TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A day after a 45-34, 22-point come-from-behind win over No. 11 Ole Miss in the Camping World Kickoff, four Seminoles combined to win five weekly honors from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the league announced Tuesday. Redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois, senior defensive end DeMarcus Walker, sophomore defensive back Derwin James and freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo took home the opening week awards for Monday’s performance.
Francois was named the league’s Offensive Back and Rookie of the Week after a 33-of-52, 419-yard, two-touchdown performance through the air while adding 59 yards on the ground. Playing in his hometown of Orlando, Fla., Francois threw for over 200 yards in each half, leading the Noles from a 28-6 deficit to a 39-28 lead. His 419 yards are the most in a season opener in FSU history, 15th most all-time for the Noles and the second-most by a freshman in school history. His 478 total yards rank seventh all-time at FSU.
Walker was unstoppable in the second half against the Rebels, holding the Rebels to 75 total yards of offense and just six points after halftime. Walker tallied six tackles and 4.5 sacks, all coming in the second half. On one sack of Rebel quarterback Chad Kelly, he forced the sixth fumble of his career, a season after leading the ACC with four forced fumbles. He entered 2016 as the conference’s tackles for loss leader and was second among returning sack leaders with 12.5 for his career. The 4.5 sacks set a career high and were the most for any defender in college football’s opening week.
A season after recording 91 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss, James led the Seminoles with eight tackles and picked off the first pass of his career in the first quarter. With Ole Miss driving to build on an early 7-0 lead, James picked off Kelly, one of three Kelly threw on the night to sophomore defensive backs for FSU. It was the fifth straight game that James has led the Seminoles in tackles.
Entering the night with perhaps the biggest shoes to fill, Aguayo was flawless in his first game as a Seminole. He set a school record with six made field goals, including three from 40-yards or longer. He added three extra points, giving him 21 points and outscoring 43 FBS teams in Week 1. The six made field goals tied an ACC record by four other players, most recently Richard Jackson of Clemson in 2009. In addition to breaking his brother Roberto’s record for points kicking in a game of 19, he tied a national record with six made field goals by freshman, but the first to do so in his first career game.
Seminoles Jump to No. 3 in Polls
After beating No. 11 Ole Miss 45-34 to open the season Monday night, Florida State jumped to No. 3 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls Tuesday afternoon. FSU garnered four first place votes in the AP poll and trail No. 2 Clemson by just three total points. The Seminoles and Tigers became the first pair of ACC teams ever to open the season ranked in the Top 5 and will face each other in Tallahassee on Oct. 29.
Alabama remained at No. 1, with a pair of Big Ten teams, Ohio State and Michigan, checking in at four and five, respectively in the AP poll. Stanford is No. 5 in the Coaches.