It wasn't easy. It wasn't the way Florida State wanted it to go. It was, however, Florida State's 6 straight win over the Miami Hurricanes.
The Seminoles got off to a very quick start when Dalvin Cook took his first carry 72 yards on a perfect option pitch by quarterback Everett Golson. Cook would play Golson back on the next drive by taking an 8-yard crossing route and turning it into a 36-yard touchdown reception to put the Seminoles up 14-3 in the first quarter. Florida State thought they had extended the lead to 21-3 at the beginning of the second quarter, but Kermit Whitfield's 5-yard touchdown catch was overturned. Roberto Aguayo hit the first of his three field goals to put the Noles up 17-3 instead.
Miami was resilient though, the bounced back with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Brad Kaaya to Rashawn Scott. Lamarcus Brutus barely missed an interception, but Scott was able to pull the ball down and run away from Ramsey to make it 17-10. Florida State would add another field goal before the half to make it a 20-10 Florida State lead.
The Hurricanes came out strong in the third quarter and capped off a 17-play 80-yard drive to pull the Hurricanes within one score. Florida State would push the lead to 23-17 with another Aguayo field goal, but Miami was quickly on the move again.
The Hurricanes drove the field and capped off the drive with an incredible 29-yard touchdown catch by Stacy Coley, who finished the night with 7 catches for 139 yards and 1 touchdown.
Miami head coach Al Golden was proud of the way his team fought back after being down early.
“I’m just really disappointed for our guys," Golden said. "I thought they were resilient; I thought they believed. Despite going down early they stayed together and we had opportunities to win.
Faced with their first defecit of the season the Florida State offense marched 84 yards on 8 plays and capped the drive off with Dalvin Cook's third touchdown of the night. Florida State head coach Fisher was extremely pleased by his team's resiliency.
"Tonight they didn't flinch," Fisher said. "We played the next play, it was there. It was there. Just maturity. They understood. It just takes time. You've got to evolve. You've got to go through those experiences to understand what you want. They didn't blink and went out and executed. Didn't worry about the offense. Just executed the plays."
Cook finished with 228 yards rushing and 2 rushing touchdowns. He added 3 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown reception as well. Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo came very close to calling him the best running back in Florida State history.
“He’s crazy," Aguayo said. "Probably the best running back I’ve seen and played with. There have been some great running backs that have come through here, but he does his job and does it well. Those are video game stats.”
It was easily the best game of quarterback Everett Golson's career at Florida State. He went 25-33 for 291 yards and 1 touchdown. This is a vast improvement over his earlier games in the season.
"He did," Fisher said." Decisive. Played not scared to make a mistake. Playing to make plays. But also still managing the football and taking care of the football at the same time. You can do that. And trusting his eyes. Processing what he saw. And reacting, not thinking. You can't think in football."
The Florida State defense held strong over the last two Miami drives, and the Hurricanes were left with a game that they could have won but didn't.
The Seminoles improve to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in the ACC. They will host Louisville next Saturday at Noon.