PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 23: Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Panthers on September 23 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

No. 23 Florida State Tops No. 13 Miami, 45-17

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Florida State Downs Miami, 45-17, Stakes Claim To ACC Supremacy

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Christian Ponder threw a pair of touchdown passes and Jermaine Thomas rushed for two scores and added another TD reception, as the 23rd-ranked Florida State Seminoles dominated the 13th-ranked Miami Hurricanes, 45-17, in an ACC showdown from Sun Life Stadium.

Ponder completed 12-of-21 passes for 173 yards and an interception for the Seminoles (5-1, 3-0 ACC), who have won four straight games since falling to Oklahoma on September 11.

Thomas carried the ball 16 times for 78 yards, while Chris Thompson rushed for 158 yards and a score on 14 carries. Rodney Smith also caught a touchdown pass in the win.

This year's meeting marked the first without Bobby Bowden on FSU's sideline in 35 years, as first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher was on the 'Noles sideline for the first time in the Miami-FSU series.

Jacory Harris connected on 19-of-47 passes for 225 yards and an interception for the Hurricanes (3-2, 1-1), who saw a two-game win streak come to an end. Harris also rushed for 31 yards and a score on six carries.

Damien Berry carried the ball 20 times for 101 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Leonard Hankerson hauled in five passes for 72 yards.

Miami drove the ball down the field on the first possession of the game, but Matt Bosher missed a 32-yard field goal.

Following a pair of punts, Florida State put together a six-play, 65-yard drive. Thomas finished the march with a 17-yard touchdown catch to make it 7-0 with over five minutes left in the first quarter.

The Seminoles put 17 points on the board in the second period to take control. Berry fumbled on Miami's first possession of the stanza, and Florida State capitalized on Thomas' one-yard run.

After the Hurricanes went three-and-out, the Seminoles got another touchdown from Thomas to take a 21-0 lead. On the sixth play of the drive, Thomas scampered into the end zone from six yards out with 9:25 to go.

Miami responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that Harris capped with a three- yard TD run. The Hurricanes faced a 4th-and-1 early in the series, but Berry moved the chains with a seven-yard run.

Dustin Hopkins ended an eight-play drive with a 38-yard field goal to give Florida State a 24-7 lead at the half.

The margin was the same following Lonnie Pryor's 16-yard touchdown run and Berry's 26-yard TD run early in the third quarter.

Miami turned Ponder's lone interception of the contest into three points, as Bosher made a 36-yarder to cut the gap to 31-17.

The fourth period featured an 18-yard touchdown catch by Smith and 90-yard rushing TD from Thompson.

Game Notes

The 'Canes hold a 31-24 lead in the all-time series. Miami defeated Florida State last season in a 38-34 thriller...Thomas had the first three-touchdown game of his career. His 90-yard run was the longest run allowed in Miami's history.

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Miami Vs. Florida State: What's Eating Jacory Harris?

SB Nation's 7th Floor tries to make sense of the multiple injury reports surrounding Jacory Harris:

Injuries! Who has one? Who doesn't have one? Who has multiple? What does the color of your jersey say about you? Can you lift your arm above your head? Why were you late to practice? Were you at the hospital? Can you walk? Are you bed-ridden? Etc. The big question this week is whether or not Jacory Harris is injured, and if he is injured, where is he injured? How many injuries does he have? Jacory's dad says that no, in fact, Jacory is not injured. 790 AM reports that Jacory has a torn labrum, which is a rather serious injury. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Jacory has a bruised AC joint, whatever that is. My source (I have a source!) on the UM campus saw Jacory with his right thumb wrapped. In his chat today, Manny Navarro says that he "doesn't believe [Jacory's] anywhere near 100%" So who knows. UPPER EXTREMITY injury it is. Says Leonard Hankerson:

"He's throwing the ball pretty good."

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Miami Vs. Florida State: Baby 'Canes Are Babies No Longer

SB Nation's Tomahawk Nation says the Miami Hurricanes have the edge over the Seminoles when it comes to experience:

Over the summer I profiled Miami's program and concluded that the Canes are really falling off in recruiting after dominating FSU on the recruiting trail in 2007 and 2008, and that they have a two-year window to really make some noise nationally thanks to some excellent recruiting two and three years ago.  If you haven't read those two pieces yet, please do.  One | Two.  Miami's talent is found in its juniors and seniors, while FSU's talent (with a few exceptions) is found in its young guys.    Miami's players are physically mature and experienced and are not getting acclimated to new schemes.  FSU's are not.

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No. 13 Miami Vs. No. 23 Florida State: Sunshine State Showdown

(Sports Network) One of the most intriguing games of the college football weekend pits the 13th-ranked Miami Hurricanes against the 23rd-ranked Florida State Seminoles in an ACC showdown.

Florida State has put together three consecutive victories to move to 4-1 on the young season, and the most recent triumph came last weekend over Virginia by a 34-14 final. All four triumphs have come by 20 or more points, and the lone loss came against Oklahoma by 30 points on the road.

"If you're going to win conference titles, you're going to have to win in somebody else's house," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher after the victory over the Cavaliers. "Virginia has played really good football all year. Really good football."

As for Miami, it owns a 3-1 record and is fresh off a 30-21 victory over Clemson to open ACC play. The Hurricanes suffered their lone loss to national powerhouse Ohio State on the road, but that 12-point contest was certainly much closer than FSU's debacle against Oklahoma. The schedule appears to be rather favorable for the 'Canes the rest of the way, so an ACC championship for coach Randy Shannon's team appears to be in reach.

"It was just one of those games where I thought our guys really stayed focused and played hard and didn't stress," Shannon said after the Clemson game."

Miami defeated Florida State last season in a 38-34 thriller, and the 'Canes hold a 31-23 lead in the all-time series.

The Seminoles are generating 35.0 ppg this season to go along with 433.2 total ypg. They have achieved tremendous offensive balance to date, posting 208.6 ypg on the ground and 224.6 ypg through the air. Christian Ponder is the man running the show from the quarterback position, and he has completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 844 yards and eight touchdowns with only three interceptions. Jermaine Thomas leads the ground attack with 308 yards and four touchdowns while gaining 6.3 yards per carry.

Against Virginia last week, Ponder completed 17-of-29 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown.

"He really made some good plays," Fisher said of Ponder. "He was very efficient today. I thought he missed some things but he scrambled two or three times which he always does."

As for Thomas, he made the most of his 16 carries, rushing for 122 yards and two scores. The Seminoles finished with 428 total yards and recorded four offensive touchdowns, the type of effort that will lead to victory more times than not.

Opponents are scoring just 15.4 yards per game against Florida State, which is yielding a mere 293.4 total ypg. The 'Noles have been tremendous against the run, holding foes to 74.8 ypg at a clip of only 2.0 yards per carry. The pass defense hasn't been nearly as strong, but the fact is that FSU has enjoyed such large leads late in games that opponents have had to abandon the run and throw down field in an attempt to catch up.

Virginia had no success establishing its ground attack against the stout defensive front of Florida State. The Cavaliers finished with 25 yards on 26 rushing attempts, and while they did post 279 passing yards in the tilt, they were intercepted twice by the opportunistic Seminole defenders. FSU limited Virginia to 3-of-13 success on third-down conversion attempts, key to the solid defensive performance.

In the nine-point victory over Clemson last time out, Miami racked up 376 yards on 76 offensive plays. Jacory Harris, the team's quarterback, was clearly inconsistent in the tilt. Sure, he can take pride in the fact that he tossed four touchdown passes and finished with 205 yards, but the signal caller completed only 13-of-33 passes and was intercepted twice.

Leonard Hankerson, who has emerged as a standout receiver, made seven catches for 147 yards and three scores, while Damien Berry rushed for 101 yards in the triumph.

Miami allowed three rushing touchdowns to Clemson last week, but the 'Canes got the job done against the pass, limiting the Tigers to 14-of-33 efficiency through the air. Three interceptions and three fumble recoveries clearly played a major role in the Miami win.

"Defensively, they really showed a lot of poise in the second half," said coach Shannon, as Miami blanked Clemson in the fourth quarter.

So far this season, Miami is scoring 32.5 ppg while limiting opponents to only 15.0 ppg. The 'Canes are allowing a mere 266.8 total ypg, including just 136.0 ypg through the air. Opposing quarterbacks are completing fewer than 50 percent of their passes.

Harris has passed for 895 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while Hankerson has made 23 catches for 388 yards and six scores. As for Berry, he has rushed for 327 yards.

Miami will get the job done in what should be a tremendously competitive tilt. Expect a low-scoring affair.

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