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Florida State Seminoles' exciting opening play turned into a score no more

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State made what could have been one of the game's biggest moments on the first play from scrimmage.

Miami QB Jacory Harris threw a pass to WR Allen Hurns on the left sideline. Hurns came down with the ball and lunged forward, but Seminoles DB Mike Harris poked the ball out. Lamarcus Joyner scooped it up for FSU and sped into the end zone. Sixteen seconds into the game, FSU appeared to have a 6-0 lead.

But officials overturned the play, ruling the pass an incompletion.

"I was praying it was a touchdown," Joyner said.

The opening play was one of eight official reviews, including two on an EJ Manuel sack that was initially ruled a safety but eventually overturned.

Bradham ejected: FSU senior LB Nigel Bradham was ejected in the closing minutes Saturday.

As the Hurricanes drove to try to make it a one-score game, Bradham leveled UM WR LaRon Byrd after a pass from Harris. The hard hit shook up Byrd and drew a personal foul penalty on Bradham for launching into a receiver. Bradham was ejected from the game, but Byrd walked off the field under his own power.

ACC director of officials Doug Rhoads said Saturday night that the conference would review the play to see if it warrants a suspension.

"I just don't want to be suspended for the next game," said Bradham, who had a season-high 10 tackles. "Hopefully the officials will look it over and see what it really was classified as."

Turnover differential: FSU finished without a turnover for the first time since last season's Florida game.

The 'Noles' defense was opportunistic, forcing two turnovers. Joyner's interception in the end zone was his team-best third of the season, and Bradham recovered a fumble in the closing seconds of the second quarter.

"We didn't have any (turnovers)," 'Noles coach Jimbo Fisher said. "That's the key."

Hopkins gets 300: K Dustin Hopkins topped 300 points in his college career with his 37-yard field goal in the first quarter. He added two more field goals to move into fifth place on the 'Noles' all-time scoring list with 310 points. Hopkins is 23 points behind Sebastian Janikowski.

Rays in Tallahassee: Tampa Bay Rays players David Price, B.J. Upton, Matt Joyce, Desmond Jennings and Reid Brignac were on the sideline as guests of Fisher.

Miami milestones: Hurricanes WR Travis Benjamin became the sixth player in school history with more than 2,000 receiving yards when he caught an 18-yard pass in the first quarter. He finished the game with two catches for 29 yards.

RB Lamar Miller’s 92 rushing yards put him at 1,108 on the season. That moved Miller past Danyell Ferguson and Edgerrin James and into fifth place on the school's list of single-season rushing leaders.

Harris' 2-yard touchdown pass to Clive Walford was the 69th of his career. Harris pushed into sole possession of fourth place in ACC history in that category, seven behind former North Carolina State and current Wisconsin star Russell Wilson.

Times staff writer Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@sptimes.com.

Florida State Seminoles' exciting opening play turned into a score no more 11/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:49pm]
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