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Gameday blog: No. 23 FSU at No. 13 Miami

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- The 13th-ranked Canes are looking to win their second in a row against Florida State and earn their first win at home over the Seminoles since 2004. The game will be played in front of the first sellout crowd for a Canes game at Sun Life Stadium since UM moved over from the Orange Bowl in 2008. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. Watch it on ABC or listen to it on WQAM.com. Feel free to participate in our discussion below as you tune in.

REWIND: Since 2000, only one game between these in-state rivals was decided by more than 10 points (UM's 49-27 win Tallahassee in 2001). The last three games have been shootouts (UM won 38-34 last year, FSU won 41-39 in 2008 and UM won 37-29 in 2007). Saturday's game marks the first time both teams have been ranked in the series since 2006 when FSU won 13-10 in the season-opener at the Orange Bowl. FYI, the team that has scored first has won 22 of the past 25 meetings.

ABOUT FSU: Coming off a 7-6 record in Bobby Bowden's final season as coach, the Seminoles were picked in the preseason to win the Atlantic Division title. But after a 47-17 loss at No. 6 Oklahoma, a lot of folks dropped off the FSU bandwagon. The Seminoles, however, have responded by cruising to wins over BYU (34-10), Wake Forest (31-0) and Virginia (34-14). Under first-year coordinator and former Hurricanes assistant Mark Stoops, the defense has made drastic improvements from last season. FSU leads in the country in sacks with five per game and is second to UM in tackles for loss (9.40). They've gone from a man-to-man pressure to defense to a unit that plays a lot of zone. Offensively, ACC Preseason Player of the Year Christian Ponder and the pass offense hasn't made too many big plays. Only six passes have gone for 25 yards or more. Then again, FSU's potent running game hasn't required Ponder to do too much with his arm. The trio of Jermaine Thomas, Ty Jones and Chris Thompson has rushed for 853 yards (7.2 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns behind a veteran offensive line that gets 3-year starter and left tackle Andrew Datko back this week.

THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON FOR THE U...
> Quarterback Jacory Harris' health... Coaches -- and parents -- have tried to downplay the amount of pain Harris has been playing with since being driven into the ground and injuring his non-throwing shoulder at Pitt. But it is painfully obvious Harris is being a bit tentative with his delivery. Aside from his physical ailments, which I'm sure the Seminoles will target, Harris has made his share of mental mistakes the past several weeks. The Hurricanes could ill-afford to lose Harris or have him continue to turn the ball over. Since the Ohio State game, all four of Harris' interceptions have been thrown on the opponents' side of the 50. Miami can win Saturday -- even with Harris throwing picks -- if that remains the case.

> UM's right tackle spot... Freshman phenom Seantrel Henderson is expected to make his second consecutive start Saturday against FSU. Whether it's Henderson or redshirt freshman Jermaine Johnson blocking on the right side, the Seminoles figure to do most of their attacking from that side. Sophomore defensive end Brandon Jenkins leads FSU with 4.5 sacks. Senior Markus White (2 sacks) should also be a handful.

> How much work Graig Cooper and Storm Johnson get in the backfield... With speedy redshirt freshman Lamar Miller not expected to play this week with a right shoulder injury, Damien Berry and Mike James figure to get the bulk of the work. But Cooper, UM's leading rusher each of the last three seasons, and Johnson, a true freshman who has worked primarily on special teams, figure to get some work. FSU's run defense ranks fourth nationally. An unexpected lift from Cooper or Johnson could prove valuable in this game.

> UM's blocking on special teams... Greg Reid could turn into a huge headache on punt returns. But the real concern is how UM blocks during kicks and punts. Last week, Clemson blocked an extra point and came dangerously close to blocking two punts. Three weeks ago, Ohio State blocked a UM field goal. The Hurricanes made it a point to work heavily on special teams this week. Let's see if it pays off. FYI, special teams standout Corey Nelms is out for this game.

MY PICK: Any Hurricanes fan who believes UM should blow the Seminoles out because of what happened to them at Oklahoma needs a reality check. Sure, BYU is 1-4, Wake Forest is 2-3 and Virginia is 2-2. But FSU still handled all three of those teams with ease and is a much better football team than they were last season when they went 7-6. Bring up the history and the rivalry and you know the Seminoles will not only be jacked up for this one, but so will the Canes, who by the way rank 112th in penalties per game. I just don't see this game being lopsided like some UM fans believe. And I wouldn't be surprised if FSU won at all. But I think it's time for the home team to win in this series. The Hurricanes win with defense yet again. UM 23, FSU 19 

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Has DB L.Anderson seen any action so far this season?

Ray Ray is gonna have a big game put 8 in the box including ray ray take the run away from them. press coverage on the outside with harris and hill let telemaque stay in the middle of the field. if we can stop the run we should handle FSU easily if we get them into a passing situation with our pressure we have been bringing this year it should make it easy for our DBs to get picks!! we need to force 3 to 4 turnovers and its over boys!! ITS ALL ABOUT THE U!!! Canes 31 Noles 17

Henderson has to have a good game. We must dominate on the ground and protect Jacory on passing downs!! No mistakes equals big win for the Canes!!

Steps to winning big tonight.
1. play hard noses attacking defense
2. control the ground game. cooper needs to make some big plays.
3. kill them with the play-action over top for deep back breaking bombs!!!
305.. Stand up, it's gametime!!

What a run by the QB

game over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

outplayed, out-coached

They know Harris can't throw

did I already say game over

We gotta make some plays

Shannon is clueless. He looks like a deer facing headlights. Why the hell did they take Butch Davis when they had the chance & swallow their ego's? This is going to hurt their program down the road re. recruiting & home attendance.

FSU is not this good!! O line

FSU - they are that good! Are you watching a different game than me

wait till they play NC. will be just as ugly

Is this 2008 all over again!?

Game & season over

This team loses 2 more games this year. Finishes like last year and loses in a bowl game.

It's obvious OUR wins were against bad teams too. UM OVERRATED again

tonights the night FSU takes back the state. They are right now, the best team on Fla

Canes are playing very flat, looks like coach shannnon is playing it out to the half to make adjustments. True test to see how good they are now. playing calling is predictable right now for the canes makes it easy to defend.

Total domination. Pathetic performance. We are overrated. Football is won and lost in the trenches. Its men against little boys up front. No respect for our run, so their DB's are flying around.

Canes defense is Swiss cheese tonight! Now all you bloggers know why "We" the knowledgeable fans have been so critical of the previous games we have seen. This team is neither tough nor physical enough to punch it out up front in the trenches, Offense has too much trouble sustaining drives--picks to be thrown later. Already 21-zip Noles. So disappointing to watch!

Listen to Herbstreit. Questioning the teams fire, intensity and courage. I think he's correct. This would not have happened in the old days. This team takes on the personality of its coach. Stoic and half dead, ready to give up.

This is our rivalry game and this team has no fight! out here lying down. It's sad. No leadership, no fight--unbelievably poor play! I am hoping for a miracle 2nd half---ridiculous and upsetting. No life at all.

issue isn't intensity, it's coaching. JH is not a great qb, he's good, but a 10 - 11 win team needs a great qb. that's what separates the the top 10 teams from the next 10

Can we stop blaming Shannon for everything!?

if they take away the run, then pass the ball more thats basic football.

Miami has come out ill-prepared for a rivalry game. Flat effort, no inspiration. You're right the coach is half-dead.

No, blame Shannon for not having his r-e-a-d-y to play at kickoff. Football is a game of emotion, Really, do you see any animation, any emotion from Shannon that will trickle down to his team. They are back ikn in spite of him.

HEY, NOT EVERYTHING IS LOST THESE SEASON,AT LEAST YOU'LL GOT THE HEAT TO FALL BACK ON :)

i dont think the coach is the one to blame, the players are more then talented. If they cant get up to fight to get back in the game, it is the players. the coach cant play the game nor can they execute it. It is on the players!

FSU will win this 34 - 10

Hey eddy: do you really think seeing RS, stading stoic-statule-like on the sideline withh his rams folding is inspirational??? Ever see Steve Spurrier coach?

this Miami team plays stupid football ... dumb penalties, missed tackles, and not staying in lanes on kickoff coverage

give FSU credit. They came out ready & prepared

Shannon recruited these non emotional players - they all reflect his " it's ok style"

criticmike- i imagine you are the one of the fans that is the first to get on the wagon and the first to get off when things get tough. Steve got lucky today, Bama was bound to be beat some time by a team that can pass. If the players are lacking the fire and enthusiasm it is on them especially in a game like this....

10 seconds to snap the ball unbelievable

Piss poor clock management ...

there is a silver lining to all this. there will plenty of tickets available for the 35k fans that show up next game

wrong eddy!! Im on the bus, but I realize when the driver is not capable of handling the job. For Spurrier, the brutal truth is that Shannon is an excellent recruiter and an absolute washout as a game-day coach. He is not capable of recognizing what is happening on the field in real-time and making the necessary chages, Miami is being out-played by FSU. He's got to change the pace of the game to get back in. You are telling me that we played an inspired half of offensive football??? Be serious!

Silver lining #2: Better scheduling ... no more 4 legit opponents in the first 5 games (two years in a row). FSU looks "rested" and "energetic" ... "we" look tired and shell shocked ... like "we" don't have it in us for one more tough game. Regardless ... this is dissapointing.

Here's hoping for half time adjustments!

Maybe Jacory can stop praying on the sidelines and be a damn leader for once. Even Teblow inspired his teammates notwithstanding all the religious nonsense.

i dont think you have read any of my comments, your opinnon is well stated but lack any depth other then finding a way to point blame. I said this already they were playing very flat and gave up 24 points, its not acceptable but can they get back in the game yes most def. But that comes down to making the adjustments now. IF they do and imagine they it will turn into a great game. And will show how good shannon can coach, if the players dont buy into the game plan that is there fault they are behind not the coaches, true for any sport. Thats why there is a halftime.

SO whats new guys...we all know Shannon is a horrible HC. We are fukd because Shalala will never fire this looser because he graduates players.... I just wanna puk when I see miami play.... Word of advice PLEASE Schedule FIU, Texas A&M, Central Michigan and Temple so that we can play competitive games.....

Canes lack leadership period.

..some bad luck at the end of the half...FSU fg set up by an unsportsmanlike and a tipped ball...travis drops one that he was interfered with but we dont get the call...

that's all done...first series each way is BIG...we need to get a get it to 10 asap.

Why do I keep sending 5k each year? This is getting exhausting.

CAN THE CANES GET ANY SORRIER?HOW TRASH IS JACOBY HARRIS,RANDY SHANNON NEED TO GO HIS THE MOST TRASHES COACH IN UM HISTORY.ALSO THE UM OFFENSE COORDINATOR IS TRASH.I WONDER WHEN IS UM GOING TO FIRE SHANNON,SHALALA?

We play like a buch of scared little punks. And 305 you are right we are screwed with shalala and that looser shannon. This is sickening.

Harris is so frail! Even Dorsey wasn't constantly hurt in one way or another. He just seems weak. Wouldn't you think they could fill him out at all?
The deep throws are dead ducks.

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