time again. And that kind of thing has been going on with Miami’s opponents for years. AND IT HAS TO STOP.
  • Jaelan Phillips’s ejection. 2 personal foul penalties — one celebrating his incredible interception (posted above), and one for kicking an FSU player’s helmet after it came off during a play — saw his day end midway through the 2nd quarter. That’s just not smart. It’s not the way that we should be playing. And it took one of the best and most athletic players on the roster off the field for some very bad, and entirely avoidable, mistakes. We CANNOT have that from our players, let alone leaders like Phillips.
  • 2 fumbles lost
  • Another muffed punt. That’s unacceptable at this level. We cannot have that anymore.
  • I say again: MORE DROPS BY RECEIVERS. King’s numbers would have been a good sight better — and they were damn good — with better catching of the ball down the field.

Team Grades

Offense: A

Okay. The 3rd quarter wasn’t great, and there were drops and some penalties. But the Canes just went out and scored the most points in the history of the Miami-FSU rivalry. Setting records against your rivals will always get an A from me.

Defense: B+

A better opponent probably stresses the defense a bit more. And a garbage time TD made things look a bit closer than they really were. But 12 TFLs, 6 sacks, 3 turnovers forced, and just generally physically dominating FSU all day long is good enough for a B+ grade. Maybe a slight bit of grade inflation based on the turnovers. But still, this is what Miami’s defense is supposed to look like, with like 3 drives being the exceptions. I’ll take it.

Special Teams: B

Another muffed punt. Otherwise, things were good. Kicking was strong on PATs and 1 FG. KR decent. Punt — a singular punt — was good. But that muffed punt. That’s still worth a full grade demerit.

Coaching: A

FSU had 3 decent drives: one to start the game, one to start 2H, and one more late in the game. Outside of those moments, Miami was firmly in control of the game. And, moreover, Miami was the better team and looked the better team from the moment the game started. Every player was prepared. Every coach was dialed in. And that resulted in the most points ever scored in this rivalry and one of the largest margins of victory to boot. Again, IT WAS NOT PERFECT, but damnit, this was a landmark game for the coaches. Bravo.

I mean, what else is there to say? We beat our rivals by 6 TDs and scored a record number of points along the way. It feels good, as well it should.

Those are my thoughts. Share yours in the comments section below.

4 in a row vs FSU. Man, this feels so much sweeter for suffering through those 7 consecutive losses to them. I love it here.

Go Canes