Tag Archives: Florida State

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

Alec Chessari, Correspondent on (@AlecChessariFS Twitter)

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

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee


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.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
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.


Seminoles and Trojans End Match in Draw

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles Women’s Soccer Team hosted the visiting University of Southern California Trojans at The Seminole Soccer Complex Friday night.

This cross-conference match marked the fifth game for the Seminoles and the fourth for the Trojans. The match ended in a 0-0 draw despite the Seminoles having six shots on goal and the game entering extra time.  Three of those shots on goal coming from Junior Forward Deyna Castellanos.

FSU Sports Information
Kirsten Pavlisko

Despite the draw, the Seminoles had more scoring opportunities with a total of 18 shots.  The Trojans only managed 6 shots. Although the shot difference was large each team had the same amount of corner kicks at 5. The draw keeps each team without a loss as the Seminoles are 4-0-1 and the Trojans are 3-0-1.

Brooke Bollinger started at goalkeeper for the Seminoles and Kaylie Collins was the starter for the Trojans.  The Seminoles put pressure on the Trojans quickly and had a shot that was off target by Castellanos in the first minute. The Seminoles continued the pressure getting off four shots in the first period compared to just two by the Trojans.  Each Keeper ended the first period with one save.

The second period had more shooting from the Seminoles, totaling eight to the Trojans two shots.  All of these shots by the Seminoles meant the Trojans’ Collins had a busy half saving four shots on goal. Sophomore midfielder Gloriana Villalobos, who was subbed in during the 24th minute, had one of her three shots during the second period.

The shooting for the Seminoles was widespread as nine different players attempted a shot.  Redshirt sophomore defender Malia Berkely and redshirt sophomore forward Kristen McFarland each had two shots total and one shot on goal. Out of the Trojans six total shots, freshman forward Penelope Hocking had four of them and had the only shots on goal for the Trojans.

Extra time had more of the same shooting from the Seminoles, as the Trojans tried to keep up.  The Seminoles managed six total shots during extra time while the Trojans only managed two. Collins had one save during the extra time.

The Seminoles return to action at home Sunday at 5:00 p.m. against the UCLA Bruins. This home game will be the third in a seven-game homestand. The Trojans will be staying in Florida to take on the University of Florida Gators on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.


Dwayne Bacon Leads the Noles to a Victory Over Charleston Southern to Start the Basketball Season

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@JordanPandyFS)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State registers their first regular season victory beating the Charleston Southern University Buccaneers 88-67. Dwayne Bacon was close to a double-double, leading the Seminoles in scoring with 23 points and nine rebounds.

The game was a showcase of young talent as first-time players averaged almost 18 minutes played. Jonathan Isaac led freshmen in scoring, recording 10 points in 23 minutes; he also tacked on three steals. Even the opposition praised Isaac’s performance.

“Jonathan is going to be something,” said CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh. “That’s something to behold out there – you don’t see that too often this side of the NBA.”

The Seminoles did win by a comfortable margin, but the defense looked questionable at times; especially when the young players were on the court.

“We had some breakdowns,” said head coach of the Seminoles Leonard Hamilton. “I think tomorrow when we debrief it’ll show some of the obvious mistakes in terms of the rotations we made. We teach our guys to always get to the level of the ball when the ball is penetrating. But when one guy is there, everyone else can stay sound. But tonight, sometimes we had three guys all in one spot trying to stop the ball.”

Historically, Florida State basketball has been known for defense, and it seems like they are emphasizing good defense and effort this year. The Seminoles gave the Buccaneers a couple of different looks on defense but struggled with ball penetration. Hamilton does not necessarily see the rotation mistakes as too much of a negative though.

“That’s good from their energy and effort standpoint, but it wasn’t very good from a fundamental standpoint,” said Hamilton. “They were able to get weak side jump shots because we fundamentally didn’t execute defensively”

Speed is something the Noles seem to be focusing on on the offensive end. Florida State outscored Charleston Southern 18-4 on fast break points. A lot of the breaks can be attributed to the freshmen and the use of a deep bench. Talented freshmen like CJ Walker and Trent Forrest, combined for 11 points, can come off the bench and gives guards rest so they can give full effort while on the court.

“The ability for us to have guys who can come in during spells and critical parts of the game, where you can bring CJ Walker in, or Trent Forrest can come in and give him [Rathan-Mayes] some rest,” said Hamilton. “I think those guys have the ability to give us good energy. I thought CJ’s effort in the first half was infectious.”

The young players for the Seminoles really stepped up, freshmen combining for 26 points, but the team still needs everyone to contribute to win – and everyone did. All 11 players that played registered at least one field goal and at least one rebound. The balanced attack and the any given man mindset will make the Noles a threat this year. Today it was Bacon’s day, but it could, literally, be anybody the next game.

The Seminoles will be looking to start a winning streak with their opponent the Iona Gaels in the way. That game will be at in Tallahassee this Tuesday at 7pm.

Florida State Stuns Duke in Overtime

Karen Duarte & Emma Vargas, Correspondents

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – After ending Florida State’s national championship run in the semi-finals last year, defeating the Seminoles 2-0, Duke visited Tallahassee to play Florida State for the first time this season in an ACC top 10 match up. After 97 minutes of challenging back and forth play, Kaycie Tillman was able to head the ball in the back of the net scoring the golden goal.

Florida State (10-2-2) started off strong with dominant possession, but Duke (12-2-2) challenged the Seminoles with fast pace and physical play. Megan Connolly took the first corner kick for the Seminoles seven minutes into the first half. Goalkeeper Cassie Miller’s first save of the game came off of a shot by Duke forward Toni Payne on a corner kick in the 21st minute. The half ended with another save by Miller, who blocked a penalty kick from outside the box taken by Olivia Erlbeck.

Both teams came out of halftime with aggressive attitudes. Seminole midfielder Olivia Bergau made a goal attempt in the 58th minute with a cross toward the left top corner of the net, which was saved by the Duke goalkeeper, E.J. Proctor. The Blue Devils followed up with a series of three corner kicks, all taken by Ashton Miller, in four minutes – none of which resulted in a goal. Kristen McFarland of the Seminoles attempted a high shot which passed over the net.

With five minutes remaining in the second half, the Blue Devils received a free kick; defender Mia Gyau was tackled in the box by Florida State defender Natalia Kuikka. Duke midfielder, Christina Gibbons, who carried a strong presence throughout the game, stepped up to take the penalty kick, but her shot was blocked, rebounded, and finally saved by the goalkeeper, Miller. Miller made another save in the final minute of the half, slimly capturing an attempted shot from Morgan Reid, ending the second half still scoreless.

“I really wanted our team to get a win tonight, so I did what I could do,” said Miller. “I just chose a side and I went. The soccer gods were in my favor. Every single day in practice I train for shots from out wide.”

The teams then entered a ten-minute overtime period. Both teams knew what was at stake and played even harder than before. With two minutes and fifty-seven seconds left in the first overtime period, Tillman made a dramatic game-ending header from the six-yard line into the net with a cross sent over from teammates Bergau and Kuikka.

“By and large we competed very well today,” said Seminole head coach Mark Krikorian. “And sometimes these games you need a little bit of luck, and we had a little bit of luck.”

Florida State gets a huge win and gives the Blue Devils their first ACC loss of the year. The Seminoles need to turn their attention now to the Louisville Cardinals who they face in their last home game of the year October 23rd at 1PM.

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 vs. Charleston Southern

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) The Florida State Seminoles built on their momentum from last week’s big game beating Charleston Southern convincingly 52-8. Deondre Francois proved his debut against Ole Miss was no fluke by dominating the CSU Buccaneers going 25-32 for 262 yards in just three quarters.

Francois’ biggest target was Travis Rudolph; the two connected for 105 yards on seven throws. Rudolph got started early scoring his two touchdowns in the first half. The junior Rudolph accounted for nearly half of Francois’ passing yards, and these two look like the next great Florida State duo.

“We’re definitely on the same page,” Rudolph said about his freshman quarterback. “We just have so many mental reps in practice and in film – it’s like taking candy from a baby.”

Continue reading Florida State vs. Charleston Southern

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.

Wakulla War Eagles host Annual Blue and White Game

By: Royal A. Shepherd, Production Director

Crawfordville, Fla. (FranchiseSportsOnline.net) -The Wakulla High School football team gave the community its first look at what to expect from next year’s squad in the Annual Blue and White game on Friday.

The War Eagles took Jerry Reynolds Field at J. D. Jones Stadium to evaluate the team’s progress since the beginning of spring practices. The result was a 14-14 draw at the end of nearly one half of play.

The blue team featured future Florida State wide receiver Keith Gavin and the nation’s top duel-threat quarterback Feleipe’ Franks. Franks said he enjoyed the light-hearted contest.

Wakulla High School Quarterback Feleipe' Franks drops back for a pass during the first half of the Annual Blue and White Game.Royal A. Shepherd
Wakulla High School Quarterback Feleipe’ Franks drops back for a pass during the first half of the Annual Blue and White Game.
“This is a fun game. We come out her to be competitive but to have fun in the same sense,” he said. “It’s always nice to come out here to enjoy these moments with family and friends and to get better.”

Continue reading Wakulla War Eagles host Annual Blue and White Game

Lady Seminoles Adds 2011 Florida Standout Morgan Jones

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State head women’s basketball coach Sue Semrau announced the addition of Northwestern transfer Morgan Jones on Wednesday.

Per NCAA transfer rules, Jones will have to sit out the 2012-13 season, but will have three years of eligibility remaining for the Garnet and Gold.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Morgan to our Seminole family,” Semrau said. “She is a true game changer. Morgan is one of the most versatile players I have ever seen. The minute she steps on the floor, she will have the ability to be one of the top players in the ACC. Her return to the state of Florida will be a catalyst for other great players to also join the Garnet and Gold, and once again propel us to the top of the conference.”

Continue reading Lady Seminoles Adds 2011 Florida Standout Morgan Jones

Tori Huster Named ACC Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the year

 Feb. 21, 2012

Florida State’s Tori Huster was named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while the Seminoles landed a school record eight student-athletes on the ACC All-Academic Team as announced by Commissioner John Swofford on Monday, February 20.

Huster becomes the first Seminole soccer player to earn ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

Huster was joined on the All-Academic Team by Seniors Janice Cayman and Ella Stephan, junior Tiana Brockway and Jessica Price, sophomores Kassey Kallman and kelsey Wys and freshman Jamia Fields.

Continue reading Tori Huster Named ACC Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the year