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Quick gamer: Miami stuns FSU with last-second TD pass

Miami Hurricanes defensive back Michael Jackson (28) with an interception during the second quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the Miami Hurricanes on October 7, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.

Monica Herndon | Times

Miami Hurricanes defensive back Michael Jackson (28) with an interception during the second quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the Miami Hurricanes on October 7, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.

7

October

TALLAHASSEE — There’s a new top team in the state of Florida.

No. 13 Miami used one of the most miraculous plays in the history of its Florida State rivalry — a 23-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Langham with six seconds left — to end years of agony with a 24-20 win Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Hurricanes (4-0, 2-0 ACC) stopped a seven-year losing streak to FSU (1-3, 1-2), which had never lost to their south Florida rival under coach Jimbo Fisher.

It looked like the Seminoles would extend the streak to eight with a defense that finally resembled the championship-level unit it was expected to be. 

Miami didn’t record a first down until the final play of the first quarter. The Hurricanes went the entire first half without crossing midfield, and 20 of their 30 first-half plays failed to gain at least 1 yard. 

FSU cornerback Tarvarus McFadden blanketed standout receiver Ahmmon Richards through the first two quarters, and six different Seminoles broke up a pass in the first half. 

The Seminoles’ offense wasn’t much better. FSU advanced inside the Miami 40 five times in the first half. All it got was a 27-yard Ricky Aguayo field goal.

Miami finally crossed midfield (and got on the scoreboard) on its opening drive of the third quarter. Richards snagged a 32-yard third-down catch and delivered a devastating block on FSU defensive back A.J. Westbrook, but the ’Canes only came away with a 31-yard Michael Badgley field goal. 

The game featured a big special teams play, as it often does in this vicious rivalry. This one came with a 44-yard punt return by Berrios that took UM to the FSU 21. Berrios scored on the next play on a pass from quarterback Malik Rosier to give the ’Canes a 10-3 lead.

FSU rallied back with a 15-yard touchdown pass from true freshman James Blackman to tight end Ryan Izzo. 

The ’Noles pulled ahead on the next drive. Wharton High alumnus Auden Tate’s first catch was a pivotal third-down conversion which helped set up Aguayo’s 38-yard field goal with 6:55 left. 

Miami needed only six plays to drive 75 yards and quickly answer. The winner came on a 6-yard lob from Rosier to Berrios with 5:09 left. 

But FSU responded quickly. Tate caught a 20-yard touchdown from Blackman to regain the lead, 20-17, with 1:24 left. 

Then Miami came up with the kind of drive it had been searching for since Fisher began turning FSU back into a national power. The ’Canes drove 75 yards and ended it with a gutsy call. Rosier fired a pass right to Langham, a redshirt junior from Lake Worth, who lunged toward the end zone. Officials ruled it a touchdown on the field and reviewed whether his knee hit the ground before the ball crossed the goal line; there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call, which stood as one of Miami’s biggest plays in years. 

 

[Last modified: Saturday, October 7, 2017 8:33pm]

    

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