Twice in two weeks, the Miami Hurricanes have found themselves down to the wire with an opponent they should have put away much earlier. With all due respect to North Carolina and Wake Forest, neither team is exactly Florida State, meaning that the Hurricanes will be blown out without substantially better play.
The Seminoles won handily against North Carolina State last weekend, as they have in most games this season. Boston College has been the only opponent to keep within two scores of Florida State.
Rankings and records: Both teams are in the top 10 of the BCS standings -- Florida State at No. 3, Miami at No. 7. The Hurricanes lead the all-time series 31-26, although FSU has won three straight.
Vegas: Florida State is favored by 21.5 points over No. 7 Miami. That is not a misprint. The over/under opened at 61.5.
Weather: Ten percent chance of rain in Tallahassee, with a high of 78 and a low of 47.
Three names to know
Jameis Winston (Florida State quarterback) - Sure, a nationally televised game means a three-hour lovefest for everyone's favorite redshirt freshman. But it's well warranted. He's that good. A 23:4 TD:INT ratio and 69.9 completion percentage certainly testify to that, as does an 11.9 YPA that ranks second in the country.
Stephen Morris (Miami quarterback) - By comparison, Morris is much less spectacular than his younger in-state counterpart. For Miami to have a shot at winning, he will likely have to keep pace with Winston. Can he?
Shayon Green (Miami defensive lineman) - It goes without saying that Miami will have to put pressure on Florida State. The senior from Tifton, Ga. will have to be a large part of that, as he has been all season long -- Green is tied for the team lead in sacks with three and has 7.5 tackles for loss, to boot.
Two things at stake
Florida State must win to keep its BCS title hopes alive. Oregon could still slip up next week in Palo Alto, which makes it imperative the Seminoles remain undefeated. A loss here would still leave Florida State atop the Atlantic Division, by virtue of its blowout win over Clemson.
The Hurricanes are clinging to a one-game lead in the Coastal, and though they'd like to keep that lead, a loss wouldn't be the end. It would, however, put immense pressure on Al Golden and company to win against Virginia Tech, which awaits next weekend.
How to witness
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
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