Miami’s comeback finally overcomes FSU

by Gary Shelton on October 8, 2017 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, Florida State University, general

Sunday, 2 a.m.

They came back from a comeback.

They came back from seven years of sorry. They came back in a rivalry that was threatening to grow stale. They came back from irrelevance.

Finally, Miami came back from behind a team that had ceased to matter. The Hurricanes won 24-20.

After seven years of finishing second to FSU in their annual game, the Hurricanes finally pulled one out Saturday. For FSU, it was a bit more of a

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slide in a season that has been all wrong so far. This time, FSU had come from behind to take a lead, and darned if Miami didn't come back from that.

In all, it was a Miami day in the home of the Seminoles. FSU lost its third game in four tries this season, and now has its worst record since Bobby Bowden's first season.

There have been great finishes in this rivalry, but you'd have to go some to find a better one than this. With 1:24 to go, freshman James Blackman threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Auden Tate to give the Seminoles a 20-17 lead. Then Miami quarterback Malik Rosier led his team 75 yards downfield and hit Darrell Langham for a 23-yard score with six seconds to play.

“It was a heck of a football game,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “And when it came down to the end, (Miami) made one more play and got the one inch that they needed to get the touchdown.

“I was proud of our team. I think we really grew today in a lot of ways and got better. We’re still 1-3, and I understand that, but we’re still getting better. … There’s a great season out there to be had.”

From here, it seems like a long way away. The Seminoles lost their third game in four tries Saturday, falling to Miami for the first time in eight seasons.

“We didn’t make all the plays,” Fisher said. “They made one more. But at the same time, there’s no reason to hang your head after that football game. We’re sad, we’re disappointed. There’s no doubt. But we will play.”

Fisher pleaded with fans not to abandon his team.

"Keep cheering," he said. "Listen, those kids are playing their hearts out. We'll coach them better. Blame it on me. Keep being there for them. They're playing their tails off. Had a great opportunity with a great N.C. State game, a great Miami team, and an Alabama team. We played three really good teams. We got to learn to play better. Keep coming. Keep playing.

"What's the message? I mean, you don't want to come watch them? I understand you're getting frustrated. I'm frustrated. We all get frustrated when we don't have success, but we line up and go again. That's what you do when you support something. Keep supporting us, and we'll end up having a good year.”

For Mark Richt, the one-time offensive coordinator of the Seminoles, it was a nice moment. He recalled watching Langham, who hadn't been in the game until the last series.

"To see a guy like that make a play like that and just get to smile like that is a lot of fun,” Richt said. “We had a wonderful celebration in the locker room. It was a long time coming for our players, coaches, administration — but certainly a long time coming for our fans."
FSU travels to Duke next week in search of its second win. Miami is home against Georgia Tech.

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