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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Florida State Seminoles 2023 Edition

It was close, but another loss to FSU stings whether it was by 1 or 100.

NCAA Football: Miami at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Another year, another loss to Florida State. This time, Miami lost to the Noles by a score of 27-20. This is the 3rd consecutive loss in this rivalry.

Craig T. Smith had your game recap.

Mike Schiffman selected his 3 stars.

You know why I’m here. Let’s get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • Yes, I’m resorting to moral victory territory here, but playing hard to the end and being competitive against FSU. Look, we got blown out by 6 TDs in this game last year. This was pretty much an even game all the way through. That’s a positive (though I understand I’m gonna yelled at for this one).
  • And look, let’s be honest: this performance will help in recruiting. FSU had over 100 top players on hand. Not saying Miami made moves with this effort, but it’ll damn sure play better on the trail than getting blown out again, I guarantee you that.
  • After going down 10-0, Miami worked an 11 play, 82 yard drive to get on the board. The scoring play? A GORGEOUS fade from Emory Williams to Jacolby George.
  • Frank Ladson with a GREAT PLAY, doing his job. On the opening kick of 2H, FSU tried an onsidekick, thinking Miami would abandon their area. But Ladson didn’t, he went up and got the ball and gave Miami the ball on the plus side of the 50.
  • QB Emory Williams. His stats weren’t great — 8/23 passing (35% completions) for 178 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs — but he was unflappable on the day, kept Miami in the game to the end, and left everything he had on the field. There’s room for improvement to be clear, but Williams’s competitive spirit is worthy of this section of this piece.
  • Down 27-13, Emory Williams hits his first completion since the 3rd play of the 2nd half, an 85 yarder that teleported through the hands of 2 FSU defenders, lands gently in Jacolby George’s hands, who does the rest, taking the ball 85 yards to the house. I can’t believe it. Wow.
  • On the next drive, with the game on the line on 4th down, Williams scrambled after Restrepo was covered on the play. He dove for the first down conversion, but in the process injured his left arm. Williams would be attended to by medical personnel and leave the game. But his courage and spirit and willingness to literally put his body on the line for the team is something you can’t overlook.
  • LB Kiko Mauigoa. 9 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 2 (big) sacks. His performance, especially in 2H, kept Miami in this game.
  • LB Wesley Bissainthe. 5 tackles, 3 TFLs, and a sack (WHICH WAS A FUCKING SAFETY YOU MOTHERFUCKERS). He’s playing his way into as much playing time as he wants.
  • S Jaden Harris. Entering for an injured Kamren Kinchens, the sophomore backup safety was in on a TFL (split with Jacob Lichtenstein) to keep FSU out of the endzone and held to a FG to tie the game at 13. It wasn’t a lot, but it was damn sure impactful (because Jordan Travis walks in without Harris meeting him in the backfield).
  • WR Jacolby George was the entirety of the passing offense. 5 catches for 153 yards and both Miami TDs. That’ll work.
  • The 2nd quarter. Miami won the 2nd Q 10-3, and held a 129-1 yardage advantage. FSU went 3 and out on all of their drives in this quarter. In short, Miami DOMINATED this quarter by every metric. Would love for this to become the performance standard, not the outlier.
  • Speaking of the 2nd quarter, Donald Chaney Jr. took over. He ended with 12 carries for 85 yards, but most of that was in the 2nd quarter.
  • 9 TFLs
  • 3 Sacks
  • 2 QB Hurries
  • 5.2 yards per play
  • 131 yards rushing....but basically nothing after halftime.
  • 20.8 yards per completion (thanks, 85 yard yolo ball!)
  • Held FSU to 12 first downs
  • Held FSU to 3-12 on 3rd down
  • Held FSU to 1.8 yards per carry (including sacks)
  • Held FSU to 322 yards of offense.
  • Held FSU to 5.2 yards per play
  • Those last 2 stats are their 2nd lowest and lowest totals of the year, with the Clemson game being the next closest on both categories.

The Bad

  • Losing. It sucks and I hate it.
  • Losing to Florida State FOR THE 3RD YEAR IN A ROW!
  • How the FUCK is Jordan Travis the first FSU QB to beat Miami 3 years in a row? HE’S NOT EVEN GOOD! I mean, he’s fine, but not “name in the history books” good. And yet, here we are.
  • Some bad drops by the receivers. Don’t love that that was a thing again here today.
  • Nobody other than George doing anything in the passing game.
  • The disappearance of any offense after going up 13-10 early in the 3rd Q.
  • Another Andy Borregales missed FG, but this one was bc the hold was bobbled, and holder didn’t get the laces out. (plugs ears for everyone screaming “LACES OUT, DAN” simultaneously)
  • James Williams with the targeting. I have no earthly idea how the refs didn’t QUICKLY eject him for this. But this is bad, even in a highly emotional rivalry game. Gotta do and be better than this, 20.
  • There’s a mix of good and bad, but the advanced stats show an even game between these teams. Which this largely was. But Miami’s just far, FAR away from having a truly competitive QB on the roster, even with Emory Williams’ heart taken into consideration.

The Ugly

  • No seriously. Losing to FSU. It’s the 3rd worst ever.
  • (losing to florida or the acorns from the state of ohio being 1-2 on that list, for those wondering)
  • Xavier Restrepo’s first drop of the season came on 3rd and 6 from the 6 on Miami’s first offensive drive. You can’t have that. The chains need to move, and the offense needs to do everything they can to help the freshman QB making his first road start. Yes, I’m nitpicking, but I’m also right. Atrocious.
  • Bad snap, bad hold, missed Andres Borregales FG on Miami’s 2nd drive.
  • 4-16 on 3rd down.
  • 1-2 on 4th down, including the game-ending interception (discussed later in this section).
  • An aggregate 10/30 passing. I’m not doing the %. You do the math.
  • 15 carries for 35 yards after halftime. Just running into the middle over and over again, and for 2 yards a carry. Cool.
  • Allowed FSU to go 4-4 in the red zone. Killer.
  • Allowed 17 first downs. That’s not really bad, but when you consider Miami only had 12 first downs, that’s a BIG difference.
  • Allowed that huge Keon Coleman punt return. That really, really hurt, and set up the TD that would end up being the difference in the game.
  • For the second time this season, the ACC refs fucked Miami out of a clear safety. They did it against Clemson, they did it again just before the half here against FSU. This is fucking bullshit. Jordan Travis went into the endzone of his own volition, by his own, independent locomotion. He is tackled in the endzone CLEARLY for a safety. And the fucking refs fucked us on the first call AND replay. They can go to hell. Motherfuckers.
  • There was a clear missed DPI on FSU on a ball toward Colbie Young. Mario Cristobal was pissed at the no call (among many on the night). I can do the lipreading NMD Grant requests: Mario: “I got you, motherfucker”.
  • The last play. Look, we can talk about Tyler Van Dyke throwing yet-another interception. But, this was more a view into how broken mentally he is. Following an FSU timeout, Miami draws up a “him” play for Xavier Restrepo — Van Dyke’s former roommate and always favorite receiver — on an out route. Restrepo was WIDE OPEN coming out of his break. Van Dyke had time. But he’s broken mentally and gunshy. So, he didn’t throw the “him ball” play to the “him” it was designed to go to. Instead, Van Dyke held the ball, scrambled around, then lobbed a pray of a throw, late and across his body over the middle to 5’10” (on a good day) Brashard Smith in traffic. When you have a QB who is so shook he can’t and won’t throw the ball to a play CLEARLY designed to go to a specific person — HIS FAVORITE RECEIVER NO LESS — you can’t be competitive. Oh, and it was the only turnover of the game by either team. More fun!
  • The regression on offense during today’s game. I know Emory is a freshman, but you started out with vertical throws on 2 of the first 4 plays of the game. Then, after getting the lead, it was all inside run no effect. I just didn’t like the way things went.

Team Grades

Offense: F

I know Emory was only making his second career start. But the offense has to do more. And, there has to be adjustments to take advantage of things. FSU was blitzing everybody to stop the run in 2H. There has to be a wrinkle to take advantage of that. FSU blitzed everybody in passing situations. THERE HAS TO BE A WRINKLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT!!! I know this is the best defense we’ll face this year, but this performance left much to be desired. This game could have been won, if the offense did ANYTHING in the last 25 minutes of the game (save the yolo ball touchdown).

Defense: A-

Like I said above, this unit held FSU to their 2nd lowest total yardage output of the year, and their lowest yards per play output. They were fast. They were physical. They were disruptive. And, without a short field following a huge punt return, played FSU to a standstill. There were mistakes, there were errors, but this defense played well enough to win today.

Special Teams: D

Missed FG. Allowed a huge punt return. BUT, the twarted that onside kick to start 2H. And Borregales made 2 FGs. Still, the errors were massive in a game with margins this close.

Coaching: C

Defense: A // Offense: D- // Game management: B

Lance Guidry did yeoman’s work today. I already spoke to the positive impact of the defense.

Shannon Dawson started okay, but once Miami got a 13-10 lead, he had no answers. And I know he was hamstrung a bit by a true freshman QB in the game, but he went super duper uber conservative, continued to try and run in 2H when FSU adjusted to blitz everybody to stop the run, and had no answers. Run-run-pass (short of the sticks)-punt was the mantra over and over in 2H. And I hate it. Not a single trick play. Not a single adjustment to exploit what FSU was doing on defense (going SUPER AGGRO). And, let’s be honest, without that yolo-ball TD, this offense didn’t do shit in 2H. That’s really, really bad. I know it’s tough, but you gotta do better than that.

Mario Cristobal....honestly, it wasn’t as bad in the end as I thought it was in the course of the game. That early timeout in the 3rd quarter was needed...even if it didn’t lead directly to a touchdown. My main gripe: bring that same “expletive laced rant” energy (as told by the sideline reporter) to the refs who openly (and repeatedly) cheated your team. But, insofar as decision to go for it or kick it or timeout? I think he actually got nearly all of them right today. Which is definitely a change from normal, so let me give kudos now because he deserves.

That’s it for this installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Another 365 days having to listen to FSU fans talk shit because we lost to them. Again.

I fucking hate it.

Go Canes