How Super Bowl LI reminded us of the Miami Hurricanes

Oct 8, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Mark Walton (1) carries the ball past Florida State Seminoles during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots was a championship for the ages. The Falcons inability to close the game out reminded me of a few of the recent games between the Miami Hurricanes and Florida State.

The Falcons jumped out a 28-3 lead in the third quarter and it seemed like they would ride off into the sunset with their first championship in franchise history.

Tom Brady and the Patriots battled back in typical fashion to win their fifth Super Bowl championship. It reminded us of a familiar story when it comes to Miami and Florida State in recent match-ups.

The Comparison

Imagine that you were a Falcons fan. Your team jumped out and completely dominated the first-half of play. Then, everything falls a part in the second-half. Bad play calling, poor execution, and sheer luck goes against your team. The team that is favored comes back to win in dramatic fashion.

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When I watched Super Bowl LI, I instantly thought about the Miami/Florida State games in the past couple years. In 2014, the ‘Canes jumped out and knocked the Seminoles around to a 23-10 lead in the first-half of play.

Just like the Super Bowl LI, Miami lost control and everything went Florida State’s way. Dalvin Cook and Jameis Winston displayed a Tom Brady-esque type of performance to knock out the Hurricanes 30-26.

In 2016, Miami controlled and dominated the first-half again at Hard Rock Stadium against the Seminoles for a 13-3 lead at intermission. Brad Kaaya posted similar stats to Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI. Both of them threw for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Kaaya and Ryan made crucial errors that contributed to their team’s defeats. Ryan’s fumble swayed the momentum of the Super Bowl, and Brad Kaaya threw a costly interception to provide the Seminoles with momentum.

Maybe, it is a microcosm of teams not knowing how to finish a football game or being used to playing on the big stage. Florida State has had a knack of coming behind to win in the Jimbo Fisher era. The Seminoles have been in those situations routinely.

The Miami Hurricanes and Atlanta Falcons have had their opportunities on the biggest stages to make a statement. They have not conquered the big game despite fast, dominant starts.

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