- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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A quick look how Week 1's performances for Florida State's top competition for postseason awards:
K Dustin Hopkins, Sr. (Groza): The odds-on favorite to win the Groza award had a solid start to the season, connecting on two short field goals, converting all eight PATs and booting five touchbacks.
CB Xavier Rhodes, Jr. (Bednarik, Nagurski, Thorpe): Playing opposite two newcomers at corner, Rhodes finished with five tackles and an interception, as Murray State failed to complete a pass for more than 16 yards.
DE Bjoern Werner, Jr. (Lombardi, Nagurski): It was a dominant performance for FSU on Saturday, but no one was more dominant than Werner, who racked up four sacks, five tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. The slimmed-down Werner stepped to the forefront of an impressive group of D-linemen for postseason awards.
DT Everett Dawkins, Sr. (Outland): Dawkins didn't record a tackle against Murray State, but he was an anchor on a defensive line that utterly dominated the Racers, including stuffing the running game to the tune of 1.2 yards per carry.
LB Christian Jones, Jr. (Butkus): Jones had just one tackle in his new role as the weakside linebacker, but it came when he sniffed out a screen pass and brought the receiver down in the backfield.
S Lamarcus Joyner, Jr. (Bednarik, Nagurski, Thorpe): Joyner finished with five solo tackles against Murray State in limited duty.
WR Willie Haulstead, Jr. (Biletnikoff): Haulstead's selection to this watch list was a bit perplexing to begin with considering he missed all of last season with a concussion. He did see action Saturday -- his first since 2010 -- but didn't record a catch.
QB EJ Manuel, Sr. (Maxwell, O'Brien): It's not that Manuel didn't play well in the opener, but his stat line -- 16-for-22 for 188 yards and one TD -- won't compare to the gaudy numbers some other quarterbacks posted against lower-tier Week 1 opponents.
DE Brandon Jenkins, Sr. (Bednarik, Camp, Lombardi/Rotary, Nagurski): Jenkins picked up his first sack of the season in the first quarter against Murray State, then left with a foot injury. Jimbo Fisher said the injury isn't serious, but reports Monday night indicated Jenkins could miss the season.
LB Nick Moody, Sr. (Butkus): Moody chipped in on one tackle for loss in Saturday's opener, but Fisher was less than complimentary of his senior following his first start at strongside linebacker.
4dDavid M. Hale
4dDavid M. Hale