CFN Take: Florida State Sloppy In UF Win

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 29, 2014


Florida State Seminoles 2014 ... Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher

2014 Florida State Seminoles

2014 Schedule
Record: 12-0

Aug. 30 Okla St (in Arl) W 37-31
Sep. 6 The Citadel W 37-12
Sep. 13 OPEN DATE
Sep. 20 Clemson W 23-17 OT
Sep. 27 at NC State W 56-41
Oct. 4 Wake Forest W 43-3
Oct. 11 at Syracuse W 38-20
Oct. 18 Notre Dame W 31-27
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Oct. 30 at Louisville W 42-31
Nov. 8 Virginia W 34-20
Nov. 15 at Miami W 30-26
Nov. 22 Boston Coll W 20-17
Nov. 29 Florida W 24-19
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
Dec. 7 Georgia Tech
Nov. 29 at Florida State 24, Florida 19
And You Care Because … Jameis Winston was awful – throwing four interceptions – but he came up with two second quarter touchdown passes to Nick O’Leary from ten and six yards out, and the defense came through with a gamechanging interception return for a score in the first to slow down a Gator roll. Florida took advantage of Winston mistakes early, but settled for three Austin Hardin field goals for a 9-0 lead. Just when it appeared that the Gators were going to score again, FSU’s Terrance Smith picked off Treon Harris and went 94 yards for a touchdown. The Noles took a 21-9 lead on Winston’s two scoring passes, but Florida fought back to pull within nine on a fourth Hardin field goal and a 15-yard Clay Burton touchdown catch. But that was as close as it would get with FSU’s Roberto Aguayo coming up with a 37-yard field goal. The Gators stalled on their final drive, with Harris missing a wide open Demarcus Robinson on fourth down.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 12-of-24 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions, and ran seven times for 16 yards
- Florida QB Treon Harris completed 13-of-32 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, and ran nine times for a team-high 41 yards
- Florida State RB Dalvin Cook ran 24 times for 144 yards and caught two passes for 28 yards
- Penalties: 10 for 105 yards – Florida State 8 for 63 yards
Game Rating: B+

Nov. 22 at Florida State 20, Boston College 17
And You Care Because … Roberto Aguayo made up for an earlier miss by hitting a 26-yard field goal with three seconds to play to save Florida State in a tough battle. Tyler Murphy found Shakim Phillips for a 49-yard score and ran for a 21-yard touchdown to help Boston College tie it at 17, but an Alex Howell missed field goal opened the door for Jameis Winston to lead a 12-play, 66-yard drive leading to the game-winning kick. Karlos Williams started out the scoring with a three yard run for an early FSU lead, but the team’s final touchdown came late in the first half on a 30-yard Nick O’Leary catch. The Seminoles didn’t score again until Aguayo’s final field goal.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 22-of-32 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Boston College QB Tyler Murphy completed 6-of-10 passes for 73 yards and a score, and ran 15 times for 48 yards and a touchdown
- Total yards: Florida State 391 – Boston College 313
- Third down conversions: Boston College 8-of-14 – Florida State 6-of-11
Game Rating: A-

Nov. 15 Florida State 30, at Miami 26
And You Care Because … Dalvin Cook ran for a 26-yard touchdown with just over three minutes to play, and Roberto Aguayo hit field goals from 53, 43 and 37 yards as Florida State overcame a 23-7 lead with a 23-3 scoring run. Miami dominated early on with Brady Kaaya throwing a 27-yard touchdown pass for Phillip Dorsett and Duke Johnson running for a one-yard score, and Clive Walford taking a pass for a 61-yard score, but Florida State stayed in the game on a 44-yard Cook scoring dash. The FSU defense clamped down, the O got hot, and Miami couldn’t answer late, with Kaaya getting picked off on a last gasp drive.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 25-of-42 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Miami RB Duke Johnson ran 27 times for 130 yards and a touchdown, and caught four passes for 37 yards
- Total yards: Miami 492 – Florida State 418
- Miami QB Brad Kaaya completed 16-of-34 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
Game Rating: B+

Nov. 8 at Florida State 34, Virginia 20
And You Care Because … Karlos Williams ran for two touchdowns and Jameis Winston found Rashad Greene for a 22-yard score and ran for a four-yard touchdown as Florida State overcame a 13-7 first quarter deficit with 21 straight points for the first half lead. Virginia got within eight on Greyson Lambert’s third touchdown pass of the game, but two Roberto Aguayo field goals from 43 and 40 yards out put it away for the Seminoles.
What Else? First half score: Florida State 28, Virginia 13
- Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 22-of-35 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown with two picks, and he ran five times for 16 yards and a score
- Virginia QB Greyson Lambert completed 20-of-35 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns with an interception
- Florida State WR Rashad Greene caught 13 passes for 136 yards and a score
Game Rating: B-

Oct. 30 Florida State 42, Louisville 31
And You Care Because … Florida State got down 21-0, and Jameis Winston was picked off three times, but it didn’t matter. The Seminoles wore down the Louisville defense as Winston threw three touchdown passes starting out with a 68-yard Travis Rudolph pass and threw a perfect strike to Ermon Lane for a 47-yard score for a 28-24 lead. Louisville answered right back with a 65-yard drive finishing up with Michael Dyer’s third touchdown run, but that was it for the Cardinals as Dalvin Cook took off for his second touchdown run of the game, scoring from 38 yards out, and the Noles put it away with a 35-yard Freddie Stevenson touchdown catch. The Cardinals got out fast thanks to a huge game from WR DeVante Parker and Dyer runs from four and 12 yards out.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 25-of-48 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions
- Third down conversions: Florida State 9-of-16 – Louisville 1-of-11 (that one coming in garbage time)
- Louisville WR DeVante Parker caught eight passes for 214 yards
- Louisville RB Michael Dyer ran 28 times for 134 yards and three scores
Game Rating: B+

Oct. 18 at Florida State 31, Notre Dame 27
And You Care Because … In a classic, Florida State hung on for dear life as Notre Dame’s last gasp throw into the end zone was intercepted, but not before Everett Golson converted a 4th-and-18 on the final drive and later appeared to have won the game on a short touchdown pass that got called back on a controversial penalty. The Irish led until late, getting two Golson touchdown passes to Corey Robinson, but Florida State always had an answer and never got more than one score down. Jameis Winston threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph in the first quarter, but he didn’t heat up until the second half, finding Rashad Green on a ten-yard scoring pass in the third, and marching the Seminoles 75 yards in ten plays, finishing up with Karlos Williams’ second short scoring run for what would turn out to be the game-winner. Notre Dame had two final chances, stalling on the first one and pinning FSU deep, and just missing on the second as an apparent Golson touchdown pass to Robinson was called back for pass interference as two Irish receivers picked off their men so Robinson could get open. With one final chance on 4th-and-goal with 13 seconds left, Golson was intercepted by Jacob Pugh in the end zone.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 23-of-31 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
- Notre Dame QB Everett Golson completed 31-of-52 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions, and ran 11 times for 33 yards
- Notre Dame WR Corey Robinson caught eight passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns
- Total yards: Notre Dame 470 – Florida State 323
Game Rating: A

Oct. 11 Florida State 38, at Syracuse 20
And You Care Because … Amid all of the off-field issues and controversies, Florida State took care of business getting up 24-6 at halftime on two Mario Pender touchdowns, a 34-yard Roberto Aguayo field goal, and a 21-yard Nick O’Leary touchdown catch. Jameis Winston threw his third touchdown pass midway through the third quarter, and the Seminoles took their foot off the gas. Syracuse got two second half touchdown passes from A.J. Long to Steve Ishmael.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 30-of-36 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns
- Syracuse QB A.J. Long completed 16-of-27 passes for 167 yards and two scores and two picks, and ran three times for 20 yards
- Turnovers: Syracuse 3 – Florida State 2
- Time of possession: Florida State 36:27 – Syracuse 23:33
Game Rating: C-

Oct. 4 at Florida State 43, Wake Forest 3
And You Care Because … Wake Forest had a 3-0 lead in the second quarter, and while Florida State scored 43 unanswered points, it wasn’t a sharp effort. Robert Aguayo hit five field goals, and Jameis Winston and Mario Pender each ran for short scores, while the Seminole defense stuffed the Demon Deacons and got a fumble return for a score from Reggie Northrup. Winston also found Travis Rudolph for a 59-yard touchdown in the fourth.
What Else? Florida State PK Robert Aguayo hit field goals from 43, 40, 52, 42 and 32 yards out
- Total yards: Florida State 475 – Wake Forest 126
- Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 23-of-39 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and ran seven times for 34 yards and a score
- Wake Forest QB John Wolford completed 9-of-15 passes for 58 yards and an interception
Game Rating: D

Sept. 27 Florida State 56, at NC State 41
And You Care Because … NC State appeared to be in control with a 24-7 first quarter lead helped by two terrific touchdown passes from Jacoby Brissett – starting out with a 54-yard pass to Bo Hines on the second play of the game – but Karlos Williams, Jameis Winston and the Seminoles took over and fought their way back. Williams ran for three touchdowns including two in the fourth quarter, and Winston threw four touchdown passes including two to Jesus Wilson in the comeback. Down ten with just over 20 minutes to play, Winston found Wilson from 15 yards out to start out a 28-3 run to close out. NC State pulled within eight on a 25-yard Niklas Sade field goal, but the Noles went on a 75-yard drive that took over four minutes, finishing off with a 12-yard Williams run, to put the game away.
What Else? Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 26-of-38 passes for 365 yards and four scores with two picks
- NC State QB Jacoby Brissett completed 32-of-48 passes for 359 yards and three scores, and he ran 13 times for 38 yards. The Wolfpack finished with 520 yards of total offense.
- Florida State RB Karlos Williams ran 21 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns, and caught three passes for 29 yards
- NC State’s Jerod Fernandez came up with both Winston interceptions. FSU turned the ball over four times.
Game Rating: A-

Sept. 20 at Florida State 23, Clemson 17 OT
And You Care Because … Florida State survived the absence of Jameis Winston with a fumble recovery late in regulation deep in its own territory to keep the game tied, and then got a 12-yard Karlos Williams touchdown run in the overtime for the win. Clemson had the ball first, but was stuffed on a 4th and 1 opening the door for the Seminoles. The Tigers held a 17-10 lead late in the fourth on a two-yard Deshaun Watson run, but Sean Maguire found a wide open Rashad Greene for a 74-yard score to tie it. Maguire got picked late, giving Clemson the chance to drive for the win, but FSU’s fumble recovery kept the game alive.
What Else? FSU QB Sean Maguire completed 21-of-39 passes for 305 yards and a score with two picks.
- Clemson QB Deshaun Watson came in for Cole Stoudt and was magnificent, completing 19-of-28 passes for 266 yards, and ran 12 times for 30 yards and a score.
- Rushing yards: Clemson 101 – Florida State 13
- Jameis Winston came out for pregame warmups in pads, but was told to change into street clothes.
Game Rating: A

Sept. 6 at Florida State 37, Citadel 12
And You Care Because … Florida State scored the first 34 points of the game with James Winston throwing touchdown passes to Jesus Wilson and Nick O’Leary, and Roberto Aguayo came up with three field goals in the rout. Winston completed 22-of-27 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns with ten different receivers catching passes. Not everything went right for the Noles with three defensive linemen – Eddie Goldman, Justin Shankes and Nile Lawrence-Stample - all suffering leg injuries. The Citadel ran for 250 yards and came up with two late touchdowns.
Game Rating: D

Aug. 30 Florida State 37, Oklahoma State 31
And You Care Because … It was a fight, but the Florida State defense heled when it absolutely had to, and Jameis Winston was Jameis Winston when he needed to be. It looked like an easy night as FSU got up 17-0, but Oklahoma State clawed its way back into the game pulling within three early in the third quarter. And then Winston showed off his Heisman skills with a highlight-reel touchdown run for the ages from 28 yards out. OSU’s J.W. Walsh kept pace with two fourth quarter touchdown runs, but he coughed up the ball on a key fumble late. Winston put the game away with a 50-yard pass play to Rashad Green on a dart, but the Cowboys didn’t go away and made it interesting before FSU finally ran down the clock.
What Else? It wasn’t a perfect performance, but Winston completed 25-of-40 passes for 370 yards and a touchdown with two picks to go along with a 28-yard rushing score. Rashad Greene caught 11 passes for 203 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
- J.W. Walsh might have lost a key fumble, but he completed 15-of-27 passes for 203 yards and a score with a pick and ran 11 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
- Tyreek Hill was the most electrifying player on the field. The Oklahoma State freshman ran eight times for 44 yards, caught six passes for 62 yards, returned six kickoffs for 140 yards and averaged 16 yards per punt return.
- The FSU offensive line struggled. Oklahoma State allowed just 106 rushing yards and came up with two sacks and plenty of pressures.
Game Rating: A

2014 Preview 

Everyone in America is looking up at Florida State. The ‘Noles are planning to keep it that way.

FSU is the king of the college football world. Remaining on the throne is Jimbo Fisher’s singular priority in 2014. He’ll be reloading with a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, Jameis Winston, and a roster littered with gifted former high school stars. Fisher and the staff know they possess the right mix of talent to repeat, at least as the ACC champ. Maintaining the drive and focus that helped Florida State navigate last year’s schedule without a loss will be a far tougher task than filling a few holes on the depth chart.

It’s been a steady climb up the mountaintop for Florida State. The Seminoles finished the season ranked in 2010 and 2011, Fisher’s first two years as Bobby Bowden’s successor.

A year later, they won the ACC for the first time since 2005. And last fall, they put it all together, capping a perfect season with a thrilling 34-31 win over Auburn in the final BCS National Championship Game.

Moving beyond the malaise that gripped the end of the Bowden era was hard. On some level, keeping the defending champs motivated in ‘Bama-like fashion, will be every bit as challenging.

Fisher is facing more distractions than any coach in the FBS. It doesn’t help matters when the face of the program, Winston, gets dinged for shoplifting crab legs from a supermarket in April. It’s not as if opposing fans will use that little indiscretion as fodder for heckling this fall. Fisher has been fantastic through four seasons as the head coach. If he can keep his kids from taking their eye off the ball in 2014, he’ll skyrocket toward the top of his profession.

In terms of personnel, the Seminoles have issues, but few pressing enough to keep the team out of the inaugural College Football Playoff chase. The offense will again be borderline unstoppable. The top priority will be for Winston to develop chemistry with a retooled receiving corps that’s going to miss WR Kelvin Benjamin. There’s a key opening on the outside across from Rashad Greene, which seniors Christian Green and Jarred Haggins, and sophomores Jesus Wilson, Kermit Whitfield and Isaiah Jones are battling to fill.

The defense lost a lot, from last year’s five All-ACC first or second-teamers to influential coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. But you might not notice it this season. The Seminoles boast a revolving door of next-level defenders. Yeah, you don’t get better by losing Lamarcus Joyner, Timmy Jernigan, Telvin Smith and Terrence Brooks. But you don’t get much worse either, when you’ve got Mario Edwards, P.J. Williams, Ronald Darby and Jalen Ramsey ready to explode into the spotlight. Tallahassee is once again a breeding ground for elite young defenders.

There’s no doubting that Florida State has the requisite talent to repeat as the national champs. Years of recruiting—and developing—the right kids has the ‘Noles as stacked as ever. But are they hungry, hungry enough to thrive with a huge target on their chest? Fisher and the staff are working overtime this offseason to keep their kids from falling into the trap of complacency and malaise that can derail even the deepest of teams.

What to look for offense: Who takes heat off WR Rashad Greene and TE Nick O’Leary in the passing game? The early departure of Kelvin Benjamin leaves a gaping void in the receiving corps. Not only was he one of the most physically imposing receivers in the game, but he was unstoppable down the stretch last year. Might this be the year that seniors Christian Green and Jarred Haggins stay healthy long enough to provide a one-year patch on the corps? If not, look for jackrabbit sophomores Jesus Wilson and Levonte Whitfield to emerge in a big way. Wilson is coming off a terrific spring, and Whitfield has world-class speed.

What to look for on defense: The linebackers will be on the spot. The Seminoles lost last year’s two best linebackers to graduation. And since opposing quarterbacks will cautiously target the air-tight FSU secondary, the team’s front seven will be under the microscope. Terrance Smith is a returning starter and an emerging star, but who joins him? Junior Reggie Northrup is the veteran of the contenders and a valuable member of special teams. He’ll be pushed by the talented young kids, namely 2013 blue-chippers Matthew Thomas and E.J. Levenberry.

The team will be much better if ... the defensive linemen spend more time in opposing backfields. Sure, the Seminoles produced 35 sacks in 2013, a solid overall output. But a cornerback led the way, and the only lineman with at least four sacks, Timmy Jernigan, is now a Baltimore Raven. If Florida State can mount a consistent push up front from the likes of Mario Edwards, Eddie Goldman and Chris Casher, throwing the ball on this D will be borderline impossible in 2014.

The Schedule: The defending national champs start tough early in a fun test against Oklahoma State in Arlington, end nasty late against an improved Florida, and have a nice and easy midsection that looks potentially dangerous, but isn’t as long as they can hold serve at home. There aren’t two road games in a row, and the toughest away dates are at Louisville and Miami – those need to be manageable for a team thinking national title repeat. The spotlight will be on dates with Clemson and Notre Dame, but those are both in Tallahassee, and there shouldn’t be any issues whatsoever with a slew of scrimmages against The Citadel, Wake Forest and Boston College. Missing Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina from the Coastal will help.

Best Offensive Player: Sophomore QB Jameis Winston. Florida State was tough when EJ Manuel was under center. But it wasn’t until Winston took the reins that the Seminoles became national champs and the highest-scoring team in NCAA history. He was otherworldly as a rookie, playing with uncommon poise and confidence for such a young quarterback. The program, though, needs him to be as cool and decisive away from the field as well, or else dreams of a repeat will quickly evaporate. Winston makes this offense—and this team—go. Plus, now that Jacob Coker has transferred to Alabama, and sophomore Sean Maguire is the backup, the ‘Noles don’t have the same safety net off the bench that they did in 2013.

Best Defensive Player: Junior CB P.J. Williams, Jr. This spot could easily be occupied by Mario Edwards, Ronald Darby or Jalen Ramsey, testament to the depth of defensive talent currently in Tallahassee. Williams, though, is already generating a first-round buzz for the 2015 NFL Draft, which means he should school wide receivers at this level. He’s the leading man of a secondary that’s so good, it’ll force the opposition to either abandon the pass or try to live off screens and short tosses. The DBs are big, physical and athletic, allowing the defensive staff to experiment with blitzes, without paying the price over the top.

Key player to a successful season: Senior C Austin Barron. Barron is the lone newcomer to the starting lineup, though he does have experience in the lineup. He’s expected to replace Bryan Stork, who was one of the nation’s premier centers a season ago. Barron is intelligent and he’s seasoned, which are pluses, because he’s the guy who’ll be snapping the ball to Jameis Winston at the start of every play. Barron isn’t expected to be Cameron Erving or Tre’ Jackson, but the ‘Noles will need him to be steady for the offense to avoid any unnecessary stumbles.

The season will be a success if ... the Seminoles repeat. With the talent left in Tallahassee, and the manageable schedule the team faces, anything less than another ACC and national championship will be viewed as a disappointment at Florida State. As it should be. The ‘Noles are bringing back a Heisman-winning quarterback and as much talent as any other FBS school. Plus, Clemson must visit Doak Campbell Stadium in Week 3, which will likely give the host a head start on capturing another Atlantic Division title.

Key game: Sept. 20 vs. Clemson. Sure, the Seminoles will be heavily-favored at home, especially since Tajh Boyd has graduated … and Jameis Winston has not. And no, this won’t be the only tough game on a schedule that includes an opener with Oklahoma State, visits from Notre Dame and Florida and trips to Louisville and Miami. However, the Clemson game sets the tone for the rest of the season, and establishes a defined pecking order in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

2013 Fun Stats:
- Points per game: Florida State 51.6 – Opponents 12.1
- Yards per catch: Florida State 15.4 – Opponents 9.9
- Sacks: Florida State 35 - Opponents 33

- 2014 Florida State Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players


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