Scores

Final

Miami (FL) 37

(5-3, 2-2 ACC)

Florida State 29

(4-3, 1-3 ACC)

Coverage: ABC

3:30 PM ET, October 20, 2007

Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 14 3 7 1337
FSU 10 10 6 329

Top Performers

Passing: X. Lee (FSU) - 208 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: G. Cooper (MIA) - 10 CAR, 80 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Jenkins (MIA) - 4 REC, 106 YDS

Miami scores 2 TDs in final 1:15 to sink Florida St.

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- It was the biggest pass of Miami quarterback Kirby Freeman's life and he never saw it.

There he was, unable to breathe, Florida State linebacker Dekoda Watson standing over him. Freeman's left hand shook uncontrollably. He tried to get up, not once, but twice, only to roll on his back both times, still not sure of where his pass landed.

The silence should have told him the story.

Dedrick Epps caught the ball for the go-ahead touchdown, sending 82,000-plus fans at Doak Campbell Stadium into instant depression, and the Miami Hurricanes skipped out 75 seconds later with a 37-29 win over archrival Florida State.

It was Miami's first fourth-quarter comeback since the 2004 season. And it was engineered by a quarterback who was a dismal 1-for-8 with two interceptions before pulling off a most improbable victory.

"My team said, 'We're going to give you one more shot," Freeman said. "And thank God for one more shot."

This was the first time since 1977 that neither team came into this rivalry game ranked, but it turned out to be another Miami-Florida State classic.

As with so many others before, the 'Canes got a much-needed victory.

A loss and the Hurricanes' hopes would have vanished into the Tallahassee night. They would have been 4-4, 1-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, losers of three straight overall, losers of six straight on the road for the first time since the late 1970s, and in serious jeopardy of missing a bowl.

Funny how 31 seconds made all that go away.

Miami scored two touchdowns in a 20-second span of the first quarter, when starting quarterback Kyle Wright scored from a yard out, and after a Florida State fumble -- one of nine turnovers in the game -- Graig Cooper scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-3 lead.

Then in the fourth, Freeman's touchdown pass to Epps was followed 11 seconds later by Colin McCarthy picking up Florida State quarterback Xavier Lee's fumble and rumbling 27 yards for the clinching score.

Take away those 27 Miami points in 31 seconds, and this was a rout.

But five Florida State turnovers doomed those plans.

"You play good enough to win," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said, "but you made enough mistakes to lose."

Freeman wasn't exactly shying away from mistakes, either.

Wright left with injuries to his left knee and ankle in the second quarter -- he said he heard a pop, but wasn't sure on the severity after the game -- and couldn't return. So Freeman, who was the starter to open the season but was back in the reserve role by Week 3, took over.

"I can't go," Wright told him.

"Well, let's go to work," Freeman responded.

But he was simply awful at first, with two interceptions on telegraphed throws, and he and Shawnbrey McNeal teamed to fumble the ball away on a handoff early in the fourth quarter.

With 2:45 left, Freeman got the ball back, crowd roaring, knowing the game -- and whatever's left of the season -- was on the line.

"I told him he had to calm down out there," Shannon said.

Added Miami athletic director Paul Dee: "I was having a conversation with the beyond."

Whatever works.

Freeman got the ball at the Miami 17, shotgun formation, and threw a perfect pass to a leaping Darnell Jenkins for a 16-yard gain. He exhaled, and was flawless the rest of the way.

He also got a lot of help from Cooper ran for 31 yards on the drive.

On second-and-8, Freeman threw another strike to Jenkins, this one for 21 yards. The very next snap was the pass to Epps, the one he never saw, the one he'll never forget.

That is, if he ever remembers it.

"I got cracked really hard," Freeman said. "I don't know who it was, but when I see it on film, I'm going to have to call Drew Weatherford and say, 'Hey, make sure you take care of that, because that's unnecessary."

The Miami fans packed into one corner of the stadium chanted his name when he trotted off the field amid the postgame celebration. They chanted "Ran-dy Shan-non!" long into the night, too. There won't be a national title for the Hurricanes this season, and even the ACC title remains a longshot. But this one gave Miami what it needed most -- hope.

"Every season, we write goals at the beginning of the year," offensive lineman Derrick Morse said. "And I'm pretty sure, for everybody on this team, beating Florida State was No. 1."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
FSU
1st Downs1719
Total Yards326366
Passing173208
Rushing153158
Penalties8-607-62
3rd Down Conversions3-145-16
4th Down Conversions2-30-1
Turnovers45
Possession27:1532:45

Passing Leaders

Miami (FL)C/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Wright6/10888.801
Florida StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Lee14/322086.502

Rushing Leaders

Miami (FL)CARYDSAVGTDLG
Cooper10808.0143
James20733.7010
Florida StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith221145.2036
Holloway4215.3010

Receiving Leaders

Miami (FL)RECYDSAVGTDLG
Jenkins410626.5064
Farr12626.0126
Florida StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Parker58316.6022
Fagg24321.5029

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMIAFSU
FG08:44Gary Cismesia 23 Yd
Drive: 13 plays, 69 yds, 5:18
03
TD05:08Kyle Wright 1 Yd Run (Daren Daly Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 67 yds, 3:36
73
TD04:48Graig Cooper 2 Yd Run (Daren Daly Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 17 yds, :13
143
TD00:05Xavier Lee 6 Yd Run (Gary Cismesia Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 70 yds, 4:38
1410
SECOND QUARTERMIAFSU
TD13:07Toddrick Verdell 45 Yd Interception Return (Gary Cismesia Kick) 1417
FG04:43Daren Daly 44 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 14 yds, 2:14
1717
FG00:15Gary Cismesia 31 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 20 yds, 1:06
1720
THIRD QUARTERMIAFSU
FG14:23Gary Cismesia 33 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 65 yds, :37
1723
TD06:23Dajleon Farr 26 Yd Pass From Francesco Zampogna (Daren Daly Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 87 yds, 3:09
2423
FG02:49Gary Cismesia 45 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 12 yds, 3:21
2426
FOURTH QUARTERMIAFSU
FG14:11Gary Cismesia 45 Yd
Drive: 4 plays, 4 yds, 1:07
2429
TD01:15Dedrick Epps 13 Yd Pass From Kirby Freeman (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)
Drive: 7 plays, 83 yds, 1:30
3029
TD01:04Colin Mccarthy 27 Yd Fumble Return (Daren Daly Kick) 3729