Florida State Football Stock Report for Week 7
The 4th-ranked Florida State Seminoles had 1 of their most complete performances of the season in a 41-3 Saturday thrashing of the Syracuse Orange. The win extends the Seminoles (6-0, 4-0 ACC) overall win streak to 12 games dating to last year.
Quarterback Jordan Travis threw for 284 yards and had 3 total touchdowns (1 passing, 2 rushing) as Florida State racked up 535 total yards for the game. The 6th-year senior shook off a hand injury after taking a blindside hit late in the opening half.
Syracuse dropped its 3rd straight and the Orange has been outscored 112-24 in those contests. Florida State has scored 30 or more points in every game during its current win streak.
“I am grateful to be 6-0, I am so proud of this team for doing the things that were necessary to get to this point because you get one shot at it,” Seminoles coach Mike Norvell said. “ One shot at each game. One shot at each play. Ultimately there have been plenty of moments in games where things haven’t gone exactly how we wanted to. We get a chance to showcase our response.”
Player of the week: With Johnny Wilson unavailable because of injury, it was going to be Keon Coleman in the spotlight and the Michigan State transfer continues to shine in that role. He had 9 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown and added a 72-yard punt return that set up another touchdown.
There was nothing Syracuse could do Saturday to stop Coleman and that included him making a spectacular 1-handed catch over 2 defenders for a 27-yard gain. The 140 yards was a season-high for any FSU receiver. Coleman leads the team with 29 catches for 418 yards and 7 scores.
Honorable mention goes to safety Shyheim Brown, who had 7 tackles and 1.5 sacks to lead the defense in both categories.
Freshman of the week: We’re going to give the nod to Hykeem Williams, who caught a 44-yard touchdown pass during the 4th quarter from backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker. Williams, a former blue-chip prospect, is going to be pushed into a major role next season when Wilson and Coleman depart for the NFL.
Williams’ 1st touchdown as a Seminole was 1 to get excited about as he took a short pass on the boundary and showed incredible burst and quickness to speed past the Syracuse defense into the end zone untouched. The 2 top freshmen receivers — Williams and Destyn Hill — are giving Seminole fans a little taste of what to expect in the future.
Biggest surprise: The surprise was that the Seminoles didn’t have nearly any lapses on defense that we’ve seen in most games this season. Syracuse was a horribly overmatched opponent, much like Virginia Tech the week before and Boston College earlier in the season. In both of those games Florida State had great stretches of play offset by mistakes and major lapses on defense. There was none of that Saturday. The Orange is not a good team, and the Seminoles treated it as such.
Biggest concern: Every player is going to have their bruises and bumps during the course of a season because football is a tough, physical sport. But FSU fans have to be concerned about Travis seemingly getting shaken up after every hard hit he takes. He is the player the Seminoles cannot afford to lose. I don’t question Travis’ toughness — he takes a licking and keeps on ticking, but 1 team late in the season is going to make a concerted effort to take a run at him to test the limits of what his body can take. Mark my words.
Developing trend: Trey Benson is starting to pick up his game. Last week he rushed for 200 yards, which include 2 long touchdown runs. That wasn’t needed this weekend, but the junior had 74 yards on 14 carries and looked as fast and strong as he has all season. This is a good sign as Benson’s workload should continue to increase over the next few weeks.
Key stat: Florida State held a 2-to-1 advantage in total yards (535 to 261) and averaged 7.3 yards per play to 3.9 for Syracuse.
First impression about Week 8 vs. Duke: Everything revolves around the availability of Duke quarterback Riley Leonard, who is dealing with a high ankle sprain and did not play Saturday. His mobility likely is going to be compromised if he does play, but if he doesn’t get on the field it’s hard to see 17th-ranked Duke getting much done on offense with Henry Bellin IV, who went 4-for-12 for 107 yards in a 24-3 win against N.C. State. That being said, the Blue Devils are very good defensively and I expect coach Mike Elko to have them ready for a battle. Should be a fun homecoming night at Doak Campbell Stadium.