TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following the largest comeback victory in Florida State history, Seminoles on both sides of the ball collected National Player of the Week honors on Thursday. Redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, while senior defensive end DeMarcus Walker was selected as the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week as the nation’s top defensive player for Week 1.
The pair spearheaded the third-ranked Noles 22-point comeback win over then-No. 11 Ole Miss at the Camping World Kickoff in Orlando. Florida State trailed 28-6 in the second quarter before Francois’ 16-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Travis Rudolph with 28 seconds left in the first half swung momentum in the Seminoles’ favor and started a 33-point run that ultimately catapulted FSU to a 45-34 season-opening victory.
Francois finished with 419 passing yards and two touchdowns on 33-of-52 attempts to go along with 59 yards rushing in his first ever game. His 478 total yards of offense rank as the seventh-highest total in a single game in school history. In addition, his single-game passing yardage ranks 15th in FSU history, while the 419 yards are the second-most by a freshman in school annals.
Walker had an incredible 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the second half against the Rebels as Florida State held Ole Miss to just 68 yards and six points after halftime. Walker finished with six total tackles and his sack total was a half-sack from tying the school record and was the most of any player in college football on the opening weekend.
Aguayo Named ‘Star of the Week’
True freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo was named a Lou Groza Award ‘Star of the Week’ after going 6-6 on field goals and 3-3 on PATs against the Rebels. The six field goals set a Florida State record, breaking the previous mark of five held by four players, including his older brother Roberto, a three-time All-American for the Noles from 2013-15. The six field goals also tied a national freshman record and tied an ACC record for any kicker.
When adding in the three extra points, Aguayo’s 21-point output against No. 11 Ole Miss set an FSU record for points in a game by a kicker (also broke Roberto’s record of 19) and was the eighth-highest scoring game by any Seminole player in the program’s 70-year history.
No other kicker in the country made more than four field goals in the opening week.
The Lou Groza Award annually honors the nation’s top kicker. Three Seminoles have won the national award (Sebastian Janikowski, 1998 & 1999; Graham Gano, 2008; Roberto Aguayo, 2013).
Weekly Awards Round-Up
Deondre Francois, R-Fr., QB
Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week
ACC Offensive Back of the Week
ACC Rookie of the Week
DeMarcus Walker, Sr., DE
CBS Sports National Player of the Week
Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week
ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week