‘Noles Defense Comes up big in 34-20 win over Cavs

Written by Danny Morales

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Rashad Greene had a career-high 13 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown, as the second-ranked Florida State Seminoles defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 34-20 in front of a sold-out homecoming crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.

FSU struggled early again this week, going down 13-7 in the opening quarter after two interceptions by Jameis Winston, but the Seminoles rallied back with 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to jump out to a 28-13 halftime lead.

“The defense kept us in this ballgame,” said Winston. “Honestly if I don’t throw picks, they probably don’t score. If I don’t give them good field position, they don’t score.

“Lately I’ve got to stop turning the ball over, that’s five picks in the past two games.”

Winston hit Greene early and often during the game, as his first six completions all went to the senior wideout, inducing a 22-yard touchdown that put FSU up 14-13. The ‘Noles wouldn’t trail again for the remainder of the game.

Colt Cardwell / The SkyBoat

“He’s a game changer and I’m just blessed to have him,” said Winston after the game of Greene.

Greene finished the game with a career-high 13 receptions and had 136 yards and a touchdown to go along with it, while Winston was 22-35 for the game passing for 261 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s really comfortable with me, I just have to give him a look and he knows what I mean” said Greene of his chemistry with Winston. “We built that connection off the field so we’re very comfortable with each other. He trusts me that I will be where I’m supposed to be and I take pride in it.”

The Seminoles went into the fourth quarter with a 14-point lead thanks to two third quarter field goals from Roberto Aguayo, putting FSU up 34-20 going into the final 15 minutes of play.

The ‘Noles put up 106 total yards during the third quarter, but did fumble the ball midway through the quarter, setting up Virginia in good field position for their only score of the second half.

The win wasn’t without loss though as running back Dalvin Cook suffered a leg injury early in the second half and missed the remainder of the game.

With the win FSU improves to 9-0, 6-0 in ACC play, on the season and extends their school-record winning streak to 25 games.

“You keep winning games, you understand how to win, you understand how to play, you continue to work and progress,” said FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher. “You’ve got to try and continue to improve.”

The Seminole will now prepare for an away game against the archrival Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday. The game will be televised on ABC, with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m.

“It’s definitely going to be a great experience for me to go to Miami and play against those guys,” said Winston of next week’s rivalry matchup. “They have a great team, and they’re looking to be the team to beat us.”

Miami leads FSU 31-27 all-time in the series, but the ‘Noles have won the last four matchups between the two.

“Your winning games, you’re right where you want to be,” said Fisher. “Now you’ve got to go and play a great Miami team, I think Miami’s playing very well.”

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