MIAMI GARDENS — Florida State played one of its best halves of the season. And the Seminoles enjoyed a dominating win over a rival.
Trey Benson had a career-best 128 rushing yards against his former coach, Mario Cristobal, and the Seminoles ran for 231 yards in FSU’s 45-3 rout of Miami on Saturday night. Lawrence Toafili had 52 rushing yards, helping the Seminoles surpass 200+ rushing yards for a fourth straight game.
The Seminoles’ defense allowed their fewest points against a Power 5 team since giving up 10 to Duke in 2017. It was the fewest points allowed by an Adam Fuller-led defense, following up FSU holding BC to 14 points earlier this season. FSU held Miami to just 186 offensive yards.
FSU (6-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) is now bowl-eligible for the first time since 2019, and there are four regular-season games left. The Seminoles also could be back in the top 25 rankings on Sunday afternoon following the most lopsided win in the series since FSU routed Miami 41-14 in 2013. This was also a dominance nearly on par with a 47-0 rout of Miami in 1997 .
A sold-out crowd of 66,200 packed Hard Rock Stadium for the rivalry game, with a good number of Miami fans heading for the exits before halftime. The Seminoles had their most rushing yards against Miami since racking up 248 in 2015, back when Dalvin Cook ran wild in Tallahassee.
A week after FSU’s defense allowed just 24 yards on 24 first-half plays in a rout of Georgia Tech, the Seminoles gave up just 76 yards on 26 plays and held Miami to just 2.4 yards per carry in the first 30 minutes. FSU also held Miami’s top pass catcher, tight end Will Mallory, without a catch in the first three quarters.
And the Seminoles forced four takeaways, including Greedy Vance’s interception deep in Miami’s end and Patrick Payton’s swat to cut the ball loose from Jake Garcia (Malcolm Ray recovered). Azareye’h Thomas also had an interception with 49 seconds left.
After a second-quarter sack, Jared Verse threw up the “U” with his hands and then threw it down, breaking it over his knees in a football-wrestling celebration that might make Ron Simmons proud. Yes, the Seminoles were enjoying the night.
Miami (4-5, 2-3) needed to use a three-quarterback rotation, in part due to Tyler Van Dyke’s shoulder injury. Still, the Hurricanes quarterbacks combined to complete 10 of 19 passes for 62 yards.
FSU put the game away early, scoring four touchdowns and wrapping up the first half with a field goal on seven possessions. Jordan Travis connected with Ontario Wilson on a 56-yard touchdown on the first drive, and DJ Lundy added a 2-yard TD reception on the next possession. Trey Benson later added a pair of touchdown runs, from 13 yards and 1 yard as he broke tackles and pushed forward with each run.
Lundy had three tackles but he also scored his third touchdown of the season. The linebacker-fullback now has touchdown runs against Clemson and LSU as well as the TD reception vs. Miami.
While FSU is heading to a bowl game, Miami suffered its fourth straight home loss — a streak that began with Middle Tennessee’s upset on Sept. 24. The Blue Raiders are led by former FSU coach Rick Stockstill.