Florida State Football: Winners and Losers from Week 8's Game vs. Miami (FL)
Miami, you now trail Duke in the Coastal Division.
Has it really come to this, Hurricanes?
You used to rule the roost. Twenty years ago, Wide Left II cost the Seminoles a national championship and Gino Torretta led your program to a national title appearance.
I want to complement FSU for handling Miami well, especially given the crowd that decided to come out (for once). If there is one thing Florida State fans should notice, it's that Sun Life Stadium is not the Orange Bowl.
Nevertheless, Florida State could have suffered another conference loss. With the way the Seminoles committed penalties and gave the 'Canes an early 10-0 lead, that might have happened. The margin of error for Florida State is razor thin: both Clemson and Maryland have only lost one game in conference play.
But what mattered on sentimental Saturday was that the Seminoles—again—conquered the "state of Miami."
Winner: Jimbo Fisher
He's beat Urban Meyer and Will Muschamp.
He's beat Randy Shannon and Al Golden (twice).
And don't forget last month's victory at USF.
Jimbo Fisher clearly owns his competition in the state of Florida, something that Bobby Bowden struggled with even during the highlight years of his tenure. Another win for the Seminoles against in-state competition will keep Florida State on the map, and winning on the road is impressive—even when Miami is down.
Fisher even corrected the officials, who believed that a run-off was necessary for Josue Matias' penalty at the second quarter. Jimbo nullified the play by taking a time-out.
Now, if he could only get rid of those pesky penalties...
Loser: Nick O'Leary
Now, two things must be said.
First, I hate calling anyone who makes a play a "loser"—every player (elite or otherwise) messes up a play. In addition, jumping over opponents to get more yards is fun to watch. While Nick O'Leary focused on getting that extra yard, though, the audience noticed he must have ate some Butterfingers before the game.
O'Leary wanted to show swagger against an arch-rival, so he shouldn't get dumped on. But this botched play—FSU's first offensive play—led to a tailor-made touchdown off a turnover and put Florida State in the back seat for the first half of this duel.
Winners: The Dynamic Duo
He's the most beloved German on the FSU team, but Bjoern Werner hadn't had a sack since the Wake Forest game.
Our foreign friend made up for that on Saturday night. He recorded 1.5 sacks against Stephen Morris, and had three tackles (one assist) in Miami.
As for Tank Carradine, he had a mostly spectacular showing. Carradine had seven tackles with two assists. Having a sack against Morris didn't hurt that much, either.
The low point for the Tank came when he committed an offsides penalty, but this was just an endearing performance by FSU's beloved dynamic duo.
Loser: Random Hurricane Fan
Some traditions will never die. Piracy or Thanksgiving, for example.
Sadly (but hilariously), the streaker is here to stay.
I feel like I am betraying you by saying that. Some man came on the field clothed in an orange shirt and green pants (guess here is that he's a Hurricanes' fan).
In the first quarter, this man had the bright idea to rush on to the field during a play. Despite the distractions, FSU running back Chris Thompson converted on 3rd down and 3.
The streaker, who wanted to gain eternal Internet fame and/or disrupt the game, failed in that regard. Since the mystery man had no contact with any of the players, the first down conversion was upheld.
Winner: Chris Thompson
Bad news in Tallahassee. According to ESPN.com, running back Chris Thompson's injury was as severe as some feared.
The senior running back will be out for the season; this is the second consecutive year an injury has prevented Thompson from playing for a full season. Last year, he broke two vertebrae against Wake Forest.
Before he was injured, the versatile Thompson had two receptions for 47 yards and seven rushes for 47 yards.
Thompson will be missed, but he will hopefully be granted a medical redshirt. Despite some possible solace, the Seminoles must face they've lost their second major play-maker (the other being defensive end Brandon Jenkins) for the season.
The Seminoles have a boatload of talent, but losing such leadership could haunt them in the Gator game.
Loser: Kelvin Benjamin
To call my favorite wide receiver (sorry, Kenny Shaw) a "loser" hurts. But Benjamin's presence was remarkably absent; the alpine player had only one reception.
It would be unfair for you not to know that reception did go an incredible 39 yards.
What irked fans on Saturday was that Benjamin was responsible for one of FSU's abundant penalties. E.J. Manuel threw a fade to Benjamin in the second quarter, but the play was nullified due to offensive pass interference.
Though he was double teamed, this youth needs to remember he shouldn't take any shortcuts to make the highlight reel.
Winner: E.J. Manuel
"If they don't score, we'll never lose."
That old adage applies perfectly to the modern football world, and was exemplified in Miami over the weekend.
E.J. Manuel wasn't flashy, but he didn't turn the football over.
That always makes him a winner in my book.
The senior quarterback finished 21-of-31 for 229 yards.
Being able to keep the team focused for this road rivalry game was impressive, and erased many memories of their last venture out of Tallahassee—a 17-16 upset at Raleigh.
Loser: Josue Matias
Everyone gets a little gun shy.
Sophomore offensive guard Josue Matias did twice late in the second quarter.
The Seminoles were first penalized five yards for Matias being offsides, and a second penalty with ten seconds left in the half would have cost FSU a field goal attempt had Jimbo Fisher not signaled for a timeout.
Everyone has an off week, but championship teams win even during those weeks. These 'Noles did it in hostile territory.
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