May 22, 2024

The No. 4 Florida State Seminoles are heading toward the playoffs. The Miami Hurricanes? The opposite direction, made even worse by what appeared to be a severe injury to the left arm of true freshman quarterback Emory Williams. Hard as the Hurricanes tried to defy the odds by awarding Williams his second career start, Florida State did what it was projected to do Saturday at sold-out Doak Campbell Stadium, beating Miami 27-20 to stay undefeated at 10-0 and 8-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Williams threw for 175

yards and two touchdowns before exiting the game in tears with what UM coach Mario Cristobal said was a “significant’ injury” with 2:56 left. On fourth-and-2 from the UM 20, Williams scrambled for the first down and crashed hard to the ground, his left arm taking the brunt of the impact. A paramedic ran onto the field and placed the arm in some type of thick, black protective device. Williams was driven away in an ambulance to a local hospital, Cristobal said. Enter veteran Tyler Van Dyke — the fourth-year junior whose starting job was taken by Williams — with just less than three minutes remaining. Van Dyke picked up two late first downs before throwing the game-sealing interception to Jarrian Jones. Williams finished 8 of 23 for the 175 yards and both touchdowns to Jacolby George,

including an 85-yard scoring strike midway through the fourth quarter to nearly double his yardage and cut UM’s deficit to the eventual final score. Miami dropped to 6-4 and 2-4, losing its second game in a row and fourth of its past six. “I feel bad,’’ George said. “We wanted a different outcome. We fought. We fought hard.” “He has a super bright future,’’ Cristobal said of Williams. “And the truth of the matter is I think Tyler Van Dyke has a super bright future. There was a rough patch there and we made a decision, but I think everybody jumps to conclusions too quickly. Tyler is an awesome young man. It was a very tough decision. He handled it

extremely well.’’ Behind another strong performance by FSU quarterback Jordan Travis, the Seminoles are 10-0 for the first time since 2014, when FSU also beat UM in Tally with a Canes true freshman — Brad Kaaya. FSU is cruising as it approaches its two last regular-season games against North Alabama and at Florida, both of which the Noles will be heavily favored to win. Travis finished 19 of 31 for 265 yards and one touchdowns. But the UM defense was smothering against the run, holding FSU to 57 rushing yards. The Canes had three sacks — two by linebacker Kiko Mauigoa — and nine tackles for loss. UM outgained FSU 335 yards to 322. “It was a good atmosphere to play in,’’ Mauigoa said. “I was excited. I came in just wanting to beat them. It was a tough, tough loss. “I love that kid,’’


Mauigoa said of Williams. “He’s very humble. He laid his life out there, man. Sad that we couldn’t play for him. We’re just proud of that kid. I could tell he was upset. He wanted to finish the game, but he physically couldn’t. I love the heart he brings. We just have to pick our heads up and play for each other.’’ Linebacker Wesley Bissainthe, who had UM’s other sack, called Williams’ injury “heartbreaking.’’ “Just him giving his all on that one play to try to get us the first down,

it was heartbreaking to see,’’ Bissainthe said. The Hurricanes have now lost three consecutive games to archrival FSU in a series marked by streaks. Miami previously won four in a row before FSU snapped UM’s streak in 2021. Tied 10-10 at halftime, UM opened the third quarter with a 51-yard field goal by Andres Borregales, who last week was named a national semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award. The five-play, 14-yard drive came after an FSU onside kick was recovered by the Canes. But FSU responded with a 22-yard field goal that culminated a six-play, 71-yard drive to make it 13-13. The Seminoles forced a three-and-out and drove 65 yards on four plays, highlighted by speedy tailback Trey Benson’s 38-yard sprint that he bounced to the left sideline for the touchdown to put the Noles up 20-13.

After falling behind 10-0 early in the second quarter, the Hurricanes roared back with 10 points in the last three minutes of the first half. First, Williams’ perfectly placed fade pass deep in the right corner of the end zone went to George, who beat cornerback Renardo Green for the touchdown that made it 10-7 at 2:42. Chaney Jr.

had five rushes during the 11-play, 82-yard drive, including consecutive runs of 26 and 29 yards. In FSU’s ensuing drive, instead of what seemed like a clear safety when Bissainthe tackled Travis — Travis’ right knee on the goal line and the ball behind him in the end zone — officials called the quarterback down on the 2-yard line and upheld the call after the review. UM subsequently forced the punt, which set up their six-play drive that led to the game-tying 27-yard field goal as the half ended.

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