Florida State's 62-7 win was a much stranger affair than it looks in the box score. The Seminoles mustered just 3 points over the first 25 minutes of the game and then over about a 20 minute stretch - ranging from the end of the 2nd quarter to the start of the 4th - exploded for 45 points on seven drives.
The guy who really sparked everything for the Seminoles was Kenny Shaw.
Say what you want about Rashad Greene or Nick O'Leary, but if you had to ask me who Jameis Winston's go-to receiver is right now I'd say it's Shaw.
“Kenny has become so dependable. He does so many things," said Jimbo Fisher after yesterday's game. "Kenny has such a great football I.Q. He’s very intelligent on the game and understands and now he’s applying it with consistency."
Jameis Winston looked to Shaw twice on Saturday to get his rhythm going early. On the Seminoles' first drive a false start penalty had Jameis Winston and the offense facing an obvious passing down on 3rd and 12. Credit Winston for making the right read and putting a good ball there, but it was Shaw he found working down the middle for 22 yards for his first completion of the day.
Then, a few drives later with the Seminoles' backs against their own endzone, trailing 7-3, Winston found Shaw twice on screens to regain his rhythm. Two drives earlier the redshirt freshman QB had thrown his first career interception. A first down sack killed the next drive and the Seminoles were content to run twice and play for field position. On their fourth possession it was two quick tosses to Shaw that got Winston going again. He didn't miss again that day.
He capped the drive by finding Shaw again, this time for a 24 yard TD. As the play broke down a little and the pressure got to Winston, he moved to his left and found Shaw with several steps on the defender for Florida State's first touchdown of the afternoon.
Kelvin Benjamin gets credit for his size and speed and Rashad Greene gets credit for the highlights, but Kenny Shaw is the most workmanlike receiver on the team. He runs good routes, he makes the right reads and he is as tenacious blocking as he is with the ball in his hands.
On the season Shaw has ten catches of 188 yards and a touchdown. The senior receiver has developed into one of Jameis Winston's most trusted targets and could be looking at a monster year.
"I used to get mad at Kenny more than anyone because I knew his intelligence level and instincts and now it’s really being consistent," said Fisher. "I’m very proud of him."
A Little More on the Receivers
"I thought [Kenny Shaw] and Rashad (Greene) and K.B. (Kelvin Benjamin) all played great [against Nevada]," said Fisher yesterday evening.
Added Shaw: “We like to call ourselves the trio - we’re trying to get that out more - when we both score we throw up the threes. That’s part of being 3Hunna too.”
Per Shaw, they run over 5,000 yards per day in practice, "we're always pushing each other."
The three receivers have - out of neccesity - become the backbone of the Seminole passing game. FSU chose to get it done on the ground against Nevada in the second half of yesterday's game, but the trio lead the Seminoles in receiving once again on Saturday and Kelvin Benjamin was a heel away from all three having a touchdown reception.
Ramsey Turning Heads
Jalen Ramsey is the first true freshman to start a game at corner for Florida State since Deion Sanders did it in 1985 - Primetime started four that season. Ramsey has already started two games. Two weeks ago he became the first true freshman to start a season opener at corner for Florida State since Bobby Butler in 1977. He's already got a pick under his belt and on Saturday he snuffed out a fake field goal and was second on the team in tackles. The future seems bright for this kid.
Beatty Gets a Bounce
The most misleading statistic on the Seminoles' stat sheet was in the punting category. Cason Beatty only had one attempt on Saturday and he is credited with a 53 yard kick. Truth be told, he didn't exactly boom the ball off his foot though, rather he was the beneficiary of several kind bounces. The sophomore has a big leg and is capable of executing a very effective rugby-style punt, but struggled to find consistency at points last season.
This and That
##- Of Florida State's four tailbacks, James Wilder headed up the rear of the pack with a paltry 7.5 yard per carry average. "I'm slacking," joked Wilder last night. FSU had 377 rushing yards yesterday, most of which came in the second half. Wilder may not have had many carries (6 for 45 yards) but he was effective as a blocker, helping to spring Devonta Freeman on a 60-yard run to start the second half.
##- Ryan Green's 15.6 yard average lead the Seminole running backs. He had five carries for 78 yards and a touchdown.
##- 63 plays, 62 points, 617 yards. Nice day on offense.
##- Roberto Aguayo already has 25 points for his young career and is on pace to finish with 650. He won't, but it's not out of the question that he could break Dustin Hopkins' points record. Like Hopkins, Aguayo will likely be the kicker at FSU for four years, only Aguayo could potentially play with better offenses than Hopkins did early in his career. At his current rate, Aguayo would best Hopkins by the end of his junior year. Like I said, that pace won't continue, but Aguayo does have a very real shot to top Hopkin's mark.
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