Lawrence Cager

Associated Press

No. 17 Miami storms from 20-point deficit to top Florida State


At the 11:52 mark of the third quarter, it appeared No. 17 Miami was headed for the most frustrating loss of the Mark Richt era. Florida State wasn’t putting much offense together, but the ‘Noles didn’t need much offense — they used a punt return touchdown, another long punt return, a fumble and an ill-advised fourth down attempt to build a 27-7 lead.

But Miami stopped stepping on its own feet and stomped on Florida State, as the Hurricanes stormed back for a 28-27 win.

The comeback started when Sheldrick Redwine sacked Deondre Francois and forced a fumble, handing the Hurricanes the ball at the FSU 20. N’Kosi Perry hit Lawrence Cager for a touchdown pass on a 4th-and-goal from the three to pull Miami back within 27-14; both of Miami’s first touchdowns came on fourth down passes to Cager.

After the score, Miami (5-1, 2-0 ACC) continued making trouble for Florida State inside Seminoles territory when Michael Pinckney stepped in front of a Francois pass at the FSU 22.

Miami again capitalized on a short field, as Perry needed only one play to hit Jeff Thomas for a 17-yard score and pull the ‘Canes within 27-21 at the 4:17 mark of the third quarter.

After a pair of punts, Florida State (3-3, 1-3 ACC) had a chance to push its lead back to two scores but a 45-yard double pass touchdown was called back upon review for an illegal forward pass, turning a 34-21 lead into a 2nd-and-12. The ‘Noles moved into field goal range, but Ricky Aguayo — good from 42 and 53 yards in the first half — missed a 43-yard try at the 12:42 mark of the fourth quarter.

Another Florida State mistake immediately led to more Miami points, as Perry found Thomas for a gain of 32 yards and then Brevin Jordan for a 41-yard scoring strike, his fourth of the day, giving Miami the lead with 11:52 remaining.

Florida State possessed the ball three times after falling behind 28-27, but all three possessions ended in three-and-outs.

Miami could have added to the lead after obtaining a 1st-and-goal from the 1, but Richt chose to kneel away the final minute rather than punch in another score.

Francois passed for just 129 yards on 30 attempts (15 completions), and the ‘Noles mustered just 70 rushing yards on 33 attempts. The Seminoles gained just 14 first downs and were 5-of-16 on third down, in addition to the two crucial turnovers and the killer penalty.

Perry, meanwhile, completed only 13 of his 32 passes, but those 13 completions went for 204 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

The win extends Miami’s all-time lead to 33-30 and hands the Hurricanes consecutive wins over their upstate rivals for the first time since taking six straight from 2000-04.

Upset brewing? Florida State holds halftime lead over No. 17 Miami

Associated Press
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With one traditional, heated mid-October upset already in the books, could another be in the offing? At the half in Coral Gables, Florida State holds a 20-7 lead over No. 17 Miami.

After forcing a three-and-out to open the game, Florida State took over at its own 42 and promptly marched to the end zone to take a 7-0 lead. Deondre Francois hit Tre' McKitty for a 21-yard gain on a 3rd-and-17 from midfield, then found Keith Gavin for a 17-yard scoring strike.

Miami’s equalizer came from that same 17-yard line, as the Hurricanes moved 83 yards in 14 plays, scoring on a 10-yard toss from N’Kosi Perry to Lawrence Cager on a 4th-and-2.

The Canes appeared primed to take their first lead when, on 1st-and-10 from their own 47, Perry was stripped by Brian Burns, and FSU’s DeCalon Brooks hopped on the loose pigskin.

Florida State turned that turnover into a 42-yard Ricky Aguayo field goal, then, after a 44-yard D.J. Matthews return of a 46-yard punt, the ‘Noles took control of the game with another 17-yard Francois touchdown pass, this one to Tamorrion Terry at the 1:32 mark of the second quarter.

Mark Richt curiously chose to go for a 4th-and-3 at the FSU 48 with 41 seconds left in the half, and Perry fired incomplete, turning the ball over to FSU. Perry finished the half hitting just 7-of-18 passes, so it was a curious move that backfired in an obvious way when Aguayo connected on a 53-yard field goal as time expired to give Florida State a 13-point lead.

Florida State receives to open the second half.

Miami WR Lawrence Cager injured, will miss 2016 season

Miami athletics

It appears Miami’s receiving corps has taken another hit, this one of the, potentially, long-term variety.

Earlier this week, a report surfaced that four-star 2016 signee Sam Bruce, expected to contribute to the Hurricanes immediately in both the passing game and on special teams, could be facing at least a one-game suspension for an incident that happened while he was in high school.  Today brings word that, according to the Palm Beach Post, Lawrence Cager seriously injured his right knee during a 7-on-7 workout recently.

According to the Post, the receiver could miss the entire 2016 season.

UM has yet to address what if any injury issue the 6-5, 215-pound sophomore may be facing.

Cager played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2015, starting one of those contests.  He caught eight passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.

UPDATED 4:01 p.m. ET: Miami has confirmed that Cager will miss the entire 2016 season after sustained what was described as a right-knee injury.  He suffered the unspecified injury during a workout yesterday.