The Hurricanes dominated the Florida State Seminoles from start to finish during Saturday’s 22-14 victory. Most of the ‘Canes’ scoring took place in the first half, and their defense was able to shutout the Seminole offense until midway through the third quarter. The first half shutout was the Seminoles’ first since their game against Georgia Tech, which they were able to come back and win 14-13. The last time UM shut out Florida State for an entire half was in 2000, which resulted in a 27-24 win for the Hurricanes. Before the 2000 game, the ‘Canes hadn’t held the Seminoles scoreless in a half since September 3, 1988, a game that the Hurricanes won 31-0. The ‘Canes had more points in the first half than any team had scored on the Seminoles in an entire game. Georgia Tech’s 13 points was the previous high for an FSU opponent this season. The Seminoles turned the ball over four times in the first half, despite having only two turnovers in the first halves of their first five games.
The Hurricanes were able to take advantage of the fact that Florida State normally does not do well in rainy games. It rained for hours leading up to Saturday’s game, and continuously poured for all four quarters. The last time it had rained during an FSU game was its loss to Louisville last season. Playing in Miami, the Hurricanes are better able to adapt in rainy and sloppy conditions. It was evident that the weather was having an effect on quarterback Chris Rix, who fumbled several snaps. Hurricane quarterback Brock Berlin did not fumble any snaps. The Seminoles finished with six fumbles and the ‘Canes had three.
Payton Comes Through
In his first start for the Hurricanes, senior running back Jarrett Payton had a career day, gaining 97 yards on 26 carries. Payton broke off several big runs in the first half, and caught two passes out of the backfield for 15 yards and a touchdown, his first career touchdown reception. Payton’s only blemish came in the second quarter when he coughed the ball up at Florida State’s 20-yard line, but the defense was able to stop the Seminoles on their next drive.
Success Against the Seminoles
Dating back to 1987, 10 of Florida State’s last 29 losses have come from the Hurricanes. The 10 wins are the most by any team in the nation against Florida State over the last 16 seasons. Miami is one of only three schools to defeat the Seminoles more than once since 1987. Florida and N.C. State are the other two teams. The Seminoles have had eight one-loss seasons since 1987 with five of those losses coming from the ‘Canes. The win gives UM an eight-game winning streak against teams from Florida, and the Hurricanes have won 21 of their last 29 games against opponents from the Sunshine State. The ‘Canes improve to 55-45-1 in games against schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference, which the Hurricanes will become a part of in the 2004 season.
Miami now leads their all-time series with Florida State 27-20, which dates back to 1951. The Hurricanes have won the last four meetings after the Seminoles had won five straight from 1995-99. The game was the fifth of the series in which both teams are in the top five. The ‘Canes are now 4-1 in those games…ESPN’s Gameday crew was in attendance at Doak Campbell Stadium, and Lee Corso donned a headdress and face paint, much to the delight of the Seminole fans…FSU had an attendance of 84,336, a Doak Campbell record…All-Pro cornerback of the Tennessee Titans and former Seminole Samari Rolle was on the sidelines for the game… UM President Donna Shalala was on the sidelines at the end of the game, cheering on the ‘Canes…A total of 638 credentials were given to the media for the game, which was broadcast on ABC.