A series of three college football
victories by the University of Miami
Hurricanes over the Florida State
Seminoles. All 3 games were decided by an FSU kicker
missing a last-second field goal
, which would have won or tied the game, by kicking the ball wide of the right upright
In 1991, the two teams met in Tallahassee and fought a close game, with Miami coming back from a 9-point deficit on the road. With less than 30 seconds left, FSU K Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard FG wide right. Miami finished in a #1 tie with Washington for their third national title in five years; FSU settled for #4 in the final rankings. So, Miami fans taunted their cross-state rivals with the phrase "Wide Right," but little did they know how important it would become.
The next year, FSU went into Miami looking for revenge. With Miami down 16-12, Gino Torretta (who would win that year's Heisman Trophy) completed a TD pass to Lamar Thomas to put the Canes up 19-16. Charlie Ward (who would win the Heisman in 1993) led a march down the field, but K Dan Mowrey missed a 39-yarder wide right. Revenge would have to wait until 1993, after FSU recruited K Scott Bentley out of Colorado (who promptly appeared on Sports Illustrated's 1993 college football preview issue's cover). FSU recovered and finished #2; Miami was right behind them at #3 in both final polls.
Miami went on probation in 1995, including scholarship losses and bowl game bans, and suffered from its effects for several years. From 1995 to 1999, Miami lost five straight to FSU, as well as five straight to new Big East rival Virginia Tech. The 'Canes saw 2000 as their chance to break these streaks, and FSU came first. On 7 October 2000, #7 Miami and #1 Florida State met at the Orange Bowl. After coming back from a 17-0 halftime deficit, FSU took a 24-20 lead that Miami regained 27-24 with 46 seconds to play. With seconds left on the clock, FSU coach Bobby Bowden was forced to let freshman walk-on K Matt Munyon attempt a 49-yarder, after he had missed an 18-yarder earlier wide left. Munyon put enough power behind the kick, but left it wide right, further sealing the power of the phrase "Wide Right" over Miami and FSU fans alike. Miami finished #2, after beating VT in November to seal the Big East and University of Florida in the Sugar Bowl; FSU beat Miami out in the BCS to earn a spot in the national championship Orange Bowl, but lost to Oklahoma and wound up #5 AP, #4 coaches.
Sources: http://www.sptimes.com/News/100800/Sports/Wide_right_3.shtml, http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:-zVf8X2u8qY:www.cfrc.com/html/JVCF.htm+%22Wide+Right+1%22&hl=en