Oct. 15, 2011
FSU Notes – October 15 vs. Duke
EJ’s Best Day
Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel has had limited playing time against ACC opponents in his three-year career but today was his best performance in a conference match-up as he threw for 239. Manuel’s previous high for passing yards in an ACC game came in 2009 when he threw for 220 against Wake Forest. Overall he has thrown for 200 yards in an ACC game just three times in his career coming into today’s game. Manuel had 202 yards in the first half alone of today’s game.
EJ’s Best Passing Games In Conference
Year Opp. Yards
2011 Duke 239
2009 WFU 220
2010 Clem 210
2009 UMD 206
After back-to-back games of 27 and 29 yards rushing versus Oklahoma and Clemson, Florida State has shown signs of life on the ground in the last two outings. The Seminoles rushed for 110 yards last week against Wake Forest and then bested that number today versus Duke with the team’s first 200 rushing performance of the year (242). It was also the best rushing day by any individual player. The previous best was when James Wilder, Jr. had 76 yards versus Charleston Southern. Devonta Freeman topped that total today in becoming the first Seminole to rush for 100 yards in 2011 amassing 109 yards in the game.
Before today’s game versus Duke, the last time the Seminoles scored 40 or more points in an ACC game was last season when FSU beat Miami 45-17.
For the sixth straight game, the Florida State defense recorded at least six tackles for loss. That streak was assured in the first half as FSU recorded six in the first 30 minutes. Florida State went on to record double digit tackles for loss for just the second time this season.
With Nigel Bradham’s sack on the second play of the second half, the Seminoles tied their season high for sacks in a game with four. That number went to five with Vince William’s 11-yard sack in the third making it the best game of the season for FSU as far as sacks are concerned.
First For Nick
Nick O’Leary, grandson of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, caught the first touchdown of his career when he hauled in a three-yard pass from EJ Manuel on the first touchdown of the second half.
Everett Dawkins interception of Sean Renfree in the first quarter was just the fourth interception this year by the FSU defense. Dawkins joins Nigel Bradham and Lamarcus Joyner as the only Seminoles to record an INT this season.
Hop To It
Groza Award candidate Dustin Hopkins’ 27-yard field goal to open scoring in today’s game was the 16th consecutive field goal for the Texas native. He then added his 17th in a row to end the half with a 48-yarder. He has never missed a field goal from less than 37 yards in his FSU career. The school record for consecutive field goals is 18 by Graham Gano. Later in the second half Hopkins connected on his 109th and 10th consecutive PAT. The streak broke the all-time record at FSU set by Derek Schmidt.
Pick Your Green(e)
Freshman sensation WR Rashad Greene did not play today but fellow freshmen Christian Green was ready to go after his first ever 100 yard game last week. The freshman set up FSU’s first TD with a career-long 59 yard reception. His previous best was a 53 yarder against Charleston Southern. He also recorded the first two rushes of his career.
EJ Manuel’s 59-yard completion to Christian Green in the first quarter marked the fifth time in six games this year that FSU has completed a pass of 50 yards or more. The only exception was last week at Wake Forest when the longest completion was 46 yards. The Seminoles’ second TD came on a 50-yard hook-up between Manuel and Rodney Smith. That was the fifth Seminole TD this year from 50 yards or more. FSU has had a TD pass of more than 45 yards in every game this season. FSU added its third 50-yard completion in the first quarter when Kenny Shaw hauled in a 51-yard pass.
Devonta Freeman scored his first TD since his first collegiate game in the season-opener versus ULM. His first TD was a one-yard run. Today’s came from 10 yards out.
EJ In The EZ
Junior quarterback EJ Manuel scored Florida State’s first TD of the day on his fourth career rushing touchdown. Manuel has rushed for at least one TD in each of his three seasons at Florida State. He added to that total in the fourth quarter when he extended the FSU lead to 41-16 with another rushing touchdown. His two TDs in today’s game equaled his high for an entire season when he rushed for two scores in 2009. Overall Manuel rushed for 62 yards, 10 shy of a new career best.
Powell Puts It Down
He doesn’t get the credit he deserves nationally but there are few punters in America who put their defense in a better position to succeed than FSU’s Shawn Powell. The senior’s first punt of the day was downed at the Duke two-yard line. He followed up with another downed at the 16. It was the sixth and seventh times in 19 punts this year he has pinned the opponent inside the 20 with five of those punts being downed inside the 10. It was also the 21st time in his last 34 punts there was no return.
Florida State’s 301 yards of total offense is the best half of offensive football for the Seminoles since the team posted 371 yards in the opening half against Charleston Southern.
It Was A Good Half But…
EJ Manuel’s first half performance, accumulating more than 200 yards passing, was impressive but it wasn’t even his best half this year. The redshirt junior passed for 299 in the first half versus Charleston Southern this year.
Florida State’s star defensive end Bjoern Werner has a sack in three of the last four games and he leads the team with five after pulling down Renfree in the second quarter today.
On The Right
Garrett Faircloth made his first ever start today opening the game at right guard.
Current Seattle Seahawk and former Seminole great Leon Washington is one the FSU sideline today.