Player Diary

Florida State players weren't hanging their heads Sunday. Miami rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, and the Seminoles' Xavier Beitia was wide left on a 43-yard field-goal attempt as time expired at the Orange Bowl as UM escaped with a 28-27 victory. Linebacker Kendyll Pope was proud of the Seminoles' effort. "We can't hang our heads about nothing. Everybody left everything they had on the field. We did everything we wanted to do. We dominated them," Pope said Sunday.

"I thought about it all last night, we lost. We lost. Man, we beat them but we lost. We have nothing to hang our heads about. We did everything that people said we wouldn't do or couldn't do. We won the game. Flat out, we won the game. Here we go again, with another classic ESPN game. An instant classic.

"We can't hang our heads because we went down there and played Florida State football. I really think – a lot of players who called me last night, B.A. (Brian Allen), Tommy (Polley), Roland (Seymour) – they told me they really thought we got our swagger back in that game. We really looked like Florida State yesterday. That's a positive thing.

"We can't hang our heads about nothing. Everybody left everything they had on the field. We did everything we wanted to do. We dominated them. I wish something would happen in weeks to come that we could get a rematch against those guys. If they are the No. 1 team, we have to be somewhere up there.

"I think the series before that, when Rufus dropped the interception. I think if we would have got that play right there, that would have been very big. But that screen was a dagger in the heart. I knew that screen was coming. I was to B-Mac (Bryant McFadden), ‘Screen, if the receiver cracks down on me, go ahead and shoot.' I don't know what happened. I think he went after the blocker instead of going to try to make a play. If he would have went ahead and just tried to make a play. .... they sealed me about and he cut it right in between me and Bryant. That was a very, very big play for them."

"We can't fault anybody. It was a team thing. We just have to be happy with the way we performed. Everybody doubted us, saying we were going to go down there and get blown out by 14 points, 21 points or what have you. That's the positive we have to look on. Everybody is looking at us like Florida State, ‘Hey, this might be their turnaround game and they might be for real.' And we have Notre Dame coming in.

"It couldn't get no better for us. We have Notre Dame, N.C. State. We still have to play Florida – I wish Florida wasn't losing so bad now but we still have some good teams on our schedule to show people we are still capable of being ol' Florida State."

"It's like everybody we've talked to so far is like, ‘You all played a damn good game.' We physically beat them. We hit harder than them. We outplayed them. It's just the luck of the draw. They still have that rabbit's foot. It's one of those things. I just wish they would turn that Orange Bowl down. I think that stadium is too old. Too many (bad memories).

"But it's a fun series. That's a fun game to play in. That's what we come to college, come to Florida State, to play in a game like that. I cherished that moment yesterday. I would say right now that was the best game I ever played in, playing here at Florida State. A game of that hype, the whole nation is watching. And it came down to that (missed field goal). Oh, man.

"Sometimes you would rather lose by 14 than to lose by one. It hurt to lose such a close one, knowing that you had them. We were sitting on the sideline saying, ‘Man, we can't lose.' It was 27-14, and it was, ‘Man, we can't win. We are winning. We are winning.' But we knew Miami was going to fight. We knew it was going to do down right to the wire again, just like it did two years ago.

"Everything was going so right. Miami shanked that punt. We got some good passes. We ran the ball and they (Hurricanes) were sitting and it was like, ‘Oh, we've lost.' Luckily, we had one second left to get that kick off and it just went a little bit to the left. I thought it was good. I had run out onto the field and I thought was good. The X-man (Xavier Beitia) is 100-percent is on everything. We taked to him, and it hurt him a lot. It hurt me just to see him hurting. I felt for him. It's just something you have to get past because he's a great kicker. One of the best kickers in the nation and he can't hang his head.

"We just have to move on. We have to keep playing. We have a lot of football games. We are going to win the ACC. We got to win the ACC. That's our main thing now, to win the ACC. As far as the national championship, we have to have some dramatic things to happen for us to get back up there. Now our main focus is to win the rest of our games and go to a BCS bowl."

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