TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Trey Benson ran for two touchdowns, Keon Coleman hauled in a score and No. 4 Florida State held off rival Miami 27-20 on Saturday to maintain its hold on a College Football Playoff berth.
The Seminoles (10-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), like they have several times this season, rallied in the second half to win their 16th consecutive game. This one wrapped up the program’s 10th perfect mark in ACC play.
Miami (6-4, 2-4) controlled both lines of scrimmage and played turnover-free football for most of the game. It still wasn’t enough to overcome FSU, which has won three in a row in the series and 10 of the last 14.
Adding to Miami’s woes, freshman quarterback Emory Williams suffered a significant injury to his left arm in the waning minutes while running for a first down. Williams started in place of struggling junior Tyler Van Dyke.
Van Dyke came off the bench with the Hurricanes trailing by a touchdown but threw an interception on a fourth-and-10 play with 40 seconds remaining.
Heisman Trophy hopeful Jordan Travis threw for 265 yards and his 20th TD pass of the season, a 6-yard fade to Coleman that gave the ’Noles a little breathing room in the final quarter. Three plays earlier, Travis delivered a dizzying 7-yard run in which he broke several tackles and prompted a “Jor-dan Tra-vis” chant across a sold-out Doak Campbell Stadium.
Coleman, returning after sitting out last week’s game at Pitt, set up the score with a 57-yard punt return. The big special teams play — always a part of this rivalry — looked like it might be the turning point.
But Miami answered when Williams found Jacolby George down the sideline for an 85-yard score. George finished with five catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns, beating Fentrell Cypress on both scores.
Williams completed 8 of 23 passes for 175 yards. He got the nod over Van Dyke, who has now thrown 11 interceptions since the start of October. It’s by far the most in major college football. Williams started in place of an injured Van Dyke three weeks ago against Clemson and led the Hurricanes to a 28-20 victory.
He looked like he might do it again when Miami pulled ahead 13-10 in the third behind a steady ground game led by Donald Chaney. It was the fourth time this season Florida State trailed in the second half. Coach Mike Norvell’s team responded much like it did against LSU, Clemson and Duke.
The Seminoles, who are fourth in the CFP rankings, are expected to stay at No. 4 in the next AP college football Top 25 poll.
Miami: The Hurricanes probably would have stuck with Williams for the rest of the season. The 6-foot-5 freshman from Milton wasn’t great but he showed promise. Now, though, it looks as if they will have to turn back to Van Dyke.
Florida State: The Seminoles already have locked up a spot in the ACC title game but have another in-state rivalry game in two weeks at Florida. They will want to play better on both lines to avoid more late-game restlessness.
Miami hosts No. 11 Louisville next Saturday.
Florida State hosts lower-division North Alabama next Saturday.