Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

No. 20 Florida State Seminoles 59, Samford Bulldogs 6

TALLAHASSEE — For the Florida State Seminoles, Saturday's game against Samford was all about a new day.

Funny how it ended up looking a lot like the old days.

The good old days.

The Seminoles showed their fans and their future opponents in and out of the ACC that they had adopted the relentlessness of their neophyte coach, Jimbo Fisher, had a healthy quarterback worthy of award hype, a dynamic game-changer on special teams and a young defense brimming with a pride and passion as they routed the Bulldogs, 59-6.

Okay, Samford is a Division I-AA program which has never beaten a I-A team — nowhere near the ilk of next weekend's opponent, the seventh-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. But don't try to suggest to Fisher, who successfully navigated his first real steps in the shadow of Bobby Bowden, that he should take little from the predictable outcome against his (and Bowden's) alma mater.

"You can downplay that all you want," he said. "Samford's a very-well coached football team; they're a good football team. But anytime you play a football game and you make plays on a Saturday afternoon or a Saturday evening, it means something."

And the No. 20-ranked Seminoles, looking to rediscover the winning ways that dominated the national landscape from 1987-2000, sure made plays in every phase of the game.

• Redshirt senior quarterback Christian Ponder, who missed the final four games of a breakout season in 2009 when he injured his right (throwing) shoulder and needed surgery, was coolly efficient and productive. He completed 12 of 14 passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns with one interception (on a tipped pass) in just one half.

"I definitely was comfortable," said Ponder, whom the school is actively promoting for Heisman Trophy consideration. "I thought I was seeing everything really well and the game was slowing down for me. It was kind of just a relief getting back out there after talking about it for nine months … and kind of earn that confidence back."

• Sophomore Greg Reid, starting for the first time at cornerback, had four tackles and broke up a potential touchdown pass when he perfectly timed an acrobatic jump. He then dazzled the crowd with a 74-yard punt return for a score that highlighted a five-touchdown second quarter.

• Then there was the rebuilt and schematically revamped defense, which was one of the nation's most porous a year ago. It limited the Bulldogs to a pair of field goals, came up with four sacks and forced one turnover.

"It says a lot," said sophomore defensive end Brandon Jenkins, who made his first start. "It says we're here to play this year."

"We went out there and showed we should be the first overall defense in the nation," said redshirt freshman defensive tackle Demonte McAllister, the former Alonso High star who had 1.5 sacks. "We came out hitting heads, popping everywhere. There was no doubt we prepared for this."

Even with the starters watching from the bench, the FSU defense stopped the visitors at the goal line in the final seconds, drawing loud cheers from the fans who remained from a small crowd announced at 68,438 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"It's what we talk about; it's pride," Fisher said. "You have toughness. You have effort. You have discipline. Then it gets down to pride. When we were comfortably ahead in the ballgame and we had a bunch of young guys on the field and if you instill it in them from Day 1, that's the only thing they know. We're going to play one way and only one way — we're going to play with a lot of effort, with a lot of intensity and passion and that's what they did."

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.

No. 20 FSU 59

Samford 6

No. 20 Florida State Seminoles 59, Samford Bulldogs 6 09/04/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 4, 2010 9:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

    Wearing white armbands, umpire Chris Guccione (68), left, Carlos Torres (37)(not wearing armband), center facing, Dana DeMuth (32) center right, and Paul Nauert (39) talk before the start of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The World Umpires Association announced that umpires will be wearing white wristbands during all games to protest escalating verbal attacks on umpires and their strong objection to the Office of the Commissioner?€š€™s response to the attacks.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.