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September 4, 2006
MIAMI -- It wasn't always pretty for Florida State, but Drew Weatherford isn't concerned with winning beauty pageants.
Weatherford directed a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives as the 11th-ranked Seminoles rebounded from an ugly first half to post a 13-10 triumph over No. 12 Miami in a rainy season opener for both teams.
It was the second straight victory in the series for Florida State, which recorded a season-opening 10-7 win vs. Miami last year. For the second straight meeting, neither team's offense was productive, but Weatherford and the Seminoles made enough plays down the stretch to open their campaign with a critical triumph.
In the first half, FSU was woeful offensively. The Seminoles managed a total of 43 yards on offense, including only one yard in the second quarter. They were 0-for-6 on third downs and trailed, 10-3, heading into intermission.
But with Florida State facing the same deficit late in the third quarter, Weatherford guided an eight-play, 67-yard drive to set up Joe Surratt's one-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"We just kind of opened up the offense a little more and we started throwing a little more," Weatherford said. "Miami did a great job of stopping our run game, I think we only had about 10 yards rushing all night. We finally opened it up and our offensive line did a great job, they gave me time to get the ball in the play-makers hands."
The Hurricanes went three-and-out on their next possession and the Seminoles responded with a methodical 12-play, 43-yard drive that Gary Cismesia capped with a 33-yard field goal with 8:02 to go.
Even with long history of wide rights, wide lefts and blocked kicks in the Orange Bowl, the 'Noles' junior place kicker calmly belted the kick between the same uprights that have haunted FSU kickers for years.
With one last chance to win the game, Miami's Kyle Wright was intercepted by Michael Ray Garvin at the Hurricanes 27 with just 33 seconds left. Freshman Sam Shields dropped a wide-open pass one play earlier that would have given Miami a first down.
Weatherford completed 16-of-32 passes for 174 yards and an interception. Fagg finished with three receptions for 60 yards and Booker three for 47 for Florida State, which had lost six straight matchups with Miami prior to its current run.
Charlie Jones initially gave Miami a 7-3 lead with a four-yard TD run early in the second quarter. Jon Peattie tacked on a 20-yard field goal just over eight minutes later to send the Hurricanes into halftime with a 10-3 advantage.
Jones ran for just 29 yards on 13 carries and Darnell Jenkins led the Hurricanes with four catches for 54 yards. The two were starting in place of seniors Tyrone Moss and Ryan Moore, who were suspended by coach Larry Coker for skipping study hall.
As a team, Miami amassed a grand total of two rushing yards, while Florida State managed just one yard on the ground in the damp conditions. The teams combined for just 17 first downs and 282 total yards and finished a combined 8-for-31 on third down.
Wright was 18-of-27 for 130 yards and sacked four times.