Tag Archives: ACC Football

Willie Taggart and Noles Get First Win of The Season


Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Willie Taggart’s offense got its first touchdown of the season after 70 minutes, 57 seconds of game time. He also collected his first win as the head coach at FSU.

A 33-point favorite, Florida State didn’t lead the game until the fourth quarter in the 36-26 nailbiter win over the Samford Bulldogs at Doak Cambell Stadium on Saturday.

Taggart said the slugfest was a solid first win for his team. He acknowledged the team’s desire to play better on offense, but said he would take the wins however they come.

“Good win for the Noles,” he said. “It was good to see our guys find a way to come back and get a win after we started slow and weren’t playing as well. I thought it was a great team victory.”

Offensively, FSU continued to struggle up front. Despite only giving up one sack, Seminole quarterback Deandre Francois was hit frequently. He would finish the game 31-46 for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Cam Akers paces the Noles on the ground with 76 yards on 14 carries. In total, the team had 134 rushing yards, averaging 3.8 yards a carry.  

The Noles gave up 525 yards of total offense to the Bulldogs, including 475 through the air from senior quarterback Devlin Hodges. Hodges completed 39 of 60 passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. 

Samford scored on its first play from scrimmage on a 54-yard bomb from Hodges to senior receiver and Bradenton native, Kelvin McKnight. Cooper Cross failed to connect on the extra point attempt, leaving the score at 6-0. 

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FSU lines up late in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs would get another score in the first when senior running back Roland Adams plowed his way into the endzone from two yards out. This time Cross would convert the PAT, increasing the lead to 13-0.

The Seminoles would get their first touchdown of the season on a 27-yard hookup from quarterback Deondre Francois to wideout Tamorrion Terry to cut the Bulldogs lead to six.

Freshman kicker Mitchell Fineran added a 30-yard field goal to push the Bulldog lead to 16-7.

The Noles would trim the lead when Francois scored on an 8-yard keeper, cutting the deficit to two and bringing the score to 16-14. 

Despite Florida State’s back-to-back scores, Samford continued its onslaught with a 27-yard touchdown from Hodges to McKnight to extend the lead to 23-14. It was the pair’s second touchdown connection.

Francois would find Terry again in the second quarter on a 15-yard strike for a touchdown to cut the lead again to 23-21, where it would remain until halftime. 

Fineran’s late field goal with 7:58 left in the game gave Samford a 26-21 lead. 

 FSU would get the go-ahead touchdown with 4:03 left in the game when Francois found tight end Tre McKitty on a 5-yard pass into the endzone.  It gave the Noles a 29-26 lead, their first of the game.

McKitty said the play was designed for him and his only job was to make a play on the ball. 

“I was the first read,” McKitty said. “As soon as we left the huddle I knew the ball was coming to me.”

LeVonta Taylor returned an interception for a touchdown in the game’s final minutes to salt it away.

During a break in the game, Florida State played a video tribute for former Nole Burt Reynolds. Reynolds died on Thursday at the age of 82.

Samford will take on the Mercer Bears in their next contest. Florida State will travel to New York for a conference matchup against the Syracuse Orange in a noon kickoff on Sept. 15.

Deondre Francois Named Starting Quarterback

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the first time in over a year, Deondre Francois will trot onto Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium as the starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles.

Francois last appeared in the opening game against Alabama last September in Atlanta, Ga.  Francois exited the game in the fourth quarter after being tackled from behind. Later that week, it was revealed that he tore his patellar tendon in his right knee, and would miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

The redshirt junior won ACC Rookie of the year honors in 2016, posting a 20:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 3,350 yards with a 142.1 quarterback rating.

Francois was also competing with redshirt freshman Bailey Hockman and sophomore James Blackman, who replaced Francois last year.

Seminole fans have been longing for the start of this season after the hiring of head coach Willie Taggart. Last season’s 7-6 record was the worst at FSU since 2009.

No. 19 FSU opens the season against No. 20 Virginia Tech on Monday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m.

Game 8 Preview: Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles

Samuel Profeta, Correspondent 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (FranchiseSportsOnline.net) – This week is a big week for the No. 12 ranked Florida State Seminoles as they face a tough match against currently ranked No. 3, the Clemson Tigers. The Seminoles will attempt to end the Tiger’s hopes of reaching the playoffs and in return create a huge leap for themselves in the polls. This is arguably one of the most anticipated games on the schedule for Coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles as this is their ACC division rival and not to mention that Clemson is standing strong at the top of the division with a 7-0 record.

When asked about facing Clemson’s talented defense, this is what Coach Fisher had to say:

“What I’m saying, there’s no lay-ups and things you can just — you’ll have a chance to get, and they make you execute and play tight coverage in the secondary.”

Continue reading Game 8 Preview: Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles

Video: Noles Earned 56th All-Time Homecoming Victory

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.

Florida State Edges Wake Forest on Homecoming 17-6

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent

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.

Florida State Home Opener Preview

Jordan Giorgio, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State welcomes Charleston Southern for the 2016 home opener at Doak Campbell Stadium.

FSU is coming off the largest comeback in school history after defeating Ole Miss 35-44 in their first game of the season.

Charleston Southern took 4-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State to overtime before falling 24-17 in their season opener last week.

FSU vs. Ole Miss Preview

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher came out optimistic and excited for the new football season in his opening weekly presser – as he should be.

“It’s that time again, isn’t it?” Fisher said. “I’m glad it’s that time. Getting ready to kick off this season. Very excited. Looking forward to playing somebody else, our guys I think are getting tired of playing each other.”

Florida State opens the season ranked fourth in both the AP and Coaches poll. The Seminoles are kicking off their season with one of the bigger openers this year, and in the past few seasons, playing the 11th ranked Ole Miss Rebels in Orlando. The Rebels, who are 4-0 in season openers under their head coach Hugh Freeze, finished 10-3 last season in the SEC, beating LSU, Auburn, and Alabama. Ole Miss lost a lot of players to the draft but is bringing back their most important star, quarterback Chad Kelly.

Continue reading FSU vs. Ole Miss Preview

Seminoles’ Simulate Game In Final Major Preseason Scrimmage

 Manuel earns solid marks, while defense also steps up production.

By Florida State Sports Information 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In virtually every aspect – except the lack of tackling – Thursday’s Florida State football scrimmage was as close to a game situation scenario as possible.

The Seminoles punted when three downs failed to yield a first down, kicked off after scores and even mixed in a few field goal attempts when warranted, mixed with a heavy dose of situational work.  In short, it was just what the ‘Noles needed with the Sept. 1 season-opener against Murray State just nine days away.

Continue reading Seminoles’ Simulate Game In Final Major Preseason Scrimmage

College FB: ’12 Florida Spring Football Recap (Blitz Analysis V-Series) Part 1

Franchise Sports recently took a look at six of the Sunshine State’s Gridiron Squads and their progress during Spring Football 2012. Here’s Part 1 of a 2-part series….

‘Noles Get Back to Action after One Day Off

Sophomore running back James Wilder Jr. returns to the practice field.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A late afternoon threat of inclement weather passed through the Tallahassee area, but the Florida State Seminoles still managed to get their 10th practice in of the spring. The Seminoles worked through their usual 2 ½ hour session at the intramural fields across from Doak Campbell Stadium one day after having a practice cancelled due to weather.

“Not a bad practice today,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “You could tell we had been off. Sometimes when you get off two days (in a row), I hate that, but we got going. The offense played real well on the goal line today. The defense, I like what we’re going blitz package-wise. We’re going to bring a lot more pressure. … We picked some up and made some plays. “The goal line went really well.

Continue reading ‘Noles Get Back to Action after One Day Off

College Football: FSU’s Karlos Williams Speaks To Media

As set by Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, 1st-year players are hands-off to the media while suiting up for the Garnet and Gold. Now that former 5-star recruit Safety Karlos Williams is a rising sophmore at Florida State, we all get to benefit from his sparkling personality on camera! Continue reading College Football: FSU’s Karlos Williams Speaks To Media