Florida A&M’s struggles in the paint lead to sixth straight loss

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent (@StanleyBrooksFS)

In an exhibition game of teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference vs. the Mid-Atlantic Conference, the Southern University Jaguars (3-3) defeated the Rattlers of Florida A&M University (2-7) 83-71.


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Continue reading Florida A&M’s struggles in the paint lead to sixth straight loss

Florida State Gets A Big Win Against Minnesota In The ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@JordanPandyFS)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – 

After returning from New York, the Seminoles continue their home winning streak defeating the Minnesota Gophers 75-67 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles get their first win in the last nine tries in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Jonathan Isaac recorded his second double-double of the season scoring 14 points and bringing in 13 rebounds.

The first half was hard to watch as the pace of the game was slowed to almost a halt with the referees calling 28 fouls in the first half alone. Both teams were shooting below 35% at the half, but Florida State came out hot in the second half. In the first seven minutes of the second half, the Seminoles went on a 21-6 run – lead by the Noles defense.

“We tried to dictate the pace with our defense: trapping, rotating, not allowing them to come down and dictate the tempo that was convenient for them,” said Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton. “We had not worked on that type of defensive scheme very much, so to be able to make that adjustment, as an in-game adjustment, I was very pleased that our guys responded very well.”

Dwayne Bacon led all scorers with 18 and also commented on the change of pace in the game.

“In the first half we kind of played their game,” said Bacon. “We weren’t really moving the ball, we were going down slow, not pushing like we regularly do. In the second half we just adjusted to play faster and get stops and move around and get all over the place. And that’s what we did.”

The young players stepped up once more for Florida State as first-year players averaged close to 16 minutes played. Instead of switching players out here and there, Hamilton was using a platoon method for a lot of the game. At one time he subbed out all the starters and had only freshmen and sophomores in the game.

“I looked out once and I saw how many inexperienced players – first and second year players – on the floor and the thought did go through my mind, ‘wow, these guys are holding their own and they’re doing a pretty good job,” said Hamilton. “So that was encouraging.”

Unlike most of the games this season, Leonard Hamilton did not spread out the minutes as much as he previously has been. Bacon and Isaac both went over 30 minutes played, while Terrance Mann finished with 28. An interesting move was having Xavier Rathan-Mayes sit for most of the first half, he played just six minutes, and later going on to recording 16 second-half minutes. He finished with seven points, but helped set the pace for Florida State in the second half.

“The biggest adjustment is that we’re playing a lot of guys – sometimes if you’re a player, you want to get on the court, you want to contribute,” said Hamilton. “Tonight wasn’t one of those games where we got everybody in as much; it was a different kind of game. Keeping them up and them adjusted, keeping them involved is probably the biggest challenge for all of us because we’re going to need the full sum of all our parts working well for all of us to be successful.

The final score made the game look closer than it actually was. Florida State led by 19 points with just five minutes left but surrendered their large lead. The Noles were trying to just run out the clock and failed to run their offense; they failed to record a field goal in the last four minutes of the game. The road ahead for Florida State is only getting tougher, and they need to learn how to close out games better.

Florida State enjoyed their one game at home, but now travel to face George Washington this Sunday.

Dalvin Cook is College Football’s Top Running Back

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) –Dalvin Cook is college football’s top running back and a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as well as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, All-America honors and National Player of the Year awards. Cook has faced one of the nation’s toughest schedules and rushed for 160.8 yards per game against four ranked opponents – by far the most of any Power 5 player in the country.

He ranks second among Power 5 running backs in rushing yards (1,620), yards from scrimmage (2,046) and touchdowns (19) for the 12th-ranked Seminoles.

Photo Credit: Halli Allen Marcus Joseph | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
Photo Credit: Halli Allen

Earlier this season, Cook set the FSU career record for rushing yards and became the first ACC player to rush for 4,000 yards in three seasons.

Florida State Jimbo Fisher & Dalvin Cook on Offensive Line

Marcus Joseph, Franchise Sports


Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State offensive line received high praises after their top performance on Saturday night over Florida. The offensive line allowed no sacks on quarterback Deondre Francois, and assisted with the running back Dalvin Cook finishing with 153 yards on 26 carries.

He also recorded a school-record with 45 rushing touchdowns at the 4:46 mark of the first quarter. The 17-yard rush was Cook’s 18th of the season, two off the school record set by Greg Allen in 1982 and one short of his 19 from last season.

“You’ve got to commend those guys,” said running back Dalvin Cook. “I commend those guys every week for the success I’ve had at Florida State. “They played one of their best overall games and got better and better every week.”

The offense line as a unit did not draw one penalty the entire night on a Gator defense that entered into the game with a total of 28 sacks on the season.

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“The way we ran the football, the protection they gave, the offensive line is getting better and better and better.”


Video: Dalvin Cook has set the FSU record for most career rushing touchdowns with 45

With 2,046 total yards in 2016 (1,620 rushing, 426 receiving), Cook broke his total yards mark from last season (1,935).

“It means a lot to send these seniors out on a great note,” said FSU Dalvin Cook on beating the Gators for a third straight time. “Always beating a rival team is icing on the cake and the reason you come to a university like this. Beating the Florida Gators three years in a row is a great feeling man.”

Defense Leads FSU to Victory Over Rival Gators

Max Fay (@Max_Fay)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State defense shut down Florida sacking UF quarterback Austin Appleby six times on their way to a 31-13 victory.

Dalvin Cook ran for a 159 yards and a touchdown, but it was the Noles defense that had all of the highlights. Senior defensive end Demarcus Walker had two fumble recoveries and two sacks, he’s now tied for the nation lead with 15 on the season.

“It was the typical Florida-Florida State game, it was hard-fought and they were a good team,”

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FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Our defense was outstanding; the pressures, contesting every throw. There was no easy plays for them.”

The Seminole defense held the Gators to only 207 yards of total offense, forcing UF to go 0-for-12 on third down.

FSU has won four straight against the rival Gators. It marks the first time they have held at least a four-game winning streak over both their instate rivals (Florida and Miami).

Florida State has the potential to jump a couple spots in the rankings after Louisville and Auburn lost. After the conference championships are played, FSU may have found a way back into the top-10 with their win against Florida.

There is the potential for the Big-10, Pac-12 and Big-12 loser to all have three losses. If the playoff committee deems Florida State the best of the three loss teams, they will be in the top-10.

“I’m excited to see where we get to play in a bowl game,” Fisher said. “I am as proud of this team as any team that won a national championship and won it all. The way they persevered and the way the seniors kept leading has me as proud of any team I’ve ever been around.”

Continue reading Defense Leads FSU to Victory Over Rival Gators

Florida State vs Florida Pregame

Jordan Giorgio, Correspondent (@JordanGiorgioFS)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Of course this is one of the greatest rivalries in college football and as always there is a lot on the line in this game.

The Noles are trying to position themselves for a New Years Six Bowl, and a win tonight over the 15th ranked team in the nation would certainly bolster their resume.

The Gators can propel themselves into the playoff discussion with a win tonight. They are already headed to the SEC Championship game regardless where they will face the No. 1 team in the land Alabama. If they run the table, the playoff selection committee will have a tough decision to make.

Florida State Makes It Four Straight At Home Beating Detroit 100-71

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@JordanPandyFS)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State makes it four straight at home after beating Detroit Mercy 100-71. Jonathan Isaac had a productive game recording his first career double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

6’10” freshman standout Isaac got his first double-double in only his fourth game played in a Florida State uniform. Isaac, in 25 minutes, played efficiently shooting close to 60% from the field. His ability to rebound the ball and push it himself helped the Seminoles score 20 fast break points.

Florida State really started to blow the game open after Detroit had cut the deficit to just eight with 12 minutes to play in the second half. After a Jarquez Smith putback dunk, the Seminoles then went on a 34-4 run.

“We were having a little difficulty with their ball screens and we decided to switch one through five,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton. “Jarquez was able to contain a little bit better. So we kind of took them out of their rhythm.”

The Seminole’s offense has really been clicking so far this season. Everybody is looking like a threat on the offensive end; 10 players put the ball in basket and eight players recorded an assist

One area the Seminoles need to improve on is three-point shooting. 78 of Florida State’s points came inside the paint while the Noles made only one shot from behind the arc the entire game.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes has been struggling on offensive this season. He’s shooting 36% from the field and has made only four out of 17 three pointers this season. Although he has not been able to get into rhythm shooting the ball, he has still been important to the team.

“A guy like X [Rathan-Mayes] played 23 minutes as opposed to the 33, 34 minutes he was playing last year,” said Hamilton. “He made several defensive plays, pushed the ball, made some energy plays that gave us some buckets.”

Another positive of the deep bench is XRM’s defensive effort. Rathan-Mayes can play a lot harder on defense because he can now get a lot more rest. His defense does not necessarily show up in the stat book, but his effort is still valuable.

“That’s something that I’ve attributed myself to doing this season – being that guy that picks up 94 feet every single possession,” Rathan-Mayes said. “Being the head of our defense and leading by example. When I’m able to guard like that, it helps my guys and it sends a message to my guys.”

Florida State has been playing some good competition but has yet to really be tested this season. The Noles will next face Temple, who finished with the best record in the American Athletic Conference last year, then the winner of West Virginia and Illinois; WVU being the first top 25 opponent this season.

Florida State will leave home for the first time this season and play Temple at the Barclay’s Center in New York to continue the NIT Season Tip-Off.

The Raiders Come From Behind To Get Playoff Win

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The Rickards Raiders had a home playoff game against the West Florida Jaguars that came down to the final drive of the game for the Raiders. Rickards won in a nail biter 33-30.

Rickards (10-1) got off to an early start scoring on the first drive of the game. DJ Phillips found Marcus Riley for the 12-yard reception to put the Raiders on the Jaguar 26-yard line. On the next play DJ Phillips checked his reads and found no receivers open down the field and scrambled 26 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders missed the PAT giving them an early 6-0 lead.

“It was a pretty good game, West Florida is very good defensively,” said Raiders head coach Quinton Lewis. “They haven’t given up more than 14 points a game in the last eight games and did a lot of things on defense that were complicated and that stagnated our offense a little bit.”

The Jaguars (9-3) forced the Raiders to punt while they were backed up into their own end zone. The Raiders snap was low and sailed right across the grass and through the back of the end zone for a safety for West Florida.

The Jaguars capitalized on the miscue by the Raiders and scored on the next possession giving them a 9-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Raiders would then go into halftime trailing 16-12.

“They say big things come in small packages,” said Lewis. “I told them at halftime just don’t give up, lets battle it out these next 24 minutes and see if we can win a football game.”

Coming out of halftime both teams turned the ball over on their opening drives. West Florida got it together late in the third quarter when Devin Abrams broke free from multiple tackles and scored on a 16-yard carry making the lead 23-12.

Next drive for the Raiders, DJ Phillips found Javon Wooten for a gain of 35 yards bringing Rickards to the 15-yard line. Phillips carried the ball for a gain of ten yards to bring them within five yards of cutting the lead. Destin Coates would then take the handoff and leap over the line and into the end zone for a touchdown. Raiders still trailing 23-18.

The Raiders found themselves trailing 30-18 with 9:30 remaining in the ball game until Phillips found a hole and broke free for the touchdown to cut the deficit to just five points with seven minutes remaining.

Rickards turned the ball over with 4:52 remaining and down five points still. Their defense forced West Florida to punt with 2:07 in the ball game. Phillips converted a 4th and 15 on a pass to Wooten who kept their hopes of scoring alive. With 30.3 seconds remaining Phillips found Wooten again, this time for the game winning touchdown and the 2-point conversion was good.

Notable Stats


DJ Phillips 11/24 264 yards 2TD and 16 carries 94 yards 2 TD

Destin Coates 12 carries 55 yards 1 TD

Javon Wooten 6 receptions 117 yards 2 TD


Javon Peterson 9 tackles 1 INT

Justin Cruse 11 tackles (3 for loss)

Tavyn Jackson 7 tackles 1 pass deflect

Tyler Buckner 4 tackles 2 sacks

Lincoln Eliminated From Playoffs In OT

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The Lincoln Trojans entered the first round of the FHSAA class 5A playoffs in a matchup against the Columbia Tigers of Lake City last Friday night at Gene Cox Stadium.

It took overtime to decide a winner, but in the end Columbia (7-3) prevailed 35-28 after picking off Trojans quarterback Chris Brimm on Lincoln’s first possession in OT.

Lincoln led the entire fourth quarter until Columbia quarterback Davin Schuck scored on a three-yard run with only 49 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Then Kylen Callum put the Tigers on top with a 10-yard rushing touchdown.

“The team didn’t take advantage of the team opportunities,” Lincoln coach Yusuf Shakir said.

Lincoln had plenty of opportunities, especially early on helped by some spectacular play from Marquel Pittman.

“Pittman had a good night, speed level to have a good season with NFL, but we gave up some big plays in the first half,” said Shakir.

The Trojans scored 21 points in the first quarter, but couldn’t get any stops on defense to separate themselves and the game was tied 21-21 after one quarter. Neither team scored until the end of the third quarter, when Trojan Kai Davis intercepted Schuck and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown.

Lincoln kept their 28-21 lead until 49 seconds left when Schuck tied the game.

The Trojans finished their season 5-4 on the year, while Columbia will move on to face the Lee Generals Friday (November 18th) at 7:30.

Florida State Keeps Rolling Beating Winthrop 100-86

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@JordanPandyFS)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State gets their third straight win this season beating Winthrop 100-86. Michael Ojo had a career game scoring 13 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in 13 minutes, his first double-double of the season.

Ojo recorded most of his points from an unlikely spot on the floor, the free throw line, where he recorded nine of his points. Ojo shot an inspiring 75% from the charity stripe; he shot just below 40% during the 2014-15 season. The seven-footer sat out the entirety of the previous season due to injury, but it looks like he has been working on his game, especially his free throws, during his off time.

“When I came back after my rehab, this was one of the little things that I’ve been working on consistently,” said Ojo. “Shooting free throws after practice, shooting free throws on our day off. This year I have to make free throws. I’ve been working on that since the summer.”

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton praised his big man’s performance tonight.

“He’s a different player physically and mentally,” said Hamilton. “He plays with a lot more confidence – he still has some areas that we’d like to see him become more complete in, but he’s extremely aggressive, he’s giving you 100% effort when he’s on the floor, he’s hitting his free throws – he’s a load in there.”

Michael Ojo wasn’t the only big man to step up tonight; Christ Koumadje also had a big game, scoring 14 off the bench. In the previous game Phil Cofer was the go to big man, but as head coach Hamilton has said all season, anybody on this team is capable of having a quality performance.

This was yet another game where every player that touched the floor came away with at least one field goal and one rebound. The Florida State bench is looking more than valuable, more like crucial, early in the season, providing rest for starters and giving full energy throughout the game.

“I’ve said it from the beginning, I thought that the strength of this team will be in the quality of our depth,” said Hamilton. “I really would like not to have to ever play anybody 29 minutes if I don’t have to.”

The Seminoles, so far, look really good on the court but coach Ham reminded everyone that there is still a lot of challenges that lie ahead for this young team.

“This is early,” said Hamilton. “I’m not really going to get overly excited about too much right now. I really understand that we have a lot of work to do – we are preparing ourselves for the best basketball conference ever assembled in the history of college basketball [ACC]. Can’t start taking any bows now.”

Florida State has another quick turnaround as they prepare to host Detroit in the second game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at home this Sunday at 5pm.

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