Francois, Walker earn National Player of the Week honors following comeback win
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The third-ranked Florida State football team held its second and final practice of the week on Thursday at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility just three days after an emotional come-from-behind 45-34 victory over then-No. 11 Ole Miss on Labor Day at the Camping World Kickoff.
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The Noles must turnaround and play Charleston Southern for a 12:34 p.m. kick on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. With just five days in between games, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher held a “Monday” practice on Wednesday after an off day on Tuesday, and held a typical practice on Thursday.
“It was more of a maintaining and try to get your things together,” Fisher said. “It’s tough those five-day weeks. It was solid. Hopefully we go out and play well on Saturday and keep getting better as we go. Like I say, we’re a work in progress. There are some things we do well, there are some things we have to keep getting better at. Good teams keep improving every week. Hopefully we’ll do that this week and get ready to play. We’ve got to play a good Charleston Southern team and be ready on Saturday. It’s an early game at 12:30 and we’ve got to rock and roll early.”
The Buccaneers are one of the Football Championship Division’s top teams, ranking No. 7 in the division formerly called I-AA. Charleston Southern opened the season with an overtime loss to five-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State before routing Kentucky State, 57-7, last weekend.
Florida State brings the nation longest active home winning streak at 21 games into the home opener, and the Seminoles will do it at a newly-renovated stadium. The new ‘Doak’ includes a 122-feet by 63 feet video board and 6,800 square feet of LED displays throughout, as well as the Champions Club section which features 70,000 square feet of air-conditioned space and 34,000 square feet of cover rooftop terraces with cabanas.
“I think it’s great,” Fisher said of the stadium improvements. “It shows progress and progress is a good thing and we’re obviously having success and trying to make this experience for the fans that much better when they get to Doak Campbell.”
Francois Named Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week
Redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week after completing 33-of-52 passes for 419 yards and a pair of touchdowns in FSU’s 45-34 win over No. 11 Ole Miss Monday night in the Camping World Kickoff. The Orlando, Fla., native, making his collegiate debut in his hometown, added 59 yards rushing and his 478 total yards were the seventh-most in FSU history. After spotting the Rebels a 28-6 lead late in the first half, Francois engineered nine consecutive scoring drives and 33 unanswered points in the largest comeback victory in school history.
Francois’ 419 passing yards are the most in a season opener for the Seminoles and the second-most ever by a freshman.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award winner will be announced on Dec. 8 during ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards. Each of FSU’s three Heisman winners, Charlie Ward (1993), Chris Weinke (2000) and Jameis Winston (2013), also won the Davey O’Brien Award that same season.
Walker Earns a Pair of Player of the Week Honors
Senior defensive end DeMarcus Walker, coming off a six tackle, 4.5 sack performance against Ole Miss Monday, was named the CBS Sports National Player of the Week and the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week. After Ole Miss took a 28-6 lead in the first half, Walker and the Seminole defense buckled down after halftime, allowing just six points and 68 yards in the second half. All of Walker’s 4.5 sacks came after halftime. He also forced the sixth fumble of his career, which junior defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi recovered, leading to a Florida State touchdown.
The Chuck Bednarik Award is given annually to the top defensive player in college football and is presented by the Maxwell Football Club. First presented in 1995, no Seminole has ever won the national award.
‘Star of the Week’ Ricky Aguayo Announced by Groza Award
Quarterback Deondre Francois wasn’t the only Seminole setting records during Monday’s 45-34 win over Ole Miss. True freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo was named a Lou Groza Award ‘Star of the Week’ after going 6-6 on field goals and 3-3 on PATs against the Rebels. The six field goals set a Florida State record, breaking the previous mark of five held by four players, including his older brother Roberto, a three-time All-American for the Noles from 2013-15. The six field goals also tied a national freshman record and tied an ACC record for any kicker.
When adding in the three extra points, Aguayo’s 21-point output against No. 11 Ole Miss set an FSU record for points in a game by a kicker (also broke Roberto’s record of 19) and was the eighth-highest scoring game by any Seminole player in the program’s 70-year history.
No other kicker in the country made more than four field goals in the opening week.
The Lou Groza Award annually honors the nation’s top kicker. Three Seminoles have won the national award (Sebastian Janikowski, 1998 & 1999; Graham Gano, 2008; Roberto Aguayo, 2013).
Reminder: New Clear Bag Policy
The Florida State University Athletics Department and the FSU Police are announcing a clear bag policy for all athletic events beginning with the first home competitions of the 2016 season including the football opener September 10 against Charleston Southern.
The new clear bag policy will provide a safer environment at home events and should significantly expedite fan entry into FSU athletic venues including Doak Campbell Stadium.
The new policy closely matches those already in place at all NFL stadiums, including the two FSU will visit in 2016 and at Camping World Stadium where FSU will open the football season against Ole Miss September 5. In addition, the policy is similar to clear bag policies recently announced by 2016 opponents Clemson and Florida.
Under the new policy, each fan is allowed one clear bag (plus clutch or small purse) into FSU home athletic events that conform to the following restrictions:
- CLEAR plastic, vinyl or PVC that are no larger than 12” x 6” x 12” (readily available one-gallon, clear, re-sealable plastic storage bags meet the policy)
- If a logo appears on the bag, it cannot be larger than 4.5” x 6.5”
- Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, or approximately the size of a hand, with or without a strap are allowed.
- Medically necessary items that are too large to fit into a clear bag within allowable dimensions can be brought in only after clearing a screening process at GATE C.
Other Gameday Information
All the latest information on Game Day traffic patterns, bus routes, stadium policies, prohibited items, etc. is located on the front page of Seminoles.com or at the following link.
Florida State Injury Report vs. Charleston Southern – Sept. 8
DB Nate Andrews (leg)
QB Sean Maguire (foot)
Out For Game
OL Kareem Are (concussion)
OL Corey Martinez (knee)
FB Freddie Stevenson (ankle)
DT Darvin Taylor (shoulder)
DE Adam Torres (leg)
DE Keith Bryant (foot)
Out For Season
WR George Campbell (core muscle)
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Post-Practice Quotes
“Good Thursday practice. Not a lot of time to practice this week. It was more of a maintaining and try to get your things together. It’s tough those five-day weeks. It was solid. Hopefully we go out and play well on Saturday and keep getting better as we go. Like I say, we’re a work in progress. There are some things we do well, there are some things we have to keep getting better at. Good teams keep improving every week. Hopefully we’ll do that this week and get ready to play. We’ve got to play a good Charleston Southern team and be ready on Saturday. It’s an early game at 12:30 and we’ve got to rock and roll early.”
On the quick turnaround
“I’m going to tell you what, I say this, you shouldn’t do this to college kids. To make those late night games like that to turn around and play five days later with school and all the things you’ve got to go – recovery, sleep. That’s hard on these kids now. It really is. You can’t push them too hard. I say this week is more of a – it’s hard to get better and practice when you can’t practice. You have yourMonday (and) Thursday practice in all you can get and I’m worried trying to get those guys back from resting and things like that and it’s a shame, you lose a whole week of practice because of that. It’s not going to affect us on Saturday. You think in the long run, you like to take those weeks of trying to get better every week.”
On sophomore Jacques Patrick’s performance against Ole Miss:
“I was extremely pleased with him. I’ll tell you he took a flare pass one time and about four or five yards later was up and he’s starting to really run like how I think he’s capable of. But saying all of that hopefully we get (Johnathan) Vickers and Ryan Green and some of those guys in the game. They’ve been having good camps too. I was very pleased with Jacques’ size and he used it and blocked and it thought he played a very, very solid football game.”
On playing in the renovated stadium:
“I think it’s great. It shows progress and progress is a good thing and we’re obviously having success and we wouldn’t be able to do those things and trying to make this experience for the fans that much better when they get to Doak Campbell.”
On the young sophomore defensive players bounce back in the second half:
“You say rocky start, but have you ever seen a DB get beat? Never. You’ve got to have a short memory. Have you ever seen a quarterback throw an interception? Or a receiver going to have a drop? Those things are going to happen. In the secondary you’ve got to have a short memory and confidence and you’ve got to bounce back and that’s the kind of players they are. They’ve never started. Those guys have never started a game or played or had that pressure on them from day one. It’s different. Just like we say on offense we’ve got a lot of guys that started that came back, but a lot of those guys only started four, five six games. It’s not like they were experienced veterans that started all 12 games besides Rod (Johnson) and a couple of those guys. We’re still in those situation where guys are used to playing in that role. But I was very proud of the way they bounced back.”
On the improvement of FCS teams:
“So many more people playing football now, and with scholarships limitations, players got to filter down, so those lower level ball are getting a lot more players, especially skill guys. Those teams that spread it around and throw it. That’s what makes them that much more dangerous.”
“Kareem Are is out, Corey Martinez is still out. Cole Minshew will be in. Freddie Stevenson (ankle) will probably be out this week. Of course Darvin (Taylor) and Adam Torres. Also, George Campbell will be out for the season with that core muscle. He’ll have to have surgery in that groin. Keith Bryant had that foot, he just had surgery and he’ll be out indefinitely. Of course Nate (Andrews) and Sean (Maguire) will be questionable.”