As trying as the 2021 season has been for the Miami Hurricanes and head coach Manny Diaz, none of that matters this week.
It’s Florida State week. All that matters is the Seminoles and the task at hand.
For what it’s worth, Diaz has been quite successful against the Seminoles in his Hurricane career. He is 2-0 against FSU as Miami’s head coach and is 4-1 if you count time spent under Mark Richt as Miami’s defensive coordinator. He has also won four consecutive games against Florida State.
Let’s recap the Hurricanes’ best moments/games against Florida State during the Diaz era before the team attempts to win its fifth consecutive game over the Seminoles on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.
2017: “The Rally in Tally”
The streak buster.
Entering this game, Florida State had defeated Miami an embarrassing seven consecutive times and the Hurricanes had never beaten Jimbo Fisher when he was the head coach of the Seminoles.
That changed on October 7, 2017 when Miami completed a come-from-behind victory and defeated Florida State 24-20 thanks to a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Malik Rosier to wide receiver Darrell Langham with six seconds left on the clock. The play stood after an official review that lasted five minutes.
Diaz was of course Miami’s defensive coordinator at the time and his defense held the Seminoles to just three points in the first three quarters of the game. But the Seminoles exploded for 17 fourth quarter points and that nearly sunk the Hurricanes.
The two-headed monster of Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick combined for 212 yards rushing against Miami but Langham saved the Hurricanes and ended the streak.
2018: “The Comeback”
Entering the 2018 game, Miami had not defeated the Seminoles in South Florida since 2004.
It looked like that streak would stretch another two years as the Seminoles jumped out to a 27-7 lead midway through the third quarter before the Hurricanes woke up and started competing. But Miami clawed all the way back to win 28-27 thanks to two appearances from the turnover chain—one compliments of a huge interception from Michael Pinckney—and four touchdown passes from N’Kosi Perry.
This was Diaz’s best performance as a defensive coordinator in this rivalry. FSU finished the game with just 200 yards of total offense and averaged just 2.1 yards per rush and 4.1 yards per pass against Diaz’s defense.
The Hurricanes also forced those two turnovers in the second half and had six sacks.
2019: Diaz’s first win as head coach
There weren’t many positives from Diaz’s first season as head coach but his victory in Tallahassee on November 2, 2019 was definitely one of them.
The Hurricanes topped the Seminoles 27-10 after quarterback Jarren Williams threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Miami’s defense was stingy as it finished with 16 tackles for a loss and six sacks with Greg Rousseau having four of those sacks by himself.
Miami was never really challenged in this game as it never trailed in winning its second consecutive game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Diaz had the Hurricane defense prepared for a poorly coached Seminole team with a bad offensive line and the Hurricanes never let FSU quarterback Alex Hornibrook get comfortable in the pocket.
2020: “The Blowout”
Considering how many hard fought games this rivalry has seen played over the years, it’s still hard for me to fathom how Miami was able to dominate Florida State like it did last season.
In his second Miami/FSU game as the head coach, Diaz coached the Hurricanes to a 52-10 victory over their rivals behind 517 yards of total offense and three turnovers forced on defense. D’Eriq King passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 65 more yards as the Hurricanes led 38-3 at halftime and rested their starters for much of the second half.
FSU was without head coach Mike Norvell because of a positive COVID-19 test and quite honestly it looked like the Seminoles quit after Jordan Travis’ embarrassing interception on the reverse play in the second quarter while trailing 21-3. We may never see a team look as bad FSU did on that September 2020 in this rivalry ever again.
It was laughable how easy this win was for Miami. Let’s hope things go this well on Saturday in Tallahassee.
What was your favorite of the Miami/FSU games Manny Diaz has been involved in?
This poll is closed
2017: "The Rally in Tally"
2018: "The Comeback"
2019: Diaz’s first win as head coach
2020: "The Blowout"