Oklahoma vs. Florida State: Clint Trickett and 5 Seminole Standouts

Nick McAndrews@@NickMcAndrewsCorrespondent IIISeptember 20, 2011

Oklahoma vs. Florida State: Clint Trickett and 5 Seminole Standouts

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    The Florida State Seminoles lost a tough game to the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners.

    The top-five matchup created some pretty hefty expectations for a Seminoles team that had aspirations of a national championship.

    Though Florida State was not able to come out on top, its players showed a lot of good signs for the rest of the season and into future seasons.

    The Seminoles have had some players really step up this season and show why they belong in the AP's top 25 teams.

    These five players are some standouts from Saturday night's game.

QB E.J. Manuel

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    E.J. Manuel may have gone down because of an injury premature to the game's finish, but that doesn't mean he didn't have an impact on the game itself.

    The Seminoles were really in this game to the end, but due to a lack of leadership on the field, the team was not able to hold on and stay with the Sooners until the end.

    Freshman quarterback Clint Trickett played extremely well, but that doesn't mean that Manuel's departure wasn't felt by his teammates.

    After Kenny Shaw became the meat in a Sooner-sandwich, Florida State's morale was affected and the entire stadium just didn't have the same spark—at least, not until the young guys showed up to play.

    Either way, Manuel has shown that he is a leader on this team and his presence is important on the field and to the fans. You could see that by the way the crowd erupted when Manuel came back out on the field after retreating to the locker room.

WR Rashad Greene

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    When Kenny Shaw went down, this true freshman stepped up for the Seminoles in a big way.

    He connected with his fellow freshman Trickett for a big night.

    Shaw had three receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. One of those three receptions was his 56-yard reception that resulted in his lone touchdown, essentially breathing life back into Florida State's dying offense.

    There is no word on when Shaw will be available to return to his team, but until then, this explosive freshman may be able to step up and help them win some ball games.

DE Bjoern Werner

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    This Seminole defensive end is only a small part of an exceptional Florida State defensive line.

    While the entire line deserves to be mentioned, Werner stood out to me because of his speed off the edge and his ability to make plays in the backfield.

    The Sooners' run game was never really established in the game, thanks to an excellent showing from Werner and Co. The Seminoles' great defense was the reason Landry Jones wasn't able to create more separation in a very close game.

    While Werner is by no means the high-profile player on this explosive defensive line, I think you'll begin to hear his name more and more as the season continues.

QB Clint Trickett

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    Freshman Clint Trickett stepped up for the Seminoles in a big way when junior starting quarterback E.J. Manuel went down with a shoulder injury.

    The young player really looked poised when he stepped in and helped to keep the Seminoles in the game against a top-ranked team.

    Trickett completed 7 of 15 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. To put that in perspective, it's nearly double Manuel's stats in every category other than completions.

    More than anything else, Trickett showed that he could be the guy to step up and win when this team needs him to. Although Manuel could end up a Heisman candidate, Trickett could end up being a more reliable overall player and find himself in a starting role as early as next season.

    The future looks bright at quarterback for the Seminoles.

K Dustin Hopkins

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    Dustin Hopkins is the closest thing college football has to Sebastian Janikowski.

    The Junior kicker is absolutely automatic anywhere inside 45 yards. In the game against the Sooners, he was 100 percent from beyond 40 yards (with one beyond 50 yards).

    Hopkins is perhaps the Seminoles' most consistent player and was one of the scoring leaders for the team in 2010.

    Hopkins' consistency is vital for Florida State's success. In my opinion, he is the team's MVP.

    Making 100 percent of his attempts, and totaling nearly 100 yards on those kicks, certainly make him the Seminoles' stand-out player of the week.

    In my book, Hopkins won't have a problem making an NFL roster once he leaves FSU.


    Thanks for reading.


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