2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - Charleston South. at FSU
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Sept. 10 at Florida St 62 ... Charleston Southern 10
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher barely had time to sit down after No. 5 Florida State's 62-10 win over Charleston Southern before he was asked about next week's opponent, top-ranked Oklahoma.
Fisher already had his mind on the Sooners as well, but wanted a moment or so to savor Saturday's victory in a major scheduling mismatch.
"Did what we were supposed to do," Fisher said. "Didn't play perfect."
But the highly favored Seminoles hardly needed to be perfect. They took a 24-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the second quarter and dominated throughout.
Florida State (2-0) amassed 29 first downs and 647 yards offense while holding Charleston Southern to three first downs and 84 yards. The Seminoles had a 371-8 yardage advantage in the first half.
EJ Manuel threw for a career-best 329 yards and four touchdowns while Charleston Southern didn't complete its first pass and get a first down until the third quarter.
"We have to continue to get better," said Fisher, obviously pointing to next week's rematch with a team that he lost to 47-17 a year ago.
"Oklahoma is going to line up and be ready to play," Fisher said. "We know it's a different caliber football team."
The Sooners were off this weekend.
Charleston Southern (0-2) snapped a drought of 11 quarters without a touchdown when Teddy Allen flipped a 3-yard touchdown pass to Carson Leshin early in the third quarter.
Florida State's lopsided win Saturday allowed Fisher to give several of his prized freshmen significant playing time and a handful stood out.
Backup quarterback Clint Trickett tacked on an impressive relief appearance after taking over for Manuel midway through the third quarter.
Trickett completed 6 of 7 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns and ran 4 yards for a third. Both TD throws were to freshman Rashad Greene on plays covering 29 and 69 yards. The two teamed up last week on their first collegiate play for a 28-yard touchdown.
The two quarterbacks found a dozen different receivers in the game with Smith and Keny Sha leading the way with five catches each and Greene collecting 98 yards on his two TD catches.
Greene also handled punt return chores in place of Greg Reid, who was suspended earlier in the week for an unspecified violation of team rules.
James Wilder Jr. led the Seminoles in rushing with 76 yards on 10 carries, four more than Florida State's other four tailbacks combined.
Manuel hit Bert Reed on two short TD passes while the Seminoles' defense limited Charleston Southern to 84 total yards.
Fullback Lonnie Pryor scored on a 14-yard pass from Manuel and Chris Thompson added a 2-yard touchdown run.
Manuel already had a career highs in passing at halftime with 299 yards and three touchdowns, but his interception early in the third quarter set up Charleston Southern's touchdown.
Cornerback Charles James stepped in front of Florida State's Rodney Smith at the 42 for the interception and sped 39 yards to the Seminole 3 before being knocked out of bounds.
"One of my dreams was to catch an interception," said James, who is from Jacksonville and had wanted to play for Florida State. "The first reaction that came to my head was, 'Do I actually have the ball?'"
Andy Brown added a 22-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter for Charleston Southern's final points.
The outmanned visitors were simply unable to get much of anything else going.
"To compete, to battle, to toe-in and to brace and to move forward and not to give an inch," Charleston Southern coach Jay Mills said. "There are many ways to measure success. Certainly, the scoreboard, but there are other victories along the way that are going to parallel into life lessons."
After being shut out in the first half, quarterback Malcolm Dixon threw for 50 yards in the second half. The Buccaneers managed only 21 yards rushing.
It took the Seminoles just three plays to score on Manuel's 45-yard touchdown throw to 6-6 Rodney Smith.
On Florida State's next drive, Manuel hit Reed on an 8-yard TD throw to put the Seminoles up 14-0 less than seven minutes into the game. Reed's second scoring pass came on a 6-yard play that gave the Seminoles a 24-0 lead after Dustin Hopkins' first of two field goals.
Hopkins also kicked eight extra points to extend his streak to 98 straight without a miss. He now has four field goals and 24 points in the first two games of the season.
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Charleston Southern (0-1) at Florida State (1-0) Sept. 10, 6:00, ESPN3.com
Here's The Deal … Florida State has one more ho-hum audition before playing what might be its biggest game of the past decade. You'll have to forgive the Doak Campbell Stadium faithful if they spend more time discussing Oklahoma on Saturday evening than visiting Charleston Southern. A week after easily disposing of Louisiana-Monroe, 34-0, the Seminoles have a final scrimmage before the mighty Sooners travel to Tallahassee in a marquee game with all kinds of national implications.
Beyond the obvious desires to remain healthy and obvious a cataclysmic flop, the ‘Noles would like to use Week 2 to dole out as many valuable reps to the backups as possible. A second-rate Big South squad, Charleston Southern is playing its second of three consecutive road games in the state of Florida. In an indication of the gap separating the Buccaneers and the FBS, they were rocked by UCF, 62-0, in Orlando Saturday evening.
Why Charleston Southern Might Win: In these types of sandwich games, there's always a risk of heavyweight, such as Florida State, looking beyond the Buccaneers and ahead to Oklahoma. Suffice it to say that it'll be tough to educe an "A" game from the Seminoles in this setting. Charleston Southern has building block players on both sides of the ball who are just itching to shine on a grander stage. QB Malcom Dixon took some lumps as a rookie in 2010, but is a year older and better prepared for success. The star of the defense is CB Charles James, a next-level pass defender capable of taking EJ Manuel's throws back the other way.
Why Florida State Might Win: Naturally, the talent gap between the Seminoles and the Buccaneers is immense, so the host team will be able to dictate the tempo of the game on both sides of the ball. If Charleston Southern keeps Florida State from a second straight shutout, it'll probably come from special teams or a fluke play. Sustained drives simply won't happen against a talented D flush with star power, such as DE Brandon Jenkins, LB Nigel Bradham and cornerbacks Greg Reid and Mike Harris. Once the ‘Noles reach double-digits, the sack-happy defense will make sure that the outcome is no longer in doubt.
What To Watch Out For: Despite the opponent, this is a crucial game for Manuel, who was a little skittish in the pocket in Week 1. This is his last chance to get comfortable in an expanded role before the schedule affords him far less room for error. It's incumbent on the junior to store up some confidence, while getting on the same page with top receivers Rodney Smith and Bert Reed. It'll also help the quarterback if he gets a little more support from a ground game that quietly produced only 92 yards on 28 carries on Saturday.
What Will Happen: The Seminoles' biggest hurdle will be remaining focused on the task at hand, with next Saturday's visit from Oklahoma looming over campus like a storm cloud. The outcome will never be in doubt, making execution and avoiding injuries the two primary barometers of success. Florida State wants to be at full strength for Week 3, preferably with an offense that performs with a little more zip and crispness than it did in the whitewash of Louisiana-Monroe.
CFN Prediction: Florida State 66 … Charleston Southern 0
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