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Field goal avoids 'the worst' for Florida State Seminoles

GAINESVILLE — Florida State freshman K Dustin Hopkins wasn't expecting to get the call from the coaches after a timeout to get out on the field for a field goal.

The Seminoles had it fourth and goal at the 2 and were down 30-0 to the Gators on Saturday with just three seconds left in the third. A field goal? Really?

"I was a little surprised," Hopkins said.

"The worst thing that could happen to us was to get shut out," coach Bobby Bowden said. "We took care of that."

Though he can't remember resorting to such a call.

Hopkins, who missed from 41 yards a few minutes earlier, hit the 20-yarder in what turned out to be a 37-10 loss.

The last time the Seminoles were shut out? To Wake Forest 30-0 on Nov. 11, 2006. A few days later, embattled offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden announced his resignation effective at the end of the season.

"You've still got to score four times to get it back (even with a touchdown)," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "Get some points on the board, get that out of their mind and try to keep going on and build on it."

He has speed: FSU sophomore LB Nigel Bradham helped stop, albeit temporarily, a Gator touchdown by chasing down RB Jeff Demps, a world-class sprinter, and forcing him out of bounds after a 62-yard dash.

"We're Florida State. We've got speed, too," Bradham said. "But yeah, I probably did surprise people, me being a linebacker."

Defensive coordinator search: Bowden and Fisher said they talked briefly last week about the search for a defensive coordinator to replace the retiring Mickey Andrews. (Bowden said it will be a joint decision.) But talks will intensify in the coming days.

A highlight: Senior DE Kevin McNeil blocked an extra point early in the second half, his second blocked kick of the season and the second for the Seminoles. McNeil's other came against Jacksonville State on Sept. 12. FSU last blocked an extra point Oct. 14, 2006, against Duke.

Flag day: A week after the Seminoles didn't have a single penalty, which hadn't happened in more than 30 years, they had two on their first offensive series.

Injury update: Senior DT Justin Mincey, who came back last month after missing the first six games of the season because of left knee surgery, hobbled off the field on crutches with the knee wrapped in ice. Meanwhile, senior WR Richard Goodman (groin), who had run just two routes in the past month, played sparingly.

Field goal avoids 'the worst' for Florida State Seminoles 11/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 28, 2009 11:18pm]

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