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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – In a series defined by wide rights and wide lefts and muffed snaps, perhaps it was only appropriate that the latest chapter of the Florida State-Miami rivalry swung on a kick.
DeMarcus Walker’s blocked extra-point with 1:41 left in the fourth quarter preserved a one-point advantage for the Seminoles after Miami scored what would have been a game-tying touchdown.
One first down later, and Florida State ran out the clock on a 20-19 victory as Miami fans headed for the exits and the war chant echoed throughout Hard Rock Stadiu
The win is Florida State’s seventh in a row over the Hurricanes, which matches the longest streak in series history by either team. (FSU won seven straight between 1963 and 1972.)
This one didn’t come easily.
Wearing throwback uniforms and playing in front of a sold-out stadium, the Hurricanes built a 13-0 lead in the first half and looked ready to reassert its place in the state of Florida’s college football hierarchy.
Charles Kelly’s defense, however, stymied the Hurricanes while quarterback Deondre Francois endured several bone-jarring hits to lead the Seminoles to two third-quarter touchdowns. The redshirt freshman passed for 144 yards and completed 10-of-11 passes in the third quarter alone.
Miami entered the game averaging 475 yards and 47 points per game. Against the Seminoles, the Hurricanes managed just 276 yards while converting only 4-of-13 third-down attempts.
Francois, meanwhile, earned his first win over UM by completing 20-of-31 passes for two touchdowns. His 20-yard TD toss to Kermit Whitfield gave FSU its first lead, at 17-13, with 3:32 to go in the third quarter.
Freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo made each of his two attempts – including a 32-yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner.
Playing in what is likely his final collegiate game in his hometown, running back Dalvin Cook once again tormented the Hurricanes by racking up 150 yards on the ground and another 59 through the air.
Appropriately, he served as the team’s “sod captain” after the clock hit zero.