As the Miami Hurricanes walked past a barren student section to sing the alma mater, Florida State stood at midfield soaking in its 45-17 win.
The Seminoles stood on top of the “U” insignia, symbolizing their victory over the Hurricanes.
Florida State senior linebacker Kendall Smith picked a up piece of the turf to bring home to the Seminoles’ “Sod Cemetery,” a place where the Noles (5-1,3-0) keep chunks of grass to symbolize their victory in big road games.
The plastic bag of turf was transferred over to Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, who trotted across the field into the tunnel after receiving a Gatorade bath.
The Seminoles owned Sun Life Stadium.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We just got our butts kicked tonight,” said Shannon, who is 2-2 against FSU. The two losses were both at home. “It’s my fault as a coach at the University of Miami. I don’t blame the kids. I didn’t get them ready for the situation of playing in a game like this.”
It was the first time in the UM/FSU series since 1976 that legendary coach Bobby Bowden wasn’t on the sidelines for the Noles. Bowden’s career record against the Canes was 14-21.
Fisher’s record stands at 1-0. Saturday night also happened to be his birthday, and he could not have hoped for a more satisfying present.
Shannon called this game “embarrassing” for the fans.
“I’m not going to make any excuses,” Shannon said. “We didn’t tackle very well. The offensive line and defensive line didn’t do anything tonight, and that was the key to the game. They just dominated both lines of scrimmage.”
It was only the second time in the last 11 games that the margin of victory was more than eight points between the two rivals.
The Hurricanes allowed 471 total yards, including 298 yards rushing. Never in the history of Miami football have the Canes allowed a run longer than 83 yards until Saturday night in front of a national audience.
FSU sophomore running back Chris Thompson put the icing on Fisher’s cake with his 90-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Miami’s defense struggled to keep Florida State out of the end zone.
“We have to get off the field, we can’t let them score,” senior captain Colin McCarthy said. “They ran the ball down our throats and we failed to do anything about it. It hurts. It really does hurt.”
The offense had its woes too. Junior quarterback Jacory Harris was 19-for-47 with 225 yards. With the Canes down early, he had to play catch-up ball throughout the entire game. Harris averaged less than five yards per completion.
The Noles have now won three straight in Miami for the first time since winning eight in a row from 1963-74.
The orange and green were out played in every facet of the game.
“They just out-executed us,” junior linebacker Sean Spence said. “They executed their game plan, did what they wanted to. They just flat outplayed us from the first quarter to the fourth.”
Lelan Ledoux may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.