VIDEO: Florida State Seminoles Defeat Ole Miss Rebels In Orlando With Thrilling Comeback 45-34
By Zach Clark, Space Coast Daily // September 6, 2016
63,402 fans attended monday's matchup
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily correspondent Alan Zlotorzynski after Monday night’s contest and a huge Florida State win.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – In front of a sold out Camping World Stadium, fans got their money’s worth Monday night that was shown to a nationwide TV audience on ESPN. Florida State’s 33 unanswered points proved to be the difference as the Seminoles opened up the season with a big win over Ole Miss 45-34 in front of 63,402 fans.
The win was the biggest comeback in Florida State history.
The game was one of two completely different halves.
Rebels senior quarterback Chad Kelly was outstanding in the first half, completing 14-23 of his passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Ole Miss pounced on the Seminoles in the first half, at one point, grabbing a 28-6 lead with less than two minutes to go in the first half.
However, Florida State led by redshirt freshman Deondre Francois rebounded by marching down the field and scoring off Francois’ 16-yard laser pass to wide receiver Travis Rudolph in the final seconds to cut the deficit to 28-13 in the first half.
The theme of the night was all about momentum.
Heisman candidate and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook started off with a rough night in the first half which was evident on one play in the second quarter. Cook hauled in a 25-yard pass in the open field and was walking into end zone when he fumbled the ball out of bounds after switching the ball to his outside as he was about to cross the goal line. The miscue led to the Seminoles settling for a field goal. Cook finished the first half with 35 yards on 11 carries but finished the game with 192 all-purpose yards.
Then came the second half.
Florida State continued their momentum by converting a field goal and early touchdown by fullback Freddie Stevenson to cut the Rebel lead to 28-23.
Seminoles weren’t finished after a fumble by Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly on the proceeding possession. The turnover led to a 3-yard end around touchdown run by sophomore running back Jacques Patrick to put the Seminoles up 29-28 after a failed two-point conversion.
Florida State wasn’t done after the young freshman Francois connected with his tight end Ryan Izzo for a 2-yard touchdown, giving the Seminoles a 36-28 lead mid-third quarter.
Seminoles followed up with a 40-yard field goal by Ricky Aguayo early in the fourth quarter.
Rebels followed that up with Chad Kelly’s 20-yard dart to wide receiver Van Jefferson cutting the Seminole lead to 39-34.
Seminoles answered with two fields goals of 44-yards and 31-yards locking up Florida State’s first win over Ole Miss.
Freshman Ricky Aguayo, brother of Roberto Aguayo, finished up with six field goals on the evening.
Seminoles freshman quarterback Deondre Francois was 33-52 for 415 yards and two touchdowns in his first game as a college quarterback. The first quarterback to start as a freshman since James Winston.
Florida State heads back to Tallahassee next week to take on Chattanooga in their home opener at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Ole Miss travels home to open up their home opener with Wofford before welcoming No. 1 Alabama Sept. 17 at home.
“First of all, I’m very proud of these guys, just the way they competed in the game and overcame adversity. I’m not happy about the situation we put ourselves in, and sometimes in opening games, though, you never know. But what I do know is, we’ve got a bunch of competitors that care about each other and fight,” said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher.
“Now, again, my hat’s off. Ole Miss is a heck of a football team. That was two very good football teams out there that played a hard fought game. And there’s a lot of guys that stepped up and made roles and made plays, and it was a fun game to coach in when it was all over with and very exhausting while we did it. That’s what college football is about, and this opening weekend is that.”
“You can say one thing about our kids. They’re competitive. And Ole Miss has great kids. They fought and battled right back and made it a heck of a game,” said Fisher.
Ole Miss cornerback Ken Webster was knocked out early in the first quarter with an apparent leg injury.
ABOVE VIDEO: Akeem Judd’s second quarter touchdown run that made the score 28-6. Seminoles came back to win 45-34. (Zach Clark, Space Coast Daily Video)
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily correspondent Alan Zlotorzynski before the Monday night’s contest.