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No. 23 Florida State blocks game-tying PAT to drop No. 10 Miami for seventh straight year

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In the storied history of kicking woes in the rivalry between Florida State and Miami, there should be room for one more. No. 23 Florida State (4-2, 1-2 ACC) blocked an extra point attempt by No. 10 Miami (4-1, 1-1 ACC) with 1:38 to play to hold on to a 20-19 lead. The Seminoles managed to run the clock out to win for the seventh straight time against Miami.

It was a wild swing of emotion as Miami fans thought for sure they had just tied the Seminoles following a beautiful pass on fourth and five by Brad Kaaya into the sure and steady hands of Stacy Coley. The touchdown was the first score of the second half for the Hurricanes, who had seen a 13-0 advantage morph into a 20-13 deficit in the second half. Just moments after the defense came up with a big stop and Miami got a fantastic punt return to setup shop inside the red zone, everything was slanted in favor of Miami. Until the PAT attempt played out.

Michael Badgley‘s PAT attempt was blocked and skirted left, leaving Miami down by one. With three timeouts to spare, it would be up to the Hurricanes to make one more stop on defense, but Florida State did not let that happen. Deondre Francois picked up a first down on a 10-yard run and Dalvin Cook added an 11-yard run on the ensuing possession to force Miami to use their final timeouts. Francois ended his night completing 20 of 34 pass attempts for 234 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Francois also was on the receiving end of a number of rough hits, one which sent him out of the game in the first half for a stretch. Cook rushed for 150 yards in the win as well.

Kaaya had the big touchdown pass toward the end, but Florida State did a good job of making sure he wasn’t on target for much of the evening. Kaaya completed 19 of 32 pass attempts for 214 yards and two scores, but was also intercepted once.

For Florida State, the win is the seventh in a row over Miami in the rivalry, dating back to 2010. Miami’s last win against Florida State came in 2009. Since Miami joined the ACC, Florida State is 10-3 against the Hurricanes. Prior to Miami joining the ACC, Miami had won five straight in the series as a member of the old Big East.

Late in the game, things got a little ugly, or trashy if you will. A controversial targeting penalty on Miami’s Jamal Carter led fans to litter the field with their garbage, causing a brief delay in the game.

Florida State snapped a two-game losing streak with the win, although it still remains unlikely Florida State makes a run for the ACC Atlantic Division. Florida State will return home next week to play Wake Forest (who is off to a 5-1 start). Miami will slip behind Virginia Tech in the ACC Coastal Division for now but they get a chance to change the outlook of the Coastal in the next few games. Miami hosts North Carolina next week and travels to Virginia Tech the following Thursday. Those will be two huge games for Miami.

Illinois loses WR Trevon Sidney to season-ending injury

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After a series of high-profile renegings by transfer wide receivers this offseason, Illinois was able to hold on to a commitment from ex-USC Trojan Trevon Sidney.  Unfortunately for both the player and the program, that first season in Champaign has turned out to be a truncated one.

During the loss to Minnesota in Week 6, Trevon Sidney went down with an unspecified lower-leg injury.  Sidney missed the next two games, including the huge Week 8 upset of then-No. 6 Wisconsin.

Three days later, Lovie Smith confirmed that Sidney will miss the remainder of the 2019 season.  According to the head coach, Smith recently underwent surgery to repair what is still an unspecified injury.

Despite missing a pair of games, Sidney is still third on the Fighting Illini in receptions with 16.  His 123 yards are also fourth on the team.

The good news, such as it is, is that Sidney has another season of eligibility he can use in 2020.

Jerry Jones: Urban Meyer’s comment on Cowboys job a ‘compliment’

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How ’bout them Cowboys?  Urban Meyer‘s answer to a somewhat similar question has kicked up a bit of a kerfuffle.

Meyer, less than a year into his second retirement from coaching and in the midst of being lauded for his work as a college football analyst, appeared on Colin Cowherd‘s radio show late last week.  During the course of the interview, the ex-Ohio State and Florida head coach was asked about the not-vacant-yet job with the Dallas Cowboys and if he would want it.

Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. That one? Yes.

Fast-forward a couple of days and the Cowboys’ owner has responded to what many are considering a not-so-thinly-veiled overture on Meyer’s part.

Jason Garrett, the current Cowboys head coach, is in the final year of his contract, which has led to the RPMs on that section of the coaching rumor mill ratcheting up significantly.

In addition to the Cowboys, Meyer was connected to the not-yet-vacant job at USC perhaps nanoseconds after his retirement was official.  Yesterday, our own Zach Barnett put Meyer as Florida State’s top target if the Seminoles move on from the Willie Taggart experiment, which thus far has been an abject failure by any measure.

Of course, if any of the upper-echelon Power Five schools end up searching for a new coach, Meyer will be at the top of their list as well.  Whether Meyer is attainable is another matter entirely.

Miami WR Brian Hightower tweets move to transfer portal

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All of a sudden, there’s a bit of upheaval in Miami’s receiving corps.

Earlier today, we noted the long-running, ongoing drama that is the Jeff Thomas Experience at The U. Monday evening, Brian Hightower added to the collective positional brouhaha by announcing on Twitter that, “[a]fter careful consideration and discussion with my family, and THE University of Miami coaching staff, I am entering my name into the transfer portal to openly explore the best opportunities to utilize my remaining eligibility and pursue my education.”

A four-star member of Miami’s 2018 recruiting class, Hightower was rated as the No. 27 receiver in the country.  Mark Pope was the only receiver in The U’s class that year rated higher than Hightower.

Hightower played in 17 games during his time with the Hurricanes — 10 as a true freshman, all seven this season.  He totaled 148 yards and one touchdown on 12 receptions, with eight of those catches and 88 of the yards coming in 2019.

Iowa could be without leading receiver, top tackler for Northwestern

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When Iowa kicks off its Week 9 matchup with Northwestern, the Hawkeyes could very well be at less than full strength on both sides of the football.

The Hawkeyes released its depth chart Monday for this Saturday’s game against the Wildcats, and neither wide receiver Brandon Smith nor middle linebacker Kristian Welch weren’t listed.  Smith suffered an injury to his lower right leg in the win over Purdue this past Saturday, while Welch suffered an undisclosed injury during the loss the week before to Penn State and didn’t see the field against Purdue.

Official word on the pair’s status for Week 9 probably won’t come until later on in the week.

Smith currently leads the Hawkeyes with 33 receptions and four receiving touchdowns.  His 407 yards receiving are good for second on the team.

Welch’s 47 tackles are nine more than the Hawkeyes’ second-leading tackler, Jack Koerner.  With three tackles for loss, he’s second only to Chauncey Golston‘s five.