Good, but not good enough.
When thinking back to Miami’s loss to Florida State (FSU) last November, that very thought comes to mind.
Having not beaten FSU since 2009, Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes came into last year’s matchup with the added motivation of trying to derail the Seminoles’ likelihood of repeating as national champions. After the first half of gameplay, that looked like a near certainty.
With a packed Sun Life Stadium actually providing a home-field advantage, the Canes jumped out to an 16-0 second-quarter lead. Phillip Dorsett hauled in big grabs of 36, 27 and 18 yards as the Hurricanes went up and down the field with ease. On the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston and the ‘Noles gained just 14 yards after one quarter. It all seemed to be going the Hurricanes’ way.
Even after Dalvin Cook ran for a 44-yard touchdown to get FSU on the scoreboard, Miami promptly responded with a touchdown of their own on a 61-yard touchdown grab from Clive Walford.
All the work that led to a 23-7 advantage against the third-ranked team in the country was quickly erased though when the former Heisman Trophy winner got rolling.
Just as he did all season, Winston began chipping away at the deficit after struggling to start the game. The Seminoles scored 13 straight points to silence the crowd and plant a seed of doubt in the Hurricanes’ minds.
After the two teams traded field goals to give Miami a 26-23 lead in the fourth quarter, the Seminoles showed they still had the winning and resilient mentality that resulted in a national championship the year before.
Florida State stuffed the once explosive Canes’ offense and forced a three-and-out with a little over five minutes left in the game.
The future No. 1 pick Winston then led his team down the field and a 26-yard touchdown run by Cook was the nail in the coffin. Miami got the ball back for one last chance, but an interception from Brad Kaaya on fourth down with under a minute to play ended the game.
Even with so many positives, the Hurricanes found themselves on the wrong side of the rivalry for the fifth consecutive season. For all the domination Miami used to show late in these games with FSU, the script was flipped last year.
The Seminoles will come into this year’s matchup ranked just outside the top 10 in many polls, but they haven’t looked like world-beaters. With quarterback Everett Golson now at the helm, Florida State has struggled in all their games against legitimate opponents, including just an eight-point win against Wake Forest last weekend.
Even coming after a horrific loss to Cincinnati last Thursday, this may be a great chance for the Hurricanes to finally end the losing streak to their rivals up north.
With that being said, maybe this year, Miami doesn’t have to be that good.
They just have to be good enough.