UM vs. FSU This Weekend Is Mark Richt's Biggest Game as Canes Coach
Photo by Eric Espada / Miami Athletics

UM vs. FSU This Weekend Is Mark Richt's Biggest Game as Canes Coach

This Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles will meet for the 63rd time in their storied rivalry. For decades, UM-FSU has been the most important game on both teams' schedules.

This time around, though, the matchup is bigger than just this season. Saturday's game is a mile marker for Mark Richt as Hurricanes head coach. In fact, it's the biggest game of his young tenure in Coral Gables. It's not a must-win game, but it's certainly a should-win game.

Florida State is down. Actually, by just about every statistical and eyeball measure, FSU is a terrible football team. Though the Seminoles' record is 2-2, they've been trailing late in every game they've played, including at home against tiny Samford, and they have looked pathetic. Under first-year coach Willie Taggart, the Seminoles look lost. They have no business beating Miami this weekend. They aren't nearly as good.

That's what makes this game such a dangerous one for Richt and his team. If they win, it will be two victories in a row for UM over FSU. If they lose, however, it would not only end the Canes' slim chances of a national championship run this season, but also slow the momentum on the recruiting trail, give the Taggart era in Tallahassee a huge signature win, and saddle Miami with yet another disappointing loss sure to doom this season to the "just all right" file.

If Florida State is a zombie, Miami must double-tap kill it. Richt can't afford to lose an opportunity to claim the title as the obvious state champions in Florida. A win this Saturday would not only catapult Miami toward a possible one-loss playoff berth this year, but also set the stage for a run of dominance on the recruiting trail and, thus, for many years to come on the field.

Saturday is Richt's biggest game as head coach at Miami. With a win, UM can stick a fork in FSU and stick itself into the national-championship conversation. A loss would do exactly the opposite. 

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