Florida State Seminoles: seminoles-bulls-092912

Homecoming of sorts for FSU's McAllister

September, 30, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. -- Amidst a deep and talented interior defensive line, junior defensive tackle Demonte McAllister found himself on the field early and often against in-state opponent USF on Saturday.

[+] EnlargeDemonte McAllister
Kim Klement/US PresswireFSU's Demonte McAllister (97) tackles USF running back Lindsey Lamar (5).
It wasn't just in the beginning. And it wasn't just at the end.

McAllister was on the field throughout and during some of the most pivotal moments.

"It was very nice to be out there," he said. "I have been practicing hard and working hard to get out there all season to be in this position to make big plays like that."

Playing inside Raymond James Stadium, just a stone's throw from Alonso High School in Tampa, McAllister was involved in a homecoming of sorts.

Family and close friends snatched up every ticket they could to be there. And McAllister was determined to impress.

"It was great. I knew that I had family in the stands, friends from high school, people that I've known all my life," McAllister said. "It was a great experience. It was my second time actually playing in here and I had a great time."

It wasn't always great for the defense, though.

The Bulls started strong gaining 144 yards of offense in the first quarter. But Florida State, and McAllister rallied to shut down their offense limiting USF to just 18 yards in the second and 11 yards in the third.

McAllister says it is all about rolling with the punches.

"Games hardly ever go as you plan them to go," he said. "You have to have a good plan B and we just came out and kept focusing. It was tough, but we stayed poised and got the job done."
TAMPA, Fla. -- A week ago, E.J. Manuel made his case to be considered a Heisman favorite. Saturday's effort wasn't nearly as glamorous, but it was effective.

Manuel completed 19 of 26 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 30-17 victory over USF -- far from the fireworks he'd engineered a week earlier, but his biggest players were delivered with impeccable timing.

[+] EnlargeE.J. Manuel
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesE.J. Manuel threw for 252 yards and a touchdown in Florida State's 30-17 victory over USF.
"He converted some big third-and-longs, made some critical passes, got us down there," Jimbo Fisher said.

Afterward, Manuel lamented the mistakes -- particularly an overthrown pass to Rodney Smith in the end zone.

"I'm still saying sorry to him about that," Manuel said. "I feel like I owe him some money."

But while Manuel wasn't perfect, he connected on a handful of big throws to extend drives and flip field position.

Manuel was 5-of-8 passing on third down, including a 39-yard deep ball to Rashad Greene, a 47-yard throw to Kenny Shaw and a 1-yard toss to Kevin Haplea for his lone touchdown of the game.

"It was huge," Manuel said. "Both for our momentum and to get first downs and move the chains."

The bulk of Manuel's work the rest of the game involved check-downs to the running backs and short throws to the tight ends. That was all part of the game plan, he said.

"They were open, so I threw it to them," Manuel said.

In a week in which other Heisman contenders posted gaudy stat lines, that type of offense won't put Manuel in the same spotlight he enjoyed a week ago.

Of course, after escaping USF with a victory, Manuel isn't too worried about style points.

"As long as I win," he said, "I'm happy."

Rashad Greene, meet Peter Warrick

September, 29, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. -- Rashad Greene's 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter had a lot more significance than what initially met the eye.

[+] EnlargeRashad Greene
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesRashad Greene has proven to be dynamic in many different ways on offense.
The sophomore wide receiver became the first player in school history to score a touchdown in three different ways during one season since Peter Warrick in 1999. Green has already returned two punts for touchdowns in 2012 and has one touchdown reception.

"I didn't know that," said Greene. "But I think it says a lot. Such a great guy like Peter Warrick, you know, that says a lot. That is an honor for me."

Warrick, regarded as one of the top wide receivers in Florida State history, recorded eight touchdowns receiving, three rushing and one on a punt return during that national championship season.

Greene's rushing score came in the first quarter with just under nine minutes left to put the Seminoles up 7-3 on USF. Florida State would never trail again after that point en route to a 30-17 win.

Instant analysis: FSU 30, USF 17

September, 29, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. -- It lacked the emotion of last week's win over Clemson or the style points that underscored Florida State's early season dominance, but the Seminoles remained unbeaten and earned a touch of retribution for a 2009 loss to USF, defeating the Bulls 30-17 Saturday.

EJ Manuel completed 19 of 26 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown, while the Florida State defense had two takeaways that keyed the win.

It was over when: B.J. Daniels felt the pressure and tossed a fourth-down pass out of bounds with 2:18 remaining in the game. USF battled throughout, largely stifling the high-powered FSU offense in the second half, but Daniels couldn't solve the Florida State defense.

Game ball goes to: Cornellius Carradine. The FSU defensive end had a monster game, leading the Seminoles with nine tackles, including 1.5 sacks. His devastating hit on USF backup quarterback Matt Floyd forced a fumble that Christian Jones scooped up for a touchdown. On a night when the FSU offense struggled to find its footing, Carradine's forced fumble provided the turning point.

Stat of the game: 183. That's the total rushing yardage for FSU -- a solid effort but well off the big numbers the Seminoles had been posting through the first four games of the season. Meanwhile the Bulls defensive front failed to make a single tackle behind the line of scrimmage in a loss to Ball State last week, but USF turned up the pressure and gave FSU's revamped offensive line its first real test of the season. The results were mixed. The Seminoles mustered just enough to win, but Chris Thompson, James Wilder Jr. and the running game took a big step back from the huge numbers they'd posted against Clemson.

Unsung hero: Xavier Rhodes. The FSU cornerback picked off a Daniels' pass late in the first half to set up a Dustin Hopkins field goal. Rhodes was exceptional in coverage throughout the game, holding USF's big-play receiver Andre Davis to just one catch for 3 yards.

What it means: It was a classic trap game for Florida State, which just won an emotional victory against Clemson last week and was making its first road trip of the season. The Seminoles certainly didn't look sharp, particularly early on, but they managed to sneak past USF to remain unbeaten and earn a small bit of retribution for the 17-7 loss it suffered at the hands of the Bulls in 2009. Jimbo Fisher is now 5-0 career against in-state rivals. Meanwhile, USF falls to 2-3 but its defense turned in a far more impressive effort than it had a week earlier, giving coach Skip Holtz some cause for optimism as the Bulls turn their focus toward Big East play.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Florida State hasn't marched down the field with ease the way it did during its first four games of the season, but EJ Manuel has been efficient, Rashad Greene provided the finishing touches on an early touchdown drive and Dustin Hopkins has drilled two field goals to give the Seminoles a 13-3 lead over USF at the half.

Stat of the half: Greene's 10-yard run on an end-around provided the lone touchdown of the first half, and it also provided a nice bit of trivia for the sophomore receiver. The rushing score was the fourth touchdown of the year for Greene, who has also caught a TD pass and returned two punts for scores, too. He's the first Seminoles player to score on a rush, a reception and a return in the same season since Peter Warrick did it in 1999.

Player of the half: Manuel hasn't provided the same fireworks he did a week ago when he jump-started his Heisman campaign with a big game against Clemson, but the Florida State quarterback turned in a solid first half, completing 12-of-15 passes for 139 yards. Most of Manuel's numbers came over the middle though, with few downfield options against the USF secondary.

What's working for Florida State: The defense hasn't dominated, but Xavier Rhodes' interception late in the second quarter provided one final scoring chance for FSU, and the Bulls haven't mustered much after a strong opening drive. B.J. Daniels engineered a 10-play, 62-yard opening drive that ended with a field goal, but the Bulls have managed just 100 yards the rest of the half.

What's not working for Florida State: The FSU running game was dominant in the first four games of the season, but Chris Thompson and James Wilder Jr. have had trouble finding much room to run against USF. Lonnie Pryor broke a huge 44-yard run, and Kelvin Benjmain took a reverse for 17 yards. Beyond that, however, FSU has averaged just 2.3 yards per carry, and it was stuffed near the goal line on three straight plays.

Noteworthy: Cornellius Carradine leads FSU defenders with six tackles. … Pryor's 44-yard run was the second longest of his career. … Kevin Haplea made his second career catch with FSU, an 11-yard reception. … Rhodes' interception was his second of the year and the third overall for Florida State.


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