Florida State vs. Miami: The 10 Best-Ever Games of the Rivalry

Elliott PohnlFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2010

Florida State vs. Miami: The 10 Best-Ever Games of the Rivalry

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    Florida State and Miami are ready to write another exciting, contentious chapter in their storied rivalry Saturday night in primetime.

    The No. 23 Seminoles visit the No. 13 Hurricanes Saturday at 8 EST on ABC/ESPN, in what figures to be a game filled with plenty of twists and turns.

    Miami holds a 31-23 edge over Florida State in a series that began in 1951.

    Here’s a look at the 10 greatest games in one of college football’s best rivalries.

    For a complete recap of the last 25 years of the rivalry, check out Tony Asci’s article here.

Honorable Mention: 2005, America Meets Jenn Sterger

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    The game itself wasn’t great, but when No. 9 Miami visited Tallahassee, a star was born. 

    Brent Musburger’s famous words reminded fans just what makes college football such a beautiful spectacle.

    As for the game itself, it was just plain ugly.

    No. 14 Florida State recorded nine sacks, but needed a botched field-goal attempt to hang on and end a six-game losing streak to Miami.

    Score: No. 14 Florida State 10, No. 9 Miami 7

No. 10: 2008, A High-Scoring Affair

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    Neither team was ranked when they met in 2008, but that didn’t stop Florida State and Miami from lighting up the scoreboard.

    Florida State came out running and didn’t slow down, bolting to a 24-3 lead at the half.

    But Miami wouldn’t go away, and erupted for 36 points in the second half, aided by several Seminole turnovers.

    Bobby Bowden held on for the win in one of the more entertaining, albeit somewhat meaningless, games of the rivalry.

    Score: Florida State 41, Miami 39

No. 9: 2009, Another Offensive Explosion

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    Miami wasn’t ranked when it went to Tallahassee in 2009, but that didn’t stop the young ‘Canes from pulling off the upset.

    Led by Jacory Harris, Miami survived when Christian Ponder wasn’t able to connect with Jarmon Fortson in the end zone as time expired.

    Score: Miami 38, No. 18 Florida State 34

No. 8: 1996, Warrick Gets It Dunn for FSU

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    Florida State hadn’t won in Miami in 12 years, but that all changed thanks to Warrick Dunn and the ‘Noles offense.

    Miami rallied to keep it close before FSU pulled away for an fairly easy win.

    Score: No. 3 Florida State 34, No. 6 Miami 16

No. 7: 2004, ‘Canes Win in OT

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    The 2004 meeting was filled with jaw-jacking and dominated by both defenses.

    Florida State led nearly the entire game, but was never able to generate enough offense to pull away. In the end, a fumbled snap by enigmatic quarterback Chris Rix gave Miami the ball in overtime.

    Frank Gore scored on the next play to give Miami the win.

    Score: No. 6 Miami 16, No. 5 Florida State 10, OT

No. 6: 1993, Florida State’s Title Season

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    Florida State stormed through the 1993 season to capture the school’s first national championship with Charlie Ward leading the way.

    Despite being ranked No. 3 heading into the game, Miami looked overmatched against Florida State’s defense.

    Score: No. 1 Florida State 28, No. 3 Miami 10

No. 5: 1992, Wide Right Again!

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    The curse of Bobby Bowden’s kickers had already struck once in 1991.

    So when it happened again in 1992, Florida State fans were left in shock.

    Tamarick Vanover returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown for Florida State, but Miami outplayed the ‘Noles for the remainder of the game.

    A final drive set up a 39-yard attempt by Dan Mowrey. 

    The rest is history.

    Score: No. 2 Miami 19, No. 3 Florida State 16

No. 4: 1991, Wide Right!

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    The rivalry game featuring No. 1 vs. No. 2 had a storybook ending in 1991.

    FSU kicker Gerry Thomas had already made three field goals in the game when he lined up for a 34-yarder in the final minute.

    The kick sailed wide right, and Thomas would quit the team at the end of the year.

    Score: No. 2 Miami 17, No. 1 Florida State 16

No. 3: 2002, Wide Left for A Change

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    Florida State found itself poised for success against a stacked Miami team coming off the National Championship, running to a big lead before the ‘Canes mounted a comeback.

    Xavier Beitia missed a 43-yarder with exactly one second remaining that would have allowed FSU to squeak out a win, becoming the fourth different kicker to miss a game-tying or winning field goal against Miami in a span of 14 games.

    Despite being one of the best kickers in school history, Beitia will always be remembered for what he failed to do.

    Score: No. 1 Miami 28, No. 9 Florida State 27

No. 2: 2000, History Repeats Itself Yet Again

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    Florida State held a four-point lead with 1:37 left, but Ken Dorsey led Miami down the field and threw a touchdown to star Jeremy Shockey.

    Chris Wienke, who threw for nearly 500 yards in the game, got Florida State in position to tie the game with a field goal.

    Not surprisingly, Matt Munyon missed a 49-yarder to the right.

    It wasn’t a chip-shot by any stretch, but Munyon’s miss offered more evidence that the curse of the kicker was still alive and well.

    Score: No. 7 Miami 27, No. 1 Florida State 24

No. 1: 1987, The Rivalry Takes Off in Style

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    Florida State and Miami had already been playing for years, but the matchup in 1987 really put the series on the map nationally.

    In a game pitting Michael Irvin against Deion Sanders, the ‘Canes and ‘Noles produced a gem in Tallahassee.

    Florida State ran all over Miami early and held a comfortable lead, but a Miami rallied and took the lead when Irvin hauled in a long touchdown with less than three minutes remaining.

    The ‘Noles drove down the field and scored a touchdown, but an attempt to win the game failed when Danny McManus had his two-point conversion pass broken up in the end zone.

    Score: No. 3 Miami 26, No. 4 Florida State 25