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Recap and More: Miami Falls to Florida State

Oct. 10, 2010

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP)–Jimbo Fisher got his first celebratory water-cooler shower, shocked at how chilling it really was. On the other side of the field, Randy Shannon was boiling mad.

Sums up a night Florida State wants to savor, and Miami surely wants to forget.

Jermaine Thomas scored a career-high three touchdowns, all in the first 21 minutes, and Chris Thompson sealed the outcome with the longest run Miami has allowed in its illustrious history–a 90-yard scoring jaunt–as the 23rd-ranked Seminoles enjoyed a surprisingly easy 45-17 win over the 13th-ranked Hurricanes on Saturday night.

“Winning’s nice,” Fisher said, “but dadgum it, that’s cold.”

The dadgum was Bobby Bowden-esque.

Even the venerable Bowden didn’t enjoy too many nights like this against Miami.

It was the second-most points Florida State scored in the series, and just the fifth time in 55 games that a team enjoyed as big a win. Christian Ponder threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns for Florida State (5-1, 3-0), which hasn’t gotten off to a start this good in conference play since 2005.

“I knew there were going to be ups and downs this game,” Ponder said on the field afterward.

Indeed there were–ups for Florida State, downs for Miami.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” Shannon said. “We just got our butts kicked tonight. It’s my fault as a coach at the University of Miami. I don’t blame the kids. I didn’t get them ready for the situation of playing in a game like this.”

Thompson’s run capped a 298-yard rushing effort by the Seminoles. Never in Miami’s history had the Hurricanes allowed more than an 83-yard run, that one coming in 1948 by Kentucky’s Carl Genito.

“It’s a real great feeling,” Thompson said. “It’s great to be in Florida State’s history book. You know, that’s not a real easy thing to do.”

Thompson had 158 yards on 14 carries, Thomas rushed 16 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns, plus had a 17-yard catch to open the scoring for Florida State, which ran out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back.

Stats | Photos | Video | Notes
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Miami 0 7 10 0 17
FSU 7 17 7 14 45
Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs 19 27
   Rushing 1st downs 10 10
   Passing 1st downs 8 13
Net Yards Rushing 298 189
   Rushing Attempts 41 36
   Avg Per Rush 7.3 5.3
   Rushing TDs 4 2
Net Yards Passing 173 235
   Cmp-Att-Int 12-21-1 20-49-1
   Avg Per Attempt 8.2 4.8
   Avg Per Completion 14.4 11.8
   Passing TDs 2 0
Individual Stat Leaders
Passing Leaders
  Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long
   J. Harris 19-47-2 235 0 31
   C. Ponder 12-21-1 173 2 31
Rushing Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Avg
   D. Berry 20 108 1 5.1
   J. Harris 6 42 1 5.2
FSU No Yds TD Avg
  C. Thompson 14 165 1 11.3
   J. Thomas 16 84 2 4.9
Recieving Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Long
   L. Hankerson 5 72 0 17
   T. Benjamin 4 59 0 31
FSU No Yds TD Long
   T. Easterling 4 53 0 31
   J. Thomas 2 34 1 17

Damien Berry ran 20 times for 101 yards for Miami (3-2, 1-1). Jacory Harris completed 19 of 47 passes for 225 yards, with a rushing touchdown and an interception. He was limping throughout the night.

“They just flat outplayed us from the first quarter to the fourth,” Miami linebacker Sean Spence said.

Countless Florida State-Miami games during this Sunshine State rivalry series have been classics, with six being decided by a field goal or less in the previous 10 years alone.

This one could only be considered classic by those clad in garnet and gold.

Miami drove to the Florida State 10 on the game’s opening drive, coming away empty when Matt Bosher missed a 32-yard field goal wide left.

And that was a harbinger of what awaited the Hurricanes. Mistakes, they came in bunches for Miami.

Berry fumbled the ball away early in the second quarter, the turnover forced by Mike Harris–a South Florida native, playing his first game in the region since the death of his mother on the day of Florida State’s opener–and Nick Moody took the recovery 36 yards to the Miami 1.

Thomas went in one play later, and after Miami went three-and-out on its ensuing possession, Thomas scored from 6 yards out to cap a six-play, 68-yard drive that gave the Seminoles a 21-0 lead.

“They hit us with big plays early and often,” Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy said. “That killed us.”

It was the largest crowd for the Hurricanes since they moved from the Orange Bowl to Sun Life Stadium: 75,115.

Oddly, it was the Seminoles feeling right at home.

When the teams last met at Miami in 2008, Florida State ran out to a 24-3 halftime lead in a downpour before pulling out a 41-39 win. This time, the Seminoles led by 17 at the break, and the only thing raining down were boos upon the Hurricanes.

And neither the `Noles nor the boos let up, either.

“It’s not a travesty,” Shannon said. “We just got beat tonight. Florida State beat us tonight. We got beat tonight up front and it’s my fault as a coach.”

Florida State took the second-half kickoff and went 69 yards in five plays, most of them on a 44-yard rush by Thompson (on a play where Miami’s defense was in mass-confusion mode, one player scrambling off the field just before the snap), and the final 16 yards coming when Lonnie Pryor went up the middle, barely got hit and then scooted out to the right for a 31-7 lead.

Berry’s 26-yard touchdown run helped Miami get within 31-17 entering the fourth, before Ponder threw a perfect pass to Smith for an 18-yard touchdown– followed three minutes later by the exclamation point, Thompson going untouched for the romp that sent the Florida State sideline into an absolute frenzy.



Tonight’s game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 75,115. It marks the first sellout at Sun Life Stadium for Miami and the first UM sellout since September 10, 2004 when 78,622 watched UM defeat FSU 16-10 in overtime at the Orange Bowl.

Damien Berry rushed 20 times for 101 yards marking his second consecutive 100 yard game and the fourth of his career. He is the first Hurricane to rush for over 100 yards in consecutive games since Graig Cooper recorded 128 yards against Texas A&M on Sept. 20, 2008 and 110 yards against North Caroline on Sept. 27, 2008..


Damien Berry rushed for a 26 yard touchdown in the third quarter marking his second TD run of the season and his third TD overall. The 26 yard score marked the second time this season he has scored on a play of more than 25 yards. He had a 32 yard TD reception in the first game of the season against FAMU. Now in his second season at running back Berry has four scores of over 20 yards including a 35 yard run against FAMU in 2009 as well as a 23 yard run against Clemson also in 2009.


Sophomore DB Vaughn Telemaque recorded his first career interception in the third quarter.


Redshirt freshman Jernmaine Johnson made his first career start as a Hurricane. Johnson started at left tackle. Junior wide receiver LaRon Byrd and sophomore running back Mike James made their first starts of the 2010 season.


With a 15-yard touchdown reception from Jacory Harris in the first quarter, Leonard Hankerson has now caught a pass in 18-straight games. Hankerson finished with a team-high five catches for 72 yards.


Jacory Harris recorded a season-high 41 pass attempts against FSU completing 19 for 225 yards.


Jacory Harris scampered three yards for a Hurricane touchdown in the second quarter. The touchdown run is the first of the season for Harris and the fourth of his career. Harris recorded a 29 yard run in the first quarter marking the second longest run of his career. His career long run is 30 against Charleston Southern in 2008. Harris rushed for 31 yards on 6 carries marking the third highest total of his career. Harris rushed for 35 yards against Georgia Tech on November 20, 2008 and a career high 53 yards against Duke on October 8, 2008.


Miami senior running back Graig Cooper made his first appearance since the FAMU game when he lined up to return the game’s opening kickoff. Cooper recorded two rushed for 22 yards.


The 2010 captains for Miami are Jacory Harris, Matt Bosher, Colin McCarthy, Pat Hill, Leonard Hankerson and Allen Bailey. Representing the captains for the coin toss against FSU were Bosher, McCarthy, Hankerson and Hill.


Miami’s offensive starters today were: Jacory Harris (QB), LaRon Byrd (WR), Leonard Hankerson (WR), Richard Gordon (TE), Harland Gunn (LG), Jermaine Johnson (LT), Brandon Washington (RG), Tyler Horn (C), Seantrel Henderson (RT), Damien Berry (HB) and Mike James (FB).

Starting for Miami on defense was: Olivier Vernon (DE), Micanor Regis (DT), Marcus Forston (DT), Allen Bailey (DE), Colin McCarthy (LB), Sean Spence (LB), Brandon Harris (CB), Vaughn Telemaque (FS), JoJo Nicolas (SS), Ryan Hill (CB), DeMarcus Van Dyke (CB).


Miami continued to make it hard on its opponents to cross the line of scrimmage. The Hurricanes, which lead the nation in tackles for loss, picked up another eight tonight against the Seminoles. Miami has now recorded 50 tackles for loss this season.


Miami notched its 11th scoring drive of under two minutes versus Florida State. Here’s a look at Miami’s quick strikes thus far this season:

Plays-Yards TOP Result Opponent
7-63 1:40 Leonard Hankerson 19-yd TD catch FAMU
6-64 1:17 Hankerson 40-yd TD catch FAMU
6-55 1:51 Mike James 1-yd TD run FAMU
7-19 1:58 Matt Bosher 51-yard field goal OSU
7-60 1:37 Chase Ford 9-yd TD catch OSU
4-51 1:02 Leonard Hankerson 19-yard TD catch PITT
4-43 1:26 Travis Benjamin 10-yard TD catch PITT
3-70 1:00 Leonard Hankerson 65-yard TD catch CLEMSON
1-18 0:06 Mike James 18-yard TD catch CLEMSON
2-29 0:14 Leonard Hankerson 7-yard TD catch CLEMSON
6-69 1:54 Damien Berry 26-yard TD run FSU

Colin McCarthy

Matt Bosher

Sean Spence

Brandon Harris

Damien Berry