Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter) TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)– The No.13 Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team (13-2, 1-1) host the No.1 Duke Blue Devils (13-1, 1-0) today at 2 pm. The Seminoles look to add another accolade to their already impressive start to the season.
In their last outing, Florida State beat the Miami Hurricanes 68-62. The Seminoles were led by senior guard David Nichols as he put up 13 points, 3 assists, and a rebound off the bench. The bench was the story of the game, outscoring Miami’s 41-10. The win was Florida State’s first ACC win of the season and a nice bounce back off of the Virginia loss last Saturday.
Duke comes into this game off of a blowout performance against Wake Forrest 87-65. The Blue Devils were led by their star freshmen Zion Williamson (30 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists) and RJ Barrett (21 points, 7 assists, and a rebound). It was their eighth straight victory and first inside of the ACC conference.
Keys to a Seminole victory includes the deposition of stopping Zion Williamson. On the season the future star averages 20.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. Zion also ranks twenty-second on double doubles this season with seven. Limiting bad shot attempts is a must for Florida State’s offense as Duke ranks fifth in defensive field goal percentage (37.1%).
Florida State have found themselves on the losing end in this series with Duke (9-37). However, the Seminoles have won their last three against when Duke is ranked as the AP No. 1 team dating back to the 01-02 season. It is eight years to the day of the last occurrence of this when the Seminoles beat the Blue Devils 66-61.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –After being selected as a number one seed in the D1 Women’s Soccer: 2018 Selection Show the Florida State Seminoles will start the NCCA Tournament against the Loyal Chicago Ramblers on Friday, November 9th at The Seminole Soccer Complex in Tallahassee, Florida. As a number one seed the Seminoles will have home field advantage in every game they play in the tournament except the championship match.
The Ramblers come into Fridays’ match with a record of 11-6-1. The Ramblers are led by Senior Forward Jenna Szczesny who has a team high 11 goals on the season. The Seminoles come into the contest with a record of 15-4-2 and are heavy favorites as a number one seed. Leading the Seminoles is Junior Forward Deyna Castellanos who has a team high nine goals and six assists on the season.
The Seminoles are going into the NCAA Tournament as ACC Conference Champions. The Seminoles defeated the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, at a neutral site, 3-2. During the ACC Championship Tournament the Seminoles also defeated the Duke University Blue Devils and the University of Virginia Cavaliers.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)- The Florida State Seminoles football team beat the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons in an ACC matchup during homecoming week in front of a crowd of 67,274.
“It was good to see our guys go out there and compete and get better in some of the areas we needed to and find a way to win a ballgame,” Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart said.
The Seminoles (4-3, 2-3) looked stagnant on both offense and defense in the early moments of the game. The offense’s first two drives went for three and outs. The Demon Deacons (3-4, 0-3) offense took the ball right down the field with a 15-play drive for 61 yards and a field goal in three minutes.
“I thought we stopped substituting so much, they were running uptempo and or guys weren’t getting set and ready. Burns sack was big, he started that energy and he made that play to get us going on offense and defense,” Taggart said.
Freshman quarterback Sam Hartman found redshirt junior tight end Jack Freudenthal for a 9-yard pass for the touchdown giving the Demon Deacons a 10-0 lead with six minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Seminoles answered with 38 unanswered points after that score.
After swapping three and outs from both teams, the Seminoles passing game started to heat up. Seminoles redshirt junior quarterback Deondre Francois found redshirt freshman wide receiver Tamorrion Terry for a 23-yard gain followed up by a pass completion to senior wide receiver Nyqwan Murray for a gain of 17 yards to the 3-yard line. Sophomore running back Cam Akers ran for a 3-yard touchdown, cutting the lead down to three with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Demon Deacons had to punt after a seven-play drive stalled. Francois found junior wide receiver Keith Gavin for a 50-yard completion ending up with a fumble to the back of the end zone recovered by Demetrius Kemp of Wake Forest.
Hartman’s pass was tipped by the Seminoles freshman cornerback Asante Samuels and intercepted by sophomore free safety Stanford Samuels. Senior running back Jacques Patrick then punched it in from two yards out. Noles take the lead 14-10 with 9:50 remaining in the first half.
“We were hoping he was going to be open like that. That was the plan with the play call. These guys ran that play before, I believe it was in the Orange Bowl and Noonie came to me with the play, and we ran it, and it worked again,” Taggart said.
After Akers run went for three yards it is fourth down and three to go. Francois finds a wide open Murray in the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown with 2:01 remaining until halftime giving the Seminoles a 21-10 lead heading into the half.
“Cam had a great week of practice, I haven’t seen him practice the way he did this week in a long time. We told him last night it was going to pay off and the Miami game helped also,” said Taggart.
The Seminoles received the ball to start the second half and only needing two plays to find the end zone. Akers takes the handoff for a 17-yard gain and takes the next handoff right up the middle for a 58-yard touchdown run. The Seminoles drive lasted 30 seconds and put them up 28-10 over the Demon Deacons with 14:30 remaining in the third quarter.
The Seminoles defense comes up with another huge stop forcing another punt from Wake Forest. Francois pas complete to Mathews for a 12-yard completion to bring up fourth down. Junior kicker Ricky Aguayo nails a 49-yard field goal to put the Seminoles up 31-10 with 11:19 remaining in the third quarter.
After a big punt return by Mathews, Francois finds freshman wide receiver Tre’shaun Harrison for the 21-yard touchdown giving the Seminoles a 38-10 lead with 9:43 remaining in the game.
For the 99th play ran by Wake Forest, Hartman finds redshirt freshman wide receiver Sage Surratt for a 9-yard touchdown. The Seminoles still lead 38-17 with 4:36 remaining.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State University men’s basketball team will participate in a Garnet and Gold scrimmage on Oct. 14 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at 4 p.m.
The Seminoles will look to carry over their success from last season, which saw them going 23-12 with an Elite 8 appearance, losing to Michigan.
FSU will have 13 players from last season returning to the team, with seven of these players with 20 or more game appearances.
A reason for their success last year was redshirt junior forward Phil Cofer, who will be one of the five seniors on this year’s team. He would lead the Seminoles last season in points per game (12.8), minutes played per game (29.3) and total points (449). He would also rank second in total rebounds (178) and total field goals made (168).
Terance Mann, a 6’7″ senior guard, looks to be another contributing factor, as another returning as a starter. He would lead last year’s squad in total field goals made (171) and in total rebounds (185), while also coming behind Cofer in points per game (12.6) and place third on the team in field goal percentage.
University of Albany transfer David Nichols will look to play a role in this year’s team. During his three-year career at Albany, he would average 13.8 points per game, 2.8 assists and a field goal percentage of 42.5 percent.
After the Garnet and Gold scrimmage, FSU will partake in two exhibition games, with the first being against the University of West Florida on Oct. 26 and the other being against Valdosta State University on Nov. 1. Their first regular season game will be against the University of Florida on Nov. 6 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., the Florida State Seminoles women’s soccer team will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Notre Dame, Indiana.
The Seminoles are coming off their second loss of the season against the Boston College Eagles by a score of 2-1. The Seminoles are sitting at 8-2-1 on the season and are ranked sixth in the country by the NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI. The Fighting Irish come into this matchup with a record of 5-5, most recently scoring a win over the Wake Forest Deacons 1-0.
Despite losing their last game, the Seminoles had a good shooting performance, having 12 total shots with seven of them on target. A great game for the goalkeeper and a mid-game penalty shot made by Boston College ultimately helped put the Eagles over the top, despite having fewer shots on goal.
The Seminoles come into this game led by junior Deyna Castellanos, who is tied for most goals scored on the team, with four, and is the leading shot taker. The Fighting Irish have a much more even scoring approach having five different players tied at two goals each leading their team.
Both teams could use a conference win to boost their records in the ACC. Despite having the better overall record the Seminoles are 1-2 in the conference and the Fighting Irish have a conference record of 1-1.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State University football team has gotten out to an abysmal 3-6 start to their season and a 3-5 start in conference play. At this point in the season most players, coaches and fans would think this is just a lost season and there isn’t much to play for besides pride. Even after this terrible start, the Seminoles can play for more than pride as they can still reach bowl eligibility at six wins.
The Seminoles have three games left and if they can win all three they will be sitting at 6-6 and surely make a bowl due to their eligibility and name. Recently Florida State rescheduled one of there games, that was not played due to Hurricane Irma at the beginning of the season, for December 2nd against Louisiana Monroe.
The three teams the Seminoles have left to play are Delaware State, Florida, and Louisiana Monroe in that order. All of these games are winnable games, especially Delaware State and Louisiana Monroe two none “Power 5” teams. Florida will be the game that the Seminoles need to play their best.
The Gators also have a record of 3-6 but will be ready to play Florida State hard in their rivalry game.