Predictions vs FSU

CanesTime staff writers predict the score of the Hurricanes 2005 season opener at Florida State, which is set to kickoff at 8:00 p.m. in Tallahassee.

Mike Bakas, Recruiting Editor

FSU week. It doesn't feel like it. The summer went by rather quickly it seemed. Maybe it's because of the opener but I'm glad it's finally here. This, like every year in the past 20, is UM's measuring stick. They find out where they're at by walking into Doak. I dont think more than 2 teams have won there in the last 10 years.

I like this Miami team. I think the talent on it is underrated and people are overlooking them on a national level. They won't overlook FSU, that's for sure. I really believe UM is better than FSU at all the major matchups. UM has the edge, psychologically while FSU has the home field edge. It should be another hard fought, close game that comes down to the wire. If UM walks out of there with a 1 point win, mission accomplished. Both teams will probably look a little sluggish early on since it's the first game and they're breaking in new quarterbacks. However, I think UM will be good enough defensively and Kyle will make enough plays to put the team in position to win the game. Starting 1-0 is huge, especially against your arch rival on the road, and that's why I think UM will do on Monday.

Bakas Prediction: Miami 20, Florida State 17

Christopher Stock, Senior Writer & Assistant Editor

With all of the talk surrounding the quarterback position the key to the game will be running the football. Can Tyrone Moss, Derron Thomas, and company consistently chalk up first downs against the Seminoles and their stellar linebackers? Everyone should know about Florida State's great backs in Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker, who could break off a big run on any play. It will be important for Miami's linebackers to be active in stopping the run as well.

If Miami can run the ball consistently and get in the 120-150 yard range look for Kyle Wright to be productive in the passing game. Make no mistake about it, Wright has options in the passing game with Ryan Moore, Greg Olsen, Sinorice Moss, Lance Leggett, and Darnell Jenkins. It is a great combination of size and speed that Wright will get to choose from.

On defense Miami has a number of key players who should give the Florida State offense a number of problems. Miami's secondary should flat out shut down the passing game of Florida State. When you limit teams to just one option on offense it makes it hard to score any points.

Stock Prediction: Miami 20, Florida State 13

David Lake, Staff Writer

UM's offense will struggle early in the game, but as the game progresses Kyle Wright will settle down and march the Hurricanes down the field. Wright has the tools to complete any throw he wants, but against FSU all he needs to do is not turn the ball over. His receiving corps is one of the most talented in the country— Wright just needs to get the ball in their hands. The biggest area of concern for the whole team is the offensive line. Center Anthony Wollschlager and guard Andrew Bain will get the most playing time of their careers against an always productive FSU front seven.

Miami's defense is stacked. Not only do they return 11 starters, freshmen Kenny and Randy Phillips have continued to make big plays throughout camp. It is no secret that FSU will have to establish a running game to have any offensive production. Redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Wetherford is starting his first career game versus one of the best defenses in the nation. FSU's leading returning receiver, Willie Reid, caught only 15 passes in 2004. If Miami can improve their porous run defense from last season FSU could be in big trouble.

Lake Prediction: Miami 24, Florida State 17

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat, Staff Writer

Miami enters this game with a six-game winning streak over Florida State. Having played the ‘Noles now for the fourth time in 21 months, one would think the FSU is due to get one, particularly considering they are playing at home. But that's not the case here.

Not when FSU is coming into this game with a redshirt freshman in Drew Weatherford starting at quarterback, one who is so wet behind the ears you'd think he was a baby with a pacifier.

Not when their top cornerback Antonio Cromartie is out for the year. Not when Clifton Dickson, who was expected to start at defensive tackle, is out with academic issues. And let's be real about this here, Miami simply is more talented all around.

Position by position, Miami is better with the exception of running back, and even that could be debated considering FSU's done nothing on the ground in the past three games between the two.

Miami has the more experienced quarterback of the two in Kyle Wright. At least he's seen the field a bit and knows the system. Weatherford is still so wet behind the ears he's likely to look like Chris Rix did in 2001 when Miami blasted FSU 49-27 at Doak Campbell with Rix starting as a redshirt freshman that proceeded to commit six turnovers.

Miami has the better offensive line, a far better group of receivers, a better defensive line, are pretty even at linebacker, better defensive backs, and without a question in the world, have the better special teams.

This game might be played in Tallahassee, but Miami has owned FSU of late and knows how to win when the game has been close in this series.

I was a lot more worried in 2003 going to Tallahassee when Sean Taylor turned it into his personal show following some poor performances by Miami in previous games. That's not the case here as worried is something I am not, and this one won't be close on Labor Day night.

Rodriguez-Chomat Prediction: Miami 24, Florida State 7

David Hamilton, Staff Writer

Fans watching the 2005 Miami vs. Florida State football game will think they've somehow been time-warped back to last year, as this one should be a low-scoring, defense-dominated affair.

Seminoles QB Drew Weatherford will look exactly like what he truly is: an inexperienced, redshirt freshman who (along with Xavier Lee) was thrown into the starting role.

Like FSU, Miami's offense will have some things to work on as the season goes along, most notably, the lack of chemistry. A new quarterback, offense lineman playing unfamiliar positions, and the possibility of 3 tailbacks seeing significant playing time (Tyrone Moss, Charlie Jones, and Derron Thomas) will all cause some confusion during this opening weekend contest against the Noles, but the Canes will overcome it, and be victorious against their bitter rivals for the seven consecutive time.

The Hurricanes defense will be what stands out in this one. UM's defensive corps will be head-and-shoulders above their Seminole counterparts, impressing even ol' Bobby Bowden himself (I can see his frustration during his post game press conference now). A half-dozen linebackers will not only see playing time, but will significantly contribute for Larry Coker's defensive squad, and freshman safety Kenny Phillips will show the nation why the coaching staff can't stop praising him.

Hamilton Prediction: Miami 24, Florida State 14

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