The largest crowd in Doak Campbell Stadium history was on hand to witness the Florida State University Seminoles do something they hadn’t done this millennium.
After a 41-14 victory over the University of Miami in front of a record crowd of 84,409 people, the ‘Noles improved to an 8-0 record (9-0 ACC), something FSU hadn’t done since winning the national championship in 1999.
But with FSU’s victory, the ‘Canes (7-1, 3-1 ACC) may have lost more than just a rivalry game and its No. 7 BCS ranking, pending the status of Duke Johnson, the ACC’s second-leading rusher. The sophomore running back had to be helped off the field after a failed fourth-down conversion near the end of the third quarter.
Miami head coach Al Golden said he didn’t know the status of Johnson’s injury after the game, but he praised the Seminoles for their performance.
“I give Florida State a lot of credit,” Golden said. “That’s an excellent and deep team.”
FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said he was proud of how his team competed.
“We still have some things we have to continue to grow on, but I’m very proud of (how) they handled a very emotional game at home,” Fisher said.
Devonta Freeman led the Seminoles in rushing (23 rushes, 78 yards) and receiving (6 catches, 98 yards), racking up 176 all-purpose yards to go with his three touchdowns. Freeman opened the scoring for the ‘Noles, capping their 13-play, 72-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run.
Jameis Winston threw for 325 yards, but his lone touchdown pass was the fewest he’s thrown in a single game this season. And his two interceptions, the first time he’s thrown multiple picks in any game this season, led to both Miami touchdowns.
Capitalizing off turnovers, Stephen Morris hit Allen Hurns in stride for a 33-yard touchdown in the first quarter and found him again before halftime for a 14-yard score.
Winston said he made a promise to his teammates after his second interception.
“I said, ‘Guys, I’m not turning the ball over no more this game,’ and I kept that,” he said. “That was really the only reason, I felt, the only reason they scored. Our defense was playing an amazing game.”
FSU held Miami to less than three yards a carry. The ‘Canes were also just four of 11 on third downs and one of three on fourth-down conversions.
“We really wanted to come out and prove a point,” said defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, who finished with four tackles.
The Seminoles will travel to Winston Salem, N.C., to play Wake Forest University on Saturday.