Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher stressed throughout the week that his program would not forget what happened last weekend in a lopsided loss at Oklahoma.
FSU's Jimbo Fisher lays into the officials about the non-call of Bert Reed's near decapitation (see the photo after the jump) against BYU on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 in Tallahassee, Fla.(AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Saturday at home against Brigham Young, Fisher's words rang especially true.
In a 34-10 win over the Cougars (1-2), the Seminoles (2-1) executed better on both offense and defense and finished the home contest with 427 total yards gained and only allowed a meager 191 yards by BYU.
"I think on the defenive line and offensive line we were able to eat the clock," FIsher said after the game. "They had character and they had pride and they played with it."
Offensively, the backup FSU tailbacks shined. Sophomore Chris Thompson earned a new career-high with 123 yards on just nine carries and one score. Junior Ty Jones very nearly eclipsed the 100-yard mark, too. He finished the day with 95 yards on 15 carries with one score while also adding one touchdown reception.
Quarterback Christian Ponder tossed for 149 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. At the wide receiver spot, junior Bert Reed snagged the 100th reception of his career and concluded the day with team-bests in receptions (nine) and yards (89).
Defensively, FSU was able to pressure BYU all day long. The team posted a season-high eight sacks and held the Cougars to less than 100 yards rushing and less than 120 yards passing. The Cougars mustered just 39 total yards in the second half.
Perhaps most importantly, the Seminole defenders wrapped up BYU ball carriers and didn't allow very many big plays off of missed tackles.
"We got pass rush because we beat them and we got a rush because we had them covered," Fisher said about his defense's performance.
Florida State posted the lone score of the opening quarter thanks to Dustin Hopkins' 26-yard field goal at the culmination of a 10-play, 62-yard drive.
In total, FSU outgained BYU 58-4 in the first quarter.
The Seminoles broke the ballgame open in towards the latter part of the first half.
Following a 47-yard Dustin Hokpins' field goal that made it a 6-0 game in favor of FSU, Thompson found daylight on a stretch play and was off to the races en route to an 83-yard scoring run.
In addition to being the longest run of Thompson's career, the extended dash was the longest scoring scamper since Antone Smith dragged defenders for 80 yards against Duke in 2006. In FSU history, the run tied Sammie Smith's 83-yard touchdown run against East Carolina in 1987.
A 71-yard drive by the Cougars then trimmed FSU's advantage to 13-10 a few seconds before halftime.
After the defense forced a BYU punt on the first possession of the second half, the Seminole offense kicked it in gear and posted a 14-play, 63-yard scoring drive. On the touchdown play, Ponder rolled out and found Jones on a two-yard pass play to make the score 20-10 in favor of the good guys.
Jones' scoring grab marked the first touchdown reception of his career and it moved Ponder into 11th place for most touchdown throws in a Seminole career with 34 - a mark that is tied with Chip Ferguson.
Another big Thompson run in the fourth quarter helped lead to yet another Seminole score. Thompson's 31-yard scramble and wide receiver Willie Haulstead's career-best 34-yard grab then lead to a one-yard Ponder touchdown dive, increasing the score to 27-10.
To cap the contest off, Jones later rumbled across the goal line for a nine-yard touchdown rush with just 1:35 left to play.
"Our team is learning to fight," Fisher said. "They kept fighting and they learned a lot from last week. Oklahoma beat us last week but we still had a lot of spirit today."
Next up for Florida State is another home contest as Wake Forest will come to town this Saturday. Game time for that Atlantic Coast Conference showdown will be announced Sunday.
Above story courtesy of FSU SID
After the game, Jimbo Fisher was somewhat happy how the team controlled the line of scrimmage after the halftime break.
"We were able to get the momentum back after halftime," said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, who watched BYU drive two straight times in the second quarter for 10 points.
"I told our kids in there (during halftime) that they can feel sorry for themselves or go line back up and take control back of the line of scrimmage in the second half and that's what we were able to do on the defensive line, the offensive line and we were able to eat up some clock."
Fisher also said he didn't learn until Friday that Datko's shoulder would prevent him from playing.
"It's just the strength in it right now,'' said Fisher of Datko's shoulder. "We'll reevaluate this week and see. We thought we were good; I got the news on Friday. The strength just hasn't been coming back in it like it has been. It just wasn't worth the risk of him trying to damage something, as good of a player as he is and the future he's got.''
"Henry Orelus did a great job stepping in there as a freshmen and playing,'' Fisher continued. "And, like I said at camp, that might win us a game or two, his ability to go in and play with the ones during camp and get used to it and under the level of play you have to have. I thought he did a great job for us.''
Orelus also said he was calm about his first start. ``I wasn't nervous at all. I just knew it was my responsibility to step in and help the team when it was my time to be called.''
Xavier Rhodes was held out of the second half with what he called a hip flexor. Rhodes, a redshirt freshman cornerback, picked off his first career interception on a tipped pass by Mike Harris in the second quarter.
"It felt very good,'' Rhodes said. "With the help of Mike Harris tipping the pass up, I could just come up and pick up the interception.''
Chris Thompson had a dream that he would have a big game against BYU, and it came true on his career long 83 yard TD run during the 2nd quarter when he broke free down the left sideline.
"It sounds crazy, but I had a dream of having a real big game this game,'' Thompson said. "Once I got to the sideline today, Clint Purvis told me that he saw me having a big run. Even Bert Reed came to talk to me, right before the play, he was like, 'You're about to do something big.' I was like, OK. Once I saw what my offensive line was doing and reading off Lonnie Pryor's block, it was just God-given talent from there.''
Thompson finished averaging 13.7 yards per carry with 123 yards on just 9 carries.
Fisher said he is comfortable with the three-headed monster in Ty Jones, Jermaine Thomas, and Chris Thompson in the FSU backfield..
"Chris got in, got hot and made some plays," Fisher said. "I've said this all the time. We've got three quality guys we feel good about. We're going to play them. We're going to give them all opportunities to play, keep them fresh in that fourth quarter. (Thompson) made big plays and took advantage of them."
FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins, who had been perfect on all 6 of his previous field goal attempts and every extra point attempt this season finally missed on a 34-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. He had also been doing very well on kickoffs booting 9 of 13 kickoffs for touchbacks until his 2nd quarter kickoff, after FSU's first TD, went out of bounds and gave BYU the ball on their own 40 yard line. On the first play, BYU RB DiLuigi ran for 20 yards and the Cougars went on to get their first points of the game on a FG.
After the game, Fisher said he reminded Hopkins at halftime how a good kickoff can make a difference, and how detrimental a bad kickoff can be for the team.
"He hooks that one, they start on the 40, they pop a run, we add a late hit and all of a sudden they are in scoring range," said Fisher. "They score and all of a sudden have the momentum. Momentum goes back and forth. That's what momentum can do in a game. I told him we needed a good kickoff to start the second half, we'd get a three-and-out and the momentum would swing back our way. It's like a boxing match. You get hit and you hit them. They hit us good, but we recovered and battled back and they are a well-coached football team."
Hopkins proceeded to boom the third quarter opening kickoff through the end zone and sure enough Fisher's prophecy came true as FSU's defense forced a punt after a quick 3 and out. Then the Noles went on a long scoring drive and never looked back.
After the game, defensive end Brandon Jenkins talked about the teams confidence heading into the BYU game and how he felt the poor performance against Oklahoma the previous week was more mental than physical.
"It was our attitude," Jenkins said. "We were thinking about the Samford game, how good we were. The last game changed our attitude. We bounced back good and how we need to be."
Jimbo Fisher agreed. "They played lights out," Fisher said. "I talk about confidence all the time. Well, Oklahoma has some confidence and shook our guys' a little bit. For them to come back and battle and play, that's character. That's what we challenged them to do. It was huge for the season. Our team is learning to fight, fight through adversity, fight through ups and downs. And that is football. When you play good football and you play in good leagues and the competition we are playing, it is not going to be all roses. Oklahoma beat us, but they didn't break us. We took away some lessons from last week. We learned something. Our team is learning to fight."
"It was big for us," Everett Dawkins added. "We needed the confidence, but we still have to stay humble. It was something that was needed. For our fans, for the team, for our coaches. We just had to go out there and show it. Last week, we got all those points scored on us and it was something we took to heart. We were getting on each other and making sure everybody did things like they were supposed to. We just came out and took it out on BYU."
"We feel pumped up," DE Brandon Jenkins said. "It feels like a chip came off our shoulder."
"We were ready to play today," Greg Reid said. "We felt like we had to prove a point to our head coach, to our fans and to our DC and that’s what we did today. I think we had fun. We played our hearts out. We proved something, but we can get a lot better. I had a lot to prove. I missed maybe one tackle today. I still have to get better. There's stuff I have to improve on."
"They played really well," Ponder said of his defensive teammates. "They learned from last week as well as the offense (did).
"They're motivated. They're young. But they played really well, and they're going to get better each week."
“Last week was a tough loss for us in kind of a way we didn't expect things to go," continued Ponder, who passed for 149 yards and gained 50 on the ground. "It could have gone either way with us this week. We could have come out and felt sorry for ourselves. That's not what happened. We came out and were motivated and knew that we had to win this game going into ACC play next week. We had a great week of preparation, so this was expected for us. We tried to establish the run, and I don't think we did that as well the first two games. I think when we establish the run, this offense really clicks. They left a lot of holes open for us. The offensive line did a great job of creating those holes. The running backs ran well."
Hit the jump to see the Bert Reed near decapitation pic, the final game stats, and the scoring summary.
Brigham Young vs Florida State (Sep 18, 2010 at Tallahassee, FL)
|NET YARDS RUSHING||76||278|
|Average Per Rush||2.2||6.3|
|Yards Gained Rushing||141||307|
|Yards Lost Rushing||65||29|
|NET YARDS PASSING||115||149|
|Average Per Attempt||3.3||7.1|
|Average Per Completion||7.2||10.6|
|TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS||191||427|
|Total offense plays||70||65|
|Average Gain Per Play||2.7||6.6|
|Average Yards Per Punt||47.0||47.0|
|Net Yards Per Punt||44.0||40.7|
|Average Yards Per Kickoff||58.7||64.3|
|Net Yards Per Kickoff||46.0||46.6|
|Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD||2-19-0||4-18-0|
|Average Per Return||9.5||4.5|
|Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD||1-24-0||2-18-0|
|Average Per Return||24.0||9.0|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD||0-0-0||0-0-0|
|Third-Down Conversions||4 of 15||6 of 13|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||1 of 3||1 of 1|
|Sacks By: Number-Yards||3-16||8-52|
|SCORING SUMMARY||BY -FS|
|1st||00:36||FS||Hopkins, D. 26 yd field goal|
|10 plays, 62 yards, TOP 4:44||0 - 3|
|2nd||09:56||FS||Hopkins, D. 47 yd field goal|
|4 plays, -9 yards, TOP 1:24||0 - 6|
|07:40||FS||Thompson, C. 83 yd run (Hopkins, D. kick)|
|1 play, 83 yards, TOP 0:14||0 - 13|
|04:26||BY||PAYNE, Mitch 28 yd field goal|
|7 plays, 49 yards, TOP 3:14||3 - 13|
|00:14||BY||HOFFMAN, Cody 4 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick)|
|11 plays, 71 yards, TOP 1:56||10 - 13|
|3rd||07:16||FS||Jones, T. 2 yd pass from Ponder, C. (Hopkins, D. kick)|
|14 plays, 63 yards, TOP 6:53||10 - 20|
|00:55||FS||Ponder, C. 1 yd run (Hopkins, D. kick)|
|4 plays, 86 yards, TOP 1:37||10 - 27|
|4th||01:35||FS||Jones, T. 9 yd run (Hopkins, D. kick)|
|4 plays, 7 yards, TOP 2:23||10 - 34|