Written by Adrian Beecher
FSU wide receiver Rashad Greene fused well with Winston, bringing in 11 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown. Both Advocare Cowboys classic records as well.
but it wasn’t all fireworks and smiles for a Seminole team that averaged 51.6 points a game in the 2013 season.
After scoring twice in a matter of 15 seconds, first, on a 36-yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo and next on a pick 6 by defensive end Nate Andrews, Florida State was out to a 10-0 lead just 7:23 into the 1st quarter. It looked like the Cowboys of Oklahoma State were in for a long night.
As the second quarter started FSU was in prime position to take a commanding lead, up 10-0 on the Cowboys and the ball inside the redzone on the OSU 13-yard line a ‘Noles score looked imminent, but on 3rd and 10, Jameis Winston threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted at the 6-yard line by Cowboys linebacker Seth Jacobs.
“They (were) in a two-tempo max. Linebacker was there at the scene. Just made a great play.” said Winston of the interception.
Fortunately for FSU, Oklahoma State was unable to capitalize on the mistake. After picking up a first down the Cowboys drive stalled and they were forced to punt for a third time.
Winston then took his ‘Noles 94 yards down the field in 2:55 in eight plays, capping off the drive with a 11-yard touchdown run by Mario Pender. This gave Florida State a commanding 17-0 lead with 8:19 left to play in the half. This drive would go down in the record books as the longest scoring drive ever in the Advocare Cowboys Classic.
After consecutive punts by both teams on their next possessions, Florida State took over with just 1:40 left in the half. After picking up a quick first down, misfortune found Winston yet again as he threw his second pick of the night, this time OSU cornerback Ashton Lampkin was there for the honors.
The Cowboys took over with only 29 seconds left and the ball at the ‘Noles 49-yard line. After Walsh connected with WR Jahjuan Seals for a 1st and 10 at the Noles 35, a 15 yard personal foul on the Seminoles set up a 37-yard field goal try for OSU. Place kicker Ben Grogan put the ball right through the uprights as time expired to end the half with Florida State up 17-10.
Though it was only a 1 score game at the half, the stats showed otherwise. Florida State had 232 yards of total offense while the Cowboys were held to just 129. And the passing game was well in FSU’s favor as Winston had 205 yards passing compared to Walsh’s 62 yards passing.
As the second half got under way Winston led the ‘Noles into the redzone on their opening drive. But after setting them up with a 1st and goal, the Seminoles were unable to punch it into the endzone. They had to settle for a 27-yard Aguayo field goal which put the FSU up 20-10.
Walsh and the Cowboys answered right back with a vengeance. On a 2nd and 8 at their own 45 yard line, Walsh found wideout David Glidden who took the reception 55 yards into the end zone for the score bringing OSU within 3 points of FSU with 9 minutes left in the 3rd.
Near the end of the 3rd qt Winston got his magic back. On 1st and 10 at the OSU 28 Winston took the snap, tucked the ball and took off down the field to the left side. He leaped over one of his blockers and split two defenders as he dove into the endzone for a 28 yard TD score, thus giving the Noles a 27-17 lead with 5:22 left in the 3rd.
After a 3rd field goal by Agyauo put Florida State up 30-24, Walsh and the Cowboys took possession of the ball with a chance to take the lead for the first time of the night. On 2nd and 5 at their own 49-yard line Walsh took off running downfield, but was met and flipped over by P.J. Williams. As Walsh fell to the ground he reached his hands out to brace for impact and just dropped the ball. The fumble was recovered by Williams with 4:41 left in regulation.
With a chance to increase their lead and take a commanding two score lead, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston wasted no time. On the second play of the drive, a 2nd and 8 at midfield, Winston found receiver Rashad Greene over the middle. As Greene broke away from defenders he sprinted all the way down field into the endzone for a 50-yard touchdown reception. This put the Noles up 37-24 with just 3:58 left in the game.
FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher spoke on Rashad’s performance under pressure post game “I mean, just being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there, Rashad is, like I said, he’s — he’s that rock. He always has been.”
Trailing 13 with just 3:38 left in the game, it was do or die time for the Cowboys. After a 46-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, OSU was set up with a 1st and 10 on the FSU 39 yard line. Walsh looked to redeem himself as he took his team to the endzone for a score in 7 plays, capping off the drive with a 3 yard TD run. It was 37-31 with the Cowboys trailing and just 1:53 left on the game clock.
The only thing that would help the Cowboys now would be an onside kick recovery.
Unfortunately for the OSU faithful, the kick was recovered by Florida State. Winston would take over the game and used his clock management skills to run out the game clock after converting two 1st downs. As the final whistle sounded the Noles were victorious, defeating the Cowboys 37-31.
Coach Fisher emphasized his desire for the team to improve, “We got to hone in on some little things and all the phases of whats going on. And, as I say, we are in an opening game and hopefully we’ll make a lot of improvements in the next week and keep getting better.”
Only time will tell if the Noles are able to chase down a second consecutive National Championship. Until then it’s on to the next game where the ‘Noles will face the Citadel in Tallahassee at Doak Campbell stadium on Saturday, Sept. 6th.