Florida State is on hurricane watch as they make their way south to face Miami.
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. 2022 is a do-or-die season for Mike Norvell’s tenure at Florida State. While there was much to be proud of in FSU’s 2021 campaign, the 0-4 record, including a shocking loss to Jacksonville State, has left many speculating whether Norvell is the man for the job. Winning more than 6 games this season might be what it takes to demonstrate that the CLIMB is more than just rhetoric on Norvell’s part. To generate a buzz and momentum on the trail, the Seminoles must showcase their growth in wins this season.
It’s now or never; for the Seminole faithful, it’s time to preview our upcoming season’s opponents.
Game Nine: Miami
Head Coach: Mario Cristobal (HC Record 62-60)
Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis
2021 Record: 7-5
History vs Florida State:
There may not be a more storied rivalry than Florida State and Miami, at least among the teams Florida State faces yearly. The more alarming thing could be how similar historically both programs are. Miami leads the series 35-31. Miami’s football held its first season in 1927, and Florida State had theirs in 1947. The most significant margins of victory are tied for both programs (47-0 in two separate games). Miami’s largest win streak over Florida State is 6 games in a row, while Florida State’s is 7 games in a row. Miami began the series rattling off 5 wins in a row. Since then, Florida State has had a slight W/L advantage as the overall series is now narrowed down to a 4 game Miami lead. Yet Miami is coming off of a 4 game winning steak, only losing this past season to FSU 31-28. Nestled within the overall series rest classic games that have been the envy of many rivalries, and have defined the sport. These clashes have, more often than not, defined National Championships.
Miami Storylines to Follow
New Sheriff in Coral Gables
Miami fans love to tell you that FSU did them a favor by beating them in 2021. They LOVE that they lost to Florida State because it meant they had a built-in excuse to fire Manny Diaz. After absolutely gushing over getting beat 31-28 at Doak Campbell after an incredible play on 4th and 14 by Jordan Travis, they’re likely to then say that play resulted in them securing Miami alum Mario Cristobal.
After your local Miami fan thanks you for beating their team last season, you should note that he is 62-60 in his head coaching career, was fired by FIU, and was an OC beneath Willie Taggart before taking the Oregon mantle in 2018.
With his staff around him, Mario Cristobal is building a recruiting juggernaut where they’re likely to have stellar off-seasons. If you take a look at his regular season resume at FIU and Oregon, it’s easy to see why Miami fans are also excited about the win/loss column ahead of them.
1-11, 5-7, 3-9, 7-6, 8-5, 3-9 in six seasons at FIU, and 9-4, 12-2, 4-3, 10-3 in four seasons at Oregon.
Unquestionably, the resume of a National Championship caliber head coach at Miami.
Yet another… Coastal(!?) QB
Cristobal is supported by a quarterback who placed third in the pre-season ACC ballot for Player of the Year. Tyler Van Dyke put on an incredible performance in his 2021 debut, with a 62.3% completion percentage for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. He appeared in 10 games this past season but did not start in all of them.
While his passing stats are good, Mario Cristobal is known for his run-oriented offenses at Oregon (averaging more runs than passes in all four seasons as Oregon’s head coach). Let’s take a look at Van Dyke’s stats on the run.
53 attempts on the season in 2021, averaging 57 yards per game, 1.1 yards per carry, and totaling just one touchdown on the season.
Hopefully, Miami has talented running backs, because Mario’s run-first philosophy might not translate well in their QB play.
Contenders or Pretenders?
If all else fails, Miami can at least boast that they have a cake 2022 schedule. Their opponents, in order, are Bethune-Cookman, Southern Miss, at Texas A&M, Middle Tennessee, UNC, at VT, Duke, at UVA, FSU, at GT, at Clemson, and hosting Pitt.
Considering that Miami returns 73% of their production from the 2021 season, they have the experience and talent to absolutely contend for the Coastal division in 2022. The question is whether first-year head coach Mario Cristobal forces his philosophy down his roster’s throats, to the detriment of their strengths.
Frankly, there’s no reason why they can’t go 9-3 at minimum in 2022 (with one loss being non-conference), all jokes aside. Miami fans should be disappointed with anything less than Coastal contention.
Florida State travels to Coral Gables on November 5th, 2022 to face the University of Miami. The Hurricanes and Seminoles game time and broadcast are TBD.
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