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6 posts from September 14, 2013

September 14, 2013

Tim Jernigan: The Helmetless One


Midway through the second quarter agaisnt Nevada, Tim Jernigan was called for a penalty that up until Saturday afternoon, he didn't even know existed.

"I didn't even know you could get a penalty for playing without your helmet," said Jernigan after the game. "This is the game of football, for Christ's sake."

Yes, it is, but a fairly newfound emphasis on player safety dictates you can't continue a play without your helmet, which Jerngian did on 3rd and two as Nevada's Devin Combs was sacked by Dan Hicks.

After getting his helmet popped off (a penalty in and of itself), Jernigan continued to give chase on the play, eventually stopping just short of Combs as he was dragged down on the play.

Sadly this was considered an egregious penalty, a personal foul no less and Nevada was bailed out with fifteen yards and a free first down.

"I was taught my whole life to play to the whistle so I was playing as hard as I can," said Jernigan. "I was just trying to get to the quarterback."

So how does one coach that? Surely you can't fault the effort or tenacity of a player who just charged full speed through an opposing offensive line helmetless and was willing to put flesh on the line to make a play.

"Coach Fisher was just like 'you've got to learn the game, you can't do that,'" said Jernigan. "He was like 'I like the way you're playing as far as just trying to make the play and giving it everything you got but that's the rule,' so I've got abide by the rule."

But how DID the helmet get ripped off?

"I feel like it should have been a flag, but hey that's the game," joked Jernigan. "I can't make the calls, that's the ref's job to make the calls. My job is just to make plays."

Jernigan also lost his helmet a quarter later.

"Same thing, man," he said, eyes rolling.

Fortunately for Florida State (and probably the health of Jernigan's exposed head), he learned his lesson the second time around and was not flagged.

Still as the ACC reviews the tape of this game, they may want to make a concerted effort to try and figure out who's pulling helmets off in the future too, rather than just punishing the guy who lost one...


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Florida State Offense Firing on All Cylinders


Jameis Winston and the Florida State offense didn't come out firing on all cylinders at the beginning of Saturday's game against Nevada, but by the time they got there the Seminole offense was a sight to behold. 

The Seminoles averaged 9.79 yards and .98 points per offensive snap agaisnt the Wolf Pack. They finished with 62 points and 617 yards on 63 plays. And that's all made even more impressive when you consider the fact that FSU trailed 7-3 with just five minutes remaining in the second quarter and had just one possession - a field goal - in the first quarter.

Then the Seminoles proceeded to score on drives of 92, 56, 66, 65, 61, 45, 62, 69 and 64 yards. The longest drive took 4:42, the shortest was Karlos Williams first run clocking in at just :08. FSU lost the time of possession battle by a full six minutes and still outgained their opponent by 400 yards. 

Those numbers are absolutely absurd. And considering FSU had 41 points and 533 yards on 63 plays on the road two weeks ago, they also may not be an aberration. 

After a field goal on a first drive that felt like more of a misfire than a success, FSU tossed a pick and took a sack to force a punt on their next two possessions. Then they exploded to score on their next nine straight drives and put up 59 unanswered points. 

"Yes this has been [the best the offense has run since I've been here]," said junior WR Rashad Greene. "The offense started clicking and going a little faster than we have in the past years and I like it."

"Since I've been here, it has [run the best I've seen it this year]," said senior WR Kenny Shaw. "It's more fast, it's more uptempo and then the key is to get the calls and get lined up, that's the key to it.

"That just comes from repping it hard in practices, everything."

This could mean that finally Jimbo Fisher has the right group of experienced players at the right positions to run the offense he's always wanted to. Or it could mean that two games into the Jameis Winston era he's already got a better command of Fisher's system than his predecessor.

Now, the receivers weren't willing to compare the two QB's, "EJ is EJ, Jameis is Jameis," said Shaw. But given the way Florida State's offense has looked early on it's hard to argue that Winston isn't running the offense about as well as Fisher could hope for. 

“He has a great touch and he always knows where the defenders are," said Greene. "And he’s able to throw back-shoulder, just perfect balls, he throws them and I pretty much just have to put my hands up.”

There are still plenty of things for Winston to improve on, for instance he made a pick on a bad throw in the 2nd quarter of today's game, but once the offense started to get into its rhythm it was literally unstoppable (in that the only time FSU didn't score after their third possession was when the clock ended the game in the 4th quarter). 

And after the pick he threw, Winston was statistically perfect going 13-for-13 and tossing two long touchdowns to Shaw and Greene. 

"He grew from it, he knew what he did, we explained it to him," said Fisher. "[Jameis] was fine then, took the sack the next drive- didn’t panic and came back the next two drives and got us going. What I liked about it was he made a mistake and he didn’t get gun shy, he went right back into it and started making throws and making plays.”

Jameis Winston now has one more touchdown pass than incompletion on his young career. He is 40/45 for 6 TD's and 570 passing yards. He's also run for two scores. Based on his postgame interview, I doubt he's satisfied though.

"We gotta keep on, we've gotta ball," said Winston. "We've got to keep grinding."

This is a long season and eventually someone is going to scheme to stop Florida State's offense. But so far, Florida State fans have very little to complain about on that side of the ball.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Rapid Reaction: FSU 62 Nevada 7


After a challenging first half that saw Nevada break tendency and attack the Seminole defense with a ball-control, power run style of offense, the Seminoles absolutely steamrolled the Wolf Pack in the second half of this one. 

FSU reeled off 192 yards and 21 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter and erased any doubt about the outcome before Nevada had even gotten situated. 

Devonta Freeman burst out for 60 yards on the very first play of the half, then punched it in on the next play. After a three-and-out, Karlos Williams made his offensive debut by taking a ball 65 yards for a touchdown, then the Seminoles slowed it down and took a whole 1:17 to drive 61 more yards for the third score of the half. In total, FSU scored four touchdowns across six minutes spanning from the final 60 seconds of the second quarter to the beginning of the third quarter.

12 minutes into the third quarter FSU was comfortably in control - up 45-7 - and Jameis Winston was on the sideline. Winston finished his day 15/18 for 214 yards and a couple of touchdowns and a pick. He also added a score on the ground. For his career Winston is 40/45 for 570 yards and six touchdowns with a pick. In all, he's scored eight times.

All in all, the Seminole third quarter saw FSU score 31 straight points and gain 284 yards while holding Nevada to just 55. 

Devonta Freeman also had a great day running the ball for Florida State, providing consistent production, averaging 12.1 yards per carry on nine atempts for 109 total yards and a TD. I wrote earlier in the season that I think if FSU has a 1,000 yard back that I think it will be Freeman. However, Williams, really could challenge my logic on that after running like a wrecking ball all afternoon - even behind FSU's patchwork back-up offensive line - and looks like a player who could really challenge for carries as he grows more comfortable with the offense. Williams went over 100 yards too on Saturday afternoon.

Defensively the Seminoles shored things up quite a bit in the second, limiting the Nevada offense and giving the ball back to the Seminole offense with regularity. The Seminoles held Nevada to just 214 yards, including just 82 the rest of the way. 

I'll be back in a bit with more analysis and some players quotes...



For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Seminoles.com)

Halftime: FSU 17 Nevada 7

Florida State's defense continues to be a work in progress. 

The first half was frustrating for Florida State fans in many ways, namely the defensive line continues to have issues stopping the run and Nevada was able to exploit that several times for nearly 100 yards and a 4.4 yard average in the first half. That doesn't seem like much but Nevada has held the ball for over 17 minutes in the first half and as a result the Seminoles' offense has had very few opportunities to make drives- early on, at least.

The issues have been two-fold for the defense, mistakes in the form of penalties and then mental errors in the form of missed assignments that see players not setting the edge or not maintaining their gap responsibilities allowing the Wolf Pack offense to jump out to a surprising second quarter lead.

Florida State's defense got off the field fairly quickly after surrendering a single first down on Nevada's opening possession. The Seminole offense however was unable to kick things into gear right out of the gate. There were several big plays, including chunk yardage on a run by Devonta Freeman and on a pass over the middle to Kenny Shaw, but a couple of false starts set FSU back and after a close play in the back of the endzone to Kelvin Benjamin on third down, the Seminoles settled for three.

Then something strange happened, Nevada - who typically runs a high-tempo fast-paced brand of offense - came out with a lot of two TE, big personnel-type sets and controlled the ball. At the end of the first quarter FSU had just one offensive possession to its name, Jameis Winston had barely seen the field. 

Then, right as Nevada seemed to see daylight - following a 23-yard Chris Solomon rush - they broke that tendency and started to run their up-tempo offense again to put the Seminoles on their heels. 

It didn't work the first time, they failed to punch it in and a fake field goal saw the drive end without points. But a Jameis Winston interception shortly into the Seminoles' second drive of the game gave the Wolf Pack the ball back with great field position and a short time later they were able to score on an 11-yard TD pass and go up 7-3.

After a three-and-out on their third possession and a Nevada punt, the Seminole offense finally showed up with around 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter. FSU went seven plays for 92 yards in just a little over two and a half minutes to go up 10-7.

Then things started going FSU's way, a three-and-out followed by another quick scoring drive featuring an exceptional TD catch by Rashad Greene gave FSU a 17-7 halftime lead. 

Seminoles fans can breath a little easier now, but Florida State isn't quite out of this one yet either. Depth should begin to help FSU pull away in the second half, but credit Nevada for a great first half.

Game Leaders:

Passing: Jameis Winston (10/13, 140 3TD, INT)
Rushing: Chris Solomon (15-75)
Receiving: Kenny Shaw (5-72 TD)


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Pregame: Nevada at Florida State


Florida State is set to host Nevada in just a little under an hour and we've got everything you need to get you prepared for today.

First of all, a little bit of breaking news, Nevada QB Cody Farjado is out today. He has nursed an injury all week and was a gametime decision, but will be unable to go as he just announced on Twitter:

That's a huge advantage for FSU, Nevada was 1-2 without Farjado last year (and 6-4 with him). 

Here's Your Game Capsule:

Nevada-FSU Preview (From Print)
Five Things to Watch For: Nevada at FSU
Previewing the Opponent: Nevada Wolf Pack
Week Three FSU Injury Report


Check back throughout the game for rapid reactions and follow me on Twitter for live updates... 

Five Things to Watch For: Nevada at FSU

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Florida State and Nevada are set to kick off in just a few hours, here are five things to watch for:

1.) What Tempo Does the Florida State Offense Run at Early?

Most games, fans want to see the Seminoles come out and light it up quickly on offense. But with a talented hurry-up offense on the other sideline it might be important for the Seminoles to slow the pace of the game and give the defense a chance to rest at certain points. Fatigue could also be a non-issue, but if the Wolf Pack start having some success on offense don't be surprised when Florida State tries to slow the game down.

2.) A Heavy Dose of Wild and Free

James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman combined for over 100 yards agaisnt Pittsburgh, I expect them both to have better days against Nevada. Tying into the last point, the Seminoles can use their power run game to manage the pace of the game when they hold the ball. The FSU offensive line should have an advantage over the Nevada defensive front as the game wears on and both Wilder and Freeman have the potential to hit 100 themselves in this one.

3.) How much progress has the defense made between the first two games?

Up and down the defense for the past two weeks they've talked about not wanting to allow a repeat of what Pittsburgh did to them early on in their first game. The Seminoles gave up chunk yardage on a few plays, failed to set the edge several times and surrendered a touchdown on the first drive of the game. 

“It was pretty much just recognizing what’s going on and just triggering fast. I feel like that’s what we kind of messed up on," said safety Terrence Brooks. "We definitely got those corrected the next day we all wanted to show up and get those corrected so we can have that never happen again. We just have to play more aggressive on the edge, we’ll be alright.”

4.) Karlos the ball-carrier

Karlos Williams made the transition from safety to running back following the Pittsburgh game and though he's still very new to the position his potential is intriguing. It's possible Williams gets no carries against Nevada, but given his brutal running style on kick returns and the way Telvin Smith described their first collision with him running in practice - it could be a lot of fun to watch.

5.) Jameis Winston

You know I wasn't going to leave him off this list. Frankly, he's the number one reason most people around the country will be watching. It's going to be hard for him to top his debut from a statistical standpoint but that doesn't mean Florida State fans will be any less excited about him when this game is over.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...



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