MIAMI -- New season, new conference, same result.
Frank Gore's 18-yard touchdown run in overtime gave No. 5 Miami
a 16-10 victory over No. 4 Florida State on Friday night.
The Hurricanes, playing their first game as a member of the
Atlantic Coast Conference, extended their winning streak over the
Seminoles to six games.
"Are all the games like this in the ACC?" Miami coach Larry
Coker said. "I may not like this league."
The Hurricanes, who used to be in the Big East, won this one
The Seminoles' offense did little during regulation and even
less in overtime. After a holding call put Florida State in a
first-and-20, Antrel Rolle sniffed out a screen pass for an 8-yard
loss. Chris Rix connected with Craphonso Thorpe for a 15-yard gain
on second down, but Rix fumbled on third down and Miami's Thomas
Gore scored on Miami's second play.
"We never got tired; we were hungry all the way to the end,"
Coker said. "It's a monumental experience, a game you'll remember
for the rest of your life. It was just a great finish, a great
The game was originally scheduled to be played last Monday but
was postponed four days because of Hurricane Frances. A grandson
and a former son-in-law of Florida State coach Bobby Bowden were
killed last Sunday when their car was hit a by a utility truck that
was helping to restore power outages caused by the hurricane.
Miami (1-0) scored 16 straight points in the fourth quarter
after Florida State (0-1) took a 10-0 lead by capitalizing on two
The Hurricanes also got some help from a missed field goal --
something that has defined this rivalry.
Florida State's Xavier Beitia had a 34-yarder blocked with 3:58
to play. The kick would have sealed a victory for the Seminoles.
Instead, it gave Miami the ball back with a chance to tie the game.
"We had our chance to put them away and we didn't," Bowden
said. "They had a chance to put us away and they did."
Brock Berlin drove the Hurricanes 80 yards in five plays and 52
seconds. He connected with Sinorice Moss for a 30-yard touchdown
with 30 seconds to play, and the extra point tied the game at 10.
After Miami tied the game, the Seminoles took a few shots deep,
but the game went to overtime.
It was the third meeting in less than 11 months for the in-state
rivals. And just like the last two, the embattled Rix did little to
help Florida State.
He threw two interceptions and fumbled twice, including the
crucial one in overtime. He finished 12-of-28 for 108 yards -- and
Bowden hinted that he might make a change.
"It wasn't good, it wasn't the performance I expected," Bowden
said of Rix. "But you don't want to blame it on one guy. It's
going to fall on the responsibility of the coaching staff to do the
right thing in regards to his play tonight."
Florida State couldn't run the ball, either, gaining just 57
yards -- the lowest in the series since 1994.
The Hurricanes had plenty of chances to win this one in
Following Rix's second interception, Berlin hooked up with Moss
for a 63-yard gain early in the fourth quarter. Then Berlin
connected with Greg Olsen for another 22 yards, setting up a
first-and-goal at the 2. But the Hurricanes couldn't punch it in.
Gore was stuffed for no gain on first down, Berlin scrambled for
a yard on second and then misfired on third.
Jon Peattie hit the 19-yard chip shot early in the fourth for
Miami's first points.
Peattie also missed two field goal attempts earlier in the game.
He missed a 52-yarder as time expired in the first half and was
wide right on a 42-yarder late in the third quarter.
The Hurricanes had a chance to try another field goal in the
third, but Coker opted to go for it on fourth-and-4 from the 32.
Berlin threw an incomplete pass. It was something Miami saw much of
the night as Berlin misfired short and deep.
He finished 20-of-36 for 255 yards with a touchdown and an
interception. Gore ran 18 times for 89 yards.
Florida State's offense, meanwhile, was outmatched against
Miami's defense. The Seminoles lost for just the seventh time in
"Our defense just stayed with it, and our offense finally made
some big plays to give us a chance to win," Coker said.
No rivalry has affected the national championship picture as
much as Florida State-Miami over the last two decades.
Either the Seminoles or Hurricanes have played for the title 13
times in the last 21 years, including six of the last eight. And
only twice -- Miami in 1989 and Florida State in 2000 -- has the
series loser been able to play for it all.
Now the game could decide the ACC, too.
The Seminoles have won 11 of 12 league titles since joining the
conference in 1992. But they could find it tough to win this
season. They probably will need the Hurricanes to lose twice to
have a chance.
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