Rattlers Win Conference Opener Against Savannah State

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a disappointing loss to Jackson State last week, FAMU entered conference play against Savannah State on Saturday. The Rattler offense exploded in the second half to pull out a 31-13 win over the Tigers.

The game was the classic tale of two halves for FAMU. Quarterback Ryan Stanley went 7 of 12 for 37 and two interceptions through the first two periods. The entire offense totaled only 76 yards on 26 plays before the break. He would finish the contest 14 of 20 for 166 yards and added a touchdown pass.

The Rattlers would score 28 of their points after halftime, in large part because of the efforts of redshirt sophomore running back Bishop Bonnett. Bonnett had 94 yards on the ground on nine carries with a rushing touchdown. He added two catches for 70 yards and a receiving score as well, including a 69-yard reception in the third to help jumpstart FAMU’s offense.

Bonnet was awarded the game ball and said he would give it to his daughter. He said his habits made it so that the results were no surprise. 

“That’s all I do is work and watch film,” Bonnett said. “I can’t really say that I’m on an emotional high because I expected this. We were supposed to beat them like that.”

FAMU head coach Willie Simmons heaped praise on Bonnett’s work off the field. He said Bonnett doesn’t allow his 5-foot-9-inch frame to stop him from making an impact on the field.

“He is kind of the heartbeat of this football team. He is small in stature but big in heart. He shows that regardless of the situation he comes to work every day and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Simmons said. “I’m not surprised because I see it every day in practice.”

Redshirt freshman Xavier Smith led the FAMU receiving corps with five catches for 47 yards. Marcus Williams hauled in four passes for 44 yards.

In addition to Bonnett, FAMU running backs Devin Bowers and Deshawn Smith contributed to the Rattlers 186 yards on the ground. Bowers carried the ball eight times for 53 yards and Smith had seven runs for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Punter Chris Faddoul, the conference leader in average yards per punt at 38.2, punted five times for 231 yards and a long of 55 yards.  He averaged 46.2 yards per punt on the evening.

Simmons said to have Faddoul on the roster is a huge advantage for the Rattlers. He even put him in the class of some of the collegiate football elites.

“Averaging almost 50 yards a punt, Chris continues to punt at an All-American level,” Simmons said. “He continues to flip the field for us and it’s a huge weapon.”

Savannah State played two quarterbacks throughout the night. TJ Bell threw for 88 yards on 7 of 15 passing with an interception and D’vonn Gibbons went 5 of 13 for 65 yards.

Gibbons led the ground attack for the Tigers with 13 carries for 94 yards. Treveyon Pratt has one reception for 36 yards while D’Andre had three catches for 19 yards. 

The Tigers kicked off the game’s scoring on a four-yard touchdown run by JaMichael Baldwin at the 9:15 mark in the first quarter to give SSU a 7-0 lead.

FAMU kicker Yahia Aly got FAMU on the board with a 27-yard field goal with 2:45 left in the second quarter to bring the score to 7-3. It would remain that way going into the half.

Stanley hit Bonnett up the middle seam for a 69-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give the Rattlers their first lead of the game at 10-7. 

After forcing the Tigers into a three and out, Smith plowed his way into the endzone from one yard out late in the third quarter to push the Rattlers’ lead to 17-7. Running back Azende Rey added a four-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to increase the lead to 24-7.

With 6:31 left in the game, SSU sophomore running back Jaylen McCloud closed the gap to 24-13 with a two-yard rushing score. FAMU responded less than a minute later with a nine-yard rushing score by Bonnett to push the lead to 31-13.

FAMU will travel to Durham, NC to face conference foe North Carolina Central in a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Florida State Seminoles beat Northern Illinois during parents weekend

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)-  The Florida State Seminoles beat the Northern Illinois Huskies on parents weekend 37-19 in front of a crowd of 65,633 fans.

The Huskies won the coin toss and deferred to halftime, bringing out the Seminoles offense first.

“Good win for the Noles, we got better as a team tonight,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “When we can run the ball successfully, that’s when this offense can be what we all know this offense can be.”

On the first drive, the Seminoles marched the ball right down the field. Redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois’ pass was intended for junior wide receiver Keith Gavin but caught by senior running back Jacques Patrick for an opening drive touchdown.

The Seminoles defense forces a quick three and out against the Huskies offense.  The Huskies first drive went for three plays, two yards and lasted 1:45.  The Seminoles offense came out not skipping a beat from the first drive.  Sophomore running back Cam Akers takes the hand off right for a seven yard touchdown giving the Seminoles a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Florida States defense was huge in the first quarter, not allowing the Huskies a first down and only allowing seven total yards.

The Huskies redshirt junior safety Trayshon Foster forced the Seminoles sophomore tight end Tre’ McKitty to fumble after an 11-yard gain. The fumble was recovered by redshirt junior Antonio Jones-Davis.   The Huskies then made the Seminoles pay for that turnover when redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Childers connected with redshirt senior wide receiver Jauan Wesley for a 20-yard touchdown pass over the top midway into the second quarter.

The Seminoles junior kicker Ricky Aguayo then gets in on the fun by knocking in a field goal from 42-yards out to put the Seminoles up 17-7 with 3:58 remaining in  the half.  Seminoles defense then force another three and out and the offense moves the ball down into the red zone.  Florida State then sends Agauyo out and he drills a 50-yard field goal to send the Seminoles into halftime with a 20-7 lead.

The Seminoles struggled on both sides of the ball in the third quarter.  After a couple three and outs the Seminoles ran the ball five straight times out of the seven plays in the drive.  Aguayo came out and kicked a 42-yard field goal to put the Seminoles up 23-7 with 4:27 remaining in the third quarter.

The following drive for the Huskies was a rough one. Childers fumbled the snap and was facing third down with 13-yards to the first down.  Childers finds redshirt senior wide receiver Dale Burton down the middle for a 66-yard bomb and touchdown.

“I have to say we got better up front today, for us to execute like we did and score like we did it all starts up front, we aren’t were we need to be but are guys got better today,”Taggart said.

Francois gives the Huskies a taste of their own medicine as he finds  freshman wide receiver Tamorrion Terry for a 78-yard bomb to put the Seminoles ahead  30-13.

The Seminoles defense holds up and Francois and the offense march back on the field.  Francois then throws an interception right to the Huskies linebacker setting them up just outside the redzone.  Junior corner back Levonta Taylor then gets called for a pass interference placing the Huskies on the 11-yard line.  Childers calls his own number and puts his head down and rushes up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown run.

“Our guys are learning to get better, learning how to win and we have to continue to get better and understand those mistakes we made today we can’t make against really good football teams,” said Taggart.

The Seminoles defense comes up with a big stop on their 30-yard against the Huskies offense.  Junior running back Amir Rasul is in to close out the game and gets six straight carries with the last one finding the end zone on a seven yard carry. That was Rasul’s first career touchdown.  The Seminoles beat the Huskies 37-19.

Stats:

Offense

Deondre Francois: 23-31 352-yards 2 TD 1INT

Cam Akers: 22 carries for 75-yards 1 TD

Amir Rasul: 6 carries for 28-yards 1TD

Keith Gavin:L 6 catches for 93-yards

Nyqwan Murray: 5 catches for 85-yards

Defense:

Dontavious Jackson: 4 tackles

Fredrick Jones: 3 tackles 1 sack 1 TFL

Brian Burns: 3 tackles

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Ends Their Losing Streak Against Rickards

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Lincoln Trojans football team defeated the Rickards Raiders 49-0. The win would end a long losing streak against Rickards for the Trojans.

After only two plays of scrimmage, Rickards quarterback Greg Winters threw a pick-six to Lincoln cornerback Jalen Glaze for 40 yards, giving the Trojans the 7-0 lead.

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Lincoln would add to this lead with a one-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Sage Ennis, which would make the Trojan’s lead 14-0. This would also be the score at the end of the first quarter.

Lincoln quarterback Christopher Beard would connect with wide receiver Marko Skarcia for a 37-yard touchdown pass, ending a 73-yard, 11 play drive with 10:30 left to go in the 2nd quarter.

Lincoln would take over at the Rickards 23-yard line after a failed fourth down conversion by Rickards. This would lead to 23-yard touchdown throw by Beard, extending their lead to 28-0.

Beard would add two more touchdowns in the first half. He would have another passing touchdown, making their lead 28-0.

After Lincoln running back Chris Pendleton’s one-yard touchdown run, Beard would rush for a five-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left in the second quarter. At the end of the first half, the Trojans would lead Rickards 42-0.

In the second half, both head coaches would agree to have a running clock.

The Trojans would score on their first drive of the second half, with Beard passing for his third touchdown, this time to tight end Kamari Morales for 13 yards.

Beard would go 10-18 on the night, with 179 passing yards and 4 total touchdowns. Pendleton would also contribute with 96 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Lincoln head coach Quinn Grey said both Beard and Pendleton are playing well going into a crucial stretch of games.

“They’re hitting their stride at the right point in the season,” Grey said. “To have those guys come out in this type of game and to have a big game, it was big.”

Grey said he and his team were motivated to finally beat the Raiders.

“The seniors on our team had yet to beat this team since they have been in high school. There was motivation there for them,” Grey said. “But at the end of the day, we were more concerned about coming out here to play a good football game and not making mistakes that we’ve made in the past.”

Lincoln will end their Touchdown Against Cancer series at Gene Cox Stadium next Friday night against Chiles High School. Rickards will be hosting East Lake High School from Tarpon Springs, Florida on Oct. 5 at Gene Cox Stadium.

 

Godby Celebrates Homecoming, Remain Unbeaten

 

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Godby Cougars celebrated more than just homecoming as they move on to 5-0 with their 59-0 win over Titusville.

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From the start, Godby was in control. On the first play of the game, Trey Fisher found Macho Arza for a 53-yard reception. After a three and out by Titusville, Fisher started right where he left off connecting for three straight passes, including a 45-yard screen to Jaquez Yant.

The following drive saw great execution from the Godby defense as Quentin Miller snagged his first of two sacks in the game, forcing another punt. On his final pass of the night, Fisher connected with Alvin Jones III for a 26-yard touchdown. For the night, Fisher threw 5-5 on passes for 137-yards and three touchdowns.

On the final drive of the first Kamron Martin would get Godby on the scoreboard again to make the score 33-0. While the first quarter had a larger focus on the passing game, the second was made up of punt returns and rushes. On the second play of the second quarter, Alvin Jones III got his second touchdown of the game on a 45-yard punt return. After failed fourth down conversion from Titusville, Godby pounded the ball 40-yards in six plays between Travion Evans and Tyriq Parramore who punched it in to make it 46-0 before the halftime whistle blew.

A quick second half, due to a running clock, saw little change in game. Godby began to substitute players on both sides of the ball. Leland would find the endzone on a rush, along with Macho Arza on the following possession.

The Cougars look to get a district win next week when they travel to Wakulla.

“The clock starts now. We’re gonna celebrate, but we have a district game against Wakulla next week and we have to get our minds right for that one” head coach Corey Fuller said.

Preview: Florida State Seminoles host Northern Illinois on Parents Weekend

 

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)- The Florida State Seminoles will host the Northern Illinois Huskies at 3:30 p.m. and will be aired on ESPNU.

The Seminoles (1-2, 0-2) take on the Huskies (1-2, 1-0) in a non-conference game.  It will be a special day for the Seminoles as it is parents weekend at Florida State.

After a disappointing loss on the road to Syracuse, the Seminoles are looking forward to getting their second win of the season.  It has been a rough start to get the offense flowing. The defense has been good, but are on the field too long getting fatigued.

The Seminoles offense is ranked 109th out of 129 total FBS schools.  The Seminoles defense is ranked 95th out of 129 FBS schools.  The Huskies offense is ranked 129th, while their defense is ranked 49th.

The Seminoles have only scored one touchdown this season against an FBS opponent and that was redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois keeping it on the read option against the Syracuse Orange.

The Huskies defense is giving up 4.6 yards a play and a total of 342-yards a game, while the Seminoles defense is giving up 5.5 yards a play and 428.3-yards a game.

The Seminoles will be dressed in the traditional gold helmets, garnet jersies and gold pants. 

FAMU VS Savannah State Preview

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Florida A&M University Rattlers men’s football team will take on the Savannah State University Tigers at Bragg Memorial Stadium.  

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FAMU comes into the contest 1-2 after losing to Jackson State by a score of 18-16.  Savannah State comes into the game off a bye week due to their game against Howard being postponed. In their last game, the Tigers loss to the University of Miami 77-0.

This will be both team’s first conference game in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.  The last matchup between the teams saw the Rattlers defeat the Tigers 20-14. The Rattlers will look to limit sloppy play and turnovers. FAMU quarterback Ryan Stanley said he doesn’t want a repeat of last week’s loss.

“Overall I felt like it was a sloppy game. It was too many penalties,” Stanley said. “I think I played alright but it is always room for me to get better.”

Stanley threw for 340 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions last Saturday against Jackson State.  On the other hand, Savannah State’s passing game was nonexistent against Miami. Their quarterbacks combined for six completions on 12 attempts for 38 yards and two interceptions.

Both teams are coming off two-game losing streaks and will look to turn their seasons around by winning the first conference game of the season.

GODBY TO TAKE ON TITUSVILLE FOR HOMECOMING

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net–  The undefeated Godby Cougars (4-0) will go up against the Titusville Terriers (1-4) Friday at 7 p.m. at Jesse Forbes Field. This is also the Cougars homecoming game.

Godby is coming off a 57-0 win against Leon Lions (2-2).  Last week, Cougars junior quarterback Trey Fisher ended the game with 16 completions on 21 attempts for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Junior running back Jaquez Yant finished the game with four carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Junior Running back Tyriq Parramore also contributed with seven carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

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Junior receiver Alvin Jones lll finished the game with five catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Jahiem Knight ended the game with four catches for 97 yards and one touchdown. He also had three carries for 58 yards and rushed for one score. On the defensive side of the ball, safety De’shawn Rucker led the team with six tackles.

The Lions were led by senior linebacker Bryce Carpenter with seven tackles. Linebacker Joshua Seabrocks added six tackles and senior safety Miles Saunders also contributed with four tackles.

The Terriers are coming off a 49-14 loss against Palm Bay Pirates (2-2). Titusville is on its fourth consecutive loss of the season. The Terriers is hoping to get a win to end that streak.

Rickards’ Dean Jr. Putting Up Strong Numbers

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– Kelvin Dean Jr. has been tearing it up this season. In the first month, the senior running back put up a 5A District 2 high of 613 yards on 67 carries and eight touchdowns. That is an average of 153 yards per game along with two touchdowns in each.

In every game he’s played, the Temple commit has shown why defenses game plan around him. In his first game of the season, Dean Jr. only put up 40 rushing yards on 11 carries and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. Against Leon, he was an immovable object; he put up 173 yards on 13 carries and also had a touchdown. This was only through two and a half quarters due to an injury that kept him out for the rest of the game.

The next week he was back on the field against Chiles where he put up 115-yards on 17 carries and another touchdown. Dean Jr. hit it out of the park against Gadsen County. He rushed for 285 yards on 26 carries. On those carries, six of them were touchdowns. With numbers like these, Dean Jr. will be close to his career high from last season of 1,836 rushing yards.

The season is still young. Dean Jr. hopes that his numbers lead to more as Rickards this season is 1-4. The Temple commit looks to take the momentum of last week’s phenomenal performance to Gene Cox this Friday night as Rickards takes on Lincoln.

Rattlers Come Up Short Against Jackson State

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Florida A&M Rattlers went up against the Jackson State Tigers and fell short with a score of 18-16.

In the first quarter, both teams started off slow. Redshirt junior quarterback Ryan Stanley ran for 10 yards, putting the Rattlers at the two-yard line. Running back Azende Rey punched it in the end zone, giving the Rattlers a 7-0 lead.

Jackson State moved the football downfield but couldn’t quite get in the end zone. The Tigers settled for a field goal making the score 7-3.

The Rattlers fumbled the football on the kick return and the Tigers recovered it. Another JSU drive stalled in the red zone leading to a field goal, to bring the score to 7-6.

With 9:28 left in the third quarter, Jackson State kicked another field goal giving them a 9-7 lead.

Stanley hooked up with wide receiver Xavier Smith on a 20-yard catch and run for a touchdown giving FAMU the lead 14-9.

The Tigers scored a touchdown then tried to go for a two-point conversion. Rattler’s redshirt junior safety Terry Jefferson intercepted the ball and returned it to the end zone giving FAMU two points and making the score 18-16.

The Rattlers tried to kick a field goal but it was blocked leaving the Tigers some time, but they punted it on their possession giving the ball back to the Rattlers.

The Rattlers were driving down the field and tried to kick game-winning field goal but the time ran out ending the game 18-16.

The Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons talked about the penalties and mistakes they had on the field. He discussed about the last drive of the game.

“Too many self-inflicted wounds and too many penalties on our part,” Simmons said. “Obviously, poor clock management on my part, I should have let the quarterback spike it so we can kick the field goal.”

Stanley finished the game with 26 completions and 37 attempts for 340 yards and one touchdown. He talks about the game overall and his performance.

“Overall I felt like it was a sloppy game. It was too many penalties,” Stanley said. “I think I played alright but it is always room for me to get better.”

The Rattlers will take on Savannah State at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m

Godby Dominates Leon 57-0

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Godby Cougars overpowered Leon on both sides of the ball leading to a decisive win 57-0.

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From the start of the first quarter, the Cougars were on fire. After forcing a quick three and out from Leon, Godby pounded the ball with Tyriq Parramore leading to their first touchdown of the game.

The Lions fought back on the next drive as Paxton Tomaini connected with DJ Campbell for a 48-yard play, but ultimately the drive was unsuccessful as Leon would miss a 26-yard field goal. Godby followed up with an 11-play drive, culminating in Trey Fisher touchdown to Jahiem Knight from 34 yards out.

After a Christion Williams interception, Fisher connected with junior Alvin Jones III for a 48-yard touchdown. The score was 18-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw much of the same. After three consecutive drives ending with punts, Godby was back on the board as senior running back Kamron Martin punched it in to make it 24-0. On the Lions’ next possession, Williams would get his second interception of the game. The Cougar offense would follow with a 64-yard sprint by junior running back Jaquez Yant for another score.

After another three and out from Leon, Fisher would get in the end zone one more time as he found Macho Arza from four yards out. At the half, the score was 37-0.

The third quarter started with a 60-yard bomb from Fisher to Jones III to make it 43-0. On their next drive, Parramore would get his second touchdown of the game to make it 50-0. Jahiem Knight would also score again late in the fourth, making the final score 57-0.

Fisher had a total of 316 passing yards and four passing touchdowns.

“Our receivers made all the plays, did most of the work, I was just the guy to throw them the ball,” Fisher said.

The Cougars rushing game was also crucial as they picked up nearly 200 rushing yards and another five touchdowns split between Knight, Yant, Martin, and Parramore.

Leon looks to bounce back from their two-game losing streak and get above .500 next week against Gateway in Kissimmee. Godby will be happy to play their first home game next week against Titusville.

 

Rickards Gets First Win Of The Season Against Gadsden County

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Rickards Raiders High School football team defeated the Gadsden County High School Jaguars Thursday night. Despite the teams having a combined eight turnovers, the final score wound up 55-32.

Rickards fumbled on the first play from scrimmage.  Quarterback Blake Goins fumbled a jet sweep to wide receiver Sammy Carter. Gadsden County recovered the ball deep in Rickards territory,  which led to a three-yard rushing touchdown by Jaguar’s running back Koleion Rich, giving them a 6-0 lead.

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Rickards would bounce back with running back Kelvin Dean Jr. would score three consecutive touchdowns.

Gadsden would get back into the game with a pick six, narrowing the Rickards lead to 21-12. Rich added a 61-yard touchdown to make the score 21-18 with 7:34 left in the first half.

Rickards would get the ball back inside their own 10 yard line with about a little more than a minute left to go in the half. This would lead to another touchdown run by Dean Jr., this time from 84 yards out. Dean Jr. would also accumulate 203 yards and 4 touchdowns in the first half on only 14 carries.

In the second quarter, Goins would go down with an injury and did not return to the game. Junior quarterback Greg Winters would step in for the remainder of the game.

Gadsden County would start the second half with an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. After Gadsden intercepted Winter’s pass, the Jaguars would take the lead with a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Da’nillo McCloud, making it a 32-28 game.

This would be the last touchdown Gadsden would get. Dean Jr. and Carter would both add two touchdowns, with Carter having a running and a receiving touchdown.

Dean Jr. would end up having 253 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns on 26 carries. The rest of Rickards’ struggled with turnovers, with five total in the game. 

Rickards head coach Quintin Lewis said the turnover problem for the Raiders has been present all season.

“We’ve been struggling with turnovers all year,” Lewis said. “We’ve got to keep working. We have to keep on practicing and work on it more and more. We have tough games coming up and we can’t turn the ball over against some of these teams.”

Dean Jr. shinned, averaging 9.7 yards per carry. He said the team’s first victory should help get things rolling for the Raiders

“It’s a great team win. It’s a great bounce back from 0-3 and we have to keep rolling. We can’t go back from here, only up. Next game, I want to go for 260, and after that, maybe 300,” Dean Jr. said. “We got a lot of fight in us. I love these boys with all my heart and I told them I’m going to go hard for them every day.”

Rickards will play at Lincoln, at Gene Cox Stadium next Friday night to end the Touchdowns for Cancer series.

 

Column: Three takeaways from Willie Taggart’s first win as FSU Head Coach

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)
 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)

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Offense Not Looking Lethal

The “Lethal Simplicity” of the offense looks almost as if it’s too simple and the opposing defenses already know when what play is going to be called.  The short bubble screens are getting stopped behind the line of scrimmage because receivers can’t hold their blocks and the offensive line is looking as bad as it did last year. Having to shuffle guys in and out to find the right lineup during the game isn’t working and the penalties are piling up through the first two weeks. 

The Seminoles had two pass completions of 20-plus yards get called back by the offensive line penalties.  Despite all the hits, redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois took he still managed to have another impressive game as far as his efficiency. Francois completed 31 of his 46 pass attempts for 320-yards and three touchdowns.  Florida State is still searching for the running game, but hopefully, that will come when the offensive line can pull through and hold their blocks.

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RB Cam Akers and WR Nyqwan Murray head to the locker room before kickoff.

FSU Struggling to Run the Ball

Despite having one of the best running backs in the county and a senior leader in the backfield, the Seminoles still aren’t able to run the ball. Going into the season,  fans expected to see a lot more big run plays with the way the gulf coast offense should work.

Sophomore running back Cam Akers was projected to have big numbers and so far hasn’t been what the fans expected.  Akers carried the ball 14 times for 76 yards against the Samford Bulldogs. His longest rush of the day was 14 yards.  Senior running back Jacques Patrick carried the ball 13 times for 44 yards with a long of 13. 

The run game could be struggling due to a lack of blocking by the offensive line, which at this point should almost be expected.  The Seminoles lost a big-time running back in redshirt freshman Khalan Laborn on a kick return. Head coach Willie Taggart confirmed Laborn has a dislocated knee.

Defense Getting Walked On

The Seminoles defense was as close to absent as you can get in the first half against the Samford Bulldogs, an FCS school.   The defense gave up 341-yards in the first half and 525-yards total.  Despite the Seminoles defensive front being able to contain the Bulldogs running backs (holding them to only 50-yards rushing the entire game), the secondary was getting torched. The defensive backs could not break up a deep ball for anything. 

The Bulldogs figured out the go-to play was a lob deep down the field, and surprisingly, completed several such passes.  The first play for the Bulldogs went for a 54-yard bomb which resulted in a touchdown.  The Bulldogs had two receivers catch a ball for 50-plus yards and both receivers had over 95-yards receiving. After the loss to Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett expressed he wanted more turnovers from his defense.  His defense listened and forced five turnovers.  Sophomore nose guard Marvin Wilson forced a fumble and sophomore defensive back Cyrus Fagan recovered it.  Junior corner back Kyle Meyers had two interceptions, Senior defensive back AJ Westbrook had one interception and Junior corner back Levonta Taylor had a late pick six to seal the win for the Seminoles 36-26.

The Seminoles have their first road game of the season were they will be traveling to Syracuse to take on the Orange. Kickoff will be 12:00 P.M.

 

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