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NCAA Football Miami (FL) Hurricanes

5 Reasons Why Miami Will Topple Florida State

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Why Miami Can Beat Florida State

Miami
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The rivalry between the Florida State Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes is a long and full of memorable moments.

For the first time in a long time, though, their meeting will have repercussions not only on a conference level, but a national one. The no. 7 ranked Hurricanes head to Tallahassee for the prime time Saturday night matchup with the no. 3 ranked Seminoles in a matchup with National Championship implications on the line. Should the ‘Noles win, they would likely be in a very good position to find themselves in the National Championship game if they can remain unbeaten. A win for the Hurricanes would propel them into the title picture.

There’s a small problem for the Hurricanes, though: no one believes in them. They are a 21-point underdog to most, and not many really believe that these surprising Hurricanes can go into enemy territory and pull off the big upset.

For Miami, it could be a blessing in disguise: there is no pressure on them in this game. If they lose or get blown out, everyone outside of Coral Gables will have expected it. It won’t result in anyone calling for the head of coach Al Golden. It won’t result in people screaming for a player to be benched. They literally have nothing to lose, and a team with nothing to lose is the most dangerous of all.

So if you’re sleeping on the ‘Canes – don’t, because there are five reasons why the Hurricanes will pull off the upset and move to 8-0.

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5. Resiliency

Miami
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

This is a resilient bunch.

The road to 7-0 hasn't been easy, but the Hurricanes have fought through. They took on top-10 ranked Florida at home, were thoroughly outplayed, yet managed to force huge turnovers on their way to a 21-16 victory.

The last two weeks have especially shown the resiliency of this Hurricanes team. They needed a touchdown run from sophomore Dallas Crawford with 16 seconds left to beat the North Carolina Tarheels in a Thursday night matchup. They then needed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs from Duke Johnson, including one with under a minute to play, to avoid an upset against Wake Forest at home.

Sure, it’s easy to say that the ‘Canes aren’t that good and they struggled to beat mediocre teams, but good teams have bad wins sometimes. The key is that they find ways to win, and that’s what this Miami team does.

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4. They Have The Talent

Miami
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to forget, what with their close wins against middling AAC talent, that the Hurricanes are a talented bunch from Johnson to quarterback Stephen Morris, to an elite receiving core featuring five receivers with more than 200 yards receiving: Allen Hurns, Stacy Coley, Phillip Dorsett, Herb Waters, and Clive Walford.

Morris will have a bevy of targets to choose from, and this is the kind of group that could give Florida State or anyone fits. The key will be Morris being smart with the ball and getting rid of it quickly.

They’ve been down for awhile, but the Hurricanes still ooze talent. Now it’s just a matter of those talented players stepping back into the national spotlight and doing their thing.

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3. Stephen Morris

Miami
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

If the Hurricanes are going to pull off the upset, Morris is going to have to be the catalyst.

The hometown senior has shown flashes this year, but still remains inconsistent. He’s thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns, but that’s on just 59.9 percent of his completions and he’s thrown eight interceptions to go with that.

Against this juggernaut Florida State team, he’s going to need to be smart with the ball, quick in his decision-making and accurate when he’s throwing. He can't give this defense a chance to get to him, get in his face and force him into mistakes.

The senior has the tools to get it done. Now is his chance to send his career out with a bang.

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2. The Defense Is Good

Miami
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

One thing this Florida State offense and quarterback Jameis Winston have yet to face is a defense like this.

The pass rush is solid and well balanced. Tyriq McCord, Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green are tied for the team lead in sacks with three while the team has 22 total. Getting to Winston and rattling him will go a long way towards the upset.

Behind them is a defensive backfield that Winston hasn’t seen anything close to. Tracy Howard has three picks on a unit that has 12 total – tied for 12th in the nation. If the DBs can step their game up and mitigate this elite FSU receiving core, the ‘Canes could find themselves in a great position to walk out of Tallahassee victorious.

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1. History

missed FG
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who’s taken five minutes to look into it knows that Florida State has a bit of a history of choking in this game.

Don’t believe me? Look up Wide Right. Or Wide Right II. Or Wide Right III. Or Wide Right IV. Or Wide Left. That's five instances right off the top of the noggin’ where Florida State has been doomed by field goal kicking in losses to the Hurricanes.

It’s been years since the last “wide” anything, but don’t think it won’t be in the heads of Seminoles fans if this one goes down to the wire. Who knows, we may add another entry into the “wide” files.