2021 FSU-Miami Preview and Predictions

Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics

Florida State is hoping to keep its bowl hopes alive as it hosts hated rival Miami on Saturday.

Both teams had horrid starts to the season but have been able to find success as the year progresses. A win for the Hurricanes would keep their ACC title hopes alive, while a win for the Seminoles would put them one step closer to making a bowl.

Miami leads the all-time series 35-30 and is on a four-game winning streak against the ‘Noles. The last matchup between the bitter rivals resulted in a 52-10 walloping by the ‘Canes. Miami’s 52 points was the most points scored by either team in the history of the rivalry.

Florida State vs. Miami

  • Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Miami -2.5, O/U 60.5
  • Last Game:
    • FSU: L, 14-28 vs NC State
    • Miami: W, 33-30 vs Georgia Tech

When FSU’s On Offense

Florida State’s ability to field a capable offense is going to depend on whether or not quarterback Jordan Travis has recovered from the flu. The ‘Noles simply do not have the personnel to run an offense suited to McKenzie Milton.

Another key group affected by the flu was FSU’s starting guards. Baveon Johnson and Dillon Gibbons are key pieces to the running game, and they were sorely missed in last week’s loss to North Carolina State.

The Seminoles’ offensive ineptitude resulted in a freefall of another 15 spots in ESPN’s SP+ rankings. Florida State fell from 19th to 35th last week, and finds itself at 50th entering Saturday’s contest.

Miami’s defense is extremely average. It is one of the worst tackling teams in the country, which could be good news for an extremely slippery Travis.

The Miami secondary is solid, but FSU should be able to find success on the ground. The Hurricanes play a lot of man coverage, so FSU’s receivers will need to step up to have any success through the air.

When FSU’s On Defense

Florida State’s defense is doing a darn good job of keeping it in games. The only thing FSU hasn’t figured out is how to stop allowing a handful of chunk plays per game.

Other than the occasional chunk play, FSU’s defense is providing the offense with plenty of opportunity to win.

FSU’s defense has not fluctuated in ranking nearly as much as its offense. The Seminole defense finds itself at 53rd this week – a four-spot decline from its previous ranking.

The FSU defensive unit is going to have a very hard time this week against Miami’s 13th-ranked offense. Especially worrisome is the matchup between FSU’s secondary and the Hurricane passing attack.

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has exploded over the past three weeks, leading the Hurricanes to three straight victories in offensive shootouts. He is one of only two quarterbacks in the nation to post over 1,000 yards passing over that time span with the other being Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman.

Florida State’s secondary is going to have to step up in this one in order to pull out a victory.

Predictions

Mike: Miami, 37-27. With a healthy Jordan Travis, Florida State should be to move the ball, but since Tyler Van Dyke entered the lineup for Miami, the Hurricanes have really been able to stretch the field. Against an FSU secondary that gives up big plays with regularity, Saturday could be a long day.

Cory: Miami, 31-28. Miami plays a lot of man defense. FSU will find some holes with Travis, but the receivers will struggle to beat Miami’s secondary. Miami will see that NC State could’ve carved up the FSU defense with the air attack, and will exploit that with every weapon Tyler Van Dyke has at his disposal. Still – it’s a rivalry game, and it’ll be close. After all – FMFFM.

James: FSU, 10-7. Miami fumbles the snap for the game-tying field goal.

Jake: Miami, 42-23. Tyler Van Dyke is having a breakout season and the FSU secondary is Swiss cheese. Offensively, it sounds like Jordan Travis is healthy, but nobody is going to be 100% after a multi-week bout of the flu. FSU sputters again and kisses its bowl hopes goodbye.