By Ariel Bedford
FSU held its Garnet and Gold Game in Doak Campbell Stadium, and after a spring session where Head Coach Jimbo Fisher looked for more effort from his team, the results give his staff much to ponder over heading into the summer…
Though E.J. Manuel is clearly the starter for the Seminoles, backup quarterback Clint Trickett is not resting on his laurels. Donning garnet Trickett launched a 70 yard pass to Junior Greg Dent on the first play from scrimmage for a touchdown. The Gold squad respnded to tie the game at 7 with a methodical 14 play, 75 yard drive that ended with a 2 yard pass from E.J. Manuel to Sophomore James Wilder Jr. The defenses took over from there, with the only other score in the 1st half coming off a forced throw on the move by Manuel that DB Terrence Brooks undercut and ran back for a 51 yard pick six. Both teams only had 2 penalties a piece in the first period for 10 yards, coming on false starts.
In the second half, the defensive secondaries got overwhelmed and Coach Fisher looked to let the teams rip. While the O used play-action early and often to set up check-downs to Wilder, Kenny Shaw, and Nick O’Leary, the running game with Eric Beverly and Christian Green wasn’t as deliberate in the 2nd period. Standout plays included a 19 yard flag route from Manuel to O’Leary, as well as a pair of TD grabs by Miramar product Rashad Gholston.
At halftime, several former Seminole stars participated in the Alumni Flag Football Game, including current New York Jet Antonio Cromartie, Nick Maddux, Matt Frier, and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarteback Brad Johnson. Current Nole players were also honored at halftime, with Everett Dawkins and Cameron Erving earning Spring Practice Iron Man awards. E.J. Manuel won Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Spring, with Brandon Jenkins getting the Defensive equivalent.
Overall, the Garnet and Gold Game will have Jimbo and his offensive staff looking to work on Manuel’s decision-making, as he threw two interceptions that could have been avoided, though he picked up his play late. The defense, which looked good statistically last year but was exposed in the passing game by top-tier talent, will need to shore up their back seven in order to be more productive headed into Summer Camp. However, the talent is definitely there, and with more effort and concentration, the Seminoles should have a very exciting 2012 Season to look forward to.