That was fun.
Florida State routed a completely overmatched Delaware State team in what was one of the biggest bright spots in a disappointing season. The ‘Nols put 77 points, tied for the second most in program history while holding the Hornets to just 6. An entire host of players got snaps, including backup quarterback JJ Cosentino, who got his first significant playing time since the 2016 Peach Bowl, as well as walk-on quarterback Jake Rizzo. FSU played much better than most people thought, and while it was against Delaware State, an FCS program that has won five games since 2014, it really helps with the confidence of this team going into Florida week.
- The Seniors Shine
On Senior Day, it was really cool to see a lot of senior players, especially those who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time, get significant snaps. Backup running back Ryan Green led both teams with 96 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Green has had an injury-ridden FSU career, and aside from scoring a touchdown as a true freshman back in 2013, he hadn’t found the end zone for almost four seasons, at least until Saturday. Wide receiver turned safety-turned-wide receiver Ermon Lane also had a good day, including hauling in a 42-yard bomb from Blackman. Derrick Nandi was outstanding as always, as were senior linebacker Matthew Thomas and Ro”Derrick Hoskins. Yes, it was against an FCS school, and a very bad one at that, but for a senior class that has won 34 games over the past 4 seasons (or 48 for the redshirt seniors), it was an appropriate sendoff.
- DJ Matthews Is The Man
Once again, yes, I know this was against Delaware State, and it would be very, very dumb of me to write that this performance means that Florida State has finally found the answer at punt returner. But DJ Matthews has been the starting returner for the Noles for a few weeks, and he really has all the potential in the world. The true freshman was electric against the Hornets, putting up over 100 yards in punt return yards. In the last few weeks returning punts, Matthews has looked much more interested in the job than Tarvarus McFadden did, and we may have another Rashad Greene-type punt returner on our hands.
Speaking of Tarvarus McFadden props to him for that touchdown off a blocked field goal. The junior hasn’t played bad this year, but caught some unlucky breaks in pass defense, while not showing a lot of interest in punt returns. He’s been ripped to shreds by FSU fans for most of the season, much of which has been unfair, so good for him for returning that kick for a touchdown.
- Momentum For Next Week
In the grand scheme of things, this win doesn’t mean much. It was a big win against a bad team. That being said, the offense needed a big game for their confidence going into the rivalry game against Florida next week. A poor performance against a defense this bad would have really hurt the confidence of the offense, especially James Blackman and the o-line, so this performance was really nice to see. The ‘Noles should be favored against Florida in their quest to become bowl eligible.