FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Miami (FL)
DeCalon Brooks (Photo: Jeff Romance)

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Miami (FL)

It’s Hurricane season, and the Seminoles are in Doak to defend their home.

With the season fast approaching, and College Football rolling full-steam ahead with current scheduling and formatting, fans are eager to hit the stands and cheer on their favorite team. 2021 is a year of much anticipation after the Coronavirus pandemic crippled schedules and limited capacity in stadiums. The Florida State Seminoles were one such program affected by the 2020 season. Several games were cancelled, rivalries were sidelined, and a new coaching staff was stalled in their ability to effectively recruit and implement their scheme.

Drama ensued, injuries took course, and opt-outs effectively hindered what amounts to a legitimate Year 0 in the Norvell era. Think of 2020 as a glorified practice run. Going 3-6 (out of 11 games), the year showed the mountain set before this staff and program in their CLIMB back to the top. Still, there were highlights and gradual improvement over the course of the season, and legitimate offseason hype as the ‘Noles are seemingly back-on-track.

The offseason is still in-effect across College Football, but with the recruiting dead period now over, a season in 2020 to evaluate personnel and conditions within the program, and a vision now to sell to the team, the fans, and recruits, it is fair to say that 2021 is Mike Norvell’s Year 1.

The training wheels are off, and for the Seminole faithful, it’s now time to preview our upcoming season’s opponents.

Game Ten: Miami (FL)

Head Coach: Manny Diaz (Head Coach record of 14-10 in Collegiate Football)

Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference

2020 Record: 8-3

History vs Florida State: 

It goes without saying that the storied history between the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes is one of the great rivalries in all of college football. The Wide Right & Wide Left classics, the Block at the Rock, Bobby Going for the Win in ’87, The Miami Muff, the list goes on. NFL talent riddled the field on both sides, dynamic personalities and National Champion aspirations were often on the line whenever these two teams squared up.

All time, the ‘Canes lead the ‘Noles 35-30, with Miami currently on a four game winning streak. The series has a history of streaks against one-another, with the Seminoles nearly eclipsing Miami before the current Hurricane streak of four wins. The series began in 1951, but was never sustained annually until 1969. Before 1969, Miami held a 8-4 series edge over Florida State. In the 70’s, FSU held a 6-4 decade lead. Miami took the series in the 80’s, 7-3. The 90’s would go to the ‘Noles, again going 6-4 in this decade. In the lost decade era, Miami actually secured a 8-3 edge due to Miami and Florida State being granted an Orange Bowl berth in the 2003 season (Miami won both games). The 2010’s belong to the Seminoles, who took this decade 7-3.

While Florida State did play Miami in 2020, it should be noted that Mike Norvell did not coach this game due to testing positive for COVID-19. Mike Norvell remains undefeated against in-state rivals entering the 2021 season.

Hurricane Storylines to Follow:

D’Eriq King Full Go

Perhaps the biggest key to Miami’s success in 2020, and the key to their season in 2021, D’Eriq King’s health was the biggest question mark heading into Fall camp. After sustaining a torn ACL against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Cheez-it Bowl, concerns mounted that D’Eriq King would either not recover in time for the 2021 season, or have performative limitations entering the 2021 season.

With positive news of his recovery through the offseason, D’Eriq King entered the fall camp feeling 100%. As of this article’s release, D’Eriq King went 12 for 16 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in their first scrimmage. The camp has yielded positive returns so far regarding his physical and mental health. Unquestionably, D’Eriq King is a Heisman contender for the 2021 season at full health, and unlocks the full potential of their offense. It remains to be seen whether the camp and scrimmage performances will translate on the field against their week one opponent: the Alabama Crimson Tide.

A Dynamic Receiver Room

If Hurricane fans have one thing to look forward to beyond the 2021 season, the depth of talent at Wide Receiver should be at the top of their list. From the first scrimmage alone:

  • Charleston Rambo (transfer from Oklahoma) went for 60 yards and a touchdown
  • Mark Pope had three catches for 56 yards
  • Xavier Restrepo had five receptions
  • Freshman Jacolby George went for seven receptions, 127 yards and one touchdown
  • Freshman Romello Brinson had four passes for 73 yards
  • Freshman Brashard Smith had two catches for 30 yards

For a first scrimmage situation, having the plethora of talent to showcase alongside a healthy demonstration from D’Eriq King should speak to the offensive capability of Miami along the offensive side of the ball. With the right signal caller in place, Miami should have a formidable offense for seasons to come.

The Elephant in the Room

As Florida State fans, we’ve been in this all-too-familiar situation: a season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff. With lofty pre-season aspirations, the Seminoles went into the game not necessarily expecting a win, but a competitive matchup against Nick Saban to show where we fit in the 2017 season. The expectation was to take the ACC back from Clemson and run the rest of the season.

How reality came crashing down on us for our vanity. While competitive through most of the game, Alabama wrought a season ending injury on Deondre Francois, derailing the entire season by placing responsibility at Quarterback squarely on true freshman James Blackman. Florida State is still recovering from this game.

Now, we can’t help but draw the natural comparisons with our in-state rival. The Miami Hurricanes are looking to take the next step in the growth of their program, and have a dynamic signal caller at quarterback who can unlock the potential for their offense. D’Eriq King, coming off an injury himself, is the key to a successful run at the ACC Coastal division, and any potential for playoff aspirations. But, they must show they can compete (and survive) Nick Saban with an entire offseason to prepare his team.

Gameday Details

The Seminoles play their final home game against the Hurricanes on Saturday, November 13th, 2021. Game time and television broadcast still TBD.

Also check out our other previews for:

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Notre Dame

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Jacksonville State

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Wake Forest

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Louisville

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Syracuse

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: North Carolina

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: UMass

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: Clemson

FSU Football 2021 Opponent Preview: NC State

Keep up with the latest from Double Fries No Slaw by catching our latest episodes here.

-Ed Kennedy

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