'We're gonna beat' Miami, Florida State running back Khalan Laborn says

Second-leading rusher confident headed into rivalry game

Virginia's Jordan Mack chases down Florida State running back Khalan Laborn during the first half of a game, Sept. 14, 2019 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn is promising a victory against Miami this weekend.

"We're gonna beat 'em," the redshirt sophomore told Noles247 reporter Brendan Sonnone on Saturday after the Seminoles (4-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) defeated Syracuse 35-17.

That's sure to be bulletin board material for the Hurricanes (4-4, 2-3 ACC), who improved to .500 last Saturday with a 16-12 victory at Pittsburgh.

The Seminoles nearly got it done a year ago at Hard Rock Stadium, but Miami rallied from a 27-7 deficit in the third quarter to outlast FSU 28-27. It was Miami's first home win in the rivalry since 2004.

Now the Hurricanes have to take care of business in Tallahassee, where Florida State is 4-1 this season. The Seminoles haven't lost at home since falling to Boise State in the season opener.

"It ain't gonna be like last year," Laborn said. "It's a different game."

Miami has won two in a row in the rivalry, including a 24-20 victory the last time the Hurricanes traveled to Tallahassee in 2017. But the Seminoles are 10-5 against Miami since the Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004.

Both teams are in need of a win to take some pressure off their head coaches. 

Florida State's Willie Taggart is 9-11 since taking over in 2018. The Seminoles finished with a losing record last season for the first time since 1976 and missed a bowl for the first time since 1981.

Meanwhile, Miami's Manny Diaz, who graduated from Florida State, is mired by a team struggling to find its way offensively despite a defense that ranks 15th nationally. The Hurricanes were expected to contend in the wide-open ACC Coastal Division. Instead, the Hurricanes are 2-3 against Coastal Division opponents, including a 28-21 overtime loss to last-place Georgia Tech at home.

Laborn is Florida State's second-leading rusher behind Cam Akers, who scored four touchdowns against Syracuse. Laborn has carried the ball 47 times for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season.

For what it's worth, Las Vegas oddsmakers concur with Laborn and have Florida State as a 6.5-point favorite.

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