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A bold prediction on FSU-Miami, and Willie Taggart’s sophomore slump isn’t unique

Plus only one current FSU quarterback has beaten Miami: Alex Hornibrook.
 
Florida State's DeMarcus Walker celebrated the Block at Hard Rock in 2016. Could this year's FSU-Miami game also be decided by a special-teams blunder?
Florida State's DeMarcus Walker celebrated the Block at Hard Rock in 2016. Could this year's FSU-Miami game also be decided by a special-teams blunder? [ WILFREDO LEE | AP ]
Published Nov. 1, 2019

From Wide Right to Wide Left to the Block at Hard Rock, the Florida State-Miami series is littered with game-changing special teams miscues. There’s a good chance it happens again this weekend.

The Seminoles had an extra point blocked last week, missed the go-ahead field goal at Wake Forest are of 4-of-9 on field goals all season (No. 125 nationally). Miami (7-of-14, tied for No. 122) isn’t much better. That doesn’t inspire much confidence, but it does create the possibility for a memorable finish in Tallahassee, especially considering that 11 of the teams’ 16 games have been decided by only one score.

RELATED: FSU or Miami: In bleak year, which program has a brighter future?

‘Canes killer

FSU (again) isn’t saying who will start at quarterback, but Alex Hornibrook has one edge over James Blackman and Wildcat option Cam Akers: He has beaten Miami. Hornibrook’s 2017 Orange Bowl win over the Hurricanes (256 yards, four touchdowns) was arguably the best of his Wisconsin career. He didn’t participate in the Badgers’ Pinstripe Bowl win over UM last season, but the lefty does have FSU’s highest passing efficiency this season.

RELATED: Alex Hornibrook isn’t FSU’s QB of the future. But he’s what the 'Noles need

Miami’s latest defensive star

Defensive end Greg Rousseau appears to be the next man up in the Hurricanes’ line of elite pass rushers. He’s coming off a career-high three-sack performance at Pitt and leads the ACC with eight sacks. Given FSU’s continued struggles on the offensive line, Rousseau will likely rack up more.

Sophomore slump

Florida State head coach Willie Taggart watches his team before the start of an Oct. 12 game at Clemson.
Florida State head coach Willie Taggart watches his team before the start of an Oct. 12 game at Clemson. [ RICHARD SHIRO | AP ]

FSU’s Willie Taggart really needs a win this weekend to avoid a potential 0-6 start against his rivals and silence his critics. But he’s not the only struggling coach from the 2017-18 carousel:

Kevin Sumlin, Arizona

Record: 9-11 overall, 4-4 this year

School record in last 20 games before his arrival: 8-12

Chad Morris, Arkansas

Record: 4-16 overall, 2-6 this year

School record in last 20 games before his arrival: 7-13

RELATED: Florida State’s Khalan Laborn: We’re going to beat Miami

Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State

Record: 11-10 overall, 3-5 this year

School record in last 21 games before his arrival: 13-8

Scott Frost, Nebraska

Record: 8-12 overall, 4-4 this year

School record in last 20 games before his arrival: 8-12

Chip Kelly, UCLA

Record: 6-14 overall, 3-5 this year

School record in last 20 games before his arrival: 7-13