MIAMI (Ticker) -- Troy State proved it could play with Miami for a half. The Hurricanes proved they are ready for Florida State.
After another gritty first-half effort by its Division I-A opponent, top-ranked Miami scored 31 unanswered points and cruised to its 13th straight victory, 38-7.
The Trojans (1-3) were even with Miami after a quarter and down just 17-7 at halftime before falling apart. They had a similar showing September 1 at Nebraska, scoring first and trailing 28-14 after two quarters en route to a 41-14 setback.
"They are a quality football team," Trojans coach Larry Blakeney said of the Hurricanes. "If Miami and Nebraska play each other, it would be a really good ballgame. I just think Miami has so many weapons."
Miami (4-0) finally got going in the final minute of the first half, when Ken Dorsey threw his second touchdown pass of the day. The Hurricanes added three TDs in the third period to put away the game.
"Our goal today was not to impress the voters," coach Larry Coker said. "Our goal was to play a lot of reserves and come out of the game healthy, and we accomplished that."
Dorsey had 299 passing yards for Miami, which tuned up for its annual battle with Florida State next week by extending the nation's second-longest winning streak to 13 games.
Next week's battle between Florida rivals has lost some of its luster after the Seminoles fell to North Carolina two weeks ago, but still may go a long way in deciding a national champion. Miami's only other challenges this season appear to be from Washington and Virginia Tech.
"We're going to have to bring our 'A' game next week," Dorsey said.
The Hurricanes and Seminoles have changed roles recently. After a mediocre run, Miami finished second in the country last season. Florida State is the only team in the nation to end each of the past 14 seasons in the top five.
Troy State is in Division I-A for the first season -- one that includes games against Nebraska, Miami, Mississippi State and Maryland.
The Trojans, who will receive a reported $1.4 million for the four games, are used to success, having claimed I-AA playoff bids in eight of their nine seasons in the division and winning Division II national titles in 1984 and 1987.
With an effective rushing attack, Troy State moved the ball effectively early, tying the game at 7-7 on the final play of the first quarter when Brock Nutter threw a two-yard scoring pass to LeBarron Black.
The Trojans had a chance for a big play near midfield in the second quarter but cornerback Ronald Harper dropped a potential interception. Six plays later, Todd Sievers kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Miami the lead for good, 10-7.
Another miscue in the Trojans' defensive backfield led to the Hurricanes' second touchdown. With 45 seconds to go in the half, Dorsey found wide-open Kevin Beard in the front left corner of the end zone from 22 yards for a 17-7 lead.
From there it was a rout.
On the second play of the third quarter, McDougle pressured Nutter into an interception and safety Edward Reed returned it 27 yards for a touchdown and a 24-7 advantage.
"We made a mistake and they made us pay with that interception," Nutter said. "That's what good teams do."
Jarrett Payton and Willis McGahee added short TD runs in the third to cap the scoring and give the Hurricanes touchdowns on four straight possessions.
After a 23-yard punt by Jeremy Schatz, Miami began its first possession of the second half at its own 44-yard line. Dorsey completed two passes for 44 yards before Payton plunged in from the 2 for a 31-7 cushion.
Demontray Carter had trouble with the ensuing kickoff and managed to return it to the Trojans' 4. Schatz ended up punting deep in his own end zone, giving the Hurricanes possession at the Troy State 43.
Dorsey then turned a 3rd-and-11 into a 37-yard pass to Ethenic Sands, and McGahee found the end zone from seven yards on the next play to cap the scoring.
Playing only three quarters, Dorsey completed 18-of-30 passes for 299 yards. He has thrown for at least 200 yards in nine straight games.
"They've got a great quarterback," said Blakeney, whose team had won 11 straight October games. "He can put it on the money. He knows where he's going before he throws the ball and he just sets all that up."
Miami held a 428-312 advantage in total yardage. Troy State, which had possession for nearly 36 minutes, picked up 219 yards on the ground with DeWhitt Betterson and Carter combining for 174 on 24 carries.
Nutter played three pressure-filled quarters and was 14-of-25 for 152 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked four times.