When the Seminoles and Hurricanes go at it, their games invariably come down to the final moments. The past nine games have been decided by an average of 4.1 points, including last season's 38-34 Miami win that saw FSU on the doorstep of the end zone only to miss a last-second pass. The 'Canes (3-1, 1-0 ACC) and Seminoles (4-1, 2-0) have been similarly aggressive on defense, just like the old days. FSU leads the nation with 25 sacks and is holding teams to an average of 293.4 yards, 21st nationally. A key for FSU will be pressuring quarterback Jacory Harris, who has thrown eight interceptions this season and 32 in his career. Meanwhile, Miami leads the nation in tackles for loss (10.5 per game) and is holding teams to an average of 266.8 yards (12th nationally). The 'Canes need to shut down FSU's strong running attack and not let quarterback Christian Ponder shred them with his legs as he did in FSU's 41-39 win in 2008, when he ran for 144 yards.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
Watch out for …
Miami's Travis Benjamin, left. The junior isn't the team's top receiver (Leonard Hankerson), but he has been huge against the Seminoles. Last season, he had four catches for 128 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown. Two years ago, he returned six kickoffs for 185 yards. He already has a 79-yard punt return for a score this season (at Ohio State) and is third nationally (12.4-yard average) as a punt returner.
No. 23 Florida State at No. 13 Miami, 8, Ch. 28, 820-AM