Unbeaten FSU rallies again to down Miami

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Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - It once again was anything but easy, but Florida State survived yet another close call with a stirring second-half comeback.

Dalvin Cook rushed for two touchdowns, including a 26-yarder with 3:05 remaining that capped a furious rally and kept the second-ranked Seminoles' unbeaten streak intact with a thrilling 30-26 victory over Miami-Florida.

Florida State (10-0, 7-0 ACC) fell behind 16-0 early in the second quarter and trailed the highly charged Hurricanes 23-7 late in the first half before fighting back for its 26th consecutive win behind another clutch performance from Jameis Winston and a defense that shut down Miami over the last two quarters.

Winston helped the Seminoles overcome the deficit by throwing a touchdown pass to Karlos Williams in the third quarter and amassing 304 yards with one interception on a 25-of-42 completion rate.

Cook finished with 92 yards on just seven carries in Florida State's fifth triumph this season in which it was down at the half.

"It gets old sometimes," said Seminoles linebacker Reggie Northup. "But at the end of the day, we're on that field for 60 minutes and until 60 minutes is up, we're going to give everything we've got."

Brad Kaaya passed for 316 yards for Miami (6-4, 3-3), but 240 of them came before halftime and the Hurricanes mustered just a field goal over the final 30 minutes.

"We left too many plays on the field on offense. We really did," Hurricanes head coach Al Golden said. "A couple of overthrows, a couple that we did not connect on ... it came back to hurt us."

Duke Johnson eclipsed the century mark for a sixth straight game in Miami's heartbreaking loss, compiling 130 rushing yards and a touchdown on 27 attempts. Clive Walford had 127 yards and a touchdown on four catches, while Kaaya went 16-of-34 through the air with two touchdowns and a late interception.

Florida State was in a familiar 23-10 hole at the intermission and turned the ball over on a Cook fumble in Miami territory on their first drive of the third quarter, but Winston regained his touch the next time the Seminoles had the ball to help swing the momentum.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner made good on 6-of-8 throws in directing an 11-play, 85-march which nearly ended in another FSU takeaway, as Winston's 3rd-and-goal pass from the 11-yard line was tipped in the air by linebacker Tyriq McCord.

Williams caught the deflected ball, however, and ran untouched into the end zone to pull the Seminoles within 23-17 with 4:19 left in the third quarter.

"Honestly, when that happened, I just thought to myself 'God's on our side tonight," said Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, who later sealed the win by intercepting Kaaya in the final minute. "'He's really on our side tonight and we're going to keep doing what we have to do to come out with this victory.'"

Nate Andrews knocked the ball loose from the Hurricanes' Standish Dobard on the following possession and recovered the fumble, and Florida State's offense was able to get Roberto Aguayo in range for a 37-yard field goal to make it a three-point differential.

"You can't make those mistakes in a game like this," said Golden of Dobard's fumble. "I'm not sure if I'm exactly correct, but I think we would have been on the (FSU) 35-yard line there -- we're knocking on the door again there. In a game like that, there are a number of plays that we needed to make."

Miami answered with its best offensive sequence of the second half, a nine- play, 46-yard trek highlighted by Johnson's 28-yard run and finished by Michael Badgley's 46-yard field goal that had the Hurricanes clinging to a 26-20 lead with 11 minutes to go.

The Seminoles then got a pair of first downs to position Aguayo to drill the uprights from 53 yards away, and the FSU defense induced Kaaya into two incompletions to force a punt that gave the Seminoles the ball back with 5:11 to go.

Winston's 17-yard pass to Rashad Greene and a 15-yard run by Cook brought the Seminoles to the Miami 26. Cook then took a handoff up the middle and broke outside before shedding a pair of tackles to send the defending national champs ahead for the first time of the night.

Ramsey foiled the upset bid by intercepting Kaaya on the Hurricanes' final series, keeping FSU on the inside track for a berth in the College Football Playoff.

An energized Hurricanes squad dominated the sluggish Seminoles early on, as Miami didn't permit a first down on Florida State's first three drives and put up points on three straight possessions to roar out to a 16-0 lead just nine seconds into the second quarter.

Kaaya and Phillip Dorsett teamed up for two big passing plays on Miami's second series, the first a 36-yard strike on 3rd-and-10 and the second a 27- yard touchdown on a well-executed deep post that staked the Hurricanes to a 7-0 edge.

Following another FSU three-and-out, Kaaya found Stacy Coley and Walford for 22-yard gains on consecutive plays to begin the ensuing drive, which also featured a key 18-yard catch from Dorsett on third down and was capped by Johnson's 1-yard run with 1:27 left in the opening quarter.

Deon Bush then leveled the Seminoles' Ronald Darby on the resulting kickoff and Corn Elder recovered the fumble for Miami at the opposing 27-yard line, leading to Badgley's 45-yard field goal that extended the margin to 16-0 early in the second quarter.

Florida State finally got untracked on its next offensive trip, with Winston connecting with Jesus Wilson for 21 yards on 3rd-and-10 shortly prior to Cook breaking free for a 44-yard run that got the Seminoles on the board.

The Hurricanes had a swift answer, however, as Walford got behind linebacker coverage down the seam and Kaaya hit him in stride for a 61-yard touchdown that put Miami up 23-7 with 11:37 left in the first half.

Aguayo's 43-yard field goal, set up by a 22-yard reception from Ermon Lane, brought Florida State closer midway through the second quarter.

Game Notes

Florida State clinched the ACC's Atlantic Division title and a third straight appearance in the conference championship game when Clemson lost to Georgia Tech earlier Saturday ... Kaaya now has 2,403 passing yards on the season, breaking Bernie Kosar's Miami record for a freshman ... The Hurricanes finished with 176 rushing yards after amassing 994 on the ground during the three-game win streak they brought into the contest ... Miami had been 17-2 in games in which Johnson rushed for a touchdown ... Florida State's victory was its fifth straight over Miami, the longest streak in the series since the Hurricanes won six in a row from 2000-04.