Before the 2012 season begins, the Osceola and Noles247 take a look at the season that was for Florida State football. First up: FSU's 34-0 season-opening win over ULM.
Vince Williams had seven tackles in the first start of his career.
Perhaps the most anticipated Florida State football season in years began pretty much the way it was supposed to – with a blowout win over an overmatched opponent.
Behind two touchdown passes from new starter EJ Manuel, fine debuts from freshmen Devonta Freeman and Rashad Greene and a dominant performance from the Seminoles' defense, fifth-ranked FSU moved to 1-0 for the year with a 34-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
What went right for FSU:
It would go on to face much tougher challenges, but the FSU defense started the season by corralling a ULM offense that went on to average nearly 400 yards per game and ranked 55th in the country in total offense, ahead of the likes of Nebraska, Maryland and Miami – and Florida State.
Mark Stoops' defense held the Warhawks to just 191 yards of offense. And had one interception, five interceptions and 11.5 tackles for loss.
Offensively, Rodney Smith finished with a team-leading 78 yards on just five catches, and Greg Dent sparked the crowd with a highlight-reel, diving catch for a 50-yard score that provided the Seminoles with a little bit of breathing room near the end of the first half.
What went wrong for FSU:
34 points is hardly anything to apologize for, but the Seminoles' offense didn't look quite right out of the gate. FSU kept the fans waiting more than 10 minutes into the first quarter for the season's first points and held an underwhelming 17-0 lead at halftime.
The new-look offensive line also found trouble opening up holes for the running game – FSU averaged a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry and spread out 99 total rushing yards across six ball-carriers.
What we learned:
That Florida State started the season with a comfortable win and escaped without any major injuries. The ULM game – and the Charleston Southern game that followed – were viewed largely as the undercard for the Sept. 17 main event against Oklahoma, and the takeaway from the season-opener was that the Seminoles looked fine-if-not-spectacular and still had two weeks to work on their issues before the Sooners came to town.
Player of the game:
Taking over at middle linebacker for the first time, junior Vince Williams had a fine effort that featured a team-high seven tackles and a sack.
What Jimbo said:
“I’m extremely happy, They played well. We were making adjustments, we were getting our blitzes …We put them in third-and-long situations a lot – got pressure on the passer. ULM couldn’t get any runs in and I thought up front we did a really nice job.”