This Saturday at 3:30 on ABC the Seminoles will host the rival Miami Hurricanes.
Miami is 6-3 this season with wins over Miami (OH), Texas A&M, Bethune-Cookman, Temple, Clemson and Virginia and losses to Georgia Tech, North Carolina and North Carolina State.
FSU is 32-35 against UM all-time. The ‘Noles won last year’s game in a 45-3 beatdown in Miami Gardens.
Observations from the last game
Whew! That was a grind, but the Seminoles survived.
Even without the top 3 receivers and 2 backup receivers Jordan Travis threw for 360 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Ja’Khi Douglas and Vandrevius Jacobs played well once they got some snaps with the first team.
The redzone offense and short yardage (once again) offense were not good. FSU is 1 for its last 7 on 4th down.
The defense was outstanding sans a couple of coverage breakdowns.
Florida State offense versus Miami defense
Miami’s defense has been much improved compared to last season especially against the run. The Hurricanes are 15th in the FBS in opponent’s yards per carry at 3.1. I expect Norvell to test this with Jordan Travis more than usual and the 3 running backs, Trey Benson, Lawrence Toafili and Rodney Hill.
If the ‘Noles get the run game going and give themselves manageable 3rd downs it’ll slow down the skilled pass rushers Rueben Bain and others. Bain already has 6.5 sacks and do-it-all linebacker Francisco Mauigoa has 4.5. UM does a decent job defending the pass and it’ll be easier to take advantage of the O-Line can continue to protect the QB. When looking down field Travis needs to be aware of Kamren Kinchens, who has 4 interceptions on the season to go along with 43 tackles.
Florida State defense versus Miami offense
The Hurricanes offense has had some big highs and lows this season. If they cut down on the turnovers, penalties and mental mistakes they can move the ball with ease and score in bunches.
UM’s quarterback is the talented Tyler Van Dyke (3rd start vs FSU), who has thrown for 2,057 yards and 16 touchdowns but has 11 interceptions. He can make all the throws however he’s not much of a threat with his legs. His favorite big play receivers are Jacolby George and Colbie Young and his go to guy is Xavier Restrepo (60 receptions).
The Hurricanes have 4 running backs that split the carries. The key to stopping the offense is slowing down the rushing attack and forcing Van Dyke into obvious passing situations. Then cornerback Jarrian Jones needs to win his matchup with Restrepo and the defensive lineman have to get pressure rushing 3 or 4.
Advantage: Florida State. Miami’s kicker Andres Borregales is almost automatic and has the range for almost 60.
I expect Miami to play well by limiting the miscues and challenge the Seminoles, but a late rally comes up short as the Garnet and Gold survive. Florida State 31 Miami 26.