ESPN Names Miami Hurricanes-Florida State 2017’s 11th Best Game

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 7: Wide receiver Darrell Langham
TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 7: Wide receiver Darrell Langham /

The Miami Hurricanes last-second victory at Florida State this season was named the 11th best game of 2017 by ESPN. The Hurricanes ended a seven-game losing streak to the Seminoles with the victory.

The Miami Hurricanes losing streak to their archrivals was one of the biggest question marks entering the 2017 season. It has been hanging over Randy Shannon, Al Golden and Mark Richt. It began while Shannon was the coach, went through Golden’s tenure and Richt’s first season in 2016.

The last-second victory came when Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier launched a 23-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Langham on the right sideline. Langham caught the ball on the five-yard line and twisted into the end zone to give Miami a 23-20 lead with six seconds remaining. Hurricanes kicker Michael Badgley added the extra-point to make it 24-20.

Langham’s catch was only the second snap he had played in the game. He had only three receptions for 65 yards entering the Florida State game. All of that came in the season opener against Bethune-Cookman when he added a touchdown.

On the season, the redshirt Junior wide receiver has recorded 11 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns. A week after the victory over the Seminoles, Langham recorded another key catch against Georgia Tech. That gave Miami a key first down to put them in field goal range. Badgley would add the game-winning field-goal moments later.

The perpetual question over the last few seasons is “Is the U back”. The answer to that varies depending on who you ask. Looking back at Florida State’s 6-6 season it’s hard to claim the U is back with a win over a mediocre Seminoles team missing their star quarterback for most of the season.

The victory took a huge anvil off the Miami Hurricanes and particularly Mark Richt’s back. The win and the season for Miami was important to the fan base and for bragging rights. It could also help Richt in recruiting.

The game was re-scheduled from September 16 to October 7 because of Hurricane Irma. That also meant the game was played in the 3:30 ET timeslot instead of on ABC Primetime as it was originally scheduled for.

The move from primetime to the afternoon more of a reflection on Florida State losing two of their first three games entering the intrastate rivalry showdown than the Hurricanes decade-long mediocrity. ESPN took notice of the excitement of the Hurricanes last-second victory and importance to the program.

"11. No. 13 Miami 24, Florida State 20 (Oct. 7)“In a game rescheduled following a hurricane, Miami receiver Darrell Langham hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass along the sidelines with six seconds left, giving the Hurricanes the dramatic comeback victory over their stumbling rival”"

After losing on a blocked extra point in 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium it was important for the Miami Hurricanes to turn the tables. The Hurricanes added an ACC Coastal Division title and have secured the best recruiting class in the ACC and the state. That gives Miami the momentum over its biggest rival entering the 2018 season.

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Florida State will be coming off a mediocre season with a new coaching staff entering next season. The Hurricanes will host Florida State at Hard Rock Stadium next year. The ACC schedule for 2018 should be released next month.