Jacksonville Sports Day

FSU/MIAMI: Hurricanes Mount Comeback for 28-28 Victory

Photo Courtesy Sate of the U

MIAMI –  Making the second start of his career, Hurricanes’ QB N’Kosi Perry finished 13-for-32 for 204 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions as Miami came from behind to beat Florida State on Saturday, 28-27.

The Noles had built a 27-7 lead.

“Well, the big thing is what can I call that will allow us to gain yards running the ball, or even more so, passing the ball? What kind of protections can I use or what kind of sets can I use to try to help with Brian Burns? He was the big guy that we just couldn’t handle. We had some people and sometimes we got sacked or hurried and it wasn’t always him, but it was most of the time him,” said Miami head coach Mark Richt. “So, I was just trying to find some things we could do in the passing because I knew we couldn’t just run the ball every down against these guys. Although, I thought we had some good moments running it. We just were trying to find, what can I call that gives us a chance to chip this guy, or whatever it’s going to take buy a little bit more time to stay in the pocket and throw it? And do a little bit of pocket movement too here and there. Anyway, those were the things I was thinking about.”

The Hurricanes totaled 306 yards of offense – 102 rushing yards and 204 passing yards. Miami’s Lawrence Cager had the second multi-touchdown performance of his season with two scores. He has a team-high six touchdowns this year. Jeff Thomas led the Hurricanes with three catches for a team-high 76 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown reception.

The Noles’ Brevin Jordan hauled in the fourth touchdown of his season on a career-long 41-yard catch.

FSU QB James Blackman made his first appearance of the season in the second quarter, completing a pass to Nyqwan Murray. Ricky Aguayo made a pair of field goals in the first half, including
a career-high 53-yarder to end the first half.

For the Seminoles Keith Gavin caught a 17-yard touchdown on FSU’s first drive, his first career touchdown. Tamorrion Terry caught his team-high fifth touchdown in the second
quarter to extend FSU’s lead to 17-7.

Terry’s five touchdown catches are the most for an FSU freshman since Rashad Greene had 7 in 2011. Terry has 13 catches on the season and five TDs, an average of 2.6
catches per touchdown.

D.J. Matthews finished with 145 punt return yards including returns of 46 yards and a 74-yard touchdown. Matthews was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Specialist of the Week.

Matthews 145 yards set a career high and were the most in the country for any player this season. Matthews added 15 receiving yards and had 160 all-purpose yards.

Matthews’ touchdown was his first career punt return score and the first for a Seminole since Bobo Wilson recorded an 89-yard punt return touchdown against Charleston Southern in 2016. Matthews’  punt return yards are 3rd most in FSU history and the Jacksonville native now holds the No. 3 and 4 spots on the single-game list after a 138-yard game last season.

Matthews is 6th nationally with 17.7 yards per punt return. His 145 punt return yards were one shy of the most in a game for any player this season, while his 212 punt return yards and 35.3 punt return yards per game in 2018 lead the country. He also tied a career high with five receptions against the Hurricanes.

This is the seventh time in the past five seasons that a Seminole has won ACC Specialist of the Week, but the first non-kicker since Kermit Whitfield in 2013.

Travis Homer led Miami with 70 rushing yards in the win. He had a long run of 15 yards.

The Hurricanes climbed in both major polls released Sunday. The Hurricanes (5-1, 2-0 ACC), who overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to top the rival Seminoles, moved up two spots to No. 15 in the Amway Coaches Poll and one spot to No. 16 in the Associated Press top 25.

Miami, riding a five-game winning streak, has appeared in both major polls in every installment since January 10, 2017.

Miami’s position of No. 16 in the AP Top 25 was its 490th all-time appearance in the poll and 24th straight appearance, marking the fifth-longest streak in program history and the ninth-longest active streak in the country. Only 10 teams have more appearances than Miami’s 30 since Richt’s hiring as head coach of the Hurricanes.

GAME NOTES: Miami’s defense held Florida State to just 200 total yards, including just 45 total yards in the second half….Florida State scored first and scored on its first drive for the
second time this season (Northern Illinois)….the Hurricanes totaled 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception…FSU set a season high with 13 tackles for loss. The previous high was 7 against Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Louisville…. Jaquan Johnson led UM with a team-high 10 tackles (seven solo) in the win after missing the previous two games to injury….FSU’s five sacks set a season high….Miami’s Gerald Willis III wore the turnover chain for the first time in his career after a recovering a fumble. He added 2.0 tackles for loss.


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