Florida State came up with the largest comeback in the football program’s history in a huge win over Ole Miss. What are the 5 Things That Matter about the great 45-34 win by the Seminoles?
The wonderful night of Deondre Francois
It wasn’t his fault Florida State got down 28-6 in the first half.
Deondre Francois was trying to make things happen, but his defense wasn’t stopping Chad Kelly and the Ole Miss offense, his superstar running back Dalvin Cook was being stuffed – or wasn’t hanging on to the ball in key situations – and it was a tough start. But then his D started to make things happen, he got things moving with his legs when the openings were there, and he started hitting his throws.
The one giant question mark on a team full of next-level talents and seasoned veterans, Francois proved he’s ready to be the leader and star like Jameis Winston was for a similarly-talented team in 2013. Francois isn’t Winston, but after throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns without a pick, and running for 59 yards while leading the greatest comeback in Florida State history, he’ll do just fine.
The Florida State defense figured it out
Francois will go down as the signature star of the historic game, but the comeback kicked in once the defense camped out in the Ole Miss backfield.
Derwin James showed why some scouts believe he – not Jalen Ramsey – was the best NFL defensive back in the FSU secondary with a team-high eight tackles and a pick, but it was DeMarcus Walker who turned the game around.
How was the young and emerging Ole Miss offensive line going to handle the pressure from the Florida State defensive front? As it turned out in the second half, badly.
Walker finished with 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble as he did the most to contribute to the momentum swing. This defense is going to be a terror, and soon, someone will have to figure out how to deal with No. 44.
And it could’ve been worse
Here’s the crazy part about the Florida State second half avalanche – the Noles settled for four of Ricky Aguayo’s six field goals after halftime. Ole Miss bent, but it didn’t break enough to turn this into an otherworldly rout. After he connected from 25, 21, 40, 40, 44 and 30 yards out, now the coaching staff knows for sure it can count on the next Aguayo up.
Ole Miss has the talent, but …
It really might take a little bit for it to all come together.
There wasn’t any running game to take the air out of the ball after the Rebels got out to a big lead, and the nature of the tempo offense didn’t work to slow things down and get back some sort of control.
Florida State just might be College Football Playoff good, and Ole Miss proved it can be great at times, but the offensive front has to get it together fast and figure out how to keep Chad Kelly upright after giving up five sacks, and all the young new stars on both sides of the ball need a few more games under their collective belt. That’s a slight problem because …
What Does This All REALLY Mean?
Ole Miss get Wofford up next relax a little bit and try getting all of the issues of this week figured out. It needs to get the O line working a little better, it needs to develop the running game a bit more, and the timing needs to be there with Kelly and his talented young receives. And then comes Alabama, and then the fun really starts.
If the Rebels beat the Crimson Tide, this loss to the Seminoles might not matter.
Florida State gets Charleston Southern after a short week, and then comes the trip to Louisville to kick off a tremendous run of showdowns. At South Florida, North Carolina, at Miami, and then a week off against Wake Forest, and then a real week off, and then comes Clemson.
This might have been an amazing win, but now the Louisville game becomes even bigger.