The last time Miami lost three straight games to Florida State, gas was an affordable $1.19 a gallon, boy bands were rampant across radio waves and the Y2K bug was a legitimate concern during a five game losing streak from 1995 to 1999.
The Hurricanes hope to keep that streak buried in the previous century.
Miami will try to recover from its recent two-game slide as the Canes welcome the No. 14 Florida State Seminoles to Sun Life Stadium on Saturday night. The Hurricanes (4-3, 3-1 ACC) enter the game coming off back-to-back losses against Notre Dame and UNC, while the Seminoles (6-1, 3-1) are coming off a 51-7 victory over Boston College.
“We have a great opportunity with Florida State. Back in Sun Life for a second consecutive game, I think we all know what type of team we are playing,” coach Al Golden said. “I believe it’s the best team that we’ve played this year. Two other teams that we’ve played are ranked higher than them right now. I think that this is the most talented team that we’ve seen this year, the most complete team and obviously coming off a big win against Boston College.”
The Hurricanes come into the game with the 24th-ranked passing attack in the NCAA, averaging 296.9 passing yards per game, but may be without starting quarterback Stephen Morris this weekend. Morris suffered a sprained ankle on Saturday against UNC and exited the game wearing a walking boot.
Morris was seen throwing during practice on Wednesday, but no official decision has been made yet. If Morris is unable to go, redshirt sophomore Ryan Williams will get the role.
“Ryan did a great job today. He threw the ball well, practiced really well, made all the throws,” Golden said. “We’re excited about him. We don’t really have two separate game plans going in. Ryan ran the whole thing, Preston Dewey backed him up. We’re proceeding like that. If Stephen’s healthy, we’ll give it a shot.”
While Morris remains the preferred starter, Golden acknowledged that Williams has the skill set and mentality necessary to execute the game plan if Morris is unable to play. But Golden will not ask Morris to sit the game out if he’s ready.
“We all only get so many shots at this. I’m not going to ask him to sit out the Florida State game, or for any game,” he said. “If he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go. If you see him out there, it’s because he is ready to go and execute in that game. If he’s not, then that question is answered.”
Any matchup against Florida State is a must-watch and certainly comes with bragging rights, among other implications.
Golden, however, is not attempting to build too much hype around the rivalry.
“I don’t look at it in the sense that maybe some of our fans look at it,” he said. “We should be mad that they’re up there [in the BCS] right now,” he said. “If you look at the way the rivalry has gone, it’s up to the other school to respond. We have to chase them. We have to get to where we want to be.”