October 30, 2011

Position grades for win over N.C. State

Offensive Grades

Passing Game

Another stellar week for the Florida State passing attack in the 34-0 win over North Carolina State.

EJ Manuel completed 25 of 34 attempts for 321 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He completed passes to eight different receivers and was sacked just three times.

Sophomore Kenny Shaw hauled in seven receptions for 57 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown.

Senior receiver Bert Reed and running back Jermaine Thomas had five catches apiece.

After struggling to get much going offensively in the third quarter, in the fourth quarter Manuel was able to connect with Greg Dent for a couple big passes. First they hooked up for game-high 37-yard gain, then a 26-yard touchdown to make the 'Noles lead 34 points. Dent finished the game with three grabs for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Overall passing game grade: A-

Similar to the last two weeks it was the quick start by the passing game that allowed FSU to cruise to victory on Saturday. Manuel threw for 2121 yards as the Seminoles took a 24-0 lead into the half. FSU averaged 12.8 yards per completion.

Top Performer: EJ Manuel

Manuel threw for over 300 yards for the second time in his career. He set a career-high in completions, and his 321 yards were the most in an ACC game for the redshirt junior.

Running Game

After back to back 200 yard performances on the ground, the FSU rushing attack came back down to earth a bit against the Wolpack.

FSU tallied just 123 yards on the ground, an averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. Thomas was the leading rusher for FSU with 48 yards on 11 carries.

After two straight 100-yard performances, Devonta Freeman mustered just 17 yards on seven carries. He did score on a seven-yard option run, in which Manuel waited until the last second to pitch the ball.

The most impressive run in the game came on a scramble from Manuel. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound signal caller looked like he would certainly be sacked in the backfield, but he managed to elude the Wolfpack defender, as well as several others, for an electric 21-yard gain.

Overall running game grade: C

The running game was really the only area FSU struggled in on Saturday. Despite scoring twice on the ground, 3.3 yards per carry is not going to get it done in most games. Three times in the game FSU needed just one yard to pick up a first down and failed to do so.

Top performer: Lonnie Pryor

Pryor had 26 yards on five carries, and average of 5.2 yards per carry. The most impressive of which was a physical 8-yard touchdown run in which Pryor imposed his will on the Wolfpack for his first touchdown of 2011.

Defensive Grades

Front Seven

The defensive front seven continues to play at a very high level. N.C. State had just 166 yards of total offense in the game, and just 36 yards rushing.

Quarterback Mike Glennon looked uncomfortable all day long as he was sacked four times and hurried another four times.

The front seven was responsible for two of the defense's three turnovers. Linebacker Christian Jones forced a fumble, which was scooped up by true freshman Timmy Jernigan/

Defensive tackle also tipped a Glennon pass up in the air, and middle linebacker Vince Williams came down with his first-career interception.

Jernigan continues to impress as the true freshman recorded five tackles, a sack, another tackle for loss, and the fumble recovery.

Jones and Cornellius Carradine each recorded a sack as well.

Overall front seven grade: A

N.C. State averaged just 1.3 yards per carry. Tight end George Bryan, who is averaging 10 yards per catch this season, was held to just 17 yards on three catches. The pressure from up front obviously disrupted Glennon and got the Wolfpack offense out of sync.

Top performer: Christian Jones

Jones had a team-high nine tackles, five solo, a sack, a fumble recovery, and a quarterback hurry. It might have been the sophomore linebacker's best came in his young career at FSU.


Glennon came into the game with a reputation of having a big arm that could carry the offense, but he never got a chance to show that against FSU.

Glennon completed 19 of 34 attempts for 130 yards and two interceptions.

Mike Harris again had a solid day at the boundary corner position, as he recorded eight tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup.

Fellow corner, Greg Reid who found his way back into the starting lineup, had four tackles, but didn't give up the big play.

Terrance Brooks made an impact i his limited time on the field with two tackles and two pass breakups.

Xavier Rhodes finally broke through with the first interception by an FSU corner this season. He also had two tackles.

Overall secondary grade: A

Glennon had just 130 yards passing and the Wolfpack never found the endzone. N.C. State averaged jus 6.8 yards per completion an never was a real threat to score.

Top performer: Mike Harris

Rhodes may have gotten the interception but it was Harris who was all over the field. Six of his eight tackles were solo, and he had his first-career sack. He leads the team with 48 tackles this season.

Special Teams Grades

Coming into the game Wolfpack wideout T.J. Graham led the nation in all-purpose yardage per game. Both the FSU kickoff and punt coverage teams kept him in check as he had just 77 total return yards on four kickoff returns and one punt return.

Dustin Hopkins was two of three on field goal attempts. He was good from 43 and 39 yards, but missed from 52 as he was kicking into the wind.

On kickoffs he recorded his 20th touchback of the year, but also had a few short kickoffs.

Greg Reid had 37 yards on three punt return attempts, including a 28-yard return in which he stepped out of bounds trying to sneak down the sideline for what could have been a much bigger return.

Overall special teams grade: A-

The lone miss by Hopkins wasn't his fault as he was asked to kick it from over 50 yards out into a heavy wind. Both coverage units did a good job, and Karlos Williams never got a chance to return a kickoff as the only N.C. State kickoff went out of bounds.

Top performer: Shawn Powell

Powell had three punts for a net average of 41 yards each. All three landed inside the 20-yard line, including his second punt, which was downed at the Wolfpack six-yard line.

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