September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel (3) talks with head coach Jimbo Fisher against the South Florida Bulls during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Florida State Seminoles defeated the South Florida Bulls 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Hurricanes Football: A Preview Of Florida State

And the rivalry continues.

The Miami Hurricanes (4-3, 3-1) face a tough No. 12 Florida State (6-1, 3-1) team under the lights this Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.

Miami is coming off of a tough 18-14 loss to North Carolina where starting QB Stephen Morris suffered a sprained ankle and was unable to finish the game.  As of now, ‘Canes head coach Al Golden has said that backup QB Ryan Williams has impressed in practice and the team is going into Saturday as if he will be the starter.

In preparation for Miami, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said that his squad will be studying tape of both Morris and Williams, even back to 2010, when Williams played for Memphis.

If the Miami defense doesn’t come to play, ‘Noles QB E.J. Manuel is capable of running up the score, rather quickly in fact.  Manuel led the ‘Noles past Miami last year in Tallahassee and is coming off of a big win against Boston College where he threw for a career-best 439 yards and four touchdowns.

On the year, Manuel has completed 72% of his passes and has thrown for 1,804 yards with fourteen touchdowns and four interceptions.

However, the ‘Noles offense is often overlooked due to their stellar defense.  It should be noted that Florida State’s offense averages 46.0 ppg and RB Chris Thompson has tallied 640 rushing yards and five touchdowns.  Fellow RB James Wilder has six rushing touchdowns and averages 6.0 yards per carry.

The ‘Noles defense ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense, third in total defense, fifth against the run and sixth against the pass.  Not too shabby.

Florida State was picked by many as a potential BCS Title contender going into the 2012 season.  The ‘Noles quickly saw any implications of a championship come crashing down when they were stunned by North Carolina State, 17-16.

Miami holds a 3-1 conference record and still very much controls their own destiny within the ACC.  An upset against Florida State would be paramount for Miami as they are coming off of a two game slouch with losses to Notre Dame (41-3) and North Carolina (18-14).  They could definitely use a signature win.

Manuel will be facing a Miami defense that has given up at least 32 points in five of seven games this season and gives up an average of 498 yards to opposing offenses.

The ‘Canes season can be summarized by injuries and inconsistency, but if Miami QB Stephen Morris is given the nod, his presence will help Miami immensely.

Through seven games, Morris has thrown for 1,991 yards and threw for a UM record 566 yards against North Carolina State.  The junior quarterback is completing 58% of his passes and has thrown nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

The ‘Canes backfield is headlined by freshman Duke Johnson (428 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Mike James (402 yards, 4 touchdowns).  WR’s Phillip Dorsett (32 rec, 503 yards, three touchdowns)  and Rashawn Scott (27 rec, 431 yards, two touchdowns) are Morris’ favorite targets through the air.

The upcoming game marks the 57th all-time meeting between the two teams.  Miami holds a 31-25 series record against Florida State but the ‘Noles have won the past two meetings and have been victorious five of the last seven meetings, respectively.

But, when these two in-state rivals go head-to-head, stats or rankings mean very little.  It won’t take much to get either side motivated and expect a fast, hard-hitting game.  Saturday night will showcase some of Florida’s best athletes and you can bet that many of the nation’s top recruits will be in attendance.

When: Saturday, Oct 20th 2012 – 8:00 PM ET

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.

Television: ABC

Favorite: Oddsmaker lists Florida State as a 20-point favorite

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