June 17, 2014 - by

Offensive Notes: Florida State vs. Samford – Florida State University

Offensive Notes: Florida State vs. Samford – Florida State University
















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Offensive Notes: Florida State vs. Samford

Fleet Reed back as top target

Junior wide receiver Bert Reed caught a career-high 60 passes for a career-high 710 yards as a sophomore and enters the 2010 season as the Seminoles' leading receiver from a year ago.  One of the top all-purpose players in the ACC, Reed finished second on the team in receiving, and third on the team in all-purpose yards with 807 total yards (710 yards receiving, 94 rushing and three on punt returns).  Reed enters his junior season needing only 17 catches to reach the 100 for his career (83 career catches), having already eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark (1,005).

Easterling: From Diamond to Gridiron

Junior wide receiver Taiwan Easterling, who has caught 65 passes for 764 yards and three touchdowns as a Seminole football player, was a member of Florida State's ACC Championship baseball team which advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. As a receiver for the 2009 football team he posted career-highs for receptions (35) and yards (442) as the Seminoles capped the season by winning the 2010 Gator Bowl. A reserve outfielder for the baseball team in 2010, he played in 23 games and earned 23 at bats.  Despite not participating in spring practice with the football team, Easterling is expected to start in the opener against Samford.

Reliford is top returning tight end

Junior Beau Reliford, who caught 11 passes for 101 yards in 2009, is the Seminoles' top returning tight end for the 2010 season.  A starter in the final five games of his sophomore season, Reliford saw his output increase from one catch for eight yards as a freshman to 11 catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns last season. He scored the game-winning touchdown with 6:20 remaining as the Seminoles rallied from a 24-6 second half deficit to win at North Carolina in a nationally-televised Thursday night game. Reliford's game-winner came on an 18-yard pass from Christian Ponder against the nation's top-rated pass defense.  Reliford and junior Ja'Barris Little (one catch for four yards in 2009) are the only two tight ends on the roster who have at least one career reception entering the 2010 season.  

Offensive Line paves the way

Florida State's offensive line, generally considered one of the top starting units in all of college football, helped the Seminoles pile up 5,478 total yards and 43 touchdowns during the 2009 season.  Florida State ranked second in the ACC and 28th in the nation in total offense (421.4 yards per game). The Seminoles were third in the ACC (25th nationally) in passing offense (271.8 ypg) and fourth in the ACC (59th nationally) in rushing offense (149.5 ypg).  FSU has improved its total offense output each of the past three seasons. Senior guard Rodney Hudson and senior center Ryan McMahon enter their fourth season as starters, while tackles Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders and guard David Spurlock  - all juniors - are third-year starters who have contributed significantly to that improvement. Collectively the unit boasts 142 career starts.

Three-year paving project

Year Pass Rush Total TDs

2007 3,143 1,659 4,802 27

2008 2,506 2,328 4,834 45

2009 3,354 1,944 5,478 43

Hudson: Two Jacobs better than one

All-American offensive guard Rodney Hudson, who won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 2009, enters his final season looking to become only the 11th player to become a repeat winner of the league's award for the most dominant blocker. Should he win the award for the second consecutive season, he would become only the second guard in ACC history to win the award in back-to-back seasons.  

Multiple Award Winners

Years Player School

1953-54 Bill Wohrman USC

1956-57 Hal McElhaney Duke

1961-62 Art Gregory Duke

1975-76 Billy Bryan Duke

1978-79 Jim Ritcher NC State

1984-85 Jim Dombrowski UVa

1990-91 Ray Roberts UVA

1994-95 Clay Shiver FSU

2001-02 Brett Williams FSU

2003-04 Elton Brown Virginia

Hudson in elite ACC company

All-American offensive guard Rodney Hudson enters the 2010 season looking to become only the seventh player in ACC history to earn All-ACC honors in each of his four seasons.  He earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2008 and 2009 and All-ACC Second Team honors in 2007.  Only one player - Ted Brown of NC State - has earned All-ACC First Team honors in each of his four seasons.  Only six players - three non-kickers - have earned All-ACC First or Second Team honors entering the 2010 season.  Two of the players who have earned All-ACC honors four times are Seminoles - Travis Minor and Brett Williams - making FSU the only ACC school with multiple four-time selections.

Four Time All-ACC Performers

Travis Minor, Florida State, RB 1997 (2nd), '98 (1st), '99 (2nd), '00 (2nd)

Brett Williams, Florida State, T

1999 (2nd), '00 (2nd), '01 (1st), '02 (1st)

Will Brice, Virginia, P

1993 (2nd), '94 (2nd), '95 (1st), '96 (1st)

Ted Brown, NC State, RB

1975 (1st), '76 (1st), '77 (1st), '78 (1st)

Adam Podlesh, Maryland, P 2003 (2nd), '04 (2nd), '05 (2nd), '06 (2nd)

Nelson Welch, Clemson, K 1991 (1st), '92 (2nd), '93 (2nd), '94 (2nd)

Iron Ryan eyes perfection

Fifth-year senior center Ryan McMahon has battled injury and bigger opponents throughout his career, but remains the rock in the middle of position coach Rick Trickett's segment. McMahon, who made the transtion from defensive tackle to center in 2007, is working on a string of 39 consecutive starts entering the 2010 campaign. A Rimington Award candidate for a third consecutive season, McMahon is poised to become Florida State's all-time leader in games started and played. Over the course of his career he has handled all but a handful of snaps to start the Seminole offense.

Thomas hoping to double-up

Junior running back Jermaine Thomas, who led the Seminoles with a career-high 832 rushing yards in 2009, returns to a very productive backfield rotation. Thomas' rushing total was the most by a Seminole since Leon Washington rushed for 951 yards during the 2004 season. Thomas enters the 2010 season looking to lead the Seminoles in rushing for a second consecutive season, which would

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mark the 10th time for an FSU player since 1990 and 1991. Six Florida State players have led the team in rushing in

consecutive seasons since the 1990 and 1991 seasons, including Travis Minor, who led the Seminoles in rushing in four consecutive seasons (1997-2000).

Back-To-Back Rushing Leaders

Years Player     Totals

2007-08 Antone Smith     1,611

2005-06 Lorenzo Booker    1,178

2002-03 Greg Jones     1,556

2001-02 Greg Jones     1,651

1999-00 Travis Minor     1,738

1998-99 Travis Minor     1,672

1997-98 Travis Minor     1,480

1995-96 Warrick Dunn     2,422

1994-95 Warrick Dunn     2,268

1990-91 Amp Lee     1,802

Top seven rushers return

Led by Jermaine Thomas, the Seminoles' top seven rushers are back on the roster for the 2010 season.  Thomas (832 yards) leads a pack of players including Ty Jones (251), EJ Manuel (196), Christian Ponder (179), Lonnie Pryor (156), Chris Thompson (120) and Bert Reed (94). They combined for 1,828 yards last season.  In all, returning Seminoles produced 1,839 of last season's 1,944 yards (94.6 percent).  The Seminoles lost only one runner (Tavares Pressley to injury) who gained more than 50 yards rushing in 2009.  

Offense operates with Ginsu precision

Florida State returns 10 starters from its 2009 offense, which at time was also the Seminoles' best defense. With quarterbacks Christian Ponder and EJ Manuel at the controls, FSU put together 21 scoring drives of 10 or more plays; 14 of which resulted in touchdowns. It registered a season-best 17-play TD drive at BYU which covered 86 yards and chewed a season-high 8:19 off the clock - one of four on the day the win in Provo, Utah. The Seminoles' proficiency  was easily identifiable in other quantitative ways as well.  Their furthest sustained drive covered 98 yards in 12 plays, resulting in a TD against NC State. Of the 21 double-digit scoring drives, 15 of them extended five minutes or longer. On the season the 'Noles put together three scoring drives of 90 or more yards, eight between 80-89 yards, 10 between 70-79 yards and 14 from 60-69 yards.

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