TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Miami’s defensive front kept coming. Florida State’s offensive line had no answer.
Freshman defensive end Gregory Rousseau had four of Miami’s season-high nine sacks as the Hurricanes won their third straight game against Florida State, 27-10 on Saturday.
“They were relentless,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said. “That fact that we can roll nine different guys in there, stay fresh, stay after their quarterbacks, it was really the first time maybe in the entire season we had not played a mobile quarterback. So, to have a stationary target, I thought was fantastic.”
Miami (5-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) kept Florida State pinned down most of the game, holding the Seminoles to just 203 offensive yards. Rousseau led the party and five Hurricanes had a sack apiece against Florida State, which had never before given up nine sacks in a game in school history.
“I’m proud of all of those guys,” said Miami linebacker Shaq Quarterman, who led the team with nine tackles and had 3.5 tackles for loss. “I think they did a tremendous job. I think everybody probably came out with a sack today.”
It only seemed like it. And the Hurricanes had more than enough offense to make sure that the seniors went 3-1 against their rivals while securing their most lopsided win over Florida State since 2001.
Freshman Jarren Williams completed 21 of 37 passes for a season-best 313 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Dee Wiggins on a 56-yard touchdown and Jeff Thomas on a 39-yard score.
Miami has had an up-and-down season but secured a confidence-building win for Diaz in his first year as head coach.
“I feel like this win was big for us,” Williams said. “For us as a program, for everybody.”
Cam Akers had 22 carries for 66 yards to lead Florida State. He also caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Alex Hornibrook. But the Seminoles, who lost 51 rushing yards on sacks, managed just 31 net yards on 41 carries while Hornibrook completed 17 of 24 passes for just 135 yards.
Miami led 17-3 at the half and Florida State couldn’t catch up. The Seminoles (4-5, 3-4) punted eight times, tossed two interceptions and committed 10 penalties.
“To be honest with you, words aren’t going to make it better right now,” Florida State coach Willie Taggart said. “It’s unacceptable. Not enough guys on the line of scrimmage, those things hadn’t happened to us for a while. But those pre-snap penalties, jumping offsides and things we address … you can’t do it.
“We didn’t play with a lot of poise and confidence, especially early. And it cost us.”
Taggart falls to 0-5 in rivalry games, losing four of them by double digits. The Seminoles fell at Clemson 45-14 on Oct. 12. In his second season at Florida State, Taggart is just 9-12 — and 6-9 in ACC games.
Deejay Dallas had 18 carries for 61 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run for Miami.
It was one of Miami’s most complete games, and it gave the seniors bragging rights in the rivalry.
“Special for our seniors to go out 3-1 with three straight wins against FSU,” Diaz said. “That’s something that, again, they will be proud of forever.”
Florida State averaged just 31 rushing yards on 41 carries, an average of 0.8 per carry. Akers now has 983 rushing yards this season after being held to his second-lowest output of the season (he had 34 yards in the loss at Clemson).
The Seminoles also averaged just 6.1 yards per pass attempt.
The Hurricanes also benefitted from shorter fields, starting possessions on Florida State’s 44-yard line on average. Florida State’s average starting field position was its own 25.
Miami plays host to Louisville on Saturday.
Florida State plays at Boston College on Saturday.