“This is the one game I came here for, the one game every UM football player came here for, to beat the hell out of Florida State,” – Miami LB Jordan Futch, 2010.
The Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles meet once a year, and despite what the haters say, the match-up is often the most anticipated game in all of college football each season.
Last season’s battle between the two in-state rivals drew a stellar 5.1 U.S. rating and 8.4 million viewers on ESPN. The 2006 game was the most viewed college football game in ESPN history, averaging 6.3 million households for a 6.9 rating.
“At the start of the fourth quarter, we knew we were the better team. But they knew they were going to win.” – FSU LB Kirk Carruthers, 1991.
One reason for those ratings might be the five games in a 12-season span in which the game came down to 18 feet 10 inches, the distance between those two metal poles in the back of the end zone called uprights on a goal post.
“I think the curse is they’re on our schedule. They’re going to chisel on my tombstone, ‘At least he played Miami.'” – FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden, 1991.
Below is a brief history of those five games.
Wide Right I – 1991
In a rare in-season #1 vs #2 matchup, ‘Canes running back Larry Jones gave Miami a 17-16 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run with three minutes to play. FSU kicker Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard field goal to the right with less than a minute remaining, and a legend was born.
Wide Right II – 1992
FSU kicker Dan Mowrey missed a 39-yard field goal to the right, and the Seminoles lost to the defending National Champion Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami, 19-16, in a four hour marathon. This game is also notable among the Hurricane Nation for Micheal Barrow’s brutal hit on FSU’s Tamarick Vanover.
Wide Right III – 2000
In Miami’s Orange Bowl Stadium, the ‘Canes took a 27-24 lead after Ken Dorsey threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey with 46 seconds to play, then FSU quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke promptly moved the ‘Noles into field goal range during the final seconds. FSU kicker Matt Munyon missed a 49-yard field goal attempt to the right, knocking the defending National Champions’ from the #1 spot in the polls.
Wide Left I – 2002
In Miami’s Orange Bowl Stadium, the defending champion Hurricanes took a 28-27 lead with only minutes remaining in the game on a 11-yard touchdown run by Jason Geathers with a little over five minutes remaining. Once again, the ‘Noles drove down the field to give kicker Xavier Beitia a chance to win the game with a last second field goal. Beitia missed the 43-yard attempt to the left, giving the ‘Canes the victory.
Wide Right IV – 2003
In the 2004 Orange Bowl Classic, played in Pro Player Stadium, FSU kicker Xavier Beitia missed a 39-yard field goal that would have given the Seminoles the lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game, and the ‘Canes prevailed 16-14 in the second meeting of the two teams that season.