Florida State Seminoles: Brandon Ford

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A hundred yards of green spread out ahead of him, and Terrence Brooks saw himself galloping across each hash mark along the way.

[+] EnlargeDeAndre Hopkins
AP Photo/Phil SearsClemson's high-powered attack burned Terrence Brooks (31) a couple of times in 2012.
Even now, more than six months after Brooks mistimed a jump that would've inevitably led to a late -- albeit unnecessary -- touchdown against Clemson, he can still see the ball hanging in the air, picture himself snagging it from the receiver and darting toward the end zone at the opposite end of the field.

"I have dreams about it," Brooks said of the Tajh Boyd pass that sailed just out of reach and into the arms of Brandon Ford for a touchdown.

For a player who started every game, finished with 52 tackles and picked off two passes in 2012, it's that play that was the most memorable.

That's OK, Brooks said.

After that game, Brooks sat on the bench with his head hung while teammates celebrated, but now he celebrates it, too. After that game, his teammates begged him to forget the performance, but now he's glad to remember. Before that game, he questioned himself, but afterward, he knew.

(Read full post)

By the Numbers: FSU 49, Clemson 37 

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
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EJ Manuel keyed an offensive explosion, and the Florida State defense rebounded from a rocky first half to pull off a come-from-behind win over Clemson on Saturday. Here are five stats from the game that tell the story and offer some insight into where FSU goes from here.

11 for 11: That was Manuel's completions and attempts after Clemson scored on its first drive of the second half to open a 14-point lead. Manuel had been solid early, completing 16 of 24 passes for 192 yards in the first half and the first drive of the second, but he was brilliant down the stretch. His 11 straight completions went for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Manuel became the first FSU quarterback to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 since Charlie Ward in 1992.

1,124: That's Florida State's rushing total through four games this season, after adding 287 more against Clemson on Saturday. That's just 334 yards shy of the Seminoles' total for the entirety of the 2011 season. A healthy Chris Thompson, who rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns against Clemson, has been a key, but it's the marked improvement from Florida State's offensive line that has allowed the running game to flourish.

3 Up, 3 Down: FSU 49, Clemson 37 

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The hype built for months, but really, the questions about Florida State's resurgence had been offered for nearly a decade. On Saturday, however, the buzz finally intersected with reality, and Florida State issued an emphatic statement, toppling No. 10 Clemson 49-37.

From EJ Manuel's marquee performance to the second-half defensive resurgence, there were plenty of heroes. And throughout Clemson's torrid first half, marked by self-inflicted wounds by FSU, there were some goats, too.

Here's a look at who played the biggest role in digging Florida State's early hole and who made the biggest impact as they climbed back out.

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