TALLAHASSEE – Miami made a late charge, but Florida State held on to down the Hurricanes 23-19 for a fifth straight victory. FSU’s Dustin Hopkins opened up the scoring with a 37-yard field goal in the final minute of the first quarter. Miami took its only lead midway through the second quarter when Jacory Harris found Clive Walford for a two-yard-touchdown giving Miami a 7-3 lead.
The Seminoles would re-gain the lead on the ensuing drive; E.J. Manuel threw a 21-yard-touchdown-pass to Rodney Smith to put Florida State on top 10-7. Florida State would push its lead to 10 right before the half when Greg Reid returned a Miami punt 83 yards for a touchdown. Two more Hopkins’ field goals extended the lead to 23-7 with just over 11 minutes to play in the game. The Hurricanes would make a charge however; Mike James’ one-yard-touchdown cut the lead to 23-13. The two-point-conversion-attempt was failed when Allen Hurns dropped a Harris pass in the end zone. Florida State looked to have put the game away when Terrance Parks intercepted Harris near the end zone with just more than two minutes to play, but the Seminoles were called for roughing the passer. Everett Dawkins intercepted Harris later on the drive, but Nigel Bradham was flagged for helmet-to-helmet contact despite replay showing that he led with his shoulder. Nevertheless, Bradham was ejected for what appeared to be a legal hit and the Miami drive continued. The ‘Canes would cash in on James’ second one-yard-touchdown-run to cut the lead to 23-19. The hold was botched by Spencer Whipple on the following PAT keeping the Florida State lead at four. Nick O’Leary recovered the proceeding onside kick to seal the Florida State victory.
The Seminoles were out-gained by Miami 383-259, but were able to force three Hurricane turnovers. FSU had two non-offensive touchdowns called back on questionable calls, but managed to hang on for the victory. Manuel was an efficient 17-of-23 for 196 yards and a touchdown while not committing a turnover. Harris passed for 225 yards for Miami and a score, but did throw one interception. With the win, Florida State improves to 7-3 and clinches a 30th straight winning season. Miami falls to 5-5 and still needs one win to become bowl-eligible. The Seminoles will host Virginia next week while Miami heads to Tampa to take on South Florida. Florida State learned earlier in the day that it had been eliminated in the ACC Atlantic Division race when Clemson defeated Wake Forest on a last second field goal.