June 27, 2011 - by
10 for 10: FSU 34, BYU 10

June 27, 2011

Click on the play button below to listen to the play-by-play of the Florida State vs. BYU game. You can download the game by clicking on the iTunes link

Florida State 34, BYU 10
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By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com

Looking Back: BYU

Florida State’s 34-10 win over BYU on Sept. 18, 2010 was more than just Jimbo Fisher’s second victory as head coach. More important than that, it put the Seminoles back on track after a tough defeat the week before at Oklahoma.

The win over BYU would ultimately prove to be the first of five victories in a row before two hard-fought heartbreakers against NC State and North Carolina.

Much was made about FSU’s loss on national television to the title-contending Sooners but looking back, it was that defeat and the win over the visiting Cougars that likely served as a catalyst for what would tun out to be a 10-victory, bowl-winning season.

A year after dismantling BYU 54-28 out in Provo, Utah, the ballgame didn’t lack its share of questions from the perspective of the Seminoles.

What would be the response of a young ballclub and its first-time head coach on the heels of humbling loss? Would FSU be able to run roughshod over the Cougars like it did a season prior? How would quarterback Christian Ponder perform after a lackluster showing in Norman, Okla.?

It turned out that the Seminoles’ response was simple: focus on the ills that put them in that particular situation and get better — quickly.

The loss at Oklahoma had a lot to do with the lack of a defensive presence and missed tackles and assignments. In the win over BYU, FSU allowed just 191 yards on defense and controlled the battle in the trenches on the defensive line with eight quarterback sacks.

Just like they did on the Cougars’ home turf the season before, the ‘Noles used the same blueprint offensively to run away with an easy win as tailbacks Chris Thompson and Ty Jones combined for 218 yards rushing. In 2009, the combination of Jones, Ponder and fullback Lonnie Pryor carrying the football was enough to knock off a BYU squad that was ranked No. 7 at the time.

And as for Ponder, well FSU’s eventual first-round draft selection bounced back from his forgettable performance at Oklahoma. Florida State’s senior signal-caller was mistake free in throwing for 149 yards and one score.

Leading up to the showdown with Cougars, Fisher had stressed that he wanted to see some “feistiness” from his squad after getting “jabbed in the mouth” by the Sooners.

A week of focused practice and 34 points later, FSU had its answer, the second win of the season and a counterpunch.

FSU Bounces Back, Beats BYU

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

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.”

Christian Ponder Interview

Jimbo Fisher Interview

Everett Dawkins Interview

Brandon Jenkins Interview

Chris Thompson Interview

Henry Orelus Interview

Markus White Interview

1st Half Highlights

2nd Half Highlights

Photo Gallery

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.

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