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 rediscover poise against Clemson Tigers

FSU’s Lamarcus Joyner, getting tackled by Clemson’s Spencer Benton, says the Seminoles have better leadership and are more mature this season. Joyner played a big part in a second-half rally Saturday with a 90-yard kickoff return, FSU’s longest since 2008.

Getty Images

FSU’s Lamarcus Joyner, getting tackled by Clemson’s Spencer Benton, says the Seminoles have better leadership and are more mature this season. Joyner played a big part in a second-half rally Saturday with a 90-yard kickoff return, FSU’s longest since 2008.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's biggest win in years came from a resilience the Seminoles haven't shown in the Jimbo Fisher era.

After falling behind by 14 in the second half, No. 4 FSU rattled off 28 consecutive points and scored 35 of the final 44 points to rally for Saturday's 49-37 win over then-No. 10 Clemson.

The Seminoles hadn't mounted a 14-point comeback since beating North Carolina in October 2009.

"This year we have more leadership," S Lamarcus Joyner said. "We're a more mature team."

Joyner helped spark the rally with a 90-yard kickoff return — FSU's longest since 2008.

The Seminoles had a chance to make a similar comeback in last season's marquee game against No. 1 Oklahoma. FSU rebounded from a 13-3 hole to tie the score but was shut out the rest of the way in a 23-13 loss that taught the Seminoles how to handle big games.

"This year we just keep our poise," said RB James Wilder, a former Plant High star.

That poise helped FSU dominate the second half. In the game's first 34 minutes, the Seminoles allowed 320 yards (7.3 yards per play) and 28 points. After Clemson took a 28-14 lead with 11:48 left in the third quarter, FSU allowed only 100 yards (2.9 yards per play), while forcing four three-and-outs and intercepting a pass.

The Seminoles offense racked up 326 yards in the final 27 minutes and finished five of its last eight drives with a touchdown.

"It's big for us as far as the ability to compete in those situations," Fisher, the FSU coach, said, "but what I'm anxious to see is how quickly we can put this one behind us and get ready for South Florida."

MANUEL AND WARD: QB EJ Manuels career-best night vaulted him into Heisman Trophy discussions immediately after the game and put him in the same sentence with one of his mentors — former FSU quarterback and 1993 Heisman winner Charlie Ward.

Manuel finished with 380 passing yards and 102 rushing yards — both personal bests — making him the first Seminole since Ward to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100. Fisher said after the game that he didn't remember Manuel making a bad decision.

Manuel said he talks or texts with Ward and another Heisman-winning Seminole quarterback, Chris Weinke (2000), a few times a week. Before the game, they told him to take what Clemson's defense gave him.

"Those are people you grew up watching," Manuel said after the third 300-yard game of his career.

Manuel's 27-for-35 performance bumped his career completion percentage to 67.7 percent, making him the most accurate passer in ACC history, just ahead of former Virginia star Matt Schaub (67 percent).

DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS: S Terrence Brooks led FSU with a career-high 12 tackles. Sophomore CB Nick Waisome recorded the first interception of his career with a fourth-quarter pick. It was only the second interception this season thrown by Clemson's Tajh Boyd.

THIS AND THAT: Clemson's 37 points were almost as many as the combined total of FSU's last six opponents (38). … RB Chris Thompson finished with 103 rushing yards on 15 carries to complete the fifth 100-yard game of his career. … After scoring one touchdown last year, Wilder has three multiple-touchdown games this season after rushing for two on Saturday.

Times staff writer Matt Baker can be reached at

Florida State Seminoles rediscover poise against Clemson Tigers 09/23/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 23, 2012 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight


    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and have decided to call up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez is still slated to start tonight, even after throwing 12 pitches to get the final three outs - and the save - in …

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.
  2. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. After state, academics will trump athletics for King ace Brian Lee


    TAMPA — Brian Lee can still see himself on the pitcher's mound at Venice High School. Four years ago he was a freshman left-handed reliever just trying to keep King's state championship dreams alive.

    Pitcher Brian Lee participates in a practice at King High in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, May 26, 2017.
  4. Five cool things to do when it's hot outside


    Summer is not officially here, but it may as well be. School is out, vacations are coming, and it's time to enjoy the outdoors. Don't buy the argument that summer in Florida is too hot to get outside. There is plenty to do, and we'll prove it. Here are five cool things to do outdoors during another hot summer.

    Rainbow Springs State Park is a registered natural landmark. Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon is one several state parks with natural swimming holes in Florida. (Octavio Jones | Times)
  5. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win


    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.