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D.J. Matthews discusses punt-return touchdown and his called-back TD pass

Matthews’ punt return touchdown was the first for FSU since 2016.

ACC digital Network

Generally, it’s hard to think of the positives after losing to a rival. But, if there was one bright spot the the day (there were many), it was sophomore wide receiver D.J. Matthews.

Matthews has been a revelation returning punts this year and is almost always good to get the ‘Noles a decent chunk of yards back from a punt when his returns don’t get flagged for holding.

His elusiveness sends would-be tacklers the opposite direction and his patience allows him to identify the best running lanes for the return. Well, his patience finally paid off as he was able to take one to the house for a 74-yard touchdown, FSU’s first since Bobo Wilson’s against Charleston Southern in 2016.

“The punter punted it short and I read the bounce,” Matthews said. “I saw a couple guys surrounding me. I kinda hesitated to throw them off and made them go into different lanes. Then I just hit the crease. I had good blocks from my teammates.”

Players have said all week that big plays in this game put your name in the history books. If Matthews’ fourth quarter touchdown pass to Keith Gavin on a trick play hadn’t been called back, his name would’ve been cemented in FSU-Miami lore. It still is, but for the wrong reasons. Matthews, like most watching, thought he was behind Francois when he caught the first pass.

“I think the ref said it was a forward pass,” Matthews said. “I’m pretty sure I stepped backward. It’s just something we’ll have to go over in film and we’ll work on.”