FSU Kicks off their Season with a Solid First Game
By Franchise Sports
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesports.com) – The Florida State football team kicked off their 2012 season, last Saturday, with a 69-3 victory over Murray State in-front of 70,047 in Doak Campbell Stadium.
“I thought we came off the block well early,” said FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. “I saw a lot of athleticism and they got some experience when the lights were on, but they have miles to go. I thought they competed hard and I thought we played okay. We played better as the game went on. First game, we hope to improve a lot because we need to improve a lot. Still a solid first game.”
FSU was able to get their 18th consecutive home-opener. The Seminoles were led by two impact players junior defensive end Bjoern Werner on defense and Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor on offense.
On offense, Florida State rushed for 285 yards on 42 carries. Sophomore running back James Wilder, Jr. earned the team’s game ball for his two-touchdown, 106-yards on just 112 carries performance.
“We’re much further a long and I think we have more diversity with our running game,” said FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. “We’ve got different kinds of backs that all bring something different to the table. I thought the offensive line did a really nice job – great pass protection and we kept pounding the ball. That’s what we’ve got to do. Long way to go, but much improved.”
The Seminoles was able to the running game going early, unleashing a 285-yard , seven rushing touchdowns in their season-opener against the Racers. The seven touchdowns tied a mark for most in a game.
FSU quarterback EJ Manuel, who lead the offense in the first half, connected on 16 of his 22 pass attempts for 188 yards and one touchdown. Clint Trickett added 117 yards in back-up duty in the second half.
“I thought we came off the block well early. Special teams did a real nice job of setting the tone with field position,” said CoacFisher. “I saw a lot of athleticism and they got some experience when the lights were on, but they have miles to go. I thought they competed hard and I thought we played okay. We played better as the game went on. First game, we hope to improve a lot because we need to improve a lot. Still a solid first game.”
“I’ll tell you what I liked about EJ is that is he’s slowed himself down in the pocket,” he also. “He’s much calmer. I think he’s reading progressions. I thought for the night he was very efficient – he and Clint (Trickett) both threw the ball well and effectively – got the ball down the field. Mixed it – found backs and tight ends, did a real nice job. EJ had a few nice scrambles in there.”
The Seminoles were able to hold Murray State to three points, Florida State was able to extend their streak to nine straight games in which FSU has held an opponent to 19 or fewer points. The defense that finished the season last year were back on the field in the same fashion Saturday night.
The Seminoles defense led the nation in average per rush and was second overall in rush defense and was second overall in rush defense. A hand full of Seminoles improved on their career stats by setting new records for themselves.
Tank Carradine set a new career high for tackles (9) in a game besting his previous best of 5 and for TFL with win in a game. Vince Williams equaled the best game of his career with seven tackles for the toward time in his career. And, Xavier Rhodes tied his career-best with one interception in a game as he raised his career total to six.
Bjoern Werner not only set new career records, but also became the talk of the defense going into game two of the season. Werner set new single game career highs for sacks (4) and TFL (5).
In 28 games, Werner has already amassed 11.5 sacks, 22 TFL and 11 passes batted down.
“We know that we have to take every game serious and this time was so amazing that when we went out there, we were ready,” said DE Bjoern Werner. “We played this game like it was our last game and this is what we have to continue doing every week. It was a great performance for the whole team.”
Overall, the Seminoles, were able to kick off the season with a good ground attack, which allowed the Noles’ to gain over 200 yards. FSU was also able to get it going on defense making it a career high game for some players.
The Seminoles are now onto week two of their schedule. The Seminoles will now be faced with their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team, Savannah State. FSU is currently 18-0 against FCS competition dating to the NCAA’s 1978 separation of major college program into two divisions.
Savannah State fell at No. 19 Oklahoma State, 84-0, in its season opener.