Sept. 18, 2010
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher stressed throughout the week that his program would not forget what happened last weekend in a lopsided loss at Oklahoma.
Saturday at home against Brigham Young, Fisher’s words rang especially true.
In a 34-10 win over the Cougars (1-2), the Seminoles (2-1) executed better on both offense and defense and finished the home contest with 427 total yards gained and only allowed a meager 191 yards by BYU.
“I think on the defenive line and offensive line we were able to eat the clock,” FIsher said after the game. “They had character and they had pride and they played with it.”
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Offensively, the backup FSU tailbacks shined. Sophomore Chris Thompson earned a new career-high with 123 yards on just nine carries and one score. Junior Ty Jones very nearly eclipsed the 100-yard mark, too. He finished the day with 95 yards on 15 carries with one score while also adding one touchdown reception.
Quarterback Christian Ponder tossed for 149 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. At the wide receiver spot, junior Bert Reed snagged the 100th reception of his career and concluded the day with team-bests in receptions (nine) and yards (89).
Defensively, FSU was able to pressure BYU all day long. The team posted a season-high eight sacks and held the Cougars to less than 100 yards rushing and less than 120 yards passing. The Cougars mustered just 39 total yards in the second half.
Perhaps most importantly, the Seminole defenders wrapped up BYU ball carriers and didn’t allow very many big plays off of missed tackles.
Senior Brandon Jenkins had a career-high two sacks.
“We got pass rush because we beat them and we got a rush because we had them covered,” Fisher said about his defense’s performance.
Florida State posted the lone score of the opening quarter thanks to Dustin Hopkins’ 26-yard field goal at the culmination of a 10-play, 62-yard drive.
In total, FSU outgained BYU 58-4 in the first quarter.
The Seminoles broke the ballgame open in towards the latter part of the first half.
Following a 47-yard Dustin Hokpins’ field goal that made it a 6-0 game in favor of FSU, Thompson found daylight on a stretch play and was off to the races en route to an 83-yard scoring run.
In addition to being the longest run of Thompson’s career, the extended dash was the longest scoring scamper since Antone Smith dragged defenders for 80 yards against Duke in 2006. In FSU history, the run tied Sammie Smith’s 83-yard touchdown run against East Carolina in 1987.
A 71-yard drive by the Cougars then trimmed FSU’s advantage to 13-10 a few seconds before halftime.
After the defense forced a BYU punt on the first possession of the second half, the Seminole offense kicked it in gear and posted a 14-play, 63-yard scoring drive. On the touchdown play, Ponder rolled out and found Jones on a two-yard pass play to make the score 20-10 in favor of the good guys.
Jones’ scoring grab marked the first touchdown reception of his career and it moved Ponder into 11th place for most touchdown throws in a Seminole career with 34 – a mark that is tied with Chip Ferguson.
Another big Thompson run in the fourth quarter helped lead to yet another Seminole score. Thompson’s 31-yard scramble and wide receiver Willie Haulstead’s career-best 34-yard grab then lead to a one-yard Ponder touchdown dive, increasing the score to 27-10.
To cap the contest off, Jones later rumbled across the goal line for a nine-yard touchdown rush with just 1:35 left to play.
“Our team is learning to fight,” Fisher said. “They kept fighting and they learned a lot from last week. Oklahoma beat us last week but we still had a lot of spirit today.”
Next up for Florida State is another home contest as Wake Forest will come to town this Saturday. Game time for that Atlantic Coast Conference showdown will be announced Sunday.
Seminole fans are reminded that registration for the Jimbo Fisher Call-In Show is now open. Coach Fisher will film his call-in show every Wednesday evening at Hotel Duval in downtown Tallahassee and fans are encouraged to attend and show their support.