Florida State Seminoles: Gerald Demps

State of the Noles: Safeties 

February, 25, 2013
2/25/13
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NoleNation writers David Hale and Corey Dowlar are going position by position, looking at what FSU has on its roster now, and who might provide reinforcements down the line, projecting starters and evaluating the depth through 2015.

Up next, an abundance of talent has led to an interesting debate at safety.

Florida State opened its season with a 69-3 win over Murray State in which the running game led a huge offensive performance, the defense looked as dominant as ever and the special teams provided the first touchdown of the game for the Seminoles.

But that doesn't mean it was a flawless performance for FSU all the way around, so we dug into the Week 1 numbers and handed out our position-by-position grades.

QUARTERBACKS

The most noteworthy moment of Saturday's game for EJ Manuel was probably his first-quarter interception, which snapped a streak of 128 straight throws without a pick. Of course, the INT was hardly Manuel's fault. The pass was delivered with precision, but Kenny Shaw bobbled it into a Murray State defender's hands. Shaw's blunder certainly kept Manuel's nuambers more pedestrian -- 16-of-22 for 188 yards -- but he also hauled in Manuel's lone touchdown throw of the game.

Given the questions surrounding the offensive line and the running game, it's not surprising that Manuel wasn't asked to do a lot as Jimbo Fisher tested his ground game often. But it's also worth noting that eight of the first nine offensive plays of the game for FSU were passing plays -- the sum total of which garnered the Seminoles 47 yards (5.9 yards per play, compared to FSU's game average of 7.9 yards per play). Manuel was also just 1-of-4 for 2 yards on third-down passes, and he converted just one of five third downs he faced in the game -- the lone conversion coming on a QB run.

With FSU rolling in the second half, Manuel didn't stick around too long. Clint Trickett entered in the third quarter and looked sharp, completing 8-of-11 passes for 117 yards, including a beautiful pitch-and-catch with Shaw for 40 yards. Trickett's highlight though? That would probably be his shoving match with a Murray State defender after Debrale Smiley's touchdown in the fourth quarter. Trickett boasted about bulking up in the offseason, noting that he was lifting weights with the linebackers these days, so he must have been eager to show off his new found moxie.

Jacob Coker also got in his first career game, too, completing 1-of-2 passes for 16 yards.

Overall, the FSU QBs were 25-of-35 for 321 yards in the game.

GRADE: B

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ACC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12