Dec. 29, 2011
Lamarcus Joyner’s 77-yard kick-off return after Notre Dame went up 14-0 was the longest kickoff return by a Seminole this year. It was also the third-longest in FSU bowl and Champs Sports Bowl history. It was the longest return by a Seminole in a bowl game since Billy Allen took one 95 yards in the 1982 Gator Bowl versus West Virginia. It was also the longest kick-off return allowed in Notre Dame bowl history.
Brandon Jenkins continues his upward mobility when it comes to career record for sacks and tackles for loss. With his third quarter sack of Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees, Jenkins is up to 36.5 career TFL and 21.5 career sacks. He is now in eighth place all-time at FSU in both categories.
Wasn’t Supposed To Happen
A few weeks ago senior wide receiver Bert Reed was ruled out of the Champs Sports Bowl. Obviously that diagnosis was a bit premature. Reed caught his fifth TD pass of the year and the 10th of his career – an 18-yard grab in the corner of the end zone – to bring the Seminoles within five points at 14-9. His lone reception of the night was 170th of his career and he finished with 2,022 yards. He closes his career fourth all-time in receptions and 12th in receiving yards in FSU history.
TO Trend Continues For The D
With three more turnovers created tonight by the Seminole defense, Mark Stoops’ crew now has 17 takeaways in the last six games. In the first seven games of the season the Seminoles forced a total of six turnovers.
Good To Be Greene
It has been a while since Champs Sports Bowl MVP Rashad Greene was dominating football games, mainly due to an injury suffered earlier this season. He sure chose a good time to re-announce his intention to be mentioned with the best true freshmen receivers in FSU history and in the nation in 2011 with five receptions for 99 yards against the Fighting Irish. Greene moved into third place all-time at FSU for receiving yards (596 yards) by a true freshman passing Tamarick Vanover. He also moved into second place all-time among Seminole freshmen in receptions (38) and receiving TDs (7).
Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd returned the first punt of the game for 41 yards. It was the longest punt return allowed by the FSU special teams in 2011. The previous long was 22 yards.
Joyner Gets No. 4
The Seminole red zone defense got off to a great start to the Champs Sports Bowl. With Notre Dame inside the FSU five yard line and poised to take an early lead, Nigel Bradham got his hands on a Tommy Rees’ pass that Lamarcus Joyner hauled in to end the threat. It was Joyner’s team-leading fourth interception of the season. It was the fifth interception for the Seminole defense in the last two games. When all was said and done, FSU intercepted seven passes in the last two games of the season with three tonight.
The first quarter fumble return for a touchdown by Notre Dame was the first non-offensive touchdown scored against the Seminoles all season. The last time a FSU offensive turnover was returned for a touchdown was in 2010 when Virginia Tech recorded a pick six. You have to go back to the Miami game in 2007 to find the last time a Seminole fumble was returned for a TD.
Second-longest bowl winning streak
With its fourth consecutive bowl victory, Florida State improved its all-time bowl mark to 25-14-2. That marks the second-longest bowl winning streak in school history, still well behind FSU’s 11 consecutive from 1985-1995. The Seminoles are now 5-2 all-time against Notre Dame, including 2-0 in bowl games.
One Familiar Face
This is the second time this season that FSU has played a game with a Big 12 officiating crew. When the Seminoles faced off with then No. 1 Oklahoma in September in Tallahassee, that game was officiated by a Big 12 crew as well. Line judge Walt Coleman is the only member of today’s crew that worked that game as well.
Bradham Closes Out In A Big Way
Florida State senior linebacker Nigel Bradham closed out his career with a team-high nine tackles (eight solo), finishing the season with a team-leading 86. He is the first FSU player to lead the team in tackles for three consecutive years since All-American Marvin Jones (1990-92). Bradham closes his career with 306 tackles, and also added his third career interception in the victory.
Senior safety EJ Manuel was 20 of 31 for 249 and two touchdowns and also extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 121, spanning five games…FSU’s 18 points in the victory was the fewest in a bowl win by the ‘Noles since their 10-2 Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M in 1992…The Seminoles are now 8-0-2 all-time in Orlando….Dustin Hopkins continued his impressive bowl career with two field goals. Hopkins is now 10 of 11 in three bowl games.
Two guys who have a vivid memory of the 1993 “Game of the Century” between FSU and Notre Dame are on the sideline tonight. Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks both played in the famous game. Dunn carried three times and Brooks recorded eight tackles. They were also joined by former ‘Nole Dexter Jackson, who was the Super Bowl MVP for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.