MIAMI GARDENS — The half kept coming in waves. Third-down breakdowns. Penalties.
But one consistency: Miami scoring drives. The Hurricanes scored on all five offensive possessions, cruising to 38 first-half points in what is the most lopsided opening half in the history of the series.
It was the most one-sided defeat for FSU in the series since 1976, when the Seminoles trailed 31 at the half and lost 47-0 in Bobby Bowden’s first year.
This one was one for the history books. Even though they backed off the gas late, the Hurricanes had a late touchdown drive for a 52-10 win — the most points Miami has scored in the series’ history.
It was a lopsided victory in what has a been a lopsided rivalry of late as the Hurricanes have won four straight games.
“Obviously disappointed for our football team, for our coaching staff, for our players, for our fan base,” FSU coach Mike Norvell said from his house late Saturday night. That is definitely not the way that we wanted to play tonight. This is something that completely falls on me. I’ve got to do a better job of putting our guys in the best position possible to go out there and play a better brand of football. We have to play more disciplined, more physical and obviously more consistent top to bottom in all three phases.”
FSU (0-2, 0-2 ACC) showed some pride in the second half, responding with a touchdown drive as Camren McDonald turns a short catch into a 12-yard touchdown reception. The Seminoles halted Miami on the following drive, as defensive tackle Cory Durden forced a fumble. While FSU then responded with a productive drive, James Blackman’s pass was tipped and intercepted in the end zone.
While Miami (3-0, 2-0) was undoubtedly the better team, FSU was undisciplined from the start. The Seminoles committed 12 penalties for 113 yards.
FSU had just 105 first-half yards, but the majority of them came on Jordan Travis rushes (seven carries for 52 yards, including a 24-yarder). Travis was a wrinkle in the early drives, lining up at quarterback, tailback and receiver as it was evident the FSU coaching staff used the bye week to come up with a few new things that Miami hadn’t seen on film. He even caught a 5-yard pass but had an ugly interception on FSU’s fourth drive that set up a Miami touchdown.
The Seminoles managed just a Ryan Fitzgerald 26-yard field goal on their opening drive of the game. But even that momentum was squandered: Baveon Johnson’s pre-snap penalty on fourth-and-2 at the Miami 2 resulted in the Seminoles turning instead to the field-goal team.
After FSU opened with a 14-play, 68-yard drive that resulted in the field goal, the rest of the half was unproductive with three punts, the interception and a turnover on downs in the first half.
Camren McDonald has been FSU’s most productive playmaker in the first two games. He caught four passes for 41 yards in the first game vs. Georgia Tech and led FSU with six receptions and 58 receiving yards, including his first career touchdown.
Lawrance Toafili was a bright spot with eight carries for 64 yards, all of them in the second half.
Ja’Khi Douglas had the first two catches of his FSU career in the third quarter, helping to set up the Seminoles’ first touchdown.
FSU played a number of true freshmen in the second half. Tate Rodemaker saw his first collegiate playing time in the fourth quarter. He completed 5 of 9 passes for 47 yards.
James Blackman was 16 of 26 for 120 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Jordan Travis did not appear to play in the second half.
Guard Baveon Johnson committed three pre-snap penalties.
Miami had five sacks from five players in the first half, bringing constant pressure at Blackman and Travis.
Miami converted on three third-down plays and a fourth-down play on a 13-play opening drive. It was a tone-setter for the evening as the Hurricanes converted on 8 of 10 third-down opportunities in the first half and then made both fourth-down conversions. The Hurricanes finished 11 of 16 on third downs.
D’Eriq King was surgical early, picking apart the FSU defense. The grad transfer quarterback completed 29 of 40 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Miami also had 37 carries for 200 yards, averaging 5.4 rushing yards.
FSU forced three fumbles with Travis Jay, Renardo Green and Durden recording one each. The Seminoles emphasized takeaways in the offseason and now have five in two games (FSU had two interceptions in the season opener).
Amari Gainer led FSU with eight tackles.
The Seminoles forced Miami to punt just once on 11 drives (not counting a final drive to end the game for Miami).
Defensive tackle Marvin Wilson was flagged for targeting in the third quarter. He was disqualified and will also miss the first half against Jacksonville State next week.
Defensive end Joshua Kaindoh and Hamsah Nasirildeen warmed up but did not play.
Beyond Rodemaker and Douglas, a large group of freshmen saw their first playing time at FSU on Saturday: offensive linemen Thomas Shrader and Robert Scott, wide receivers Darion Williamson, Bryan Robinson and Kentron Poitier, and defensive back Sidney Williams.
Gurvan Hall was ejected for targeting after the Miami defensive back delivered a helmet-to-helmet shot at Warren Thompson in the third quarter.
Alex Mastromanno had a 54-yard punt but averaged just 39.8 yards on his four punts.
Miami announced a crowd of 12,806.