Do Not Judge on Labor Day
Florida State and Miami scored more points in the second half during their midseason 2008 matchup in Miami then both teams did combined in both of their previous Labor Day games (2005, 2006). When the 2005 and 2006 games ended with defensive struggles (10-7, 13-10, both won by FSU),
2005: Miami Muff Miami's holder fumbles the field goal attempt in the final minutes which allowed FSU to win, 10-7.
2006: Defense FSU headed into the half with gaining 42 yards in the first quarter and only 1 yard in the second quarter and down 10-3. Both teams combined for 3 yards total rushing during the entire game.
the ACC moved the game back to mid-season where anything went. Miami led FSU 30-29 in the final minutes in 2007 in Tallahassee for a fumble by FSU QB Xavier Lee gave Miami a 37-29 lead and win.
The 2008 game felt weird. FSU came into Miami and ran up a 24-0 lead and went into the half leading 24-3. It didn't feel like Miami-FSU. FSU imploded and the weather down poured in the second half to allow Miami to close the gap to 34-32 with eight minutes remaining before FSU sealed their 41-39 win with an Antone Smith TD run to escape Miami.
This is why there should be no stats, judging, nothing on Labor Day. Yes, Miami is breaking in new offensive and defense coordinators. Yes the game is at 8p on a Monday night so the students at FSU have an entire weekend and extra day to prepare for their rivals.
Yes, this is the first game of the season. Nothing should be judged on 2009 on this one game. This is Miami and Florida State where odds, fate, predictions, stats, everything is thrown out the window because as the past few seasons have dictated anything can happen.
Miami is looking to make Randy Shannon's third season the one where they jump start their team after a 5-7 record in 2007 and 7-6 in 2008. Florida State wants to begin the season with a win to put all the offseason troubles with their wide receivers to rest. Anything can and will happen.
Just remember the second half of the 2008 game where Miami scored on a interception returned for a touchdown, halfback pass, safety, offensive lineman running for a TD. Miami will remember that second half and are not afraid to use trickery as they also faked a field goal and passed for a touchdown in 2007. Florida State though is eager to show off it's running game again. The game in 2008 was a coming out party for the running game of Florida State as they ran for 281 yards (144 by QB Christian Ponder).
Expect this Labor Day Matchup to be similar to the midseason games with a lot of scoring.
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