MIAMI (AP) -- A year has passed, and last season's loss to
Florida State still troubles Miami linebacker Jon Beason.
He insists the Hurricanes controlled the 2005 season-opener
between the powerhouse programs, with stats supporting his claim.
Miami outgained Florida State 313-170 that night, had 21 first
downs to the Seminoles' nine and held a 12½-minute edge in time of
None of it mattered. Florida State prevailed 10-7.
"I think we were better," Beason said. "I still do."
At long last, Miami has a chance at proving Beason's assertion
No. 11 Florida State -- the defending Atlantic Coast Conference
champs -- visits No. 12 Miami on Monday night in a nationally
televised, marquee matchup of archrivals. It's the first time since
1982 the annual showdown doesn't have at least one team ranked in
the top 10 of the AP poll, yet there's plenty of intrigue
"There's only two schools in the country who open with a game
like this,'' Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said. "One is the
University of Miami, because they play against us. And the other is
Florida State University, because we're playing against them. Both
teams know the story. This game, you better be ready to play."
Six of the last seven meetings between the schools have been
decided by eight points or less, and five of them were ultimately
decided by a special-teams miscue -- with four going Miami's way.
Matt Munyon missed a 49-yard field goal wide right as time
expired in Miami's 27-24 win in 2000. Xavier Beitia missed a
43-yarder wide left at the end of Miami's 28-27 victory in 2002,
missed again when the Hurricanes beat Florida State 16-14 in the
2004 Orange Bowl -- and had a kick blocked to aid Miami's 16-10
overtime win in the 2004 season opener.
The exception came on Labor Day 2005, when this time, the
Hurricanes were the ones blowing a chance.
"Finally,'' Seminoles running back Lorenzo Booker said, "they
knew how we felt all those times."
Miami trailed by three points with 12:01 remaining when it began
its final possession -- on its 3-yard line.
Over the next 9½ minutes, the Hurricanes engineered a memorable
drive, with quarterback Kyle Wright -- in his first Miami start --
ignoring a crazed, record crowd in Tallahassee by completing 8 of
10 passes for 97 yards. When Ryan Moore made a diving grab with
4:39 left, Miami had first-and-goal at the Florida State 2.
"I knew we were going to win the game,'' Miami coach Larry
Coker said. "I think it was a 19-play drive starting from our own
(3). Nobody in football has a 19-play drive from their own (3) late
in the fourth quarter. Not in the NFL, Europe, America, Arena, any
level. That was a phenomenal drive."
Tyrone Moss -- who, like Moore, is suspended and will not play
Monday -- was stuffed for no gain on first down. Wright was sacked
for the ninth time in the game on second down, taking a 6-yard loss
after never seeing Quadtrine Hill wide-open in the back of the end
zone. And on third down, Wright's pass to Sinorice Moss netted a
So, facing fourth-and-goal from the 11, Miami wanted a field
goal. The clock showed 2:21 when John Rochford snapped the ball to
holder Brian Monroe.
"As we all know, special teams in this particular rivalry
haven't fared real well in the last decade or so," Wright said.
Sure enough. The snap was a little low, hit Monroe's left hand
and bounced away, denying Jon Peattie the chance at a 28-yard chip
shot. Peattie slapped his thigh pads in disappointment, while the
Florida State sideline broke into celebration.
"It was perfect," Booker said.
Now they meet again, in the third straight -- and final --
occurrence of the Miami-Florida State game opening the season. Both
schools agreed to the matchups because of the opportunity to be
showcased in an unopposed time slot on ABC, but both also seem
eager to push the game to early October in 2007.
Of course, there might be one more Miami-Florida State matchup
between now and then, too -- both teams are the consensus picks to
represent their division in the ACC title game at Jacksonville the
first Saturday in December.
"You can't buy this kind of exposure," Bowden said. "Both of
us, that's probably why we took the game, because I really don't
think either one of us enjoys opening with the other. When you open
with somebody like Miami and Miami with us, you've got to bring
your 'A' game -- and most people's 'A' game's aren't there yet."
Top 25 Overview
For the first time since 1985, neither the Seminoles nor the Hurricanes is in the AP preseason top 10. Scouts, Inc.: Offense key for 'Noles, Canes