No. 7 Miami 27, No. 1 Florida St. 24

Saturday, October 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) _ Bobby Bowden was right. It was just like old times at the Orange Bowl on Saturday as Miami knocked off No. 1 Florida State 27-24 and moved back into the national title chase.

In one of the most dramatic finishes in the 47 meetings between these rivals, the Hurricanes (4-1) avoided blowing a lead they held for most of the game on Ken Dorsey's 13-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds left in the game.

Amazingly, the game ended when Florida State's Matt Munyon was wide right on a 49-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.

Chris Weinke's third touchdown pass of the game, a 29-yarder to Atrews Bell with 1:37 left, lifted the Seminoles into the lead for the first time at 24-20. And just when it appeared Florida State (5-1) would survive a gigantic scare, Dorsey rallied Miami for its biggest win in Butch Davis' six years as coach.

Dorsey, who was 27-of-42 for 328 yards, hit reserve tight end Jeremey Shockey with the game-winning score as the Hurricanes celebrated on the sideline.

But the game wasn't quite over. Weinke, who was 29-of-58 for 496 yards and three TDs, moved the Seminoles to the Miami 32 with 5 seconds left. Munyon, 2-of-5 on field goals entering the game, got off a strong kick but it went wide right. In 1991 and again in 1992, Florida State lost when kickers were wide right on last-second field-goal attempts.

A week after replacing Nebraska in the top spot of the AP poll, Bowden's Seminoles were simply unable to overcome a 17-point, first-half deficit against their nemesis from the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

Now, Florida State will have to win out and hope for help if it wants to defend its national title, while Miami, which proved it is back among the elite after five years under NCAA sanctions, is back in the national spotlight.

Florida State, denied of several national title shots with losses to Miami from 1987-92, had its 17-game winning streak _ longest among major colleges _ ended. The loss also ended the Seminoles' 26-game regular-season winning streak.

Florida State became the first No. 1 team to lose in the regular season since Ohio State was beaten by Michigan State 28-24 on Nov. 7, 1998.

The Seminoles have been down this path before against the Hurricanes. From 1987-1993, both teams came into the game ranked in the Top 10, and four times both were in the Top 5. But since 1995, when the NCAA took away 31 scholarships, the Hurricanes couldn't keep up and lost five in a row by an average margin of 22.2 points per game.

It nearly became six in a row, but Dorsey saved the day.

After the Seminoles went ahead, the Hurricanes took over on their own 23. Dorsey hit 6-of-7 passes, including hookups with Santana Moss for 13 yards, with Reggie Wayne for 17 yards and with Moss again for 19 yards to the FSU 8. A delay of game penalty moved the ball back 5 yards, and then Dorsey found Shockey open over the middle and the 6-foot-6, 245-pound sophomore ran the final few yards into the end zone.

Trailing 20-17, the Seminoles got a big break when Miami's Najeh Davenport fumbled and linebacker Brian Allen recovered at the Miami 48. Four plays later, the Seminoles had their only lead on Weinke's TD pass to Bell.

Miami moved to a 17-0 halftime lead, marking the first time since 1988 the Seminoles had been shut out in the first half. It was the Hurricanes who did it, too, leading by the same score en route to a 31-0 win.

In the opening 30 minutes, Dorsey outplayed Weinke, who wore a hard plastic covering to protect a sprained left knee. Dorsey threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Davenport, D.J. Williams scored from a yard out and Todd Sievers kicked a 31-yard field goal.

Weinke, 26-2 as a starter, moved well despite the plastic and tape wrapped around his ankle. But he threw two interceptions _ both at about the Miami 2 _ that stopped scoring drives, and had a pass broken up at the goal line.

But Florida State was not about to give up its top ranking without a fight against its rival. Weinke came out strong in the third quarter, and led the Seminoles to a field goal _ an 18-yarder by Munyon _ and then threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin. And just like that _ with 8:03 left in the third quarter _ the Seminoles trailed 17-10.

Florida State, which blew a total of four first-half scoring chances, then blew another. Two plays after Florida State's TD, the Seminoles took over on the Miami 32 when Allen recovered Williams' fumble. But 20 yards worth of penalties pushed them back to their own 48 and they were forced to punt.

Miami then increased its lead to 20-10 on a 37-yard field goal by Sievers, with Dorsey hitting on passes of 18 yards to Reggie Wayne, 13 to Williams and 14 to Robert Williams.

The Seminoles cut it to 20-17 with 3;15 left in the game on Weinke's 2-yard TD pass to Boldin, setting the stage for another classic finish.