LETHARGIC – meaning drowsy, slugish, lazy, indolent or torpid. That is the best word for how the ‘Canes looked on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium in front of a sold out crowd down in South Florida.
Christian Ponder threw a pair of touchdown passes and Jermaine Thomas rushed for two scores and added another TD reception, as the 23rd-ranked Florida State Seminoles dominated the 13th-ranked Miami Hurricanes, 45-17, in an ACC showdown from Sun Life Stadium.
Ponder completed 12-of-21 passes for 173 yards and an interception for the Seminoles (5-1, 3-0 ACC), who have won four straight games since falling to Oklahoma on September 11.
Thomas carried the ball 16 times for 78 yards, while Chris Thompson rushed for 158 yards and a score on 14 carries. Rodney Smith also caught a touchdown pass in the win.
“Our energy was high, intensity, we call came here with a mission,” Thomas said. “The offense line did a tremendous job. I think they set a tempo for us.”
This year’s meeting marked the first without Bobby Bowden on FSU’s sideline in 35 years, as first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher, who celebrated his 45th birthday Saturday, was on the ‘Noles sideline for the first time in the Miami- FSU series.
Jacory Harris connected on 19-of-47 passes for 225 yards and an interception for the Hurricanes (3-2, 1-1), who saw a two-game win streak come to an end. Harris also rushed for 31 yards and a score on six carries.
Damien Berry carried the ball 20 times for 101 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Leonard Hankerson hauled in five passes for 72 yards.
“We have to finish games, we have to toughen up,” Berry said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and get this thing right.”
Miami drove the ball down the field on the first possession of the game, but Matt Bosher missed a 32-yard field goal.
Following a pair of punts, Florida State put together a six-play, 65-yard drive. Thomas finished the march with a 17-yard touchdown catch to make it 7-0 with over five minutes left in the first quarter.
The Seminoles put 17 points on the board in the second period to take control. Berry fumbled on Miami’s first possession of the stanza, and Florida State capitalized on Thomas’ one-yard run.
After the Hurricanes went three-and-out, the Seminoles got another touchdown from Thomas to take a 21-0 lead. On the sixth play of the drive, Thomas scampered into the end zone from six yards out with 9:25 to go.
Miami responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that Harris capped with a three- yard TD run. The Hurricanes faced a 4th-and-1 early in the series, but Berry moved the chains with a seven-yard run.
Dustin Hopkins ended an eight-play drive with a 38-yard field goal to give Florida State a 24-7 lead at the half.
The margin was the same following Lonnie Pryor’s 16-yard touchdown run and Berry’s 26-yard TD run early in the third quarter.
Miami turned Ponder’s lone interception of the contest into three points, as Bosher made a 36-yarder to cut the gap to 31-17.
The fourth quarter featured an 18-yard touchdown catch by Smith and 90-yard rushing TD from Thompson.
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Written by Mike Epstein