The Miami Hurricanes have extended their win streak against Florida State to four games—the longest streak in program history in over 15 years—after defeating the Seminoles 52-10 on Saturday night.
Miami graduate transfer quarterback D’Eriq King, who had decided to redshirt with Houston just over a year prior to Saturday, threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to victory.
Running back Cam’Ron Harris also ran for 43 yards on 12 carries while his teammate Don Chaney ran for 35 yards on seven tries, scoring his first two touchdowns against the in-state rival Seminoles.
“I’m just [proud of] all of our guys and their ability to adjust with the things that get thrown at them in this calendar year and they were worthy victors tonight,” Diaz said.
King completed 29 of 40 pass attempts while throwing for no interceptions and led the team with 65 rushing yards. The Manvel, Texas native announced his decision to transfer into the Hurricanes’ program on Jan. 19 after considering other schools, including Oregon and Louisiana State.
The game was a test that Miami had passed with flying colors, given that they had tallied 50 points against Florida State for the first time in program history.
While King did not exceed the total number of yards he recorded against Louisville on Sept. 19. (325), he continued orchestrating the team’s new up-tempo offense from the start.
“Just spreading the ball around, I think the offense is made for that,” King said. “It’s made to hit the open guy, so we’re not into ‘we’ve got to get the ball to this guy this many times a game.’ So, we’ve just got to keep spreading the ball around and everybody’s got to keep getting better.”
The Hurricanes continuously expanded their lead after finishing the first quarter up 14-3. Harris ran for a 12-yard touchdown after Florida State was flagged for pass interference, as his team had the ball for just three plays. Wide receiver Dee Wiggins and running back Don Chaney later tacked on two more touchdowns, before kicker Jose Borregales ended the first half with a 30-yard field goal to put Miami ahead 38-3.
“I thought the key to the game was our possession downs—third downs and fourth downs,” Diaz said. “Especially early in the game we talked about being relentless on offense, but you’ve got to stay on the field. When you look at 11 for 16 on third downs, which means you didn’t make five of them, and you go three of four on fourth downs. So, when the down got to third, we basically converted every time but one. That keeps the offense on the field and that adds the snaps to their defense, so it made it look a certain way.
“But those third down plays where the linemen where doing a great job blocking, D’Eriq [had] great throws, some tough catches down the field, I really thought in the first half that was the key to our victory.”
The Seminoles opened the third quarter with a touchdown, but it would be their final of the game, losing by multiple touchdowns to the Hurricanes for the second straight year. Linebacker Amari Gainer totaled eight sacks, while defensive tackle Marvin Wilson had just three. Florida State recorded no interceptions.
Quarterback James Blackman completed 16 of 26 passes for 120 yards but did not spark the Seminoles’ offense, despite throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Camren McDonald at the 11-minute mark in the third quarter.
Miami’s defensive backfield remained active despite the lead early on. Defensive end Jaelan Phillips and cornerback Al Blades, Jr., recorded interceptions in the second and third quarters. Chaney eventually converted the second into a 5-yard rushing touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter, elevating the score to 45-10.
The Seminoles ran out of chances to score one final touchdown, as Hurricanes linebacker Ryan Ragone sacked quarterback Tate Rodemaker at the Miami 2-yard line on fourth-and-goal. The team allowed 48 sacks in 2019, ranking as one of the worst in the FBS.
“Obviously I’m disappointed for our football team, for our coaching staff, our players, and for our fanbase,” Florida State head coach Mike Norvell said. “That is definitely not the way that we wanted to play tonight. The credit goes to Miami for what they did, and this is something that completely falls on me, and I’ve got to do a better job of putting our guys in the best position possible to go out there and play a better brand of football.
“We’ve got to play more disciplined, more physical, and obviously more consistent, top to bottom in all three phases. To have 12 penalties throughout the course of the game, things that definitely hurt us in a lot of areas, we’ve got to get that corrected.”
Norvell was away from the program for Saturday’s game after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, coaching the Seminoles virtually through practice and before facing Miami. Tight ends coach Chris Thomsen replaced the ex-Memphis head coach and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham served as their play caller.
Miami will have a bye week next Saturday but will face the No. 1 ranked Clemson Tigers on Oct. 10 for the first time since the 2017 ACC Championship, losing 38-3 to the reigning five-time ACC champions.
Florida State will face Jacksonville State in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday as the program looks to defeat an FCS team to climb out of an 0-2 start to the 2020 season.