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EXCERPT | October 12, 1992

Wide Right II

Miami again edged Florida State on an errant kick

When the Hurricanes and the Seminoles met, the stakes were usually high—in '91, No. 2 Miami had ridden its victory over top-ranked Florida State all the way to a national championship. Austin Murphy reported for SI.

Goat or not, the young man had moxie. Last Saturday, in the chaotic moments after Dan Mowrey had driven his last-second field goal attempt wide to the right, allowing Miami to carjack Florida State's national championship hopes for the fourth time in five years, Mowrey tried to jog off the Orange Bowl field with his dignity intact. This was made difficult by a TV cameraman running alongside him—with the camera lens inches from Mowrey's mug. In the dressing room he gamely met the press. At one point he looked down and mumbled, "Why did it have to be wide right?"

A duck hook, a knuckleball, a Charlie Brown whiff—anything would have been preferable. With eight seconds on the clock and a chance to tie the game, Mowrey ensured instead that he will be remembered as a copycat killer of Seminoles hopes. When Florida State had a chance to beat the Hurricanes in Tallahassee last year, Gerry Thomas saw his last-second kick sail wide right too. New goat, same result.

Miami's 19--16 victory was the Hurricanes' 22nd straight win. For Seminoles fans there is this discouraging bit of statistical miscellany: In its 10 meetings with Miami since 1983, Florida State has had the lead going into the fourth quarter eight times but has won only twice. Exactly what is it that the Hurricanes have over their upstate rivals? Said Miami middle linebacker Micheal Barrow, "Bigger hearts."

Miami remained unbeaten until the Sugar Bowl, where it lost the national championship to Alabama. Florida State ended the season ranked No. 2.

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SOARING SACK-CESS Miami, led by redshirt freshman tackle Warren Sapp, entered the game with the country's No. 1 defense. The Hurricanes sacked quarterback Charlie Ward seven times while holding the Seminoles' high-powered offense to just three field goals, to go along with a special teams touchdown.