Miami snapped a seven-game losing streak against rival Florida State with a 24-20 victory last season in Tallahassee.
On Saturday, the No. 17 Hurricanes (4-1, 1-0 ACC) look to halt another long skid when they host the Seminoles (3-2, 1-2).
The Hurricanes haven’t beaten Florida State in Miami since a 16-10 victory in 2004 at their former Orange Bowl home, a streak of six consecutive losses that includes five at their current venue, Hard Rock Stadium.
“That’s not very good,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “About as bad the seven losses in a row that we were dealing with going into last year’s game.
“So it’s a meaningful history we need to change the course of.”
The schools have a long and storied history, with many past clashes featuring national championship implications. Eight times over the last 35 years, one of them wound up winning a national title.
That doesn’t look to be the case this year. Florida State has struggled under first-year coach Willie Taggart, dropping two of its first three games and struggling against Samford in the third. The Seminoles rallied to beat Louisville 28-24 last week to get over .500 for the season.
Miami is trying to fight its way into the playoff picture after losing its opener 33-17 to LSU. The Hurricanes have won four in a row and are coming off a 47-10 victory over North Carolina to start conference play.
“It’s a great rivalry,” Richt said, “but I think right this minute I wouldn’t say everybody is looking at this game saying it’s going to decide who’s in the College Football Playoff. I think for it to be really, really great, it’s got to get back to that, and I think it will get back to that.
“But it’s not there right yet.”
Richt has experienced it from both sides as an assistant coach at Florida State and player and now head coach at Miami, but this will be Taggart’s first involvement. He is well aware of its significance.
“Big week, big rivalry week,” he said. “I’m excited for the guys. Excited for the opportunity this week and looking to continue to build off our success from last week.”
Hurricane warning flags were flying high over the practice field this week in Tallahassee, a tradition Craig Campanozzi, FSU’s athletics video coordinator, started decades ago.
“I guess it’s trying to get us to practice a little harder,” tackle Brady Scott said. “But it’s Miami week. We should be able to practice a little harder. They don’t need to tell us to do that.”