Devonta Freeman scored what proved to be the game winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter as No. 12 Florida State took a 33-20 win over Miami in an ACC battle at Sun Life Stadium.
Freeman had two rushing touchdowns and James Wilder Jr. added a score on the ground while E.J. Manuel was a competent 21-for-31 with 229 yards for the Seminoles (7-1, 4-1 ACC), who have won their past two after a loss to NC State on Oct. 6. Dustin Hopkins hit four field goals in the win.
"It may not be a huge game ranking wise or poster wise, but it's still Florida State-Miami and that's something special to us," Manuel said. "For us to come out here and get a 'W' it means a lot."
Stephen Morris was 25-for-43 with 223 yards, one interception and a late touchdown pass for the Hurricanes (4-4, 3-2), who have dropped their past three games.
"We lost to a team that is ahead of us right now," Miami coach Al Golden said. "We have to develop our guys and recruit some more and keep working, and don't make any excuses. They're a better team right now. We had opportunities that we did not convert."
Florida State began the second half with the ball and a three-point lead, but failed to add to its advantage as Hopkins missed a 44-yard field goal.
After a three-and-out from Miami, Florida State moved the ball down to the Miami 3-yard line, but an offensive pass interference moved the ball back 15 yards and the team had to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Hopkins for a 16-10 advantage with 6:07 to play in the third.
Following an exchange of punts, Miami got into scoring position with a nine- play, 52-yard drive and Jake Wieclaw was true from 27 yards out to make it a 16-13 game with just 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Seminoles, though, responded with a score to make it a two-possession game. A 39-yard catch from Kelvin Benjamin got the ball past midfield and down to the 20. Three plays later, Freeman took the ball into the end zone up the middle from three yards out to make it a 23-13 game with 11:53 to play.
Miami went three-and-out on its next touch and the Seminoles put the game away with a 48-yard field goal from Hopkins with 6:15 to play.
Following a failed fourth down try from Miami, Freeman punched the ball into the end zone from five yards out and the Hurricanes got an 8-yard touchdown catch by Rashawn Scott from Morris with 47 seconds to play to cap the scoring in the game.
Miami started the game with the ball and had to punt, but a fumble by Nick O'Leary on a catch gave the Hurricanes the ball back at the Seminoles 22. Four plays later, Mike James stretched a handoff out to the left and just got in the end zone on a 9-yard score for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in.
Florida State went three-and-out on its next touch and punter Cason Beatty hit the ball off the side of his foot as it went just 17 yards before going out of bounds at the Florida State 34.
The Hurricanes faced a 1st-and-goal at the 8-yard line, but were only able to get to the 2-yard line and a 19-yard field goal from Wieclaw made it a 10-0 game with 7 1/2 minutes to play in the first quarter.
Later in the first, Morris fumbled as he was sacked and the Seminoles recovered the ball at the Miami 31. A 33-yard field goal from Hopkins made it a 10-3 contest with one minute to play in the first.
Florida State tied the game on its first possession of the second quarter after starting with the ball at its own 10. The big strike of the 10-play drive was a 32-yard catch by Chris Thompson and Wilder capped the march when he took a handoff up the middle, broke a tackle and kicked it out to the left on his way to a 17-yard score and a 10-10 game with 9:14 to play in the second quarter.
The Seminoles got the ball back with 2:21 to play and were immediately put in a hole as an offensive pass interference call saw them face a 1st-and-23. On 3rd-and-14, Manuel and Greg Dent got together on a 17-yard catch to move the chains. The final play of the half saw Hopkins hit a 46-yard field goal to give the team a 13-10 lead going into the break.
Florida State hosts Duke next Saturday ... Miami has off next week before hosting Virginia Tech on Nov. 1 ... Florida State has won the last three games against Miami, but still trails in the series, 31-26 ... Florida State controlled the ball for over 34 1/2 minutes ... Florida State totaled 447 yards compared to just 258 for Miami.