Mario Cristobal faces two former Oregon players versus FSU

Oct 22, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Miami football team plays Florida State on Saturday Florida State running back Trey Benson and wide receiver Mycah Pittman will play against Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal who signed them when he was at Oregon. Benson is second on Florida State with 483 yards rushing and tied for the lead with three touchdowns.

Benson has been the primary running back for Florida State the last two weeks with Seminoles’ starter Treshaun Ward injured. In a loss to Clemson and a win over Georgia Tech, Benson combined for 180 yards on 25 carries. Benson is not much of a threat as a receiver with six catches for 31 yards.

Pittman is second on Florida State with 25 receptions and two receiving TDs and third with 288 yards. Pittman has also been solid with 10 punt returns for 121 yards. In three seasons at Oregon, Pittman had 38 receptions for 547 yards and five touchdowns with 15 punt returns for 151 yards.

The best season for Pittman at Oregon was as a true freshman in 2019 with 18 receptions for 227 yards and two TDs. Benson had six carries for 22 yards in two seasons at Oregon. Pittman left the Oregon program before Mario Cristobal was hired at Miami and says he is focused on FSU, not his former head coach.

Benson and Pittman have both been key players for Florida State this season. Cristobal probably helped Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele game plan for Benson and Pittman. As a program, Miami will face former head coach Randy Shannon who is now the defensive coordinator for Florida State.

Shannon has also coached at Central Florida and Florida. Cristobal and Shannon were teammates at Miami in 1988. Cristobal took his redshirt freshman season in 1988 with Shannon as a senior. The Florida State Miami football game always has a significant number of former teammates. Saturday will renew acquaintances.

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Miami enters the game on Saturday hoping to regain momentum against Florida State. A four-game Miami winning streak versus Florida State ended last season. Florida State had a seven-game winning streak from 2010 through 2016. Miami leads the all-time series versus Florida State 35-31.