Florida State vs. Alabama
September 29, 2007
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS GETTING THEIR FIRST STARTS
A pair of players made their first career start against Alabama today. Junior linebacker Toddrick Verdell got the call at SAM linebacker while sophomore Kendrick Stewart was tabbed as the starting nose guard. After working with the offensive line for first part of the season, sophomore Caz Piurowski switched back to tight end and got the start. Last season he played in all 13 games and had a pair of starts. Redshirt freshman quarterback D’Vontrey Richardson took his first collegiate snap in the first quarter and was stopped for a negative one-yard rush.
THREE QUARTERBACKS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Three different quarterbacks took a snap for Florida State in the first half of today’s game. Junior Drew Weatherford got the start for the Seminoles. Redshirt freshman D’Vontrey Richardson took a pair of snaps. Junior Xavier Lee saw his first action of the season in the second quarter. Today’s game is the first time Florida State has used three different scholarship signal callers since the 2003 season. Chris Rix (starter), Fabian Walter and Wyatt Sexton all took snaps against Duke in the 56-7 decision on September 27, 2003.
DEFENSE PITCHING A SHUTOUT
Florida State defense has been outstanding the last two games. Dating back to the last quarter of the UAB game, the Seminole defense has only surrendered one touchdown in its last eight quarters. Colorado scored a touchdown with 58 seconds remaining in the contest to thwart the Florida State shutout. Florida State has not been shut out in the first half since the end of the 2006 season. Florida held the Seminoles scoreless through the first 30 minutes of play in the November 25, 2006 contest.
FIRST HALF BAGEL
Until today’s first half, it’s been almost 36 years since Florida State was involved in a scoreless first half. Florida State and Virginia Tech were both scoreless in the first half of the October 3, 1971 contest. Both teams had their chances to score, but Virginia Tech had a field goal blocked and Florida State missed its’ lone field goal attempt. Florida State went on to win 17-3, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes by current FSU Executive Associate Athletic Director Gary Huff. Last season the Seminoles were involved in a game where no touchdowns were scored in the first half as a field goal by Troy was the only score in the September 9, 2006 contest. FSU won that game 24-17.
Florida State vs. Alabama
September 29, 2007
SEMINOLES GET FIRST RANKED VICTORY SINCE START OF 2006
Prior to the 21-14 victory over Alabama today, Florida State had not beaten a ranked opponent since the start of the 2006 season. The Seminoles opened the 2006 campaign with a 13-10 triumph over No. 12 Miami. After the Miami win, Florida State lost it next two games against ranked foes 30-0 vs. No. 18 Wake Forest and 21-14 vs. No. 4 Florida. The Seminoles last victory over a ranked team away from home was a 23-19 triumph against No. 5 Virginia Tech in Jacksonville during the inaugural ACC Championship game.
FAGG TIES CAREER TOTAL WITH A PAIR OF TOUCHDOWN CATCHES
Coming into today’s game, wide receiver De”Cody Fagg had only caught a pair of touchdown passes in his career 2006 vs. Duke & 2005 vs. Florida but he equaled that against the Crimson Tide. Prior to the 70-yard scoring strike from Xavier Lee in the fourth quarter, Fagg’s longest catch of his career was a 53-yard reception against the Citadel (Sept. 10, 2005). His 95 yards receiving is his highest output in two seasons since he hauled in a career-high 113 yards versus the Citadel.
CARR REACHES THE CENTURY MARK FOR FIRST TIME IN 2007
With 107 yards in today’s game, junior wide receiver Greg Carr is the first Florida State receiver to haul in 100 yards this season. It’s his first 100-yard game since he caught four passes including three for touchdowns for 100 yards against Duke last season on October 14th. For his career, Carr now has five 100-yard receiving games. In fact, Carr is the first Seminole this year to amass 100 yards on either the ground or through the air. Prior to tonight’s game, the 2007 single-game season high for a receiver was 89 yards by Preston Parker against UAB.
LONGEST PLAY IN ALMOST A YEAR
De’Cody Fagg’s 70-yard touchdown catch from Xavier Lee in the fourth quarter is the longest play of the season for the Seminoles. It’s the Seminoles’ longest offensive play of the year and the longest since Antone Smith had an 80-yard run against Duke on October 14, 2006. It’s the longest passing play since Lorenzo Booker hauled in a 73-yard catch from Drew Weatherford against NC State last season on October 5th.
SCORING ON FIRST POSSESSION
It’s been four games since Florida State scored on its first possession of the second half. Florida State took the opening kickoff and marched 67 yards on eight plays for the first score of the game in today’s third quarter. The last time the Seminoles scored on their first possession of the second half was in the 2006 Emerald Bowl. A 36-yard field goal by Gary Cismesia capped a 36-yard drive. The field goal was set up by a 38-yard kick off return by Michael Ray Garvin.
LEE AND FAGG CONNECT FOR SIX
The touchdown hook up between Xavier Lee and De’Cody Fagg marked the first score for either player in some time. Fagg’s last touchdown reception came against Duke last season on October 14. Prior to tonight’s touchdown catch, Fagg had caught 26 passes without crossing the goal line. The touchdown pass was the first for Lee since he threw a pair of scoring strikes to Greg Carr versus Western Michigan last season on November 18, 2006. In between touchdown passes, Lee was just 7-of-12 for 64 yards.
LEE GETTING IT DONE WITH HIS LEGS
While his first scoring drive came primarily through the air, quarterback Xavier Lee had the best rushing game of his career tonight vs. Alabama. The junior ran for a career-high 59 yards, surpassing his high of 50 against Maryland. It’s the first time a quarterback has led the team in rushing since Lee scrambled for 49 yards in the 33-0 victory over Virginia last season.
BROWN SETTING UP CAMP IN THE ALABAMA BACKFIELD
Florida State defensive end Everette Brown was a fixture in the Alabama backfield in the second half of today’s game. The sophomore had a personal-best two sacks against the Crimson Tide as part of his four total tackles. In addition, Brown caused the fumble that set up Florida State’s second score of the game. It was the first forced fumble of his career as well as the first fumble recovery by Letroy Guion, who pounced on the ball.
ALABAMA GAME MISCELLANEOUS
Jacksonville has become a home away from home for Florida State. With the victory over Alabama today, Florida State improved to 7-1 under Bobby Bowden in Jacksonville including five-straight victories. Overall, the Seminoles are 11-2-1 in Jacksonville ... The win over Alabama is Florida State’s first win against an SEC team, besides Florida, since it beat South Carolina 38-10 on November 9, 1991. Until today, FSU had only played two other non-Florida SEC teams since 1991, losing to Tennessee in 1999 Fiesta Bowl and Georgia in the 2003 Sugar Bowl ... Florida State improved to 10-1 under Bobby Bowden in non-conference neutral site games and 14-1 in regular season non-conference games ... The Seminoles have scored 21 or more points in the second half of two of their last three games ... Seven different players carried the ball for the Seminoles. Florida State has had six or more players with a rushing attempt in each of the last three games ... With a team-best nine tackles, linebacker Derek Nicholson has led the Seminoles in tackling the last three games. In those three games, the junior is averaging 9.6 tackles per game.
BOBBY BOWDEN TO BE FEATURED ON 700 CLUB
Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden will be featured on the October 1st edition of The 700 Club. Bowden’s episode will air in the Tallahassee market beginning Monday at 11 p.m. on the ABC Family channel. The show airs weeknights at 11 p.m. on ABC Family.
SENIOR RECEIVER JOSLIN SHAW BACK CLEARED
After missing the first four games of the season, senior wide receiver Joslin Shaw has been cleared to play for next week’s game.
EXECUTIVE HEAD COACH CHUCK AMATO AVAILABLE TO THE MEDIA ON MONDAY
With the Seminoles taking on NC State next Saturday, Florida State executive head coach Chuck Amato will be available to the media on Monday at 12:30 in the Florida State press center before the normal Monday press conferences.
BOWDEN CONFERENCE CALL
Media are reminded that head coach Bobby Bowden will be available via conference call Sunday at 4 p.m.