"That was a classic Florida State-Miami game, wasn't it?" said Jimbo Fisher as he lead off his post-game press conference.
It was, and then it wasn't.
It was an extremely physical, tightly-contested game that showcased much of the athleticism on both squads. But by the same token, neither team exactly looked like the squads of old. Florida State committed 12 penalties for 121 yards and fumbled five times, losing two.
On the other sideline, Miami was hardly opportunistic.
Al Golden started his presser by saying, "we need to recruit better."
Miami gave Florida State their best shot tonight, but Golden is on to something there. The Miami teams of old, the '87 team that the Hurricanes honored before the game for instance, would have blown the doors off of Sun Life Stadium if Florida State had handed them this many mistakes. The Seminoles practically gift-wrapped this game for the Hurricanes in the first half and yet come intermission, the Seminoles lead the game 13-10.
That's both a sad statement about the state of the Hurricanes, and also kind of a redeeming point for Florida State.
"I told them listen, 'we went out on the field and did about everything wrong you can do, but you overcame it and have the lead'" said Fisher. "That says something, to me that's your sign- as crazy as that sounds- I think it's a competitive football team that's growing up, learning to fight through some things. Some days you just don't have it."
Florida State didn't have it today on offense. Early miscues hurt them and even when they did get going, there were never humming at full speed like they're capable of.
What Florida State did do was dominate the line on both sides of the ball. The 'Noles went for over 200 yards rushing and held Miami to less than 30 yards. Even despite losing Chris Thompson; Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. took up the slack and helped Florida State pull away in the second half.
Florida State may not have had it, but they perservered.
"I thought it was very big for our kids to overcome what they did today," said Fisher. "There's too many good guys on our team, too many leaders, too many good human beings to sit there and everybody look at the each other and not do anything.
"I told them sometimes you may like each other too much. Every now and then when you're on the field- like I used to tell them- you'll be my buddy off the field when we're on the field we're competitors, if I need to get on your tail, I'm going to get on your tail."
Credit FSU's leaders for getting things under control. There was a lot working against Florida State and though they didn't start strong, they finished that way.
"We know we're on the road, this is a rivalry game, this is their house," said LB Telvin Smith, who had a fantastic day on defense. "You've got to play the team, the coaches and the refs. You've got to play them in a hostile environment in front of a hostile crowd also. We knew were going to get some crazy calls or whatever, you've just got to stay focused and make plays."
Florida State was on the receiving end of some truly awful calls. Jimbo Fisher made little secret of his displeasure on the sideline and though he was diplomatic post-game, it wasn't tough to tell that he was going to be making an ACC mixtape for Mike Kelly and sending it in.
But credit FSU for keeping their poise in spite of the bad officiating. Credit FSU for keeping their poise, period.
FSU didn't have it today, but they perservered and picked up a big win. Now the 'Noles are 7-1 heading home to host Duke for homecoming.
I'll have more for you later, keep checking back for updates...