Featured, Football, Sports, UM-FSU

History of Miami, Florida State rivalry since 1987

Sebastian the Ibis, dressed as a fireman, went on the field during the 1989 FSY game and extinguished Chief Osceola's flaming spear // Courtesy UM Archives

Sebastian the Ibis, dressed as a fireman, went on the field during the 1989 FSY game and extinguished Chief Osceola’s flaming spear // Courtesy UM Archives

It’s been a little over a year since one of college football’s best rivalries last kicked off in Tallahassee, Florida. Now, one of the most anticipated matches in the rivalry is less than a week from kickoff in Miami.

An undefeated, but vulnerable, Florida State team – the defending national champions – will go in the trenches with the Hurricanes at 8 p.m. on Saturday night. Miami is riding a strong three-game winning streak, including a week’s rest and the monster stat of outscoring two ACC opponents, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, 77-26 in two weeks.

The Miami-Florida State rivalry has had its biggest moments within the last five presidencies. For those who aren’t political mathematicians, that’s going back to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Although the two teams had met before, the rivalry truly began in 1987, when Miami came back from being down 19-3 to score 23 straight points in Tallahassee. Seminoles quarterback Danny McManus found Ronald Lewis in the end zone with 42 seconds left. FSU coach Bobby Bowden elected to win the game instead of forcing overtime, but the two-point conversion was batted away by safety, and seven-year NFL veteran Bubba McDowell. The Canes would stay undefeated for their second national championship.

Then there was the string of five missed FSU field goals, starting with the most famous – or infamous, depending on the fan base – in 1991. FSU and Miami were No. 1 and No. 2 on Nov. 16, the 25th such matchup in college football history. Miami led 17-16 as the Noles drove downfield for one final score. It was up to Gerry Thomas, in his only year in an FSU uniform, to keep the dream of a national championship alive.

Thomas had hit all three of his field goal tries already; the longest from 31 out. However, from 34 yards out at the left hashmark, the ball sailed wide right. Once again, Miami rode an undefeated 1991 season to its fourth national title.

FSU kickers would run into similar misfortune in 1992, 2000, 2002 and the 2004 Orange Bowl. Two of those regular season misses would see the Canes play for a national championship, losing both times to Alabama and Ohio State.

The list of memories could go on forever: Miami blanking out Deion Sanders and the rest of FSU’s preseason No. 1 team 31-0 in 1988; Sebastian the Ibis tackled by the police in 1989 for attempting to extinguish Chief Osceola’s flaming spear in a fireman’s uniform; backup tight-end and future Superbowl winner Jeremy Shockey with the game-winning touchdown in 2000; Duke Johnson leaving Canes fans with so many what-ifs after his season-ending ankle injury last year.

This rivalry still stands toward the top of the college football mountain. The best broadcasters on ESPN, ABC are assigned to the game, and it’s typically either played in primetime or, at the very least, is a strong 3:30 kickoff.

The state of Florida and the rest of Canes and Noles nations spread out across the land anxiously await the weekend. The battle resumes on Saturday.

November 10, 2014

Reporters

Neil Dwyer


Around the Web
  • Error
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

Seniors Emily Gossett, Millie Chokshi, and Jason Kaplan are eager to implement their platform throug ...

Follow the sights and sounds of the pregame festivities in Orlando leading up to Saturday’s big game ...

A team of researchers created the first mapping model of its kind to track how hate spreads and adap ...

University of Miami professors who study water treatment and civil engineering say that water contam ...

University of Miami experts in health geography, law, and public health weigh in on some of the issu ...

The Hurricanes take center stage Saturday as the nation begins celebrating college football's 1 ...

Head coach Manny Diaz and The New Miami will make their debut against an old rival, facing No. 8 Flo ...

Freshman midfielder Ine Østmo joined the Hurricanes in January as an early enrolee from Mandal, Norw ...

Senior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud have already made history ...

UM women's soccer opened its 2019 campaign by blowing past UTRGV, 4-0. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.