For a half, Florida State did just about everything wrong and still held the lead.
And when the Seminoles finally got clicking, they simply pulled away from rival Miami.
Saturday's 33-20 victory was Florida State's third straight over its archrival.
EJ Manuel overcame a slow start to complete 21 of 31 passes for 229 yards, including two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Devonta Freeman.
Florida State (7-1, 4-1 ACC) won despite 12 penalties and five fumbles, two of them lost. Dustin Hopkins kicked four field goals for the Seminoles and former Plant High product James Wilder Jr. added a touchdown run for the Seminoles, who scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth to break open a three-point game.
"I didn't think it would be decided in the last few minutes, but it was an important game," Manuel said. "It's always a huge rivalry game, whether both of us are 1-9, it doesn't matter. Whenever you have Florida State and Miami squaring up against each other it's going to be a great game."
Stephen Morris, playing a week after spraining his left ankle, started and threw for 223 yards and a late touchdown for Miami (4-4, 3-2), which has lost three straight but controls its Coastal Division destiny.
Mike James had a touchdown run for the Hurricanes, who lost freshman Duke Johnson in the second half with an undisclosed injury.
Miami finished with 29 yards rushing on 21 attempts.
"Give Florida State a lot of credit," Miami coach Al Golden said. "They're a very good team. They're a very good team right now and they're deep and that's OK. That's OK. We know what we need to do. They're ahead of us right now. We need to buckle down and get better, develop our current team and need to add to it."
Freeman's 3-yard run with 11:53 left helped seal the win for Florida State, which was outgained 71-67 in the first quarter — but finished with a 447-258 edge in yards.
Freeman's touchdown runs were 3 and 5 yards, making the homecoming sweet for the Miami native.
"It felt great, man," Freeman said. "There's no feeling like it — especially with a 'W.' "
The win put the Seminoles a half-game ahead of Clemson in the ACC's Atlantic Division, which has four teams with one loss in conference play.
"Anytime you can come to Miami and beat Miami, that's a good day," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I don't care what you say."