MIAMI (AP) -- This was typical Florida State-Miami. A close game
and a missed kick.
No wonder the Seminoles didn't want the rematch.
Jarrett Payton ran for 131 yards, Jon Peattie kicked three field
goals and Miami shut out Florida State in the second half to give
the Hurricanes a 16-14 win in the Orange Bowl on Thursday night.
It was No. 10 Miami's fifth consecutive victory in the heated
series -- its longest winning streak since 1957. No. 9 Florida State
lost consecutive bowl games for the first time since the 1979 and
Like several other memorable games in this storied rivalry, the
outcome was decided by a kicker.
Not only did Peattie hit a career-long 51-yarder to give the
Hurricanes the lead in the third quarter, but Florida State's
Xavier Beitia missed a 39-yarder with 5:30 to play.
And yes, it was wide right.
"I missed it," Beitia said. "There's nothing else to say. I
didn't make the kick. What is there to say? I didn't make the kick.
Nothing else to say."
It was the fifth time a Florida State kicker missed a decisive
kick in this rivalry. Beitia also missed a 43-yarder wide left
against Miami as time expired in 2002, and the Hurricanes won
"We've got something on their kicker," Miami linebacker
Jonathan Vilma said. "I don't know what it is, but I'm glad we got
Added linebacker D.J. Williams: "It feels great to beat anyone,
but it's especially sweet to beat your biggest rival. Maybe it's a
mystique, some kind of a curse. I know it's always in the back of
their kicker's mind."
Miami (11-2) sealed the latest victory with a defensive stand
with less than two minutes to play. Chris Rix's final pass fell
incomplete. Rix was 2-of-12 for 18 yards in the second half --
another poor performance against Miami.
He threw two interceptions in the first meeting.
"What you had was two great defenses there, and it really came
down to who made the fewest mistakes is going to win," Florida
State coach Bobby Bowden said. "If we'd kicked that ball through
the goal post, we'd have been all right."
This game wasn't as close as the final score indicated. The
Hurricanes outgained Florida State 375 yards to 206 yards and
scored the final 13 points. They also finished with 218 yards
Payton provided many of the big plays on offense, and Sean
Taylor, Vince Wilfork and others did the damage on defense.
But Peattie was equally effective.
His 51-yarder came a play after Miami punted. Florida State
(10-3) was penalized 5 yards for illegal substitution, moving the
Hurricanes into field-goal range.
Peattie also connected from 32 and 44 yards. He had one blocked
from 45 yards with 2:18 remaining, but it didn't matter. Miami set
up the attempt when D.J. Williams ran 31 yards on a fake punt on
fourth-and-1 from Miami's 32.
"That was really a great call," Bowden said. "It was a gutty
It was the second of three meetings in less than 11 months
between the instate rivals. Miami beat Florida State 22-14 in
October, and they are scheduled to open the 2004 season in Miami --
the Hurricanes' first game as a member of the Atlantic Coast
No one wanted this rematch in the Orange Bowl. And when the Bowl
Championship Series announced the pairings early last month,
coaches, players and fans were disappointed.
But once the initial shock wore off, everyone realized what they
were getting -- an intense rivalry game between two of college
football's top programs.
The game certainly proved that.
Trailing 14-10, the Hurricanes were in position to take the lead
before halftime with the ball at the 13. But the Seminoles sacked
Brock Berlin on consecutive plays -- the first sacks against Miami
in the last five meetings.
Miami settled for Peattie's second field goal and a 14-13
deficit at the break.
Peattie opened the scoring with a 32-yarder on the first
Florida State scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions in
the second quarter to take a 14-3 lead. Lorenzo Booker took a
direct snap and ran around the right end for a 10-yard score on the
first play of the second quarter.
Four plays after an 8-yard punt by Brian Monroe, Greg Jones ran
up the middle for 24 yards and set up Rix's 7-yard touchdown pass
to Matt Henshaw. Jones broke through the line, eluded two
linebackers and then ran over All-America safety Sean Taylor at the
The Hurricanes scored on the ensuing possession -- behind more
strong runs by Payton -- to make it 14-10. Payton turned the corner
on the left side and gained 46 yards, then had runs of 6 and 2
yards to set up Tyrone Moss' 3-yard touchdown.
Payton ran for 97 yards in the first meeting, which was played
on a sloppy field in Tallahassee. He did most of damage then
between the tackles. He was more effective Thursday night outside,
showing a rare burst of speed.
"It's not like they beat the heck out of us or we beat the heck
out of them," Bowden said. "One play. They made one more than we
did. That doesn't have to necessarily be a kick. ... Those two
teams tonight are about as evenly matched as two teams can be."