It’s a season of change in Tallahassee and the new-look Seminoles were unveiled on Saturday night. There was some sputtering at times early on, but Florida State was never challenged by Texas State and cruised to a 59-16 win.
Despite the fact that they were playing Texas State, there were some things that really stood out with respect to the Seminoles. Here are five things we learned on Saturday night.
1. Everett Golson is the Quarterback
Head coach Jimbo Fisher said as much last week and he was true to his word. Sean Maguire did not enter the game until deep into the fourth quarter when the score was 49-16. It will be the same story going forward as Golson was very sharp, going 19-of-25 for 302 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. That is the Golson that Florida State fans were hoping to see.
2. There Was No Rust On Dalvin Cook
It didn’t matter that the sophomore from Miami was not eligible to practice until the middle of camp. Cook was in midseason form right away. He showed his patented burst, getting through holes and by defenders in a hurry, finishing with 156 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries (8.2 ypc). That’s a nice day.
3. Run Blocking of the Offensive Line
Golson did get sacked a couple of times, but the young offensive line had a good night. Cook had some big openings as did Mario Pender, who had 92 yards rushing of his own. In total the Seminoles ran for 286 yards and three scores.
4. The Defensive Front Was Active, But...
They still didn’t get to the quarterback. It wasn’t like Texas State QBs Tyler Jones and later Connor White were ever really comfortable in the pocket and Florida State did create several negative plays. The Seminoles also were able to really stuff the Bobcats' running backs, especially star Robert Lowe, who only had 13 yards on eight carries. But a defense that finished No. 108 in the nation in sacks last year had just one even though Texas State threw the ball 42 times.
5. Punt Returns
In the first half, Texas State successfully ran a fake punt that set up a field goal. On the next Texas State punt, Marquez White fumbled and the Bobcats recovered. Three plays later, the score was 14-10. Later in the quarter, Travis Rudolph fumbled a punt that was recovered by Pender. Fisher was visibly upset when interviewed at halftime and the crowd let out a mock cheer when Jesus Wilson fair caught a punt in the third quarter. This is an area that will be cleaned up and if it was going to happen in any game, this is the right one.
— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.