Unfortunately the 'Noles have been on the wrong side too often in this series(11-17 since 1983). Bobby Bowden went 14-21 vs. eight different Miami coaches. This will, of course, be Jimbo Fisher's first game as head coach and Randy Shannon is 2-1 in his young career.
The teams are evenly matched and home field does not seem to be a huge factor in this series. An amazing 31 players from both teams played high school ball together. Both rosters are littered with Florida talent; players who understand the importance of this game.
You can break this game down 500 ways, but in the end "execution knows no opponent". And that is what this game is about. While FSU is not at the top of the mountain anymore, the climb to get there has clearly begun and there is plenty of talent to win this game.
You start by not turning the ball over. FSU enters the game with a clear edge in that regard as Jacory Harris is turnover prone. Miami has very good special teams with a reliable kicker and dangerous weapons in the return game. Greg Reid can make plays. It will be a big part of this game and is impossible to predict.
A lot will be put into the end result of the contest, but to borrow a term from professional poker, that is being "results oriented". There is a bigger picture at work here. While the wins would be great RIGHT NOW, to a certain extent this is about getting better as a team. Growing as a team. We have shown that by bouncing back after a "not so great" performance vs. Oklahoma.
It would make sense for both teams to rely on their running games, but it just does not seem to go down like that in this series. Therefore, the QB play is the single biggest position in this game. That edge falls to FSU. Particularly since Miami has trouble against QB's who can run.
The game should be very close and come down to the 4th quarter. FSU gets rid of some demons with a Dustin Hopkins 39 yard field goal to steal one in Miami 31-30.