Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida State Seminoles get after Clemson Tigers' QB early, often

TALLAHASSEE — On a night when Florida State honored its three-time national championship men's track team and Olympic sprinter Walter Dix, the Seminoles' defense put on a speed clinic of its own.

Led by junior defensive end Everette Brown, FSU racked up six sacks, recorded 14 tackles for loss and scored a big touchdown in a 41-27 victory over Clemson.

"I knew we could beat those guys with speed," Brown said. "Speed kills, and I was bringing it."

Was he ever. Brown tied a career high with three sacks and turned in perhaps the game's biggest play late in the first quarter. With the Seminoles trailing 10-3, Brown squeezed through Clemson's offensive line and smothered Tigers quarterback Cullen Harper as he attempted to throw a screen pass.

The ball landed in senior defensive lineman Neefy Moffett's hands, and he returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

"It changed the entire game," said FSU defensive tackle Budd Thacker, one of 11 Seminoles to record tackles for loss. "When he ran that thing back to the end zone, we were all fired up. It got the team rolling."

Moffett, who also recorded a sack, said FSU's defensive ends were excited all week during film preparation. With Clemson left tackle Chris Hairston listed at 6 feet 6, 320 pounds, and right tackle Landon Walker listed at 6-5, 300, the Seminoles knew they could get to Harper if they got free on the edge.

"They're big and they're very strong and they're good, but they're not very good on speed (rushes)," Moffett said. "Those guys are huge, and they don't like to chase guys. That's what we did — we made them chase us."

After allowing 10 points and 125 yards in the first quarter, FSU's defense took complete control. During the next 21/2 quarters, the Tigers gained just 89 yards of offense.

"For some reason, it seemed like we were playing very cautious coming out of the blocks," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "We weren't really turning it loose and playing like we did from the second quarter on."

Against an offensive line that had allowed just 14 sacks through eight games, the Seminoles' pass rush was relentless. They dropped Harper for 49 yards of losses, and limited his ability to hit big-play receivers Aaron Kelly and Jacoby Ford.

"That was so important," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "If you give that guy time to throw now, he can kill you. They have dangerous receivers."

Florida State Seminoles get after Clemson Tigers' QB early, often 11/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]
  2. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  3. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  4. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  5. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.