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Florida State WR Rashad Greene's halftime speech lights spark, ignites overtime victory against Clemson

Florida State has been looking for ways to replace its vocal leadership since January 6th, 2014.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Without a flint, it's nearly impossible to get a spark.

There has definitely been something missing during the first few weeks of the season for the Seminoles, something that's hard to put your finger on; it's something that people close to the program had become accustomed to.

The flint.

Someone vocal enough to stand up and war cry when things are not going to plan, only accepting the best from his teammates around him. But that's been somewhat of an issue for FSU since losing a guy like Telvin Smith to the draft.

The 'Noles are littered with players that lead by example without saying much, impressing on the field and setting a precedent when it comes to work ethic. Rashad Greene, someone that has already captured Seminole greatness but continues to chase the record books, is one of those guys.

But that all changed Saturday night against Clemson after a first half of football that was nothing short of a struggle.

Playing without their usual starting quarterback and seemingly uninspired, and after getting pushed around inside their own stadium to then head into the half trailing 10-3, it was the typically reserved Greene that decided somebody had to do something.

"Me personally, I felt it was time to step up and say something," Greene explained after the overtime victory against visiting Clemson. "I checked everybody offensively and told them they need to go higher - it was a poor first half - and I was doing it to get a positive reaction out of them, and they came out in the second half and they definitely turned it up."

Perfectly, the guy who has quietly set an example in terms of work ethic since he stepped on campus, became that flint. He lit a spark; they listened.

Following Greene's halftime speech, the 'Noles appeared more confident, driving the opening possession of the half 68 yards on nine plays for a touchdown, tying the game, 10-10, and allowing the first time starter Sean Maguire to get his feet on the ground and settle into a rhythm.

During that drive, Maguire was on fire, completing six passes on seven attempts, making his reads and hitting targets on a number of patterns. But he credits the flint that sparked that fire.

"It was tough in that second quarter," Maguire said after the game, "we made a lot of mistakes, myself included. But at halftime, Rashad [Greene] stood up in front of everyone - and know you, Rashad's not a man of many words, he's usually just that leader by example - but he just stood up and called everyone out and told everyone what the deal was and how everyone has to start waking up, 'this is the season right here,' and I think everyone just turned on that switch in the second half."

After going just 6-of-17 in the first half for 106 yards, a much more comfortable Maguire came out and went 15-of-22 for 199 yards and a touchdown in the second half. Greene, who went into the half with a sole reception for just four yards, finished his night with nine catches for 135 yards and a touchdown.

Greene's nine catches allowed him to pass Kez McCorvey's mark of 189 receptions, and he now sits third all-time in the category, needing just 13 more to pass Peter Warrick's 207 career receptions. During the game against Clemson, Greene also passed Ron Sellers and now sits sixth all-time with 24 career touchdowns as a Seminole.

It's clear and well documented, the success that Greene has had on the field during his time at Florida State, quietly rising his way through the record books. But Saturday night against Clemson, when the 'Noles had their backs against the wall, Greene put another notch in his belt.

Somebody had to fill that void and light a fire under this team, get their attention. But it's hard to start a fire without a spark, and it never hurts to have a flint handy when a spark is necessary.