Miami, Fla. (FranchiseSportsonline.net – Florida State came out with the quickest start we’ve seen all year. Running back Dalvin Cook busted through for two straight first downs, picking up 40 yards on those two carries. A few plays later, he busted through for a 2-yard touchdown.
The Seminoles forced a Michigan punt the next drive, but Nyqwan Murray muffed the punt on the 1-yard line, giving Michigan the ball at the goal line. However, Florida State held their ground, limiting Michigan to a field goal.
Later on Nyqwon “Noonie” Murray made up for the muffed punt, with a 92-yard touchdown reception. It was the longest touchdown pass in Orange bowl history, and the sixth-longest pass in FSU history.
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois went down after a hard hit, but returned two plays later. Michigan tight end Jake Butt also exited the game with an injury and hasn’t returned.
Michigan has been held to 83 yards of total offense. While Florida State has gained 255. The Michigan defense averages 257 yards allowed per game
Miami, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – On Thursday, we learned some pretty important things. For one thing Jim Harbaugh “doesn’t know anything” about bikinis. He also enjoys oranges. In fact, he had one Thursday, the day before, and probably a lot more before that.
On Friday, we will know the more important answers to some questions as the No. 6 Michigan and No. 11 Florida State face off in the Capital One Orange Bowl at 8 p.m. in Miami.
This is the 10th Orange Bowl game appearance for the Seminoles, which is the third most for a team in this game. They’re trying to notch their 5th win in the game against Michigan, who are 1-1 in the Orange Bowl.
This isn’t the bowl game both teams were hoping for going into the season. Both team had playoff aspirations early on, with Florida State and Michigan starting the season ranked at No. 4 and No. 7, respectively. But if you ask both coaches, the opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six bowl isn’t one to take lightly.
“If you’re keeping score, it’s not meaningless,” said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, whose team will be playing in their fifth straight NY6 Bowl game. “You play your tails off. It’s competition. That’s your job.”
Whether it’s part of the College Football Playoff or not, there are still some intriguing questions to ask going into the game.
How will FSU Running Back Dalvin Cook Perform?
Of course, the junior running back hasn’t given reporters an answer in regards to whether or not he’ll enter the upcoming NFL draft. But most signs point to this being his last game as a Seminole. It would be an almost perfect way to go out for Dalvin Cook.
The game is only eight miles away from Miami Central High School, Cook’s alma mater. In his three years at FSU, the ‘Noles have played here three times, all against Miami, and they’ve won all three games. He also averages 154 yards per game, along with four total touchdowns. This year was possibly his best in his already illustrious career at FSU. Against Syracuse in week 12, he broke Warrick Dunn’s record for rushing yards all-time, with 3,959 yards.
Cook notices the advantage is given to not only him, but also his fellow Seminoles, when playing in Miami.
“We call it Doak South.,” said Dalvin Cook. “That’s Doak South. You know, being in that stadium in front of my family, I always get that extra boost to go play, being in front of my family.”
Cook still doesn’t know what his fate will be at FSU, but he said he’s enjoying this week and taking it all in with his teammates.
Will experience play a factor?
Florida State has had a plethora of injuries this year, especially on the defensive side. This means they have a relatively young group of players who will start. The only two seniors who will start are defensive end DeMarcus Walker and cornerback Marquez White. However, every FSU coach will say that the injuries are a good opportunity to develop these younger players, and they employ a “next man up” mentality.
“We’re not in the business of making excuses,” said Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly. “If somebody goes down, it’s the next man up.”
For Michigan, they have 10 players starting on defense, including Jourdan Lewis, who won the Big Ten Defensive Back Player of the Year. Two more names to watch out for are defensive lineman Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley. They both won First-Team All-Big Ten honors this year. They combined for 14.5 sacks and 19 tackles for losses this season. The only non-senior who regularly starts is Heisman Finalist and Big Ten Defensive Player of the year, linebacker Jabrill Peppers.
Will the Florida State offensive line protect Deondre Francois?
At one point, FSU was near the top of the list for sacks given up per game. Now, they aren’t even in the top 50. They’ve certainly improved as the season progressed, but this will undoubtedly be their biggest challenge this year. Michigan is No. 2 in the country for sacks, with 44 all year. The line will be anchored by sophomore Alec Eberle and All-ACC tackle Rod Johnson.
“I think we had a very good bowl prep practice and things like that,” said Florida State Rod Jackson. “We finished the week just fine tuning things and making less mistakes.”
Francois has taken his share of big hits this season and has landed himself in the medical tent numerous times. If FSU can keep him standing, FSU has a good chance to pull away with the upset in Miami.
For the first time in 25 years, and just the 3rd time ever, No. 11 Florida State will face No. 6 Michigan in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl Dec. 30. It is the fifth-consecutive BCS/New Year’s Six bowl for the Seminoles and the 10th all-time appearance in the Orange Bowl.
FSU will be looking to avenge a loss five year’s earlier to the Wolverines, top-ranked FSU scored the most points by an opponent in Big House history, beating No. 3 Michigan 51-21.
A win tomorrow night will improve FSU’s bowl record to 27-16-2. And, give Coach Fisher 17 wins against AP Top 25 teams.
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – For the 35th straight year, Florida State is going bowling.
This year, they’re heading the Capital One Orange Bowl to face No. 6 Michigan on Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. The bowl game played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami is familiar territory for the 11th-ranked Noles. Earlier this year, Florida State defeated Miami 20-19 in this very stadium. This is also the 10th time Florida State will play in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles are 4-5, including a win over Northern Illinois in their last appearance in 2013.
Both teams had high expectations coming into this year. Florida State and Michigan started as the No. 4 and No. 7 team in the nation coming into the year, respectively.
Florida State started the season with a convincing 45-34 win over No. 11 Ole Miss. However, early season struggles moved the Seminoles out of playoff contention after losses to Louisville and North Carolina. The Seminoles were ranked as low as No. 23 in Week 5. But a close game against No. 3 Clemson and four straight wins–including a victory against rival Florida– propelled Florida State to a New Year’s Six bowl game. This is the fifth straight New Year’s Six bowl for Florida State.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (FranchiseSportsOnline.net) — Florida State freshman quarterback Malik Henry will transfer to an unspecified school.
The Henry family released the following statement to Noles247:
“I have decided to transfer from Florida State University. I want to thank Coach Fisher and his staff for giving me the opportunity to be a student-athlete at FSU. I wish him and the team nothing but success. At this time I don’t know what University I will be attending in the future.”
Henry was suspended at the beginning of the season for violating team rules and hasn’t played at all this season.
Follow Franchise Sports for updates on this story.
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.
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.
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.
“The way we ran the football, the protection they gave, the offensive line is getting better and better and better.”
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.”
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,”
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.”
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.