The only unique thing about Florida State this season has been their ability come from behind. Miami were the next victim to fall asleep in the second half against the Seminoles, leading to a 30-26 dramatic win thanks to a late touchdown by Dalvin Cook.
Florida State remain undefeated and are now 100% in the ACC Championship game for a third straight year, facing either Georgia Tech or Duke, the teams they’ve beaten for the conference title game in the previous two years. They needed to come back from being down 0-16 in the second quarter, making it the third time this season they’ve come back from being 15-points or more down in a game. It’s the first time since UCLA in 2005 a team has had three such huge comebacks in one season.
The differences between both halves are staggering. Miami converted 73% of their third down situations in the first but were slowed down to 29% in the second half. Jameis Winston, finishing with one touchdown pass and one interception completed 63% of his throws in the second compared to 55% in the first, not to mention his throws being on average 2.3 yards longer per target. Overall his performance this season has been very different in between the two periods:
|1st Half||2nd Half/OT|
|Yds per att||7.4||9.6|
After Brad Kaaya completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Clive Walford, putting Miami up 23-7 in the second half, the offense was shut down for the ‘Canes. Florida State went on to score 23 of the next 26 points, with Miami’s only moment of happiness during that run being a field goal scored by Michael Bradley with 11:01 left in the fourth quarter to give him team a six point lead that didn’t last, succumbing to a 53-yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo and eventually the Cook touchdown.
With 3:05, Miami had time to change the outcome, but were shell-shocked. They did move into Florida State territory but found themselves with a 4th and 9 situation, and hardly any time left to play. Kaaya tried a desperation pass and as those usually turn out, it was intercepted by Jalen Ramsey, resulting in yet another win for the Seminoles in what has turned out to be a very one sided rivalry, completely dominating the state of football affairs in the state over the last few years.
The interesting thing about this win for the Seminoles that it might not move up them up the rankings. They were number three going into the game. Despite Mississippi State losing and Oregon not playing, they might not have done enough to actually warrant a move upwards. It doesn’t really matter as long as they’re in the top 4, but it might shed a light as to how fragile things are for them: Their schedule isn’t very impressive to say the least (with Clemson and Notre Dame looking worse and worse each week), and a one loss Seminoles team, even with the ACC title, might fall to a place they can’t recover from.
Luckily for them, all that’s left to play is Boston College, Florida and either Georgia Tech or Duke.