For years and years, Florida State just couldn’t get over the hump.
Everyone remembers the Wide Rights and even the Wide Left game, and they became part of the Seminoles’ football identity. While the Miami Hurricanes haven’t had a signature flub like those, the roles in this rivalry have officially been reversed.
Saturday night’s 29-24 victory gave the Seminoles their sixth straight win in the series. While the last two matchups have been decided by a combined nine points, it seems like the Canes can do nothing to stop their run.
Though the Hurricanes are still not completely out of the clear from the wake of NCAA sanctions, that excuse has run its course. The two programs can now be compared evenly, and for Miami, the outlook is not too pretty.
Even on Saturday night when the Canes played a fairly clean game where sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for a career-high 405 yards and the team held a 24-23 lead with 10:02 left, it still wasn’t enough.
Making matters worse, Miami Central High School’s Dalvin Cook owned the Hurricanes once again as he finished with 269 total yards and three touchdowns in a spectacular performance. In his two games against Miami, the sophomore running back has totaled 379 yards and five touchdowns. Back in the heyday of “The U,” a guy like that would always end up in Coral Gables.
The Canes got Joe Yearby from that same Miami Central backfield and while Yearby is a fantastic running back, the sophomore just hasn’t made an impact like Cook has. Maybe it’s just the guys around him, but to see a player like Cook thrive hurts Miami fans even more.
Sometimes in college football you will just come up against studs like that and there isn’t much you can do. The real story though, and what everyone will remember, is that the Hurricanes came up just short again.
“When you come into this environment, you don’t throw an interception, you don’t fumble it and you’re 50 percent on third down and you lose: it’s disappointing,” a visibly deflated coach Al Golden said after the game. “We did a lot of things right and in the end they made a couple more plays than we did.”
Losses like this one and last year’s against FSU can sting a program and halt its progress, but they also can be used as motivation for a turnaround. Look just in this very rivalry, when the Seminoles lost six straight games to the Canes between 2000 and 2004. The next four matchups were split between the two teams and then the Seminoles began their current six-game winning streak. While it seems far away now, Miami can be the team back on top in just a few years.
The Hurricanes played well Saturday night, but as the last six years have shown, they just can’t seem to get over the hump.