Ermon Lane

FSU freshman QB De’Andre Johnson suspended indefinitely, accused of hitting woman at bar

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Florida State has placed freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson on indefinite suspension, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed early Thursday evening through a released statement. The reason for the suspension is simply described as a violation of team rules, but there are other reports making the rounds that would seem to paint a bit more of a disturbing reason for the suspension.

A report from ESPN’s Mark Sclhabach (via Twitter) says Johnson is accused of punching a woman at a bar. If that proves to be true, then Johnson has some more serious problems ahead of him before thinking about his playing time on Saturdays this fall. Johnson may have been projected to be buried on the depth chart under center with Sean Maguire and Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson most likely to battle for the starting job (and thus the backup job), but Johnson was a four-star dual-threat quarterback recruited in Florida State’s Class of 2015. He enrolled early and was able to participate in Florida State’s spring game. Johnson completed eight of 11 pass attempts for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of his highlights was a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ermon Lane down the left sideline to give his Gold team a 24-17 lead.

So, if the allegations do have any truth to them, we know an underage person was in a bar and he threw a punch at a  female. Nobody here is naive enough to know football players receiving star treatment and getting access at some locations that would otherwise be impossible for others to get in is nothing new, so the idea an incoming freshman at Florida State getting into a bar is not exactly impossible to believe. However, how many times are we going to see stories about college football players assaulting women continue? Whether he did it or not — it is best to let the legal process play out for now — having your name connected to this kind of story is not one that gives Florida State (or any program facing an issue with a player hitting a woman) a good look.

For now, let us allow the legal process unfold however it may. In the meantime, Johnson will be prohibited from participating in any football activities at Florida State.

No. 2 Florida State still unconquered, rallies to beat Louisville 42-31

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Before we get to what Louisville didn’t do, first let’s discuss what Florida State did on Thursday night: overcome a 21-0 deficit on the road, score 42 points over the game’s last 30 minutes and 33 seconds, drop 580 yards of total offense (and 380 in the second half) against the nation’s top statistical defense, and held the Louisville without a third- or fourth-down conversion until the game was put away. And in the process, No. 2 Florida State extended its winning streak to 24 games with a rise-from-the-dead 42-31 victory over Louisville.

With that out of the way, here is the list of things Louisville did not do that could have pushed this game the other way:

  • Turn a 1st-and-goal at the four into points on the game’s opening possession.
  • Recover a fumble by Florida State’s Karlos Williams at the goal line in the waning moments of the first half.
  • Hold on to the ball after intercepting Jameis Winston to open the second half.
  • Corral what would have been a possible pick six, which would have pushed Louisville’s lead to 31-21.
  • Convert a third down while the game was still in doubt.
  • Catch a 4th-and-2 pass with room to run while trailing 35-31 deep into the fourth quarter.

In the end, Louisville did just enough to give its fans (and the FSU-hating masses) just enough to hope, but not enough to actually put the game away.

Florida State trailed 21-0 late in the second quarter, and got on the board 33 seconds before halftime after Nick O’Leary recovered Williams’ fumble in the end zone to pull within 21-7 at the half.

Cardinals defensive back Gerold Holliman intercepted Winston – the reigning Heisman winner’s third pick of the night, and second to Holliman – on the first play from scrimmage of the second half, but Winston then forced a fumble as Holliman fought for extra yardage, and wide receiver Travis Rudolph hopped on the loose pigskin.

Louisville forced a turn0ver on downs on the next possession and then pushed the lead to 24-7 a minute later, but the two 50/50 plays falling Florida State’s way gave the Seminoles life.

Normally a 17-point road deficit is overcome through the battle-hardened strength only veterans possess, but true freshman teamed with Winston to overcome and then put away Louisville over the last 25 minutes of the game. Winston hit freshman Rudolph for a 68-yard catch-and-run score to pull within 24-14, and then true freshman Dalvin Cook accounted for 76 yards in an 80-yard drive, including a 40-yard touchdown dash, to make the score 24-21.

Florida State took its first lead with 12:48 to go in the fourth quarter when Winston hit Ermon Lane, another freshman, for a 47-yard pass that somehow threaded through three Louisville defenders, and came one play after Holliman let a possible pick-six bounce off his knee and land incomplete.

Louisville then regained the lead with 9:20 to go on a one-yard Dyer plunge, but the Seminoles re-took it for good with a 38-yard rush by Cook. The Cardinals’ next possession ended when a Will Gardner pass bounced off tight end Charles Standberry‘s hands on 4th-and-2 at the Louisville 39 with a shade over 150 seconds to go. Florida State scored three plays later when Winston hit fullback Freddie Stevenson for a 35-yard play-action touchdown pass on a 3rd-and-6.

Winston posted his finest performance of the season, overcoming self-inflicted adversity and a bum ankle to complete 25-of-48 passes for 401 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions (and one very important forced fumble), while Cook came off the bench to account for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 13 touches.

Gardner threw for 330 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but did not rise to the moment when Louisville needed it, missing every third down pass until the game was out of reach. DeVante Parker carried the Cardinals’ passing attack with eight grabs for 214 yards. Dyer rushed 28 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns, but tallied only 39 yards in the second half.

Louisville drops to a very painful 6-3 (4-3 ACC) on the season and heads to Boston College on Saturday.

Florida State improves to 8-0 on the year, and is now one win away from becoming the 11th team in the last 50 years to mount a 25-game winning streak.

After Clemson (17-10 deficit into a 23-17 win), N.C. State (24-7 deficit into a 56-41 win), Notre Dame (17-10 deficit into a 31-27 win) and tonight, this 2014 Florida State team has taught future opponents that they had best not bother even taking a lead; defeat is inevitable, and that’s just going to make it all the more painful.

FSU’s Rudolph, five-star 2014 WR, recovering from foot surgery

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If Travis Rudolph is to make an immediate impact at Florida State as expected, he’ll have to overcome a lingering health issue.

During a charity event Friday, the Tallahassee Democrat reported, the touted wide receiver was seen wearing a walking boot on his left foot.  Head coach Jimbo Fisher subsequently confirmed that Rudolph recently underwent surgery to correct an ongoing issue in his foot.

The good news, though, is that it sounds as if the medical procedure won’t have an impact on the player’s availability for the start of summer camp in early August.

“He had a little bone that they put a screw in,” Fisher said. “He should be ready by the end of the month, and should be good to go. He shouldn’t miss anything.”

If healthy, and at least on paper, Rudolph has the type of talent to contribute to the Seminoles’ offense right away, especially given the dearth of experience in the receiving corps.

A five-star member of FSU’s 2014 recruiting class, Rudolph was rated as the No. 1 wide receiver in the country, the No. 1 player in the state of Florida and the No. 11 player at any position in the country. He was one of three five-star members of FSU’s most recent class, joined by running back Dalvin Cook and fellow receiver Ermon Lane. Cook and Lane were the Nos. 3 and 5 players, respectively, in Florida.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Once a Gator commit, five-star WR Ermon Lane signs with ‘Noles

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Earlier today, Florida flipped a quarterback commitment away from Florida State.  A couple of hours later, the Seminoles somewhat turned the tables on their in-state rivals at a different position.

In a move that wasn’t completely unexpected, five-star wide receiver Ermon Lane confirmed in a signing-day press conference that he has inked a National Letter of Intent with Florida State.  The decision comes about a month or so after the Homestead, Fla., receiver had decommitted from Florida.

Lane had originally committed to the Gators in mid-August.  He took an official visit to Tallahassee this past weekend.

Lane becomes the second five-star receiver in FSU’s 2014 class, joining fellow Florida native Travis Rudolph.  The latter is the No. 1 WR in the country, the former the No. 5.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)