Doak Campbell Stadium, Home of the FSU Seminoles — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Ruth Peterkin
In a game reminiscent of Florida State-Miami battles from back in the day, the Seminoles managed to turn the game around—after Miami had already done so—and score a touchdown with only 26 seconds left, defeating the Miami Hurricanes 31-28 at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.
FSU (4-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped UM’s four-game win streak in the rivalry series and three-game overall win streak that started with UM victories over the-top-20 Pitt and NC State.
With the loss, the Canes (5-5, 3-3) are eliminated from ACC title-game contention and still need to score a victory in one of their last two regular-season games to qualify for a bowl.
“Tough one to swallow there,’’ UM coach Manny Diaz said. “Another classic Miami-Florida State game. This time we ended up on the wrong side of it. Proud of the way our team fought.”
“The way we played in the second half — the guys just battled. Battled. But you gotta give [FSU] credit. They battled, too.”
“There’s a lot of hurt in that locker room now,’’ Diaz added.
Miami had scored three consecutive touchdowns on Tyler Van Dyke pass plays, taking them to a 28-20 lead with 11:04 left in the game. FSU’s 29-yard field goal with 4:43 left changed it to 28-23.
Florida State took over with only 2:19 left after Diaz opted to punt on fourth-and-1 from the Miami 46-yard line instead of going for the first down and running the clock.
On first down, FSU quarterback Jordan Travis shot a 59-yard completion to Ja’Khi Douglas. Fast forward to fourth-and-14 from the Canes’ 25, and Travis’ 24-yard completion down the middle of the field to Andrew Parchment gave the ‘Noles a first-and-goal from the 1.
With only 50 seconds left, Miami took a timeout, but not before Diaz had let 12 seconds tick off the clock.
After an offside call on the Hurricanes, on second-and-goal from the 1, Travis ran in for the touchdown, and the burgundy and gold crowd went wild as FSU went ahead 29-28. The team sealed its brewing victory with a 2-point Travis conversion run.
UM had 26 seconds to do the impossible, with the game ending after a 20-yard completion from Van Dyke to Charleston Rambo, leaving the Canes stranded on the 45.
“Frustrated, sad, especially for those guys who were in their last year,’’ said Canes tight end Will Mallory, whose 4-yard touchdown catch on fourth down with 14:56 left put UM ahead, 21-20, for the first time all game. “This one sucks. This was a must-win for us. We have to beat FSU. It didn’t happen.’’
Miami has taken a step back as they head home to face Virginia Tech on Nov. 20 in their final game for the 2021 season at Hard Rock Stadium. After that, the Canes will face Duke for their regular-season finale the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
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Chris began his writing as a hobby while attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Today he and his wife live in the Orlando area with their three children and dog.