Saturday, September 19, 2009
FSU makes statement with win over BYU
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
No, the Florida State that showed up against Jacksonville State -- or rather didn't show up -- last weekend isn't the real one. This FSU -- the one that went on the road and clobbered No. 7 BYU 54-28 -- is much closer to the team's true identity, and it looks more like the one that showed up against Miami. Heck, it looks better than the one that lost at home to Miami.
Florida State played like it had something to prove, and it did. This FSU can challenge for the Atlantic Division. The Noles were 12-of-15 on third downs. They racked up 511 yards of total offense. They controlled the clock. They picked off Max Hall three times. And they got their ground game going.
FSU was comfortable enough with this cushion to get backup quarterback E.J. Manuel some time. Christian Ponder only missed four completions all night and didn't throw one interception. Of course, this win also calls into question BYU's place in the top 10, but FSU deserves credit for playing with a purpose.
It's still early in the season -- I realize that, really I do. But considering what's gone on so far, it's hard not to think the possibility of Miami and FSU meeting in Tampa just got stronger.