Down 10-3 with just 1:22 remaining, Berlin engineered a 5-play, 80-yard drive against a famished Seminole defense to send the game to overtime. His 30-yard scoring strike to Sinorice Moss provided the game-tying score, must to the delight of the Orange Bowl crowd.
"We wore them down a little bit," Coker said. "I think they were wearing down a little bit and we took advantage late."
Conditioning, indeed, took its toll on the Seminoles. FSU held just two full speed practices in the week leading up to the game, compensating for the passage of Hurricane Frances. It showed as corners Bryant McFadden and Antonio Cromartie cramped during Miami's fourth quarter drive and had to leave the game. Four other Seminole defenders battled cramps at other points in the final minutes.
Along with its wind and clutch play, the Seminoles' good fortune also faded. UM receiver Ryan Moore dropped three critical passes that halted drives. The Canes also missed a pair of field goals.
"We had a lot of opportunities that we weren't able to capitalize on," Coker said. "If we are going to win games like this, those are plays we are going to have to make."
Thanks to the late burst, Berlin finished 20-36 with 255 yards on the night. All but 101 came in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"We've been here before and we know what to do," said Berlin, now 11-2 as Miami's starting quarterback. "We had to execute. That's what we did."