The age-old rivalry. Florida State versus Miami will take place this Saturday in Tallahassee. The game that used to determine national championships. The game that was hyped up about for months or looked ahead to a year in advance. Now that game is just another game to outsiders, but not to Seminole and Hurricane fans.
This game is and will always be huge. It's a bitter rivalry with a deep hatred on both sides. This game will still have plenty of excitement and meaning. For starters, this could be a giant upset for Miami. It would be an upset because Miami has had a disappointing season.
This would be a big win for Florida State because it would show what should have been at the beginning of the year: promise. Florida State entered the season pre-ranked sixth in most polls and fifth in others. They had so much hype surrounding them and they failed to live up to their preseason expectations. The main excuse for this is the injury to E.J. Manuel, but there were plenty of other injuries that came into play.
Miami has some excuses, too. Had Jacorry Harris played against Maryland in the season opener, they probably would have won. Harris has been consistent so far this season and he's played relatively well.
Manuel has played great ever since his return from injury. He's showing why he was a Heisman dark horse in the preseason and is showing even more promise for next year's Florida State team. Besides Manuel, it's been the youngsters for Florida State that have impressed the most.
True freshman Rashad Greene, Devonta Freeman and Nick O'Leary have been the spark to the offense, as well as Bobby Hart and Austin Barron on the line, both true freshman.
The defense has also been impressive in recent weeks, and the front four might be the best in football. Brandon Jenkins' numbers have been down this season, but he's still putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Bjoern Werner has had a great season so far, and true freshman Tim Jernigan has claimed the starting nose tackle position.
If Florida State continues to play the way they have the past three weeks, they should be able to handle Miami, but this game is always a flip-of-the-coin type game, and bragging rights will be on the line.
Both teams need this win, but Florida State needs to show that they are still heading in the right direction and that a bad start won't equal a bad finish.