Florida State Captains vs. Clemson: Florida State's captains against Clemson were Everett Dawkins, Lonnie Pryor and Dustin Hopkins. Honorary captains for today's game were Myron Rolle (2006-08) and Samari Rolle (1994-97).
A Packed Press Box: A total of 603 media credentials were issued for Saturday's game against Clemson. It marks the second straight year in which the Florida State Sports Information staff issued over 600 credentials (vs. Oklahoma, September 17, 2011).
Rodney Extends Streak: Senior wideout Rodney Smith made it 29 consecutive games with a catch as he opened the Seminoles' first drive of the game with a 19-yard reception. Smith's streak started back during his sophomore season against BYU (September 18, 2010). E.G. Green (1994-97) has the school record for most consecutive games with a reception at 38.
Pryor Finds the End Zone: Lonnie Pryor found the end zone for the first Florida State touchdown of the game when the senior fullback scored on a 13-yard run in the first quarter. It marked Pryor's 14th career rushing touchdown and fourth of the season to tie a single-season career-high (2009 & 2010). Pryor pushed his career touchdown total to 19 - 14 rushing and five receiving - to lead all active ‘Noles.
First Half Reception
Four different Seminoles recorded multiple receptions in the first half including Chris Thompson, Nick O'Leary, Greg Dent and Rashad Greene. O'Leary tied a career-high with three receptions for 48 yards. Thompson set career-highs in receptions (6) and yards (66) as he registered a career-high 31-yard catch late in the second quarter. Dent, who made his first career start on Saturday night, tallied two catches for 25 yards, while Greene also had two catches for 16 yards.
Florida State erased a 14-point, second half deficit scoring 35 points including 28 straight points. The last time FSU won after trailing by 14 or more points was a Thursday night contest at North Carolina on October 22, 2009. The Seminoles trailed 24-6 only to post a 30-27 win by scoring 24 of the last 27 points. The game-winning touchdown came on an 18-yard pass from Christian Ponder to Beau Reliford with 6:20 remaining in the game.
600 Yards of Offense
For the third time this season, Florida State eclipsed 600 yards of total offense finishing Saturday night's game against Clemson with a season-high 667 yards. It is the most total yards of offense since tallying 771 yards against Clemson in 2000. It marks the 28th time of 600 yards of total offense for Florida State.
Run Chris Run
Senior tailback Chris Thompson found the end zone twice in Saturday night's win over Clemson with touchdown runs of 9 and 27 yards. Thompson finished the game with 15 carries for 103 yards. It marked his second straight game of rushing for over 100 yards and the fifth 100-yard rushing game of his career. The four previous 100-yard games for Thompson all came against Miami (158 yards), South Carolina (147 yards) and BYU (123 yards) all in 2010 and then 197 yards against Wake Forest on Sept. 15, 2012. His 27-yard TD run in the fourth quarter marked his 14th career run of 25 yards or more and second of the game. Thompson now has 14 career rushing touchdowns and five rushing touchdown this season.
Greg Dent set career-highs for receptions (5) and yards receiving (72) Saturday night. His previous highs were three catches for 70 yards both against NC State in 2011.
Manuel Completion Percentage
FSU quarterback EJ Manuel finished Saturday's game 27-of-35 for a career-high 380 yards with 2 TDs passes and 0 INTs. Manuel finished the game completing 77.1 percent of his passes against the Tigers. For his career, Manuel has completed 409-of-604 attempts good for a completion percentage of 67.7% which moves him into first place all-time on the ACC career completion percentage list ahead of Virginia's Matt Schaub (67.0).
Manuel Throws Over 300 Yards
EJ Manuel threw for over 300 yards for just the third time in his career Saturday night against Clemson. The senior quarterback finished the game with 380 yards through the air. It was his first 300-yard passing game since throwing for 321 yards vs. NC State on October 29, 2011 in a FSU 34-0 victory. Manuel's first 300-yard passing game came against Charleston Southern on September 10, 2011 when he threw for a then career-high 329 yards in a 62-10 Florida State win.
300-100 a Rarity
EJ Manuel's 380 yards passing and 102 yards rushing made him the first FSU quarterback to throw for 300 and rush for 100 since former Heisman winner Charlie Ward did it against Maryland in 1992, throwing for 395 yards and rushing for 111.
Joyner's Kickoff Return
Lamarcus Joyner took a third quarter kickoff return 90 yards to the Clemson 10-yard line. It marked the first kick-off return of at least 90 yards since Michael Ray Garvin's 94-yard return for a touchdown against Colorado on September 27, 2008. Joyner's return ties for the 16th longest kickoff return in school history. It is only the third kickoff return of 90 yards or more since 2002 and just the second of 90 or more yards that did not result in a touchdown. The only other kickoff of 90 or more yards that did not go for a touchdown was by Larry Key against Texas Tech in the Tangerine Bowl, December 23rd, 1977 (93-yard kickoff return).
James Wilder, Jr., tallied his second touchdown of the evening when he scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter to give FSU a 42-31 lead. In FSU's first drive of the fourth quarter, Wilder rushed three times for 44 yards. He tallied just seven yards on two carries in the first half but one of his carries was a 5-yard first quarter TD run. The two touchdown night for Wilder, Jr., was his third multi-touchdown game of the season as his first two came against Murray State and Savannah State.
First Opponent TD in 13 Quarters
Clemson's De'Andre Hopkins' touchdown at the 13:34 mark in the first quarter was the first opponent touchdown in 13 quarters and the first this season. The last time an opponent scored a touchdown on the Seminoles prior to tonight came when Notre Dame's Michael Floyd scored with 11:24 remaining in the third quarter of the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl.
Huge Pass Plays a Rarity Versus the Noles
Hopkins' 60-yard first quarter touchdown reception on a pass from Tajh Boyd marked the longest reception the Seminoles had given up since Maryland's Quintin McFree caught a 69-yard pass from Danny O'Brien on Oct. 22, 2011. It was also the longest touchdown reception against the Noles since Clemson's Sammy Watkins caught a 62-yard TD from Boyd on Sept. 22, 2011.
Tank's Back-To-Back Sack Attack
Senior defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine had back-to-back sacks on Clemson's third possession of the game with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter. His sacks turned a second-and-10 into a fourth-and-22 and forced the Tigers into their first punt of the game. Carradine finished the game with seven tackles.
It's Been Awhile
Since Florida State allowed two touchdowns in a half - let alone the first quarter as Clemson put up 14 points on the Noles in the first 15 minutes on Saturday night. The last time FSU gave up two touchdowns in the first came at Wake Forest on Oct. 8, 2011. The last time the Seminoles allowed two scores in the first quarter came against the Tigers - in Clemons, S.C. on Sept. 22, 2011.
Clemson's 21-point first half snapped the Seminoles' 11-game streak holding an opponent to 19 points or fewer - ending the longest such streak in the ACC since Virginia Tech accomplished the feat over 12 straight games during the 2004-05 seasons.
Attendance 17th Largest in Doak Campbell History
Tonight's games attendance of 83, 231 was the 17th largest in Florida State history.
Waisome's First Career Interception
Nick Waisome recorded his first interception of his career, picking off Tajh Boyd at the 8:41 mark. It was just Boyd's second interception thrown this season.
Florida State is now 11-14 all-time in ESPN College GameDay games and 4-4 at home. It's FSU's first win in a GameDay game since beating Miami, 13-10, on Sept. 4, 2006.
Brooks Tallies Career-High in Tackles
Junior safety Terrence Brooks led FSU with 12 tackles, besting his previous career high of four tackles set against Murray State in the season opener. The last time an FSU defensive back recorded 10 or more tackles in a game came when Mike Harris accomplished that feat against Clemson on Sept. 24, 2011. Harris recorded 11 against the Tigers last season.
Running Well on The Ground
The Seminoles have now opened the season with four consecutive 200-yard efforts in the rushing game. It is the first time Florida State has ran for 200 yards or better in four straight games since the 2010 season against BYU (278 on 9/18), Wake Forest (201 on 9/25), Virginia (256 on 10/2) and Miami (298 on 10/9).
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher:
"That was a great ball game. I think that was two very good football teams throwing haymakers at each other right from the opening bell and just kept answering each other's calls. I give a lot of credit to them. They are a well-coached football team. They've got good players. They're a heck of a team. We kicked ourselves around a little bit in the first half. I can't say enough about our players ability to overcome adversity - to compete in the game and our assistant coaches did a tremendous job of keeping our guys in the game, their heads in the game. They did a great job at halftime adjusting. We were very fortunate to come out on top and win. It's a good win. We should win big games here at Florida State. We're 4-0 that's all it is. We have a critical game next week at South Florida, we have to get ready for that and put this one behind us."
On the way the team won:
"It's big for us as far as the ability to compete in those situations, but what I'm anxious to see is how quickly we can put this one behind us and get ready for South Florida."
On EJ Manuel's performance:
"I didn't realize he threw for 380 (yards) and ran for a 102 (yards), that's pretty good. I don't remember- I am going to have to look at the film, but I don't remember him making a bad decision all night. They were mixing up looks and bringing in blitzes from everywhere and he made plays when he had to. But I thought he was extremely selfless and understood how to win. I was very proud of him. EJ Manuel - I say it all the time, it's one game here but I get to coach him every day and look into his eyes and see what he does and how he thinks and he's a tremendous young man. He's a great leader for our football team."
On Lamarcus Joyner's 90-yard kickoff return:
"That was a big play there. That ignited us. That was a tremendous play. In the first half we struggled on special teams but in the second half, we took over."
On Chris Thompson's TD being called back but then scoring on a pass to Rashad Greene on the next play:
"We just answered. We came back the next play and boom. We didn't worry about it. That's the hand we were dealt and move on. The penalties - that was a disappointing thing tonight. That's a shame."
QB EJ Manuel
On the win:
"We prepared all week for a really good opponent. We knew their offense was going to score a lot of points. All glory goes to God. I'm just so happy for my teammates.
On what was said in the locker room at halftime:
"We just knew we had to keep scoring points to help our defense out. Those guys (Clemson), we knew they could score 50 points easily. As an offense we knew we had to go out there and take iniative and score points. Our defense played lights out in the second half."
On Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit mentioning him as a Heisman front-runner:
"I just want to win games for my teammates. I'm not really about personal accolades and things like that. If it comes it does. I just want to win and leave a legacy at Florida State for our fans."
On the significance of the victory:
"I'm just happy. It was a great game - a great victory. We had to beat these guys in order to get where we needed to go."
On becoming only second Nole (Charlie Ward, 1992) to rush for 100 yards and pass for 300 yards in a game:
"I'm going to Call C. Ward - I talked to him last night. He told me to go out there and take what they gave me. That's a huge accomplishment."
RB James Wilder, Jr.
On picking up the victory and having some great rushes:
"It felt great. I was being interviewed earlier in the week and I said this probably would be our first time being challenged by a defense. I said we do a lot of 1-on-1's in practice. We go against the best defense in the nation in my opinion (in practice). We were prepared and well-coached, and did what we did. When my name was called I took advantage of my opportunity."
On the offensive line:
"At the beginning of the year I said our O-line improved a lot. The holes are there. There aren't a lot of sacks. There aren't a lot of carries that we're stopped at the line. We're usually five yards passed the line of scrimmage before we get touched. Everybody, they've all been going out there and working their butts off and making sure we get five yards passed the line of scrimmage before we get touched. They work their way up to the linebackers and even some plays work their way up to the safeties. A great improvement by the O-line. It shows in the running game. The first three games they said we weren't being tested. This was a great defense and we did what we had to do. I think our O-line showed what they can do.
RB Chris Thompson
On the atmosphere and offensive explosion by both teams early in the game:
"It was great. We knew that the way Clemson runs their offense that they were going to score a lot. We knew as an offense that we had to pair up with them as far as touchdowns go. We knew every possession we had to take advantage of it and get some points on the board in order to be successful."
On the play of the offensive line:
"They do a great job, I mean it's week in and week out, its everyday at practice. I really appreciate those guys for what they are doing because it is making our job as running backs a lot easier. When we know we just have to worry about the secondary (it helps)."
On the play of EJ Manuel with his play both running and passing the ball:
"That was great. I am very happy for EJ because he prepares to be great every single day. To have 300 passing and 100 rushing, that was great for him. I am really excited for him. I just hope this performance pushes him to keep going and do even better."
WR Rashad Greene
On scoring 49 points:
"I think we answered a lot of questions, but I think we have a lot of room to improve and get better. We had our moments here and there. It's about us and not what everyone else thinks. It's about this family we have right here. We have to get better and prepared for South Florida."
On coming back from down two touchdowns to win:
"It can do a lot for us. It will help us out a lot. We kept our poise and stayed in the game. We trusted each other and came back and won the game."
DE Bjoern Werner
On what was the difference in the second half:
"We just kept fighting; that's what Florida State's defense is all about. We went to the bench and said ‘forget about what happened, let's fight and finish the fourth quarter.'"
On the atmosphere tonight:
"It was amazing. I give a lot of props to our fans. When we were up by one touchdown, we went down the field, I just felt another bit of extra energy, which pushed me through the game.
On facing Clemson's offense:
"They have a great offense. They got us with a lot of trick plays. Deep balls, we knew they were going to that, there was going to be a lot of misdirection stuff. But (our) offense had a great game and I can't be more proud of this team."
DT Timmy Jernigan
On Clemson coming out swinging:
"We were first like just calm down, let's just play ball the way that we play ball. They came out with a couple trick plays which we knew was going to happen. We just have to expect trick plays from now on because a lot of teams aren't going to be able to beat us head up, let's just play football. We just have to be prepared for the trick plays and not coming out too hyped and getting the adrenaline too high. We just have to calm down and play football that way Florida State plays football."
On facing the adversity from tonight:
"As a defense we knew what we had to do in order to win the game. We just got too fired up at the beginning. Once we settled down a little bit, it shows. The biggest thing is that we just have to stay disciplined. Games like this is what makes your team, makes the bond that much stronger."
Head Coach Dabo Swinney
"Obviously we took a little bit of a step back tonight. One thing I'll say is - obviously Florida State's got a really good football team. Playing a team like, that, especially at their place, you can't do certain things to help them. We helped them a little bit in a couple of areas. The kickoff return was huge - just a huge momentum swing in the game; it kind of lit a fire for them over there. We couldn't stop the run. We just didn't play four quarters. It's a great game for us to grow and learn from. There is a lot of football left. Certainly we've got a lot of improving to do. Our team, I thought they fought hard, but again, right there at the end the momentum changed late in the third quarter going into the fourth quarter we just weren't able to turn it back. But I'm proud of them continuing to fight. The touchdown at the end that's a nice job. We didn't get the onside.
"All the credit goes to Florida State. They are a very good football team. We did a lot of good things. We won the first half and played fairly solid in the third quarter. Just kind of got away from us there in the fourth quarter. Again, just a couple of momentum plays that really hurt us.
"But as we tell our guys all the time - the season starts tomorrow. We'll get home whenever we get home. We will get back at it tomorrow as staff. You have to go on the road and win and we didn't get that done today. We have another opportunity next week to go to Boston College. A place we have only won at one time. So, we have to try and get back on track. Obviously this is a tough loss because it is a division loss as well so we don't control our destiny any more. That's the difficult part of it but it's far from over. We've got a lot of football left. We are still in the car we just don't have our hands on the steering wheel anymore. All we can do is take care of what we control and that's our preparation and how we go play in the next ball game. It's a big lost but you can't let this thing beat you again. What we have to do is learn from this. Obviously there is a bunch we have got to do to get better. Flush it. It's so much more important what's in front of us. We've got Boston College and then we have five out of seven after that at home. We still have an opportunity to have a really good football team; we have an opportunity to have a great season. Anything can happen. There was going to be a winner and a loser tonight and unfortunately we lost the game. We have got to move on from that.
"A lot of credit goes to Florida State. They played really well, made some big plays. And again, was able to run the football and have some key momentum opportunities that they took advantage of."