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2 posts from December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

Seminoles Reach Deal to Play in 2014 Cowboy Classic Against Oklahoma State


Florida State has reached an agreement to play their season opener on Labor day weekend in 2014 against Oklahoma State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas as part of the Cowboy Classic.

Oklahoma State, who's mascot is the Cowboys, will play host to FSU in the annual game. Per a press release from ESPN:

"The 2014 Cowboys Classic, marking the last contest of the current agreement, has also been determined and will pit Florida State against Oklahoma State in prime time on Saturday, Aug. 30. It will be the fifth time the two teams have faced each other and the first since the 1985 Gator Bowl, a 34-23 Florida State victory."

The Cowboy Classic also reached an agreement to extend the game through 2024 at Cowboys Stadium. 

This season Florida State was heavily criticized for having a weak out of conference schedule that included two FCS opponents and a USF team that later fired its coach. That wasn't entirely the Seminoles' doing, they had a game with West Virginia scheduled until the Mountaineers' decision to switch conference created a scheduling conflict that left FSU with just 11 opponents months before the start of the 2012 season.

Regardless of how they got there though, FSU's weak out of conference schedule coupled with the dead weight of the ACC sunk the Seminoles in the computer rankings and effectively eliminated them from contention after their first loss, even as other one and even two-loss teams passed them by.

Going forward you can tell the Seminoles don't want that trend to continue. 

Of course, Seminoles fans will think back to FSU's Labor Day series with Miami from a few years past and be reminded of several games where the team could have used an opponent or two to cut its teeth on before getting into a scrape with a rival or a ranked team. 

Oklahoma State in the first week of the season is a tall order for any team.

That being said, good teams come out of the gates swinging (like Alabama did against Michigan in this year's Cowboy Classic). If the Seminoles want to continue to build and try and climb to the top of the college football mountain, these are the kinds of nationally televised out-of-conference games they will need to win.


Freshman WR Marvin Bracy Just Biding His Time, Making Best of Redshirt Year



When Florida State signed 5-9 170-pound Marvin Bracy out of Boone HS in Orlando, the number that Seminoles fans were truly enamored with had nothing to do with X's and O's. Bracy was the class 4A State Track Champion in the 100 and 200 meter sprints, he won gold in the 2011 Pan-Am Junior championships.

He is one of the fastest men in the world.

It takes Marvin Bracy just a hair over ten seconds to make it 100 yards from a dead-stop.

Bracy was one of the hottest names in camp as a true freshman until the season rolled around and Florida State's considerable depth at receiver relegated him to a redshirt season and a role on the scout team.

If you hadn't heard Bracy's name lately though, don't worry about it. He seems poised to break out next season.

“You can tell he’s going to be a great player, he’s one of those guys that’s waiting his turn but as he’s on scout team he’s getting better going against the starters and he’s really taking advantage of it," said Lamarcus Joyner yesterday. "And he’s actually helping us out because he could potentially be a starter [somewhere else] and to be going hard on scout team, I mean it’s always fun going against him.”

It didn't take long for Marvin Bracy to drop the jaws of his fellow teammates with his incredible footspeed. Just days into camp he was embarrassing Florida State's younger corners.

“It was in one-on-one in camp, I think he was going against (RS Fr DB) Lamarcus Brutus and it was like, five yards into the route he gave him one head nod and then stopping and making the guy flat-footed and now he’s 15 yards ahead of the guy and it’s just like, ‘yeah that’s amazing.’

“He’s really fast, I’ve never seen anyone on the field move like that, never. We call him a track guy, we think he’s too fast to be in pads.”

Bracy, who will also be on the Florida State track and field team, is an exceptional all-around athlete, but I had to ask Joyner (one of the fastest players on the team himself) whether the track speed truly translated to the field– with pads on.

So often you hear about speed demon receivers that come from the track world and are essentially sprinters imitating football players. Miami Dolphins fans need only think back to Clyde Gates to remember a receiver with burner speed and little else in the way of football skills. If they do possess the skills to play, oftentimes their 40-times in shorts are far faster than what they can actually manage in pads during game situations.

So does Bracy's track speed translate?

“He’s the first guy I’ve ever seen the speed convert to the pads, he’s actually fast in pads. He’s able to catch the ball, make moves and look like a real football player," said Joyner, who admits to having been burned by the freshman receiver once or twice himself.

“I mean if he gets you to pause those feet then it’s over. I don’t care who you are, Lamarcus Joyner, Xavier Rhodes, if Bracy gets you to stop those feet then he’s running past you.”

Next season, safeties beware.



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