Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin met with reporters to discuss his team during fall practice.
Baseball America has named Florida State baseball’s recent recruiting class as the eighth-best in the country and second among Atlantic Coast Conference teams. The Seminoles have brought in 14 newcomers for the 2017 season.
The 14 newcomers include three junior college transfers and 11 freshman. Among the newcomers, Drew Mendoza, a freshman from Minneola, Fla., was ranked the No. 10 prospect by Baseball America and is the highest-rated player to attend college this season.
Credit: Jordan Giorgio
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., WWW.FRANCHISESPORTSONLINE.NET – Saturday’s matchup was the Seminoles’ 68th all-time football game played on homecoming weekend. Florida State is 55-12-1 in those contests, the lone tie coming off a 14-14 decision with Wake Forest in 1956. The Seminoles are now 3-0 against Wake Forest on homecoming since joining the ACC, and have won five consecutive homecoming games overall.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – After an emotional win against Miami, Florida State looked sluggish in their homecoming game on their way to beating Wake Forest 17-6. The Seminoles offense struggled a bit keeping possession, but the defense played hard and did not falter.
The first drive for the Seminoles was short-lived, ending in a three-and-out. This was the first time all season that the Noles were unable to move the chains on their first drive.
“You have to finish drives,” said head coach Jimbo Fisher. “But its just part of it. Got to get better at it, got to work on it. We try to script them, do everything to come out with energy – got to play better. Now defense, remember they were starting slow and now they’re coming out good. So we just have to keep going. Just keep playing, and keep coaching, and doing what we’re doing.”
Florida State had trouble holding on to the ball today, turning the ball over a season-high four times. Francois was picked off and lost a fumble on a sack in the second half. Dalvin Cook uncharacteristically fumbled the ball twice in this game; one fumbled forced him out of the game for some time, but he did later return.
Francois did not look to be 100% on the field, but still threw for 319 yards with a completion percentage just under 60%. Even with the one mistake Fisher was still happy with his quarterback’s performance.
“His decision making on the day, even though he got hit, was good,” said Fisher. “When he got time to set his feet, he was hitting the guys he needed to hit.”
Another injury that the Noles sustained during the game was to senior wide receiver and return man Bobo Wilson. The injury came on a non-contact play when Wilson was breaking out of a route. Wilson was then carted off the field but later returned to the sideline with crutches and a boot on his foot.
A bright spot for the Florida State offense was Travis Rudolph’s career day. The junior wide receiver eclipsed his previous career-high in receiving yards, 201, with a very important 238 today. Coach Fisher talked about Rudolph’s increase in confidence this season.
“Anytime you go get numbers, and you look at them, it makes you feel good, makes you play good,” said Fisher. “Kind of validates what coaches are saying to him, ‘is he really saying that, am I really doing it or am I not?’ Because you’re saying, ‘why am I not getting the ball?’ But that’s where you have to keep believing. All of a sudden the balls came to him.”
The defense finally stepped up and put their mark on the game and, for the most part, played to their ability; for the first time this season they did not allow a touchdown. The defense allowed only 184 yards through the air, intercepting the ball twice, and 68 yards on the ground, forcing one fumble. Defensive back Tarvarus McFadden picked off his fifth pass of the season, which puts him in the lead for most interceptions in the country.
Josh Sweat had an impressive game too. He finished the game second in tackles for the Noles, tallying seven on the day with 1.5 sacks. This is really the first time we’ve seen Sweat healthy and he is proving himself to be an elite defensive game changer.
“I feel like I’m doing really good,” said Sweat. “I feel like I figured it out a little bit. I don’t know what it was and I know it took me a while, but I feel like I’m playing a lot faster now. It feels good, I had a lot of fun.”
Sweat attributed some of his success to lining up opposite of one of the best defensive lineman in the country DeMarcus Walker. Walker, coming off of a game-winning PAT block against Miami last week, had two sacks, which brings his total up to 8.5 on the season, and was just one tackle shy of Sweat’s total today.
“I like it,” said Sweat. “They’re probably focusing on him [Walker] a little more, so I’m just going to make the most of it – I’m not going to lie to you.”
Both Sweat and Walker were both appreciative of the scheduling of this year’s bye week, which is lined up right before the third ranked team in the country, Clemson. Walker sounded relieved talking about this week of rest.
“It’s lined up perfect,” said Walker. “It gives everybody some time to get some rest. Clemson is going to be a pretty good game. We just have to worry about everybody getting healthy, catching up with schoolwork, and preparing for those guys.”
The Seminoles get a much-needed week of rest for their upcoming ACC showdown against Clemson. Players need rest, the offense needs a little bit of maintenance, and the defense just needs to continue to do what they are doing. Look to see an energized Florida State team on both sides of the ball in two weeks against Clemson.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The Lincoln Trojans make it 18 straight against the Leon Lions in their Senior Night victory, winning 26-3. Senior quarterback Chris Brimm carried the Trojans, accounting for all of their three touchdowns.
Brimm and the Trojan offense started the game off strong scoring in just two minutes on their first drive after a kickoff return that set them up at the midfield mark. Fellow senior Malik Garye caught a perfectly placed ball from Brimm for a 19-yard score.
The Lions felt the need to answer and set up quite a first drive themselves. On the first play of the drive James Peterson ran up the middle for a long gain of 59. This set the Lions up on the Trojan six yard line. After giving up the large gain, the Trojan defense held tough and only allowed a field goal, but the defense did not falter the rest of the game.
After the Trojan offense put up another score, a one-yard run by Brimm, the defense became stingy. The Lions were held to just 70 total rushing yards and zero passing yards in the first half. The second half was not any better; Leon ran for 64 more yards and completed one pass for 17 yards. Peterson was the leading rusher with 77 yards. Stephan Pierre was getting to the Leon quarterback Tyhran Glasco, coming up with two sacks on the night resulting in a total loss of 24 yards.
Chris Brimm, on the other hand, was doing whatever he wanted on offense. The Lincoln quarterback threw for a touchdown and ran the other two in himself. Brimm threw for 107 of his 244 yards in the first half alone, that’s more than Leon had in the entire game.
With this victory, not only did the Trojans secure bragging rights, again, over Leon, but they also secured another district championship. This is their 18th in a row.
The Trojans must now focus their attention to the University High School Titans, after a bye week, on the 28th of October. Leon plays again a week from tonight at home against Duval Charter.
Nick Pierce, Correspondent
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – After dropping two close games in a row, the Chiles Timberwolves got back in rhythm Friday night, beating the Santa Fe Raiders 17-6.
“This was pretty much a must-win for us,” said Chiles coach Garrett Jahn. “Just from the standpoint of getting positive in the field house. If you were to lose this one, you go 1-5, and then you might start losing your locker room.”
The Timberwolves (2-4, 0-1) dominated defensively through four quarters. They held the run-oriented Raiders (2-4, 1-1) to only 99 yards of offense, holding them scoreless in the process. Santa Fe’s only points of the night came from a 56-yard interception return by Julien Cromwell for a touchdown.
“Our defense has stopped the run all year, so we knew we could do it tonight,” said Jahn. “This was our first Wing-T team we played, so we had to play really good assignment football, and we did that. We knew that if we were able to shut down the run game and try to make them do some gimmicky passes and stuff like that, we felt pretty good defensively.”
The first half was slow for both teams. The only score came from Chiles kicker Jack Meyer, who made a chip shot field goal with 2:14 to play in the second quarter.
The Timberwolves were able to create more separation in the second half. On Santa Fe’s first drive of the half, Nicholas Simmons picked off Raider quarterback Julien Cromwell. The defensive lineman returned it 56-yards for the first touchdown of the night.
Chiles’ offense also had more success in the second half. Quarterback Avery Thomas connected with Kamari Brown on a deep post-route for 42-yards. The play set up the Timberwolves at the Santa Fe 14 yard-line.
“Kamari Brown is a pretty fast kid,” said Jahn. “He can jump pretty high and has good height. He dropped a touchdown earlier tonight, but he redeemed himself and caught a great ball in the second half.”
Four plays later, on 4th down from the 10, Thomas threw a fade to the left corner of the end zone. Kris Reed came down with the ball to extend the Timberwolves lead to 17-0. Reed, who splits reps as a running back and wide receiver, had 95 total yards on the night.
“We knew offensively that we were going up against hard-hitting, fast guys, so we knew it was going to be a challenge, but we moved the ball pretty good all night,” said Jahn. “We had one deflected pass that got picked off, but other than that, I thought we had a pretty good overall football game.”
Chiles travels to Panama City next Friday to play Rutherford before taking on Leon the following week for their final district game of the season.
Alec Chessari, Correspondent
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net)-Rickards’ defense was on another level tonight. The Raiders hadn’t beaten Wakulla since 2013, but they came out on top Friday night, winning a 29-21 dog fight.
“Keep battling and keep believing in each other and good things will happen and that showed tonight,” said Raider coach Quinton Lewis.
The Raiders got off to a good start driving the ball down the field on the opening possession. They drove to the Wakulla 8-yard line, but quarterback DJ Philips fumbled into the end zone. The ball went out of bounds for a touch back. The War Eagles then took the ball down the field and scored a touchdown. After a two-point conversion, it was 8-0 Wakulla.
After the opening touchdown, the Raiders defense wasn’t having any of what the War Eagles wanted. Every time it looked like Wakulla had an easy drive, Rickards would bounce back and give the ball back to the offense. They made crucial 4th down stops and didn’t let the War Eagles QB have an effective night throwing the ball. Also, Tavyn Jackson came up with 2 huge interceptions to get the Raiders back on track.
Destin Coates had another great night against a big and strong Wakulla defense. He didn’t get the ball too much in the first half but came up with the last 2 touchdowns to seal the game. Coates carried the ball twenty times for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“Let’s feed that guy (Coates), we didn’t feed him much in the first half but he showed why he’s a great running back,” said Coach Lewis.
Rickards plays Godby next week at Gene-Cox Stadium
Notable Rickards Stats
DJ Phillips 13/20 148yds 1TD
Destin Coates 20 carries 103yds 3TD
Javon Wooten 6 rec 40yds 1 TD
Marcus Riley 3 rec 82yds
Tavyn Jackson 8 tackles 2 INT
Deandre Glover 6 tackles
Javon Peterson 9 tackles
Anfernee Simmons 5 tackles
Record 6-1 (1-0)