Defenses likely will set the tone for FSU-Miami

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“The Miami-Florida State rivalry has always been full of great games and ever since I’ve been here it’s always been the last drive _ whoever has the ball last,” Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy said. “But it’s always fun and it’s always physical. It’s what we like and we’re excited.”

One thing that Oklahoma did well that Miami also does is play at a quick pace, no-huddle, not giving defenses time to take more than a few seconds after every play.

Such a tactic shredded the Seminoles a few weeks ago, and odds are, they’ll see Miami try the same thing.

“We’re playing nowhere close to perfect, but they’re responding to the things we’re asking them to do,” Fisher said. “They understood that was just one game. You can let one game beat you; you can’t let the same team beat you twice. We did a good job of that coming off that game. But it was a learning experience.”

Shannon said Miami had one of those learning-experience games at Ohio State, where the Hurricanes’ offense got a crushing reminder that mistakes and turnovers are rarely overcome in big games.

The defense, he says, has been progressing all year. And here comes the biggest test _ in a potential ACC title game preview.

“The thing we’re looking for is for our team to get better,” Shannon said. “We’re still giving up big plays in the running game. When you have mistakes those things can really, really continue to haunt you. We have to do a better job. We have to keep swarming the football, tackling the football, and getting all the guys to the football.”

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