The prime time matchup of week ten involves two long-time rivals that have made a return to national prominence.
Saturday night, the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles host the No. 7 Miami Hurricanes.
This game between the Seminoles and Hurricanes has major national championship and ACC title implications.
The rivalry has seemed to make a big time return this year with all that is at stake in 2013.
The Seminoles were jumped by the Oregon Ducks for the No. 2 position in the latest edition of the BCS standings.
This jump of Oregon over Florida State wasn’t a huge surprise to most since Oregon beat a top 15 team in UCLA and Florida State were playing a weaker North Carolina State team.
The Seminoles made easy work of a NC State team that has seemed to have Florida State’s number in recent years. Florida State had no hangover from the huge win over Clemson and wasn’t looking ahead to the showdown with Miami, which shows the signs of a very mature and focused team.
The Miami Hurricanes have had the exact opposite outcomes of their previous games. The Hurricanes barely escaped Chapel Hill with a win over the North Carolina Tar Heels in Week 8.
Last week Miami had another close call against Wake Forest and scored a late fourth quarter touchdown to finish off the Demon Deacons. The Hurricanes have had two close calls in consecutive weeks which could have them prepared if their game against Florida State this weekend is a close one.
This game Saturday night between the Seminoles and Hurricanes could come down to quarterback play and these two teams have two rising stars at quarterback.
The quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles, Jameis Winston, has become a huge star nationally and near the top of Heisman Trophy talks. Winston’s personality and confidence rubs off on all his teammates and has brought Florida State back to the elite of college football.
The Miami Hurricanes’ quarterback, Stephen Morris, has brought a senior leadership to the Canes that has also brought Miami back to the elite of college football. The senior experience and leadership of Morris could play a huge role in this game.
Morris has been bothered by an ankle injury and he will need to be as close to 100 percent as possible to compete against a fast and athletic Seminoles’ defense. Morris will be the biggest key in determining the outcome of this contest on Saturday.
The X-factor for Miami outside of their quarterback Morris will certainly be running back Duke Johnson. Johnson has game breaking speed that could give the Florida State defense some trouble.
Johnson has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and line up at wide receiver along with his duties at running back. This versatility gives the Hurricanes lots of options and ways to use Johnson to get him in open space where he is at his best with his elite speed.
Miami returned ten starters from last year’s team on offense and that has played a big role in getting them back to a top ten team.
This, along with the great coaching from Al Golden which is in his third season with Miami, has been a huge factor in the turnaround of this program.
The Hurricanes’ offense going against the Seminoles’ defense will be one of the things to watch out for and will determine who has the upper hand and ultimately earns a victory.
The matchup on the other side of the ball will be crucial to the outcome as well when Florida State’s offense goes against the Hurricanes’ defense.
Florida State’s offense has been explosive with Winston and his elite corps of wide receivers with Kelvin Benjamin leading the way.
Benjamin has been Winston’s favorite target and has made a number of big plays down the field in the past several weeks. The ability, or inability, of the Hurricanes' defense to stop or at least slow down the Winston and Benjamin combination will be a key factor as to how much success the Cane’s defense has.
This game will be one with high intensity, hard hitting and trash talking throughout the game. This renewed rivalry is great for the game of college football after a decade absence from the nation’s elite for both teams.
The rivalry between Florida State and Miami is one of the most historic in the history of college football and seeing both on the field as top ten teams Saturday night will make us feel like we are in the 1990s once again.
The names and coaches may be different, but the hatred and bitterness towards each other is sure to be the same. The old saying goes “The games in November are the ones you remember” and what could be a better way to start the month of November off than with an old time rivalry renewed.
This game is sure to have its twists and turns, but could be one we remember for years to come.
My final analysis of this contest between the two sunshine state schools is that we will see a physical game with lots of emotional swings throughout the game.
I believe Florida State clearly has the upper hand because of pure talent and the fact they are at home. Winston has played like a senior so far this year, but it will be interesting seeing how he handles his first game against Miami.
Florida State’s offense will be the difference in this game Saturday and the big play ability of Winston and Benjamin will play a big role in the final outcome.
Florida State will hold serve at home and keep their name right at the top of national title contenders. Florida State wins 31-21 in a game that will be closer than most expect because of the aspect of this game being a big time rivalry.
Florida State wins and Winston will inch one step closer to being the second consecutive freshman to win the Heisman Trophy award.