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FSU-Miami rivalry produces many instant classics

4:48 AM, Nov 1, 2013   |    comments
Timmy Jernigan, center, prepares to play shut down defense as Florida State faces instate rival the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL on Saturday Oct., 20, 2012. / Glenn Beil/Tallahassee Democrat
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No rivalry in college football has featured more instant classics than Florida State and Miami.

Twelve times between 1987 and 2004, the Seminoles and Hurricanes met as top-10 teams - including an incredible seven consecutive meetings.

While Miami was largely the reason FSU hasn't won more crystal trophies, the programs combined to win six national titles in that time span and played for six others.

After a hiatus from national prominence, Saturday's 8 p.m. showdown at Doak Campbell Stadium represents the first top-10 regular-season match-up between the schools since 2004.

The teams first met in 1951, and the series has been relatively even ever since, with Miami holding a slight 31-26 edge.

Here's 10 of the more memorable games between the pair.

• 1958: FSU 17, Miami 6. The game in the Orange Bowl represented the Seminoles' first-ever victory over the Hurricanes in six meetings. FSU's offense was directed by quarterback Vic Prinzi. The Seminoles prevailed despite being out-gained 309-176.

• 1983: UM 17, FSU 16. Unranked FSU nearly pulled off an upset of sixth-ranked Miami at home. The Hurricanes won on - you guessed it - a field goal, but this game was also memorable for what happened prior to kickoff. FSU coach Bobby Bowden and UM coach Howard Schnellenberger staged a mock boxing match for photographers prior to the teams' meeting in Tallahassee.

• 1987: UM 26, FSU 25. The Hurricanes entered ranked third nationally, the Seminoles fourth. The Seminoles let an early lead slip away, but quarterback Danny McManus drove FSU 75 yards in the final two minutes and connected on a touchdown pass to Ronald Lewis. Bowden opted to go for two points and the victory, but McManus' pass to Pat Carter was broken up by UM's Bubba McDowell. UM finished undefeated and won the program's second national title.

• 1988: UM 31, FSU 0. "The Seminole Rap" ... enough said, right? FSU entered the opener in the Orange Bowl ranked No. 1 nationally. The Seminoles also recorded a music video that was released prior to the season. Coach Bowden said he thought it was a bad idea, and it was.

• 1989: FSU 24, Miami 10. In a sense, this game served as a payback for FSU. The Hurricanes came to Tallahassee ranked second nationally, while the Seminoles were 2-2. FSU's first win over UM since 1984 was punctuated by tailback Dexter Carter's 63-yard touchdown run.

• 1991: UM 17, FSU 16. It was billed as the "Game of the Century." Unfortunately for the top-ranked Seminoles, it ended as the first "Wide Right" game. After UM took a late lead on a Stephen McGuire touchdown run, FSU kicker Gerry Thomas, who had converted three field goals in the game, missed a 34-yarder to the right in the game's final minute. Missed field goals late in the game for the tie, lead or victory also impacted FSU in 1992, 2000, 2002, and 2004.

• 1993: FSU 28, Miami 10. For the first time in four seasons, the Seminoles woke up on a Sunday morning with a victory over the Hurricanes. Quarterback Charlie Ward threw for 256 yards and kept undefeated FSU in line for the program's first national championship. FSU also was the first No. 1-ranked team in the nation to beat Miami since 1979.

• 1997: FSU 47, UM 0. Buried by NCAA sanctions, UM was a shell of itself. But that didn't hurt FSU's feelings. The Hurricanes suffered their worst defeat since 1927. FSU limited UM to 131 total yards, punctuated by a minus-33 rushing. The win was the third in a streak of five consecutive for FSU over the Hurricanes from 1995-99.

• 2005: FSU 10, UM 7. This time, on a Monday night Labor Day game, FSU celebrated a missed kick, and ended the Hurricanes' longest winning streak (six game) in the series. UM set up for a game-tying field goal with 2:16 left in the game, but the snap was mishandled by holder Brian Monroe.

• 2012: FSU 33, UM 20. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher improved to 3-0 over the Hurricanes. Despite losing tailback Chris Thompson to injury and trailing 10-0 after the opening quarter, the Seminoles bounced back for an important road victory that helped return the program to national prominence. FSU won 12 games for just the second time in program history, ending the season with a BCS win over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.

Jim Henry, Tallahassee Democrat

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