Record Crowd Given a Show at FSU Football Spring Game

Written by Brian Pohl

Tallahassee, FL- Florida State fans got their first look at new head coach Willie Taggart’s Seminoles as they went head to head for FSU’s annual Garnet and Gold Spring Game which saw the Garnet team defeat the Gold team 31-13 thanks to the big play ability of several underclassmen.

In front of a spring game attendance record of 60,934 fans at Doak Campbell Stadium, the Seminoles were split into two teams for a friendly competition, giving fans a look into the future of the program. With new faces mixing in with established stars, there was a lot for fans to be excited about for the future.

A spring game attendance record of 53,974 fans showed up at Doak Campbell Stadium for the 2018 FSU Spring Game.

Taggart spoke about the attendance record saying, “That’s how it should be, there are high expectations around here, from everyone, our fans and us. They showed it, they did their part. They showed up, that was big, I was impressed.” He joked, “I had to get my phone and take a picture of myself, it was pretty cool.”

The young guys shined out of the gate for the Garnet team, as redshirt freshman quarterback Bailey Hockman completed a 47-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Tamorrion Terry, putting the Garnet in range for the games first points. Redshirt freshman running back Khalan Laborn would finish off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, giving them a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Taggart on Tamorrion Terry, “Terry, he’s a really good player. A guy that caught my attention when I got the chance to come out and watch bowl practice. He’s one of the first guys I noticed and one of the first guys I remembered the name of by just making plays every practice.” He continued, “ I think he has a chance to be a really good football player.”

The Gold team would respond with a little trickery, as junior wide receiver Keith Gavin stayed back to throw after receiving a screen pass from sophomore quarterback James Blackman. Gavin would find senior running back Jacques Patrick in the end zone for a 27-yard score, evening the score at 7.

The overall standout of the first half was Laborn, who finished his first half rushing 11 times for 132-yards and two scores. His second score, which came late in the first quarter, came on an impressive 91-yard run that saw Laborn rip through the line and never look back on his way to the end zone. This gave the Garnet team a 14-7 lead right before the start of the second quarter, where they would look to build on their lead.

The only score of the second quarter came from star sophomore running back Cam Akers of the Garnet team, who scored from 2-yards out to give them the lead over the Gold team 21-7 heading into halftime.

With a running clock for the second half, the action would pick up as both teams looked to ramp up their offenses in front of their faithful fans.

The Gold team looked to battle their way back into the game quickly and found instant offense through the air as James Blackman found redshirt freshman Deonte Sheffield for a 65-yard touchdown. After a failed extra point the Gold would be down 21-13 as the Garnet team looked to respond.

The answer came on the very next play, as the Garnet responded with a little trickery of their own. Sophomore wide receiver D.J. Matthews would deliver a 35-yard strike to Tamorrion Terry. The drive would finish with another pass to Terry, as Hockman found the redshirt freshman in the end zone to extend the Garnet lead over the Gold to 28-13.

A field goal from Ricky Aguayo for the Garnet team would give us our final score of 31-13 to cap off an exciting Garnet and Gold Spring Game.

The main point of contention heading into today’s game was the quarterback competition. Both young quarterbacks looked impressive today, with both possessing big play ability. James Blackman, who took over as the starting quarterback last season after a season-ending injury of Deandre Francois, completed 16 of his 32 passes for 259-yards and a touchdown, and looks to be a major competitor for the starting job heading into the fall. Hockman, who received all of the playing time in the absence of Francois, completed 11 of his 22 passes for 203-yards and a touchdown of his own. The redshirt freshman opened some eyes today and will make the competition that much more interesting after his performance.

As a final takeaway from today’s game, the future is bright for Willy Taggart and Florida State football. With young playmakers on both sides of the ball heading into the fall, it will be fun to see how the depth chart finalizes before the start of the season.

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