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4 posts from October 26, 2013

October 26, 2013

Rapid Reaction: FSU 49 NC State 17


Florida State put together a 35-point, 13-minute burst in the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way to a victory on Saturday afternoon, winning 49-17. 

Jameis Winston and company got just one drive on offense to start the second half and the starting defense never made it back out on to the field after halftime.

A week after a very physical game at Clemson the Seminoles essentially took the second half off today, resting starters and making sure to stay healthy as the unbeaten Miami Hurricanes head to town next weekend. 

While many Florida State fans would probably have liked to beat NC State by a little more -- especially given the sentiments left over from last year's upset -- the Seminoles probably couldn't have fared much better on Saturday.

Rather than getting involved in a slugfest that took them down to the final seconds -- a la Miami earlier in the day -- FSU had a win in hand and their starters out just minutes into the third quarter. 

On a day when Florida State celebrated Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles did their best impression of the teams from his hey-day. There was even a punt-rooskie -- done in homage to arguably the most famous play in Bowden's career -- included in the festivities. 

The second half of this one is going to raise a few eyebrows though. 

Will poll voters consider the fact FSU had most of its starters out two minutes into the 2nd half? That depends on whether you think voters do more than glance at a box score before casting their ballots. Some do -- they might. Some don't -- that's where an impressive win starts to fade a little bit because of the second half.

But lost in the minutiae of that second half are a few points that are worth noting. For starters, Jacob Coker is in an extremely unenviable position every time he comes in. While Winston plays with three extremely gifted receivers and an offensive line dotted with NFL talent, Coker plays with freshmen and walk-ons. 

You really can't evaluate Winston against Coker based on the players lining up around them. 

The same goes for FSU's defense in the second half. FSU's starters allowed NC State just 85 first-half yards and no points. Then they took the rest of the afternoon off. The Seminoles probably could have put up 50 or 60 points had they left their starters in. 

That wasn't the gameplan. 

Instead they should head into next week's highly anticipated Miami game -- ESPN's College Gameday announced in the second half they will be in Tallahassee next Saturday -- healthy and well-rested. 

Jameis Winston finished the day 17/26 for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Rashad Greene lead the way with 137 yards and a touchdown and Nick O'Leary tied the FSU career record for TD's by a tight end. 

It is now officially Miami week.


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

Halftime: FSU 42 NC State 0


Bobby Bowden had barely gotten back to his seat following the pre-game festivities before this game was -- for all intents and purposes -- over. Florida State needed just five offensive plays to put up 14 points and had this game under control from the opening gun.

Any concerns about Florida State's mindset or preparation were answered almost immediately today. On the second play of the game Terrence Brooks covered considerable ground getting back on what looked like an overthrown Brandon Mitchell deep ball and picked it off.

Jameis Winston then lead Florida State on an opening drive that consisted of four plays -- three first downs and an 18-yard touchdown run -- to put the Seminoles up early.

They didn't look back.

After a three-and-out Winston found Kelvin Benjamin for a 39-yard touchdown on the very next play. It was 14-0 after five offensive snaps and FSU kept their foot down throughout the whole first quarter, dropping 35 points on NC State and holding the Wolfpack to just 32 offensive yards. 

Jameis Winston -- with three first quarter touchdown passes -- matched EJ Manuel's career-high for touchdown passes in a season. Manuel had 23 over 14 games last season. Winston has 23 through six and a quarter this year. The Florida State record is held by Chris Weinke who chucked 33 in 2000. Suffice it to say that's in danger. 

In addition to Brooks, Ronald Darby also had a first-half pick and Florida State regularly got pressure on Mitchell. NC State started to move the ball a little better in the second quarter -- when their players began running North-South instead of going side-to-side -- but Mitchell has been running for his life for most of the afternoon.

Offensively for FSU the second quarter was no where near as productive as the first. Florida State saw several drives fizzle out before a fake punt on 4th-and-7 late in the quarter got things sparked again. FSU has now scored at least 41 points in every game this season.

The Seminoles get the ball back at the start of the second half.

Statistical Leaders:

Passing: Jameis Winston (15/24, 277, 3TD)
Rushing: Devonta Freeman (9-62, 2 TD)
Receiving: Rashad Greene (8-137, TD) 


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

Pregame: NC State at FSU


A lot of things are going on this afternoon at Florida State. Bobby Bowden is back for the first time since 2009. There are over 300 former players on hand to celebrate. There have been festivities galore.

Oh, and there's a football game today.

That last part seems to have been largely looked by everyone -- the media included -- except for Florida State.

The Seminoles are still angry about last year and -- up and down the roster -- have talked about what this game means to them. They are not overlooking this game. Miami week starts tomorrow for Florida State. Today is a revenge game... 

...at least that's what they're saying.

They said they were focused heading into NC State last year too. We'll know by tonight.

Here's your game capsule:

FSU Welcomes Back Bobby Bowden [From Print]
Jimbo Fisher Loves BCS Computers Now [From Print]
Previewing the Opponent
Five Things to Watch For
FSU Injury List
Seminoles Still Sick over Last Year's NC State Loss

Other Coverage:

'You Don't Know the Sacrifices This Defense Has Made'
'ESPN gonna ESPN'
Matthew Thomas Out for Season
Devonta Freeman: 'Come on, I'll Block You'


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

Five Things to Watch For: NC State at FSU


Here are five things to watch for when North Carolina State visits Tallahassee today.

1.) Florida State's Composure

All week -- up and down the roster -- Florida State has talked about how sick they still are over last year's upset to NC State. Jimbo Fisher has in turn tried to use that pain to focus his team and keep them from paying too much attention to their BCS rankings or the Miami game in two weeks. That could be a brilliant move but there's also a chance it could backfire a bit too. So far this Florida State team has played with great maturity, harnessing their anger and using it to punish opponents. But a controlled rage is just one swell of emotion from becoming a 15-yard penalty or missed assignment. If FSU comes out too amped -- if they let themselves get too angry -- it could be detrimental. 

Odds are -- given what this team has been like through six games -- it will be a non-issue. But it could be, and it's worth noting.

2.) What Does This Defense Do?

Florida State's defense seems to have turned a corner the past two games. Against two ranked opponents FSU has surrendered just 14 points the past eight quarters -- seven of which were garbage times points against back-ups. Willie Jones Sr., Christian's father, told me earlier this week that he thinks Jeremy Pruitt's unit is still only scraping the surface of its potential. If that's true, NC State could be in trouble. 

3.) Karlos Williams

I'm just going to keep writing this until it happens, but eventually Karlos Williams is going to start getting meaningful carries and when he does Florida State is going to wish it had started giving them to him earlier. James Wilder Jr. is out today, he suffered a concussion last week and will miss today's game. That opens the door for Williams to finally get a good share of attempts and against an NC State line that has given up some yardage on the ground, that could be all the talented junior needs.

4.) Jameis Winston

Through six games Winston has been excellent. Conventional wisdom says that won't change today -- but anything can happen. That being said, it's not the numbers Winston puts up or even the way the team plays for him, it's the way it all looks. Seminoles fan or not, you can't deny that when Winston has the ball in his hands there are few players in college football that are more exciting. Against an NC State defense that's a little suspect, that could mean big things today.

5.) The Return of Bobby Bowden

Of course I had to toss this in. Today marks the first time that Bobby Bowden will be back at Florida State since the 2009 season. Nearly 300 players will be on hand, Bobby will plant the spear. FSU fans won't want to miss it.


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



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