Fresh faces on 'D'
Of the 26 first-time players in FSU's 59-6 win over Samford in the season opener, 15 of them were on defense. They included: Cornerback Mike Harris (junior college transfer), safety Justin Bright (redshirt freshman), linebacker Christian Jones (true freshman), cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (true freshman), Telvin Smith (true freshman), defensive tackle Anthony McCloud (junior college transfer), defensive tackle Demonte McAlister (redshirt freshman), safety Gerald Demps (redshirt freshman), safety Chad Abram (true freshman), linebacker Jeff Luc (true freshman), defensive lineman Bjoern Werner (true freshman), cornerback Darren Edwards (redshirt junior), cornerback Terrence Brooks (true freshman), defensive tackle Cameron Erving (true freshman) and defensive tackle Darious Cummings (true freshman).
Getting behind the enemy's line
Florida State registered 10 tackles for loss against Samford for a total of minus-47 yards. The Seminoles only hit double-digit tackles for loss twice all last season, with the high of 11 coming against Maryland. FSU posted three against Miami in last year's opener.
Seminoles double their sack pleasure
The Seminoles registered four sacks in Saturday's season opener against Sam-ford; a significant upgrade from their 2009 standards. FSU managed just 26 sacks in 13 games last season - two a game - and managed more than four sacks only twice. Defensive ends Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins combined for 1 ½ sacks against the Bulldogs. Last season, FSU ends totaled just four sacks on the season.
Amp it up
Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Anthony "Amp" McCloud didn't take long to make an impact at FSU. The junior college transfer tied for the team lead in tackles - along with veteran leader Nigel Bradham - against Samford. McCloud, a former star at Thomasville (Ga.) County Central, had four solo stops and finished with six. Bradham, last season's team leader in tackles, also added six stops, including four solos.
Jenije makes move to free safety
Fifth-year senior Ochuko Jenije came into the season as the lone returning secondary starter for the Seminoles, after starting all 13 contests in 2009 at cornerback. The second-year graduate school student made his 14th consecutive start against Samford, but this one came at free safety. The Tallahassee native seems to have found a home in first-year FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' scheme. He had three tackles against Samford from his new position.
Harris gets season's first takeaway
Just like fellow junior college transfer Anthony McCloud, cornerback Mike Harris showed up to play in his first game as a 'Nole. Used primarily as the third cornerback in nickel situations for the FSU defense, Harris intercpeted a pass from Samford's Dustin Taliaferro midway through the second quarter. The Miami native, who came to FSU from El Camino (Cal.) Community college returned the theft 10 yards to the Samford eight. Quarterback Christian Ponder tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Lonnie Pryor on the very next play to give the Seminoles a 35-0 lead.
Triumphant return for Williams
Redshirt sophomore middle linebacker Vince Williams, who was forced to miss all of 2009 with a back injury, made his grand return against the Bulldogs in the opener. Williams appeared to be around the ball all afternoon and finished third on the team with five tackles and also added a quarterback hurry. His four solo stops also shared the team lead.
A reason to call him Mister
Florida State senior linebacker Mister Alexander has spent much of his career battling injuries while jockeying between the safety and outside linebacker positions. But a breakthrough 2009 campaign as a reserve linebacker has opened the door for him to open 2010 as the starting strongside linebacker. Alexander finished the '09 season with only 17 tackles, but he made the most of them. The Aldine, Texas native is FSU's top returner with five quarterback sacks and ranks third with six tackles for loss; numbers which should improve with more playing time for one of the Seminoles most athletic players. Alexander had three tackles, but one of those was behind the line against Samford.
Reid-y for the big time ... on defense
Greg Reid burst on to the scene as a true freshman last year thanks to his electrifying ability to make magic happen in the return game. Reid made his first career start at cornerback against Samford and delivered four tackles (3 solos) and a touchdown-denying, pass break-up in the end zone.