All it takes is a few plays to turn the game, to give the team new life, to reign victorious.
For much of the first half, Clemson's offense was able to move the ball with relative ease on the Seminole defense. By the end of the half Clemson had amassed nearly 250 yards of total offense. To make matters worse, Mario Edwards, Jr., would be ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion, taking a massive piece of the defense away from the team. In addition, Nile Lawrence-Stample also missed the majority of the game with an injury limiting the line depth for the Noles.
That's when Eddie Goldman, Chris Casher and their fellow lineman stepped up and changed the course of the game.
"We just had to make plays," Eddie Goldman said. "We made some half time adjustments, went out there and buckled down."
The Noles held the Tigers to just 149 yards of total offense in the second half and overtime combined, lead largely by the defensive line. Clemson was held to just 24 rush yards for 1.3 per rush average allowing the Seminoles to stay in the game.
Florida State did a fine job containing Clemson superstar freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson's leg. The line played with great discipline forcing Watson to stay in the pocket and not beat the Noles with his legs. Demarcus Walker and Chris Casher were responsible for setting the edge and did their jobs in run contain.
"We were just doing our job," Goldman said. "They just told us to be disciplined with our eyes and trust each other."
Florida State's scheme on defense is not designed to get sacks as its primary goal, as Bud Elliott writes in this article. The Noles did a great job in the second half of forcing Deshaun Watson into making quicker decisions, which turned into a handful of stalled drives to keep the score close.
When all hope seemed loss, after Sean Maguire's interception with just over two minutes left in the game seemed to seal Florida State's fate, one player stepped into the spotlight.
"I felt my hand on the ball and I ripped at it," Goldman said. "I was just doing my job, you can't think of losing, we're never out of the fight."
Goldman's strip of the Tiger ball carrier allowed Florida State to take the game into overtime, giving the Noles new breath and Doak Campbell Stadium revived energy.
As the Tigers took the ball to start overtime, the Seminole defensive line looked to have a certain confidence about them. Goldman's sack on Watson in the extra period set the table for a fourth and inches after a Clemson screen play on third down nearly gained a first down.
Football is a game of inches, Florida State wasn't ready to give up an inch. As Clemson running back Adam Choice received the handoff, Eddie Goldman broke through the Tiger offensive line, forcing Choice to re-route his run. Reggie Northrup and Chris Casher met Choice half way to seal the deal for the Noles.
"One thing Coach Fisher always says is if you see a lot you see nothing," Goldman said. "Just focus on your job and trust your teammates to do the same. We made the play when we had to have it."
When Florida State had to have it, they made the plays necessary to find a way. It's what championship teams do, it's what separates the men from boys, it's what kept the season alive for the Seminoles. Goldman and his fellow lineman made sure of that.
And the head coach of FSU's next opponent, N.C. State, noticed as well ...
He was against Clemson ... RT @DavidHaleESPN: Dave Doeren calls Eddie Goldman "the best defensive tackle in college football."— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) September 22, 2014