Florida State, Miami say respect exists in rivalry

Florida State, Miami say respect exists in rivalry

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) The national championship is not at stake. The tops of the national polls may see no effect from the outcome. This game may not even have much impact on the race to decide the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

None of that matters to Florida State and Miami. To them, without question, it's still The Game.

``It's the point on the schedule,'' Miami quarterback Ryan Williams said, ``that everyone looks for.''

And it's here.

Florida State and Miami are set to square off for the 57th time, the next installment in the series coming Saturday night on the Hurricanes' home field. Some tickets are going for $1,000 each on the secondary markets. ABC is showing the game to more than 80 percent of the country in prime time, and it's even Miami's homecoming - albeit one where the visiting team is an overwhelming three-touchdown favorite.

Elements of the significance of this game, like many of their recent matchups, are lacking. The Hurricanes (4-3, 3-1 ACC) won't win the national title this year. The 12th-ranked Seminoles (6-1, 3-1) are already facing huge odds in the title chase, even with only one loss. But to the schools involved, the significance of this game never changes, regardless of the records or the rankings.

``I think it's one of the great ones in the history of the game,'' Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. ``I mean, rivalries nationally, how people think of rivalries is not what people think internally. This is one of the games you come to Florida State to play in. It's one of the great traditions.

``They're No. 1 on their side of the division, we're second on our side. ... To us, it's one of the major, major games of the year, and a huge game for us.''

For all the things that have made the Florida State-Miami series what it is - the Micheal Barrow hit on Tamarick Vanover 20 years ago, where the Miami linebacker and now Hurricanes assistant coach freelanced a bit from his assignment and delivered perhaps the signature tackle of the series; or all the wide rights and wide lefts that decided games; or the unforgettable 47-0 romp by the Seminoles in 1997 that still stings Miami - there is a thread that ties them.

Somewhere along the way, respect was born from the rivalry.

``The utmost respect for each other,'' Miami running back Mike James said. ``They've got great athletes. We've got great athletes. All of us, we've played in high school together or against each other in high school. I've got two guys on Florida State who I played high school ball with. It's crazy. It's crazy. That just goes to show you what it's like. Think about the guys from Miami in this game. The genre of this game, it's basically a high-school all-star game.''

Miami has a major question mark going into the game, that being the health of quarterback Stephen Morris, who sprained his left ankle in last weekend's loss to North Carolina. If Morris can't play, Williams will start.

The Hurricanes will be in control of their Coastal Division destiny in the ACC race regardless of what happens against Florida State, and Miami coach Al Golden has been asked plenty of times this week if that will factor into the decision about playing Morris against the Seminoles.

Golden's answer: If Morris can play, he'll play.

And the reason is simple - no one wants to miss a chance against Florida State.

``We should be mad that they're up there right now,'' Golden said, addressing the current success of Florida State while Miami is in a reloading mode. ``If you look at the way this rivalry has gone, it's up to the other school to respond. I recognize that. I hope we all recognize that. It's our job to respond. Whatever that means for the entire organization - starting with me - we have to respond. Obviously we have an opportunity to do that Saturday night.''

Golden and Fisher both preach the same sort of basic principles, like only focusing on the game in front of you and treat every game the same way.

Even they would acknowledge that seems difficult in a Miami-Florida State week.

Everything's heightened. Players know more eyes are on them than usual. More fans show up. More people watch on television. There is nothing normal about this game, and to those involve, that only raises the stakes.

``It's all about respect,'' Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner said. ``No hate or anything, It's just fun. It's all about love to me. But when that 60 minutes is on the clock I don't have no friends, no family. You're either with us or against us, that's how I feel. I respect those guys over there. You've got more than a football game, it becomes something. I just can't explain it. It's a different kind of feeling.''

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it

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Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Alex Ovechkin said the Caps would return to Washington with a tied series. The Caps captain is a man of his word as the Caps won both Game 3 and Game 4 to even up the series at two games apiece.

John Tortorella had no answers after seeing his Columbus Blue Jackets fall in Game 4, but he will have to figure things out quickly as the series shifts back to Washington for a pivotal Game 5.

The Caps return home with two straight wins and all the momentum. There's just one problem: No one seemingly can win at home.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 5

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 5 on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Washington. The series is tied 2-2.


Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 2:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 2:30 p.m. Tune back to NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 6:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

2:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
2:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
3:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Blue Jackets on NBC
5:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
6:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 5 is available to stream live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.


Here are the Caps' projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.