The turnover backpack struck first, but Miami’s turnover chain struck back with a vengeance in the third quarter.
Trailing Florida State by 20 points in the third quarter, the Hurricanes began a rally with the help of the most famous prop in college football. Miami ripped off 14 points in 42 seconds with the help of two turnover-chain appearances.
The first came as a product of Manny Diaz’s playcalling savvy. The defensive coordinator dialed up a blitz from defensive back Sheldrick Redwine, who sacked quarterback Deondre Francois and jarred the ball loose. Defensive lineman Gerald Willis hopped on the ball and rocked the gold chain on the sideline. Six plays later, quarterback N’Kosi Perry found Lawrence Cager for the wide receiver’s second touchdown of the day.
The Hurricanes didn’t wait long to bring out the chain once again. On the second play of Seminoles’ ensuing drive, linebacker Michael Pinckney read a screen pass and picked off Francois. On the first play of Miami’s next drive, Perry hit wide receiver Jeff Thomas for a touchdown, cutting Florida State’s lead to 27-21.