Sept. 10, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- If Saturday's game against Charleston Southern was just a tune up, consider the Florida State machine ready for the Oklahoma Sooners.
FSU (2-0) wasted little time jumping all over the Buccaneers (0-2) at Doak Campbell Stadium, scoring on the first three possessions of the ballgame before running away with a 62-10 victory.
The Seminoles are now 15-0 all-time against FCS opponents with this Saturday's 8 p.m. game against No. 1 Oklahoma looming.
"We did what we were supposed to do and we played well," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "That's all you can do in those games. There was a lot of other games today that were hairy I saw today and last week when those things are happening. So I am glad we were able to do what we were supposed to do and this will be the right time of this challenge.
"We will see where we are at next week."
This week, quarterback EJ Manuel needed just 2 1/2 quarters of play to rack up 329 yards passing and a career-high four touchdowns against CSU. Manuel finished his day with 24 completions on 35 attempts and an interception. He is now 46-for-69 for 581 yards and six scores through the first two weeks of the season.
Senior wide receiver Bert Reed was the recipient on two of those Manuel touchdown tosses. Rodney Smith also had a touchdown catch included in his five-grab, 77-yard outing and Lonnie Pryor had a scoring catch as well. Kenny Shaw added five catches for 67 yards and Christian Green had 63 yards on two catches.
Trickett finished his mop-up duty with 148 yards on 6-of-7 passing for 148 yards and two touchdown passes. He also ran one in for a score.
In total, the Seminoles generated 647 yards of offense, including 170 yards rushing and 477 yards passing. On the flip side, the Seminoles held Charleston Southern to just eight yards of offense and no first downs in the first half before allowing a paltry 84 yards total and just three first downs by game's end.
The Buccaneers were just 2-of-14 on third down compared to FSU's 7-for-11 mark on third-down attempts.
"It is a very important game," Fisher said afterwards about the impending matchup with the Sooners. "It can set the tone and do a lot of things but at the same time, it's one ballgame. It's the third football game of the year. We have a thing, 'live in the now.' Our 'now' is Oklahoma. Our now from right now until Saturday night is Oklahoma. Then we have to put that one away and go on to the next one."
The scoring onslaught started almost immediately for the 'Noles. On just the third play from scrimmage, Manuel found Smith on an easy 45-yard touchdown.
The next drive and ensuing touchdown was just as fast. Reed took a handoff 35 yards and then finished what he started with an eight-yard scoring reception from Manuel -- all before the halfway point in the first quarter.
On the 'Noles' very next drive, junior kicker Dustin Hopkins booted a 24-yard field goal to make it a 17-0 ballgame late in the opening quarter. The Seminoles then added to that total a few minutes into the second frame thanks to Reed again. Following a nifty shake-and-bake move by Shaw that put FSU in the redzone, Reed hauled in his second touchdown catch of the day -- this time a six-yarder to make it 24-0 in favor of Florida State.
That lead then stretched to 31-0 later in the quarter. Green hauled in the first reception of his career and turned it into a 53-yard play deep into CSU territory. One play later, Thompson bowled his way into the paint for the FSU score.
"You see that speed and that size," Fisher said. "It was great to see [Green] do that."
The first half then ended with a 25-yard Hopkins field goal, which gave the 'Noles a 34-0 lead.
After that, the second half opened with a the first bit of adversity for the Seminoles.
Greene, who replaced Greg Reid during his one-game suspension on special teams, returned a punt 77 yards for the score. But the return was negated because of a holding call and it got worse when Manuel was then intercepted.
FSU's first turnover of the day put CSU in scoring range and the Buccaneers dusted off the trick-play section of their playbook on a halfback pass. The successful play resulted in a one-yard touchdown pass from running back Teddy Allen to tight end Carson Leshin.
The touchdown put an end to an impressive streak; FSU hadn't allowed a single point in 106 minutes and 22 seconds of game-play dating back to the 11:56 mark in the fourth quarter of last season's Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Despite that miscue, Manuel bounced back on his final possession of the night. After Lamarcus Joyner returned the kickoff into CSU territory, Manuel found Pryor on a 14-yard touchdown pass to push FSU on top 41-7
"We overcame a turnover and came right back and scored," Fisher said. "I know some people don't think no matter who you play that's a big deal; I do. That's still one of the accomplishments in what we did and where we are trying to go."
FSU's second-team unit then got in on the scoring action late in the third quarter.
Wilder, Jr. got his first offensive snaps and churned out 15 yards while helping move the chains. Trickett then capped off a six-play, 66-yard drive with his perfectly-placed touchdown toss to Greene.
Trickett and Greene then found each other once again on their 69-yard score early in the fourth quarter to make it 55-7 in favor of the home team. CSU added a late field goal for its final points and then Trickett scampered four yards for the game's final points.
Next up for the 'Noles is that highly anticipated matchup with the Sooners. ESPN GameDay will be in town for what will be one of the biggest games in Doak Campbell Stadium history.
"When you play big games, you can't want to win them you've got to want to prepare for them," Fisher said. "You've got to take one day at a time. Right now we are in a mode, tonight enjoy the win, get focused tomorrow, lock in to what you've got to do and get ready to get prepared. They know what's ahead of them."
Next weekend's festivities get started Friday night with a free concert by Corey Smith at the Friday Night Block Party at Klemen Plaza in downtown Tallahassee. Appearing before Smith will be Tyler Reeve, an FSU graduate who just released his new album "One More Shot."
There will be plenty of food, activities and much more and the ESPN cameras will be there to capture all the good times.