Shades of five days ago in Tallahassee saw a lengthy weather delay push the kickoff back over an hour from 7:20pm to 8:45pm ET, and the ‘Noles started out right where they left off last week with a poorly executed first drive on offense.
The ensuing Samford possession took one play for QB Delvin Hodges to air out a 54-yard completion for a touchdown. Luckily, Samford fumbled the snap and failed to convert the extra point.
The poor start would be compounded by the loss of running back Khalan Laborn, as he was carted off the field after taking a hit to the knee on his second kick return of the night.
Despite a rough start that saw three drives end in punts, Deondre Francois has been sharp throwing the ball, going 15/22 for 194 yards and two touchdown passes. After going to the ground hard it looked like Francois hurt his wrist and emerged from the tent with it wrapped up. Blackman was seen warming up on the sideline, but Francois seemed alright to continue.
The Seminoles’ first touchdown drive of the year came on back-to-back completions to WR George Campbell, before a highlight reel touchdown catch by Tamorrion Terry.
Francois has been more of a threat running the ball than he was against Virginia Tech and he was able to walk in untouched for the second score of the night.
Florida State’s rushing attack has struggled. We know this offensive line isn’t good, but being pushed around by a SoCon defense is a new low.
Jacques Patrick has served as FSU’s man ball carrier and has just 33 yards on 8 carries, Cam Akers has 16 yards on 5 carries. The loss of Laborn certainly hasn’t helped.
Devlin Hodges is the real deal, and picked on the secondary early and often. They would exact some semblance of revenge, though. A.J. Westbrook had an interception in his hands that he managed to drop, but on a tipped ball in the 2nd quarter Westbrook would redeem himself and nab the first turnover of the season. He would also be awarded the first “turnover backpack” in Florida State history.
Hodges would strike back with a beautiful deep ball over Levonta Taylor for his second touchdown to WR Kelvin McKnight.
While they haven’t given up many yards from penalties, some untimely flags have hurt the Seminoles. DT Demarcus Christmas should’ve had a huge TFL that was negated because he tackled the ball carrier by the facemask. The very next play was called for defensive pass interference, setting the Bulldogs up on the 2-yard line, where they were able to punch in a goal line effort.
Special teams has been *ahem* nothing special.
Although perfect on his extra points, Ricky Aguayo missed his lone 40-yard field goal attempt. 40 yards isn’t automatic, but Aguayo has to make those.
As mentioned before, Khalan Laborn was lost for the game early on. Freshman Anthony Grant would take over for Laborn, paired with Amir Rasul on kick return duties.
Punter Logan Tyler has been decent with five punts averaging 46.4 yards a punt, with a long of 59 yards.