Mistakes, penalties spell doom for UM

No question about it, Florida State was outplayed by Miami for a good portion of Saturday's contest. But the Seminoles took better care of the ball and didn't make as many errors in a 23-19 victory.

It was easy math for first-year Miami coach Al Golden.

Too many turnovers plus too many penalties equals defeat.

''It's just too hard to win when you beat yourself, especially in that environment,'' Golden said following Florida State's 23-19 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday ''We beat ourselves with turnovers, we beat ourselves with penalties and clearly they out-executed us on special teams.''

Miami (5-5, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) must win next week at South Florida or Nov. 25 against Boston College to become bowl eligible.

The Hurricanes had 383 yards and 24 first downs compared to Florida State's 259 yards and 13 first downs. They also stopped Florida State's string of six straight games scoring 30 or more points. Mistakes, however, negated an otherwise strong performance.

Miami was whistled for nine penalties (Florida State had 10), fumbled twice and Jacory Harris was intercepted at a crucial time and in the end zone.

''That was huge,'' said Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, whose Seminoles (7-3, 5-2 ACC) have won five straight games and the last two in this series.

Miami chewed up over seven minutes on the clock and 90 yards when Harris was picked off by Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner.

''That was really uncharacteristic,'' Golden said about the turnovers. ''We haven't done that since I don't know how long, two months maybe.''

Miami was haunted with the three first-half turnovers and trailed by 10 points at halftime despite having limited Florida State to 87 yards and three first downs.

In an eerie way, Miami rallied late in the game from deficits similar to ones they overcame in victories here in 1987 and also 1991. The `Canes came back from a 19-3 deficit early in the fourth quarter to win 26-25 in '87 and four years later rallied from a 16-7 deficit after three quarters to win 17-16.

But this time, they couldn't make up the difference after falling behind 23-7 early in the fourth quarter.

After a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by Mike James whittled down the Florida State lead, Miami failed on both two-point conversion tries and an onside kick.

The Hurricanes led just once in the game at 7-3. Miami's lead came on Harris' 2-yard TD pass to Clive Walford, but Florida State quickly regained the lead at 10-7 when Rodney Smith beat two Miami defenders in the end zone to grab a 21-yard throw from E.J. Manuel with 4:42 left in the half.

Then Greg Reid raced 83 yards on a punt return untouched to score with 51 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Seminoles a 17-7 lead.

''We were really let down by the kicking game,'' Golden said. ''You can't win if you beat yourself.''

Harris completed 20 of 31 passes for 225 yards, and Lamar Miller rushed for 92 yards on 22 carries.

Manuel completed 17 of 23 for 196 yards for the Seminoles, who also got 78 yards rushing on 16 carries by freshman Devonta Freeman.


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