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Ask any college football fan what comes to mind first when they think about the Florida State-Miami rivalry.
There’s a decent chance that they will utter just two words — “wide right”. In top-5 match-ups in 1991 and 1992, FSU lost to Miami on missed last-second field goals that sailed to the right.
On this day 20 years ago, it was deja vu. In a top-10 match-up, Matt Munyon’s miss as time expired lifted Miami to a thrilling 27-24 victory over top-ranked Florida State.
Setting the Stage
Reigning national champion Florida State was 5-0 and riding a 17-game winning streak as it made its way to the Orange Bowl on Oct. 7, 2000. The Seminoles were ranked No. 1 in the country and had won five straight over the rival Hurricanes.
After finishing the 1999 season on a 4-game winning streak, Miami began 2000 ranked in the top 5. The Hurricanes however, dropped a road contest at Washington, 34-29. No. 7 Miami arrived with a record of 3-1 following blowout wins of West Virginia and Rutgers.
Florida State had overcome a 17-point deficit to take a 24-20 lead in the fourth quarter, but Miami had an answer. With the game on the line, it took Miami just 49 seconds to go 68 yards for the lead. Quarterback Ken Dorsey was 6-for-7 on the drive, hitting tight end Jeremy Shockey for the go-ahead 13-yard touchdown with 46 seconds remaining.
For eventual Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and the Seminoles, that was plenty of time. Weinke mostly took what the defense gave him on the final drive. After a completion to running back Travis Minor moved the ball into Miami territory, Weinke found Marvin Minnis at the 32-yard-line.
FSU tried to run another play, but was forced to use its final timeout after a failed substitution attempt. With five seconds left, Matt Munyon was sent onto the field to try a 49-yard field goal.
Munyon had struggled on the season and missed from 22 yards out earlier in the game. Munyon was able to hit the ball well, but it sailed late.
For the third time in less than a decade, FSU was forced to hear a familiar term — wide right.
Early on, it looked as though Miami may win going away. Behind a Dorsey touchdown pass to Najeh Davenport and a D.J. Williams touchdown run, the Hurricanes built a 17-0 lead.
After failing to score on four trips that ended inside the Miami 30-yard-line, the Seminoles got things going in the second half. Following a Munyon 18-yard field goal, Weinke found Anquan Boldin for a 48-yard touchdown.
The two hooked up for a 2-yard touchdown with just over three minutes to play before FSU took its first lead 98 seconds later. Weinke’s 29-yard strike to Atrews Bell with 1:37 to go capped a 4-play drive and gave FSU its only lead.
Weinke passed for a then career-high 496 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted twice. Bell, Minnis and Boldin finished with 146, 145 and 108 yards receiving, respectively.
For Miami, Dorsey finished with 328 yards passing and the two scores. James Jackson led all rushers with 98 yards while Santana Moss paced the Hurricanes with 115 yards receiving on seven catches.
The Miami defense was led by eventual Butkus Award winner Dan Morgan, who tallied 15 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in the end zone to thwart an FSU scoring opportunity. Ed Reed also recorded an interception in the win.
The loss did not cost FSU a shot at the national championship, but the Hurricanes believed it should have. FSU and Miami each won out for the remainder of the regular season. Although the Hurricanes were ahead of the Seminoles in both the AP and Coaches Polls, FSU was No. 2 in the BCS and given the chance to play No. 1 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
Oklahoma would win the game, but Miami would win the national title the following season. With the victory over the Seminoles, the Hurricanes began a 6-game winning streak over rival FSU. Five of those wins came by eight points or less, including the first and perhaps the most memorable that took place on this day two decades ago.