Florida State is still ranked, but they kind of let us all down because this could have been a game between two top 10 teams.
Florida State lost badly to Louisville and then they lost to North Carolina on a last second Field Goal. Florida State is still ranked in the top 25 at 3-2. With everybody returning on offense and plenty of talent returning on defense, everybody expected the Seminoles to challenge Clemson for ACC superiority and a possible playoff bid.
But, for whatever reasons, this team just hasn’t come together.
But, this is Miami. Florida State should never have to get fired up to play Miami.
This is also a new and different Miami team.
The Hurricanes aren’t there yet, but this team is clearly better coached than the recent editions of Miami football.
The Canes didn’t return everyone on offense, but they returned most of their starters. Team strengths on that side of the ball was Quarterback Brad Kaaya. A three year starter in his junior season, Kaaya has the talent to take Miami a long way. But, up until this year the coaching has been questionable.
They also had every starter returning in the offensive line. Trevor Darling and Sunny Odogwu at the tackles and KC McDermott and Danny Isodore at the guards and Nick Linder at Center are experienced. If anyone should be lost to injury, the Canes have Tyree St Louis and Alex Gall besides many others to fill in.
Miami has always been one of the top schools for producing top Tight Ends and this year is better than most. David Njoku and Christopher Herndon are almost like twins physically and talent wise. They share the Tight End duties and then there is senior Standard Dobard.
Wide Receivers Stacy Coley and true freshman Ahmmon Richards are the team leaders in receptions, so far.
Miami is really loaded at Running Back as well with Mark Walton, Joseph Yearby and Gus Edwards could start for most teams. Both Walton and Yearby have a shot at having 1,000 yard seasons.
Defensively, Miami has some speed and some talent. But, the do start 3 true freshmen at Linebacker. Those freshmen Linebackers are good, but guys that young are more inclined to make big mistakes.
True freshman Defensive End Joe Jackson leads the teams in sacks, but again he is really young like the Linebackers.
Former Florida Gator Defensive Tackle Gerald Willis brings a hate for Florida State with him and he’s a pretty talented player with excellent speed and agility.
As previously stated, the Seminoles returned every starter on offense. But, redshirt freshman Deondre Francois was named the starter over returner Sean Maguire at Quarterback. The resulting 3-2 record was not the result of that because the Offensive Line has not played as well as expected. There were injuries, and highly recruited true freshman Landon Dickerson has moved into the lineup at Right Guard. Dickerson was one of the top Offensive Tackle recruits in the country and he is a specimen that will earn All American honors before he is done.
They also replaced Right Tackle Rick Leonard, a former Defensive End, with last year’s starter Brock Ruble.
After a slow start, Dalvin Cook is back on track and big Running Back Jacques Patrick is producing big runs as expected.
The stellar receivers were all back from last year, plus the addition of big target Auden Tate.
Losing top defender Derwin James has been a huge detriment to the success of the Seminole defense.
But, the emergence of former 5 star Linebacker out of Miami, Matthew Thomas, has been encouraging. He has been their leading tackler, so far.
DeMarcus Walker has been all that was expected and maybe a little more. Against Ole Miss, in their opening game, Walker had an amazing 4 and 1/2 sacks. That’s a good season total for some guys, but Walker was not finished and he has had a couple since then.
Florida State fans booed the team as they left the field for halftime against North Carolina. But, in spite of that, the team showed a lot of fight and came back. If not for a bad penalty, they could have won. As it is, they now have two conference losses and with such good teams as Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and maybe Miami, there is little chance they have a shot at making the ACC Championship game.
But, Florida State, like Miami, wants to win out and go to the best possible bowl game. The next step
in gaining that excellent bowl berth starts in this traditionally great game
A rivalry with so many missed Field Goals and missed extra points making the difference in the outcome, historically there is not much telling what happens in this game.
Also, the fact that these schools have just never liked each other makes this game worth watching.
That is, if a certain hurricane currently in the Caribbean allows the game to be played.