All Roads For Miami Success Lead Past Florida State
By Sam Super
David had to overcome Goliath, Odysseus needed to slay Cerberus and Harry Potter found the strength to defeat Voldemort.
The Miami Hurricanes will need a similar upset of historic proportions to overcome the Florida State Seminoles and reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston. FSU is looking to repeat as national champions after defeating Auburn 34-31.
Miami will have to face Florida State on Nov. 15 in front of a sold-out homecoming weekend crowd. The key will be containing Winston and an offense that put up 41 points on the 'Canes last season. Miami will have to play a mistake free football game to have any shot of avenging last year’s loss.
Since the beginning of the Jimbo Fisher era in 2010, the Hurricanes have not been able to conquer their ACC rivals. The last Miami victory came in 2009, when quarterback Jacory Harris engineered a 38-34 win in Tallahassee. Florida State and future first-rounder Christian Ponder orchestrated a 4th quarter drive all the way to the Miami 4 yard-line with 23 seconds left, but Miami was able to hold on.
After the season, head coaching legend Bobby Bowden retired and passed the torch to incumbent Jimbo Fisher who has been nothing but remarkable since taking over.
During the last four seasons, Florida State has won every meeting against the Hurricanes by a combined margin of 142 to 70. The victories don’t stop just on the gridiron against Miami. According to Rivals.com, FSU has featured a top-10 recruiting class every year since Bowden retired. In contrast, 2012 was the only year Miami joined them on that list.
A good portion of Florida State’s recruiting success was attributed to Offensive Coordinator James Coley. Coley spurned FSU a month before national signing day in 2013 and accepted the same position at Miami. The move to land Coley was seen as a big coup for the Miami football program since he is widely considered the best recruiter in the ACC.
The addition of Coley helps Miami take one more step towards regaining Florida supremacy. Coach Golden has spent four years developing top-level Florida recruits like Duke Johnson, Stacy Coley, Anthony Chickillo and Tracy Howard. The time is now for these players to help Miami get over the hump.
Al Golden has done a marvelous job in bringing Miami back into the national conversation. That being said, Miami will continue to be seen as the “little-brother” to FSU untill they can defeat coach Fisher.
Since Miami joined the ACC in 2004, the Canes have never played in an ACC Championship game. A program many believed would be a perennial ACC contender, was instead marred with mediocrity and embarrassed by the “He who should be named” recruiting scandal.
Miami is a long way past the NCAA sanctions that crippled the program in recent years. With FSU looking to repeat as national champions, it’s time for Miami to play spoiler and finally deliver the ACC Championship folks in Coral Gables have longed for years.