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5 most memorable Miami wins versus Florida State

Rivalry has been defined by late-game comebacks, heartbreak
Miami Hurricanes linebacker Zach McCloud celebrates after Florida State Seminoles kicker Ricky Aguayo misses field goal in 2018
Posted at 9:21 AM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-26 09:51:43-04

As Florida State and Miami prepare to clash again, takes a look back at some of the most memorable Miami victories in the history of the rivalry.

No. 2 Miami Hurricanes (8-0) 17, No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (10-0) 16
Doak S. Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
Nov. 16, 1991

Florida State Seminoles kicker Gerry Thomas walks off field after 'Wide Right I' against Miami Hurricanes in 1991
Miami's Jesse Mitchell (79) exults as dejected Florida State kicker Gerry Thomas walks off the field after missing a field goal late in fourth quarter that would have won the game for the No. 1-ranked Seminoles, Nov. 16, 1991, in Tallahassee, Fla. The Hurricanes won 17-16.

Top-ranked Florida State welcomed second-ranked rival Miami to the state capital for a Sunshine State showdown that would live on in college football history. The Seminoles were third in the nation in scoring, while the Hurricanes were first in the nation in scoring defense and had not allowed a first-half touchdown all season. Something had to give. The Hurricanes scored first on a 74-yard opening drive that was capped with a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback Stephen McGuire, but FSU cut the lead with a 25-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Gerry Thomas. Momentum swung FSU's way in the second quarter courtesy of three Miami turnovers, allowing the Seminoles to take a 10-7 halftime lead on a 1-yard touchdown plunge from backup fullback Paul Moore. Thomas kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter and 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cushion FSU's lead, but Miami kicker Carlos Huerta made it a one-possession game with a 45-yard field goal. The Hurricanes regained the lead with 3:01 left to play on a 1-yard score by backup fullback Larry Jones and the extra point by Huerta. FSU senior quarterback Casey Weldon got the Seminoles within field-goal range with 29 seconds left in the game. Thomas, who was 3-for-3 in previous field-goal attempts, lined up to attempt the potential game-winning, 34-yard field goal, but the football sailed to the right. Thomas left the team after the season and Miami went on to split the national championship with Washington. "Wide Right I" became a part of college football lore. Then along came a sequel.

No. 2 Miami Hurricanes (3-0) 19, No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (4-0) 16
Miami Orange Bowl
Oct. 3, 1992

Dan Mowrey reacts after missing field goal 'Wide Right II' against Miami Hurricanes in 1992
Florida State kicker Dan Mowrey buries his head after missing a field goal that would have tied the game against Miami, Oct. 3, 1992, in Miami. The Hurricanes won 19-16.

Florida State struck first, scoring on the opening play of the game -- a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by freshman Tamarick Vanover. Miami, which hadn't lost a game at the Orange Bowl since 1985, got on the scoreboard with a field goal in the second quarter and took a 10-7 lead on a 29-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback and eventual Heisman Memorial Trophy winner Gino Torretta to tight end Coleman Bell. Florida State countered with a 22-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Dan Mowrey, sending both teams into the locker room deadlocked at halftime. Mowrey added a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, extending FSU's lead to 16-10. Miami tied the game on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Torretta to senior wide receiver Lamar Thomas and took the lead again with the extra point. After exchanging punts late in the game, FSU punt returner Corey Sawyer was penalized for attempting an illegal forward pass from his own end zone, resulting in a safety for Miami. The Seminoles got the ball one last time and, led by junior quarterback Charlie Ward, marched down the field to Miami's 25-yard line. Mowrey attempted a 39-yard field goal that would have tied the game, but the football sailed to the right -- again -- as time expired. The game became known as "Wide Right II." Talk about "déjà vu." The Seminoles didn't lose another game that season, finishing second in the nation behind Alabama, who beat the Hurricanes in the Sugar Bowl to win the national championship.

No. 8 Miami Hurricanes (4-1) 27, No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (5-0) 24
Miami Orange Bowl
Oct. 7, 2000

Florida State Seminoles kicker Matt Munyon clutches helmet after 'Wide Right III' against Miami Hurricanes in 2000
Florida State kicker Matt Munyon reacts after missing a field goal in the final seconds that would have tied the game against Miami, Oct. 7, 2000, in Miami. The Hurricanes won 27-24.

Florida State had won 17 consecutive games and was vying for back-to-back national championships when the second-ranked Seminoles traveled to Miami looking to extend their dominance in the once-storied rivalry. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, were just returning to national prominence after enduring crippling NCAA sanctions that included a reduction of scholarships and three years of probation. The Seminoles rallied from a 17-0 deficit at halftime and took the lead on a 29-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Chris Weinke to wide receiver Atrews Bell with 1:37 left in the game, but Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey wasted little time driving his team down the field and finding tight end Jeremy Shockey in the end zone with 46 seconds remaining for the go-ahead touchdown. Florida State would have one more chance and brought out freshman kicker Matt Munyon to attempt a 49-yard field goal, but the football sailed wide right once more as time expired. "Wide Right III" was born. Munyon's missed kick ended Florida State's five-game winning streak against Miami, and he transferred to Troy after the season. Miami's win put the college football world on notice that the Hurricanes were back.

No. 1 Miami Hurricanes (5-0) 28, No. 9 Florida State Seminoles (5-1) 27
Miami Orange Bowl
Oct. 12, 2002

Florida State Seminoles kicker Xavier Beitia after 'Wide Left' against Miami Hurricanes in 2002
Florida State kicker Xavier Beitia walks off the field after missing a field goal that would have won the game against No. 1 Miami, Oct. 12, 2002, in Miami. The Hurricanes won 28-27.

Left or right, the Seminoles just can't catch a break against the Hurricanes. Top-ranked Miami took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Seminoles went into the locker room at halftime with a 17-14 lead. Florida State running back Greg Jones rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown, bowling over would-be tacklers to help the Seminoles mount a large lead. The Hurricanes were trailing 27-14 in the fourth quarter when senior quarterback Ken Dorsey orchestrated Miami's comeback. Dorsey led his team 70 yards in seven plays, finishing the drive with a 2-yard pass to wide receiver Kevin Beard with 8:10 to play. The Hurricanes got the ball back with 5:36 remaining and scored in two plays -- a 68-yard screen pass from Dorsey to sophomore running back Willis McGahee and an 11-yard end around run for a touchdown by junior wide receiver Jason Geathers with 5:17 left on the clock. The extra point by senior kicker Todd Sievers gave Miami a 28-27 lead. The Seminoles had the final possession of the game and were working the field, but without any timeouts, sophomore quarterback Chris Rix had to spike the ball with one second left. Sophomore kicker Xavier Beitia set up for a 43-yard field-goal attempt that would have won the game. He missed the uprights as the ball sailed wide left. So it was named, "Wide Left." Beitia left the field in tears. "That guy started a new trend," Miami defensive line coach Greg Mark said after the game. Miami extended its nation-leading winning streak to 28 games and didn't lose again until the Fiesta Bowl, when Ohio State won 31-24 in double overtime after a controversial pass interference call.

No. 5 Miami Hurricanes 16, No. 4 Florida State Seminoles 10
Miami Orange Bowl
Sept. 10, 2004

Florida State Seminoles QB Chris Rix leaps for yardage at Miami Hurricanes in 2004
Florida State quarterback Chris Rix leaps for extra yards in the third quarter against Miami, Sept. 10, 2004, in Miami. The Hurricanes won 16-10 in overtime.

The Seminoles opened the 2004 season the same way they ended the previous season -- with a loss to Miami. The inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference game for Miami, originally scheduled to be played on Labor Day, was postponed four days because of Hurricane Frances. Florida State had a 10-0 lead against the Hurricanes in the fourth quarter when Miami kicker Jon Peattie, who missed two earlier kicks, notched an 18-yard field goal for Miami's first points of the game. The Seminoles failed to score an offensive touchdown. Their lone touchdown came when Miami wide receiver Roscoe Parrish fumbled the football that was recovered by sophomore cornerback Antonio Cromartie and returned 61 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Senior kicker Xavier Beitia, who had been the goat in previous losses to Miami, didn't miss any kicks this time, but a 34-yard field goal attempt was blocked with 3:58 to play. The kick would have sealed a victory for the Seminoles. Instead, Miami got the ball back with a chance to tie the game. Senior quarterback Brock Berlin connected with junior wide receiver Sinorice Moss for a 30-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left to tie the game. Senior quarterback Chris Rix, a four-year starter for the Seminoles, threw two interceptions and fumbled twice, including on FSU's first possession in overtime. The Hurricanes recovered and scored two plays later on an 18-yard touchdown run by junior running back Frank Gore. Rix became the only FSU quarterback to finish with a 0-5 record against Miami. The Seminoles, playing Miami for the third time in less than 11 months, lost their sixth straight against the Hurricanes and failed to win the ACC for just the second time since becoming a member in 1992.