• Attention: Register today to view CanesInSight Ad-Free for 7 days.

Game Preview: Week 6 vs. Florida State

Game Preview: Week 6 vs. Florida State

Paul Austria
Wide Right I. Wide Right II. Wide Right III. Wide Left. The turnover chain vs. the turnover backpack, or turnover purse according to UM offensive lineman Venzell Boulware. The prestige and notoriety of this rivalry needs no explanation, especially to the fans of both teams. Miami and Florida State have produced a number of legendary games, as well as a ton of future NFL stars and hall of famers.

This game also cuts deeper for a number of players on each team every year because both teams do most of their damage recruiting from the South Florida area, so a lot of the players are already familiar with each other. Heck, Hurricanes coach Mark Richt might have the best understanding of it all because he’s experienced this rivalry from both sides as a former UM QB and carrying a 1-1 record against FSU as UM’s head coach, while also serving as a coach on FSU’s staff in the 1990’s.

“There were a few heartbreakers when I was at Florida State, going against Miami. I guess the first Wide Right. That hurt,” Richt said to the Sun-Sentinel. “And then, the year after the Seminole Rap. That was painful. I was at Florida State at the time and I don’t know, we got whacked 31-0 or something crazy like that. Those stick out.”

The last two matchups both went down to the wire, with FSU winning 20-19 in 2016 off a blocked extra point, while Miami prevailed last year 24-19 off a Malik Rosier touchdown pass to Darrell Langham with :06 left. This year, both teams are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Miami is currently ranked 17th while playing lights out following their opening week loss to 5th-ranked LSU, while Willie Taggart has had a very subpar start to his FSU coaching career.

FSU is currently 3-2, just narrowly earning victories over Louisville on the road and Samford at home. Before 2017, FSU had beaten Miami seven consecutive times and the Seminoles were the better team overall, consistently finding themselves in the national championship conversation while Miami seemed to never to find the right formula under Randy Shannon and Al Golden. In addition, Miami has not beaten Florida State at home since 2004, when now 35 year old Frank Gore scored the game winning touchdown in overtime.

Following yet another dominant performance against North Carolina last week, the Miami Hurricanes are still playing on a high note going into Saturday. The Canes currently have the 2nd-ranked defense in the nation, the #1 pass defense in the nation, and the most tackles for loss in the nation. Gerald Willis has played like nothing less than an animal on the defensive line for the Canes, as he’s already accumulated 10.5 tackles for loss through five games.

Then you have sophomore defensive end Jonathan Garvin with 8.5 tackles for loss, while linebacker Shaquille Quarterman has 6.5 of his own; that should probably give you a rough idea of how dangerous Miami’s defense is. Quarterman practiced this week after leaving the UNC game early and should be good to go. At the other end spot, Joe Jackson has also been a terror for opponents to contain.

Despite star safety Jaquan Johnson missing the last two games to recover from a hamstring injury, Miami’s pass defense has been nothing short of stellar, holding teams to 138.8 yards/game. Senior CB Michael Jackson has been using all of his wide 6’1” 200 lb. frame to shut down the top receiver on each team Miami has faced this season.

QB N’Kosi Perry will be making his second career start, but this will be his first in this historic rivalry. Even he knows that this is not your regular, middle of the season matchup.

“I expect them to play harder than they play against anybody else,” Perry told the Miami Herald. “They have great players on their team. No matter what their record is, I know they’re going to play hard.”

In last week’s game against UNC, he threw 12 passes only because Miami’s defense did most of the dirty work putting up points on the board. One big factor that led coach Mark Richt to make the switch from Malik Rosier to Perry was accuracy, as Rosier had a habit of overthrowing a lot of his receivers, which was a precursor to his low completion percentage. So far this season, Perry has completed 66.7% of his passes, which is a huge improvement and upgrade from Rosier’s 52.1% completion rate. The running game also made his job a bit easier as Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer combined for over 200 yards on the ground last week for the 4th straight game.

Despite having only two catches in the past two games, the electrifying Jeff Thomas still remains the top receiver on the team and tops in the nation with a 24.62 yards/catch average. In his “absence”, N’Kosi Perry has found refuge in another breakout sophomore by the name of Mike Harley; Harley has 70+ receiving yards in each of the past two games and leads the team with 15 receptions this season.

Junior WR Ahmmon Richards is still hampered by a bone bruise in his knee and coach Richt reiterated this week that it could be a while before he sees the field again. There is a possibility that he gets the redshirt this year, saving himself a year of eligibility.

In his first year calling the shots for the Seminoles, Willie Taggart has been the victim of a lot of criticism from the media and fans alike for the Seminoles’ lackluster start. Taggart came over after one season at Oregon and the team turned their attention to him once Jimbo Fisher decided to take the opening at Texas A&M. As for any big program, expectations for Taggart are very high, given his uplifting personality and his player-coach persona, and he even knows what this game means to the program.

“I’m excited about it,” Taggart exclaimed to Seminoles.com. “This is why you signed up to come to a place like Florida State, to play in games like this.”

FSU DE Brian Burns is projected to hear his name called in the first round of next year’s NFL Draft and he’s continued to be one of the bright stars on this team. Burns and the 6’5” 320 pound mammoth Marvin Wilson at defensive tackle are part of a pressuring defense that is in the top-30 in the nation in sacks with 14 total.

However, two big problems they have been dealing with is recovering fumbles and overall pass defense. The Seminoles have forced 13 fumbles this season but have only recovered two. And while players like safeties A.J. Westbrook and Stanford Samuels have been doing their best to hold it down, FSU has the 112th-best pass defense in the nation.

"It’s on the coaches a little bit," FSU defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett told Warchant.com. "Maybe giving (the secondary) a little too much. Lethal simplicity...we'll get back to doing the basics of what we do. Let everybody, let their natural abilities come out and play. Not try to complicate things."

After a disappointing opening loss to Virginia Tech in which he threw three interceptions, Seminoles QB Deondre Francois has rebounded quite nicely. Since that game, he’s compiled nine touchdowns with only two interceptions, with four of those TD’s coming last week against Louisville. Francois missed last year’s meeting due to injury and this year, he faces a tough test against the top secondary in the nation statistically speaking.

In addition, it will be imperative that Francois establishes a rhythm with the passing game because despite how weird it sounds, the running game has been both an asset and a liability. It’s been an asset because the team does not lack talent at the position with sophomore phenom Cam Akers and senior Jacques Patrick. The liability comes from overall production. Despite the talent, at 97.4 yards/game, the Seminoles have the 120th best rushing offense in the nation.

At wide receiver, senior Nyqwan Murray leads a relatively inexperienced unit with 25 catches for 345 yards this season, but this unit is slowly gaining confidence as the season progresses. 4 of Tamorrion Terry’s 11 catches have gone for touchdowns and he’s averaging a team-high 22.5 yards/catch. 6’3” junior WR Keith Gavin is also in the fold with 265 yards on the season.

The offensive line has had its struggles with protecting Francois in the pocket and paving holes for the running backs. Two weeks ago, Francois was sacked four time against Syracuse, and following one of those sacks, lineman Abdul Bello offered to help Francois up off the ground, but the disgusted Francois threw his arms up and was not receptive to Bello’s offer.

As a result, coach Taggart has made two changes to the line. At left tackle, Bello originally shared first-team duties with Jauan Williams, but both have been replaced by Landon Dickerson. At right tackle, Brady Scott and Bello shared first-team duties, but now Scott has that title to himself. Bello may be needed regardless, as Dickerson has not practiced this week and remains questionable for Saturday’s game.

Saturday’s matchup marks meeting #63 between these two teams (UM leads the series 32-30) and this is sure to be another classic with its fair share of storylines. This legendary rivalry will continue this Saturday, October 6th at Hard Rock Stadium at 3:30 PM, and if you can’t make it to the game, ABC will have all the coverage for you.
 

Comments (14)

This will be close early. Aslong as Perry avoids mistakes and the defense gets pressure on the QB and closes down the running lanes. We should come out on top
 
We have an opportunity to drive a stake into FSU and we damn well better put a foot on their necks. Don’t let them hang around and make it a 4th quarter game. It will be hard for either team to recover from a loss here.
 
C
This will be close early. Aslong as Perry avoids mistakes and the defense gets pressure on the QB and closes down the running lanes. We should come out on top

Yup I agree, much of the game depends on Perry, he can't make mistakes. He's had an easy time of it so far, now we'll see what he's got. IMO the rest of the Miami team is better than Fl State. As I stated after the LSU game Miami will win out, the only question on our schedule is VT. We'll play Clemson and it should be a much better game this year.
 
The forced fumbles stat is interesting. Forcing turnovers is mostly skill, recovering fumbles is mostly luck, so the law of averages says that they are likely to recover more turnovers in the future. Have to take care of ball and we roll (as long as special teams doesn't show their a$$). For all his faults, one positive of Rosier is that he rarely forced passes and limited his turnovers. The one thing that scares me outside of special teams is Perry giving the Noles life with bad decisions or getting ball knocked out while he is scrambling.
 
Nole fans that don't know any better keep reminding us about how we haven't had a Miami win vs. FSU since 2004. Like that's some magic formula in our soil or something...

It's true though. We haven't had an FSU win in Joe Robbie Stadium since January 2004 and our regular season home stadium since September of 2004. That was before we hired Richt and they hired Taggart...
 
Anyone else worried about getting a punt blocked ?
I like our chances but our special teams scare me.
 
After a disappointing opening loss to Virginia Tech in which he threw three interceptions, Seminoles QB Deondre Francois has rebounded quite nicely. Since that game, he’s compiled nine touchdowns with only two interceptions, with four of those TD’s coming last week against Louisville. Francois missed last year’s meeting due to injury and this year, he faces a tough test against the top secondary in the nation statistically speaking.

Nice write up but this statement is kind of misleading. 5 of his 9 TDs since VTech came against Samford and Northern Illinois. He was 18 for 36 against Syracuse with no TDs and one interception.
 
Last edited:
Seriously, if the OL performs well and allows Dallas and Homer to establish a running threat... Perry should have success and we should control the clock barring turnovers. The emotional level should be on our side but I agree that FSU will be motivated as always... will be a great game.
 
The forced fumbles stat is interesting. Forcing turnovers is mostly skill, recovering fumbles is mostly luck, so the law of averages says that they are likely to recover more turnovers in the future.

This is a perfect example of the law of large numbers. You're right in that "they are likely to recover more fumbles in the future," but that doesn't necessarily mean soon and could mean years. I'll agree that recovering fumbles is subject to randomness, and because of that, you can't really assume quick regression to the mean because the data pool (let's call it teams that force but do not recover fumbles in the NFL and college) is massive.
 
Anyone watching FSU will ahve probably noticed that they are beginning to gel with the new style of offense (more spread) and defense (Michigan/Pitt/multiple) that Taggart has installed... but that being said, there are opportunities to exploit. All I'm going to say is that Brevin Jordan needs to channel Vance McDonald, SR22 & JJ4 need to channel Sean Taylor (RIP) and that the entire stadium LAUGHS if they get that damn purse out, because that is THE best way to deal with it. Just laugh. EVERYONE. Perry is way more accurate than Rosier, but this is only his second start: the possibility of INT is there, and we need to prepare for that. Best way to give N'Kosi our support and mess with FSWho: #LaughAtThePurse #SpreadTheWord
 
Manny will release the hounds to set the atmosphere and tempo in our favor. If the rush from the front 7 can do what we have been able to do our other games and also follow the ND game plan on defense, we will put our foot on the Noles throat and we will dominate on both sides of the ball. Put doubt in their minds and it over early.
football-smoke-with-ibis-480x320.jpg
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
CB
6'2"
180
Alabaster, AL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

Latest Predictions

by ajone228
High
by Canedog
Medium
by Canedog
Certain
by Umbra
Medium
by Canes2082
High
09/04 @
ALA
09/11 vs
APP
09/18 vs
MSU
09/25 vs
CCSU
09/30 vs
UVA
10/16 @
UNC
10/23 vs
NCST
10/30 @
PITT
11/06 vs
GT
11/13 @
FSU
11/20 vs
VT
11/27 @
DUKE
Top