Big 12: Sooners-Noles-091711

Video: Analyzing Oklahoma's win

September, 18, 2011
9/18/11
1:44
AM ET

Pat Forde breaks down Oklahoma’s win over Florida State.

Instant analysis: Oklahoma 23, FSU 13

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
11:26
PM ET

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It was a much better game than it was a year ago because Florida State is a much better team. There's no question the Seminoles closed the gap between Florida State and the No. 1 program in the country, just not enough to beat the Sooners. Here's a quick recap of Saturday night's 23-13 loss:

How the game was won: In the end, it was a veteran quarterback and one of the nation's top receivers against a rookie backup quarterback, and the veterans got the last word. Landry Jones' 37-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills went over the head of Greg Reid for a 20-13 lead with seven minutes remaining. Oklahoma's defense was stifling for most of the game, and the Seminoles struggled to generate any offense. Their backup quarterback, Clint Trickett, gave them legitimate hope despite a shoulder injury to EJ Manuel. But the offense couldn't answer Jones' final touchdown pass, and Trickett was intercepted with about 5:30 left to play. It was one of three turnovers for Florida State that was costly.

Turning point: With the score tied at 13 in the fourth quarter, on third-and-12, Jones found Ryan Broyles for a 22-yard completion and the first down. Jones found receiver Stills on the next play for a 37-yard touchdown that put the Sooners ahead for good.

Player of the game: Oklahoma receiver Stills. He had a big game, finishing with seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. It seemed like every pass he caught was for a first down, and his touchdown reception put the Sooners up 20-13.

Unsung hero of the game: Trickett. Florida State's backup quarterback hadn't thrown a pass in a collegiate game until this season. Against the No. 1 team in the nation, he put the Seminoles in position to win. Heading into this game, Trickett had a career stat line that included 7-of-8 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Against Oklahoma, he led the Noles on two scoring drives, one a field goal and another an impressive touchdown pass. He was poised and the offense didn't miss a beat without Manuel. On third-and-28 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Trickett threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene to tie the game at 13. The Seminoles had struggled all night to generate some offense, and the rookie quarterback came up with the biggest offensive play of the game.

What it means: Oklahoma can finally claim an important road win with Jones at quarterback, and Florida State and the ACC will have to wait until next year for more national title talk. The Sooners entered this game with a 15-10 record in true road games since 2005 and Jones entered this game with a 3-5 road record. This was one they needed to start to reverse that trend.

Respectable performance by Trickett

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
10:37
PM ET
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nice drive by backup quarterback Clint Trickett, who had to replace injured starter EJ Manuel.

It was better than Florida State could have hoped for, as he came in against the No. 1 team in the nation, held his composure, and led the Noles on an eight-play, 50-yard drive that took 3:28 off the clock. It ended in a 46-yard field goal and closed the deficit to 13-6.

Trickett looked prepared and ready for this chance. For Trickett to come into the game under those circumstances and not only keep the Noles afloat but in the game is admirable. It should give the Noles confidence moving forward.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Here's a quick look back the highlights and lowlights of the first half:

Turning point: In such a tight game with little margin for error, Florida State needed to capitalize on every scoring opportunity that presented itself, and the Noles squandered one of those chances with a turnover late in the first half. EJ Manuel's second pick of the half set up first-and-goal for Oklahoma from the Noles' 3-yard line. FSU's defense stood strong and limited the Sooners to a field goal, but the turnover gave the Sooners the momentum and the 13-3 lead heading into the locker rooms.

Stat of the half: Excluding the production from Manuel, the Seminoles only have 12 yards rushing. Manuel leads the team in rushing right now with 43 yards.

Best player in the half: Oklahoma linebacker Tom Wort: He was all over the place in the first half and finished with five tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and one interception he returned 12 yards. His interception came at a critical moment, as it halted a potential scoring drive with FSU in the red zone.

Viscious hit on FSU's Kenny Shaw

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
9:06
PM ET
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It was the kind of hit that makes a mother shudder. Florida State receiver Kenny Shaw was coming down with what could have been a touchdown catch when he was hit helmet-to-helmet from both sides near the head/neck area by two Oklahoma defenders.

The personal foul was called against Oklahoma safety Javon Harris. Shaw is currently being immobilized on a stretcher and carted off the field. I'll give you any updates on him as they're announced here in the press box.

Already a better start for FSU

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
9:04
PM ET
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Don't get me wrong, Florida State has little margin for error as it trails 7-3 against Oklahoma, but so far, this is a much better effort than what we saw against the Sooners a year ago.

Florida State's defense got pushed down the field with Oklahoma's methodical opening touchdown drive, and it looked like it could be a long day for the Noles' D, but EJ Manuel responded with a lengthy drive of his own that ended in a field goal and gave the defense a much-needed chance to recover.

This has been a respectable performance so far, and the defense came up with a big takeaway when it needed it. Florida State's offensive line was playing well until Manuel got sacked for a loss of 11 yards, but it's clear after one quarter that Florida State isn't in over its head in this game.

Pregame notes: FSU lineup changes

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
7:31
PM ET
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A few quick lineup changes for you for Florida State:
  • Freshman Rashad Greene is expected to start at receiver, though I'm told Bert Reed is healthy enough to play and will.
  • Jacob Fahrenkrug will start at left guard, and Bryan Stork will start at center. The two have flip-flopped before.
  • Xavier Rhodes will start at boundary corner over Mike Harris.

The stadium is slowly starting to fill up here, as the Noles are out there warming up. Three predictions as to what you might see Saturday night:
  • EJ Manuel will run more. We're bound to see some new wrinkles in FSU's offense. There's no way Florida State showed its full hand in the first two blowout wins against unheralded opponents. One of those wrinkles could be the use of Manuel's mobility.
  • Oklahoma will struggle up front more with Florida State's defensive line. Brandon Jenkins will get after Sooners' quarterback Landry Jones, and the Noles won't be as neutralized as they were up front a year ago.
  • Florida State will have the edge in special teams. Not only in the return game and with field position, but also in the kicking game. The Seminoles have one of the top kicker/punter duos in the country in Dustin Hopkins and Shawn Powell, and in a tight game, special teams could play a major role.

Video: Oklahoma-FSU preview

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
7:00
PM ET


Heather Dinich and Pat Forde break down Saturday’s showdown between Oklahoma and Florida State from Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.

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