TALLAHASSEE (AP) — It was easy math for first-year Miami coach Al Golden:
Too many turnovers plus too many penalties equals defeat.
Miami (5-5, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) must win this week at South Florida or Nov. 25 against Boston College to become bowl eligible.
The Hurricanes had 383 yards and 24 first downs compared to Florida State's 259 yards and 13 first downs. They also stopped Florida State's string of six straight games scoring 30 or more
points. Mistakes, however, negated an otherwise strong performance.
Miami was whistled for nine penalties (Florida State had 10), fumbled twice and Jacory Harris was intercepted at a crucial time and in the end zone. Miami chewed up over 7 minutes on the clock and 90 yards when Harris was picked off by Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner.
“That was really uncharacteristic,” Golden said about the turnovers. “We haven't done that since I don't know how long, two months maybe.”
Miami was haunted with the three first-half turnovers and trailed by 10 points at halftime despite having limited Florida State to 87 yards and three first downs.
In an eerie way, Miami rallied late in the game from deficits similar to ones they overcame in victories here in 1987 and also 1991. The ’Canes came back from a 19-3 deficit early in the fourth quarter to win 26-25 in ’87 and four years later rallied from a 16-7 deficit after three quarters to win 17-16.
But this time they couldn't make up the difference after falling behind 23-7 early in the fourth quarter.
The Hurricanes led just once in the game at 7-3 on Harris' 2-yard throw to tight end Clive Walford in the second quarter before Florida State scored 20 unanswered points.
Harris completed 20 of 31 passes for 225 yards and Lamar Miller rushed for 92 yards on 22 carries.