The Miami-Florida State football rivalry is one of the most well-known rivalries in college football and has been a defining part of Miami's history. In the past 90 years that The Miami Hurricane has covered Canes football, there have been some pretty monumental games.
Two of the most well-known games played between the two teams, infamously known as Wide Right I and Wide Right II, were played in 1991 in Tallahassee and 1992 at the Orange Bowl. Kevin Brockway ‘93, sports editor from 1990-1992, was the reporter for both games.
“Covering both wide right games was an amazing experience for a young sports writer starting out on the beat,” Brockway said.
In 1991, the Hurricanes came back from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Down one, Florida State kicker Gerry Thomas missed a field goal to the right with a little under a minute remaining in the game and the top-ranked Seminoles lost 17-16.
“Carlos Huersta kicked a long field goal to start the comeback,” Brockway said. “Then Torretta led Miami on a clutch touchdown drive. I can remember a tight-end, Coleman Bell, making a tough catch to keep the drive going. Being on the sidelines in the final minutes, it was hard to tell that the field goal missed until the Miami fans in the crowd reacted. Most of the rest of the stadium was silent.”
The 1992 game shared a similar fate. Florida State led 16-10 at the half, before Miami’s Heisman winning quarterback Gino Torretta drove down the field and threw a touchdown pass to give the Canes a 17-16 lead. A safety by Miami’s defense would extend the lead to 19-16. With seconds remaining on the clock, Florida State had the opportunity to kick a field goal and send the game into overtime, but Seminoles kicker Dan Mowrey missed the field goal to the right and secured the win for Miami.
In 2004, No. 5 Miami overcame a 10-0 deficit and scored 16 straight points in the fourth quarter and overtime to win 16-10 to No. 4 Florida State. Frank Gore’s 18-yard touchdown run in overtime gave Miami the win.
Eric Kalis ‘06, sports editor from 2003-2006, covered the game for the Hurricane and reminisced on the opportunity to watch the game winning touchdown from the sidelines.
“The game itself was not the most exciting for about three quarters,” Kalis said. “But there was nothing like being able to go down the Orange Bowl press box elevator and head out to the field for the final seven minutes of the game. Frank Gore scored the winning touchdown right in front of me.”
The next year, Miami was down 10-7 in Tallahassee and set up to kick a 28-yard field goal that would tie the game and send it into overtime. But the snap on the kick was dropped by the holder and the kicker never had a chance to kick it. Florida State ran out the clock for the remaining time on the clock. Kalis again covered the game for the Hurricane and acknowledged the disappointment in losing, but remembered standing with Miami football alumni on the sidelines of the game.
“I was standing behind Michael Irvin when Kyle Wright took a sack in front of us, and he turned around and screamed to me ‘I can’t believe he did that, man!’ While the ending was disappointing, those were the kinds of interactions you could have with prominent Canes alumni who would often be on the sidelines to support the team,” Kalis said.
Most recently, Miami defeated Florida State in Tallahassee in 2017. The game was seemingly over after Florida State scored a touchdown with 1:24 left in the game, but Malik Rosier led the Canes on a game-winning touchdown drive that was capped off with Rosier throwing a touchdown to receiver Darrell Langham with six seconds remaining in regulation to seal the 24-20 win. The win snapped Miami’s seven-game losing streak to Florida State.
It was all about keeping it focused on the big moment and not worrying about what had led up to it in the first three quarters,” Isaiah Kim-Martinez, sports editor from 2015-2018, said about covering the game. “In those last five, six minutes was when all the tables turned. We were down to a situation where we had less than two minutes to go put a touchdown on the board. It was do or die.”
The win snapped Miami’s seven-game losing streak to Florida State.
“The curse was broken, that was the focus and what better play than with six seconds left, a touchdown was thrown,” Kim-Martinez said. “Everything about the rivalry came out in those last few seconds."