Canes Rewind: A Look Back at the Game Against Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Each week this season, we’ll take a look at the game that was for the Hurricanes.
Here are some key storylines, numbers of note and quotes from Miami’s loss at Florida State.
It’s one of Miami’s most anticipated games of every season: the annual showdown with rival Florida State.
It doesn’t matter whether the game is played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami or at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, the expectation is that when the Hurricanes and Seminoles meet with bragging rights on the line, a hard-fought, physical matchup awaits.
In that sense, Saturday’s game did not disappoint.
Florida State, unbeaten and ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, entered the game a heavy favorite after having already secured a berth in the ACC Championship Game.
But a strong performance from Miami’s defense and some big plays from quarterback Emory Williams, receiver Jacolby George and running back Donald Chaney, Jr. did more than just keep Miami within striking distance of the high-powered Seminoles.
Early in the third quarter, a 51-yard field goal from Andy Borregales gave the Hurricanes a 13-10 lead.
But Florida State answered, tying the game with a field goal of its own on its ensuing possession. The Seminoles then took a 20-13 lead midway through the third quarter when running back Trey Benson capped a 4-play, 65-yard drive with a 38-yard scoring run.
The Seminoles increased their lead in the fourth quarter after a big punt return from Keon Coleman put Florida State deep inside Miami territory and set up a touchdown pass from Jordan Travis to Coleman.
Still, the Hurricanes kept fighting.
With 8:33 left, Williams connected with George on an 85-yard scoring play that not only cut Florida State’s lead to 27-20 but made history as the longest pass play for the Hurricanes in the history of the storied rivalry with Florida State.
Miami’s defense limited Florida State the rest of the way, giving the Hurricanes a chance late to potentially tie or win the game in the final minutes.
But Williams was injured rushing for a first down on Miami’s final possession and the Hurricanes wound up coming up just short of upsetting their rival.
Williams, a freshman making just his second start, completed 8 of 23 passes and threw for 175 yards, while Chaney had a game-high 85 rushing yards on 12 carries and George finished with five catches for 153 yards.
Defensively, Francisco Mauigoa had nine tackles and a pair of sacks to lead the Hurricanes. Safety James Williams also had nine tackles and linebacker Wesley Bissainthe had five tackles, a sack, three tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
“I thought our guys competed extremely hard. Had the ball there at the end to either tie the game or go for a win, [but] didn’t get it down there close enough,” Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal said. “A lot of great efforts out there, some execution [issues] particularly in the third quarter, after the field goal that put the defense on the field for a long time, but everybody kept battling. No one ever stopped battling.”
Numbers to Know
85 – Yards on Emory Williams’ third-quarter touchdown pass to Jacolby George. It was the longest touchdown reception by a Miami receiver since Mike Harley’s 89-yard touchdown grab against Duke in 2020 and is the longest touchdown pass for Miami against Florida State in the rivalry.
57 – Total rushing yards allowed by the Miami defense on Saturday. The Hurricanes remain among the best in the nation at stopping the run, allowing opponents an average of just 86 rushing yards per game. That ranks No. 7 among FBS programs.
51 – Length in yards of Andy Borregales’ field goal in the third quarter. It was the Groza Award semifinalist’s longest field goal of the year and is just four yards off his career mark of 55 yards.
“Gutsy, tough. Was a little bit nervous early when he first started, then settled in, [and] made some big throws, some gutsy runs as well, particularly the one where he got hurt. But he also had the scramble where he got the first down. But he also had the scramble where he got the first down [and] we ended up tying the game. He kept the drive going. … He made spectacular throws to Jacolby and made some other key throws, some others he’d like to have back. … He played well.”
– Head coach Mario Cristobal, on the play of freshman quarterback Emory Williams
“That’s one thing I like about our defense, we’re very physical and it’s not really easy to score on us. That’s what I love about our defense.”
– Linebacker Wesley Bissainthe, on the physicality Miami’s defense showed against Florida State
“Our goal, every game, is to try and win. When it doesn’t go our way, we just have to pick ourselves up and move up. We head into every game with the same mentality: to win. We gave it our best today. I know it was a tough loss, but we’ll bounce back and we’re going to learn from it and attack Louisville next week.”
– Linebacker Francisco Mauigoa, on the team’s mindset after the game
After a pair of conference road games at NC State and Florida State, the Hurricanes (6-4, 2-4 ACC) will return to Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday for their home finale against Louisville.
The ninth-ranked Cardinals (9-1, 6-1) are coming off a 31-24 comeback win over Virginia last week. After the Cavaliers scored 21 unanswered third-quarter points, Louisville rallied in the fourth, scoring 17 points of its own and taking the lead for good on a 73-yard touchdown run by Isaac Guerendo.
Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer completed 19 of 28 passes in the win and threw for 243 yards with two touchdowns.
Saturday’s game will mark the first time Miami and Louisville – two programs coached by coaching legend Howard Schnellenberger – will compete for the Schnellenberger Trophy, a bronzed pair of the coach’s old cowboy boots.
Kickoff is set for noon.