Previewing the Battle for the Florida Cup- Florida State vs. Miami

I know, I’ve already written about the Hurricanes this week, but there’s no other notable game this weekend in the ACC (maybe Steve Addazio’s last game as a head coach in Chestnut Hill).

This is also a gigantic rivalry game that dates back to 1951. Through the first 61 editions of the Florida Cup, Miami holds a 31-30 edge over the Seminoles. However, Florida State has won the last seven meeting, including a thrilling upset over the #10 ranked Hurricanes last season, 20-19.

This season, the Seminoles are once again looking to upset Miami, but this time, it will be played in Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.

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Florida State can use any they can get in Saturday’s matchup, as the unranked Seminoles are without starting quarterback Deondre Francois for the season, and James Blackman (pictured, above) has not looked sharp in his first two starts. The offense has only managed 300 yards per game on the year, a just a click over 200 a game Last week against Wake Forest, Blackman went just 11/21 for 121 yards. A late touchdown to Auden Tate gave FSU the victory over the Demon Deacons.

The lack of quality options at receiver has been evident in the first three games, so all the pressure has been on the running game. While Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick haven’t been bad, they haven’t accounted for many explosive plays. They have combined for 319 yards and only one touchdown through three games.

The defense, however, has been strong in the absence of their offense, as expected. The front four has done a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback, and that alone has kept them in their last two games.

For Miami, this is their first real test of the season. Duke was a quality opponent, but their defense is brutal, and Miami was able to exploit that, as well as shut down Duke’s potent offense.

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Malik Rosier (featured) looks to be comfortable sliding into Brad Kaaya’s large shoes, and tossed for 270 and two touchdowns last weekend. At receiver, Ahmmon Richards (pictured, above) looks to be a future NFL star, and he’s just a sophomore, while Braxton Berrios is nice security blanket for Rosier. Mark Walton, who’s game resembles Doug Martin, didn’t break the top off Duke’s defense last week, but he’s still one of the best running backs in the nation. The explosive weapons around Rosier have allowed Miami to put up over 500 yards of offense a game, with 238 of that on the ground. This is a team that loves to run power football, and so far, they’ll been able to do that.

While the defense hasn’t been great, they did hold Duke to just six points. With Florida State’s lack of offense, Miami’s D could be in for another strong game. They stuff the run extremely well, and that’s what Florida does best. This game will be won in the trenches of Florida State’s offensive line, and Miami’s defensive line. With the Seminoles’ inability to throw the ball down the field, Miami should be able to sell out on the run.

Miami’s runs into Tallahassee are always close and competitive. Even though Miami is the better team, this one should still be close throughout. Miami stays unbeaten, while Florida State drops to an unexpected 1-3.

Miami 23. Florida State 17.

 

Cover Photo via Canes Watch

Other Media via Canes Watch

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