No. 3 Florida State (8-0) piled up 517 yards of offense and outscored No. 7 Miami (7-1) 20-0 in the second half to capture a 41-14 victory over the Hurricanes in a battle of top 10 teams in Tallahassee on Saturday night.
Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston completed 21 of 29 passes for 325 yards and one touchdown and overcame two first-half interceptions to lead the ‘Noles to their fourth-straight win over the ‘Canes.
With the win, FSU might be equipped to leap over Oregon for the No. 2 spot in the BCS rankings that come out on Sunday, though it could be a short-lived ranking since the Ducks play Stanford on Thursday.
The two teams worked their jabs in the first half, prodding each other’s weakness with a fair bit of power running. The ‘Canes, especially, seemed content with trying to wear down the FSU defense. But the Miami defense couldn’t contain the Seminoles offense when it counted — FSU was a remarkable 11 of 15 on third downs — and FSU took a 21-14 lead into the half thanks in part to two nifty touchdowns — one running and one passing — by Devonta Freeman.
The ‘Noles showed their mettle in the second half and made sure to leave no doubt, blanking the ‘Canes the rest of the way while getting touchdown runs from James Wilder, Jr., and Freeman and two field goals from Roberto Aguayo, who remained a perfect 12 for 12 for FGs on the year. Miami had just 95 yards of offense after halftime, 275 in all.
Stephen Morris needed to have a big game for the ‘Canes to have a shot, but he was limited to 192 yards passing and two touchdowns, while getting intercepted twice. Meanwhile, the ‘Noles had their way on the ground, piling up 192 yards and four touchdowns against the tired ‘Canes defense.
In the end, FSU was a vastly superior team with vastly superior players playing in front of a rabid home crowd. There was a lot of talk before the game about this historic rivalry being ‘back’ but Miami has a ways to go before it lives up to its end of the bargain.