Karlos Williams

Florida State sets new NFL Draft record for total draft picks

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Florida State has had 10 players selected in this year’s NFL Draft, putting the Seminoles in a tie for the most players drafted over a three-year period. One more Nole off the board and the record will be Florida State’s.

The record is 28 players drafted over three years. Florida State now shared the record with Miami (2002-2004) and USC (2008-2010). Florida State moved into the now three-way tie when tight end Nick O’Leary was taken by the Buffalo Bills (who have been loading up on ACC players this draft). O’Leary was taken by the Bills in the sixth round and the 194th pick overall. The Bills had already drafted cornerback Ronald Darby in the second round and running back Karlos Williams in the fifth round. Other Noles to be drafted include quarterback Jameis Winston (the number one overall pick), defensive tackles Mario Edwards and Eddie Goldman, center Cameron Erving, offensive guard Tre’ Jackson, receiver Rashad Greene, and cornerback P.J. Williams.

Time is running out for Florida State to set the record, but it is within sight. Offensive guards Josue Matias and Bobby Hart are still on the draft board.

UPDATE (5:30 p.m): The New York Giants drafted offensive lineman Bobby Hart, thus setting the new record.

 

Oregon takes 18-13 lead to the break over Florida State

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The first half of the Rose Bowl has unfolded exactly to script for both Florida State and Oregon: Marcus Mariota is dazzling, and the Seminoles are trailing. The Ducks lead 18-13 at the break. This is the ninth time – and fifth consecutive game – that Florida State has trailed this season.

Mariota has completed 18-of-26 passes for 157 yards with a late interception and rushed seven times for 39 yards (and evading a number of sacks in the process), while Winston has had a quiet half by comparison, hitting 13-of-21 throws for 136 yards and rushing five times for two yards. Dalvin Cook has been the engine powering the Seminoles’ attack with 12 carries for 90 yards.

Florida State forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the game and then marched 33 yards for a 43-yard Roberto Aguayo field goal, but Oregon linebacker Torrodney Prevot was flagged for a hands-to-the-face personal foul, giving the ‘Noles new life. However, the Oregon defense stiffened, thanks in large part to a Prevot sack-strip that cost Florida State seven yards, and limited only a 28-yard Aguayo field goal.

Oregon immediately responded, moving 73 yards in nine plays over just 2:11, taking the lead with a one-yard Royce Freeman plunge and then pushing the score to 8-3 with a Taylor Alie pass to Christian French. The Ducks had a chance to seize an extra large slice of momentum after forcing a three-and-out and taking over at the Florida State 40 thanks to a Cason Beatty shank, but Mark Helfrich‘s gamble to eschew a field goal while facing a 4th-and-5 at the 22 backfired as Mariota’s pass to Freeman was broken up by Ronald Darby.

The key sequence of the first half – and perhaps each team’s respective season – came at the end of the first quarter and very beginning of the second. Florida State marched from its own 23 to the Oregon one only to see the Ducks string out a 3rd down stretch play to Karlos Williams, but linebacker Tyson Coleman was offside, giving the ‘Noles new life.

But Williams was stuffed on 3rd down from the one and, with a quarter break to think about it, Jimbo Fisher called an option play on 4th-and-goal from the one on the first play of the second quarter. Winston kept and was initially ruled in for a touchdown, but the score was overturned on review. He was half a yard short.Oregon then moved 88 yards in 19 plays – needing just 4:45 – to put Aidan Schneider in position for a 28-yard field goal, turning what could have been a 10-8 Florida State lead into an 11-3 deficit.

Florida State added another field goal – settling, really, after setting up another 1st-and-goal and then committing a false start and delay of game – and Oregon answered with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, this one capped by a one-yard Thomas Tyner run.

As they’ve done all season, Florida State closed the half with a touchdown. Winston marched the ‘Noles 71 yards, and Karlos Williams punched in a 10-yard score to pull Florida State within 18-13 with 36 ticks remaining.

Oregon drove across the water to close the half instead of laying up, and the Ducks paid the price as a Mariota overthrow was intercepted by Nate Andrews. Florida State had a chance to pull even closer before the break, but Aguayo’s 54-yard try on the final play of the half clanked off the left goalpost.

Injuries have been a factor for both teams in the first half. Nick O’Leary tweaked his hamstring in pre-game warm-ups, but started the game and caught a five-yard reception on a 3rd-and-4, extending Florida State’s lone touchdown drive. For Oregon, Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen limped off after a 20-yard opening kickoff and was later wheeled to the locker room.

Florida State will receive the ball to open the second half.

FSU won’t have RB Karlos Williams for title tilt vs. Tech

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An injury sustained in the season finale against Florida will bleed into the weekend for a productive and talented piece of Florida State’s backfield.

Karlos Williams suffered a concussion early in the win over in-state rival Florida last Saturday and didn’t return.  Thursday, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed that the running back will not play in this Saturday’s ACC championship game against Georgia Tech.

Losing a player like Williams is not exactly optimal — he’s second on the team with 609 rushing yards and tops with 10 rushing touchdowns — but his loss will be mitigated by the presence of an über-talented freshman.

In his first year with the Seminoles, Dalvin Cook leads the team with 728 yards and a 5.9 yards per carry average.  After Williams went down with the head injury last week, Cook responded with a career-high 144 yards in the 24-19 win over the Gators.  It was his third 100-yard performance of the season, with all of those coming in the last seven games of the regular season.

Cook will be starting his second game of the season, the first coming against Notre Dame.  Williams started the other 11 games in 2014.

In addition to Williams being listed as out, starting linebacker Terrance Smith is listed as questionable.  Smith, who was named second-team All-ACC earlier this week, has started 10 games this season and 20 in his career.  He returned an interception for a touchdown in the win over the Gators.

Cardiac ‘Noles survive another scare, extend win streak to 27

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No matter what else happens this season, the defining trait of this 2014 Florida State team will be its propensity to allow its opponents into standoffs and come out alive. Seemingly every week this season the Seminoles invite a new opponent to take its undefeated record, and so far every opponent has blinked. Clemson blinked when fumbling on a would-be game-winning drive. Notre Dame did the same on that controversial offensive pass interference penalty. N.C. State, Louisville and Miami built large early leads but just couldn’t get that one last score they needed to knock Florida State off.

In a rain-drenched Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday evening, Boston College blinked and once again Florida State made them pay for it.

With the game tied 17-17 with 13:29 left in the fourth quarter, Boston College accepted the ball at its own eight-yard line. The Eagles called 14 straight runs, grabbing every available shred of momentum, until they set up a 2nd-and-9 at the Florida State 26. Boston College called a throwback pass from wide receiver Josh Bordner to quarterback Tyler Murphy, and Bordner had an open Murphy but waited a tick too long; Murphy was unable to come down with the ball at the FSU 2. It was the only pass of the 17-play drive, and it was the one that killed them. Murphy ran for one yard on third down, and Alex Howell missed the ensuing 42-yard field goal.

You know how the story goes from here.

Florida State cooly moved 66 yards in 12 plays, eating up all but three seconds of the remaining 4:37, to set Roberto Aguayo up for the game-winning 26-yard field goal.

No. 3 Florida State held off Boston College 20-17, keeping its 27-game winning streak and national championship hopes intact.

if a 6-4 team was ever going to knock off the Seminoles, it was this 6-4 Boston College team. Coached and quarterbacked by former Gators and sandwiched after an emotional Miami win and before the pressure-cooker Florida game, Boston College out-rushed Florida State 240-110, didn’t turn the ball over and turned a Jameis Winston interception into a touchdown, limited the Seminoles to only eight offensive possessions, and it still wasn’t enough.

The key Florida State possession of the game, other than the final one, when Boston College intercepted Winston in Florida State territory and turned it into a five-play, 67-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 49-yard pass from Murphy to Shakim Phillips, to tie the game at 10-10 with 5:29 remaining before halftime. Like they always do, Florida State responded when it had to, marching 75 yards in seven plays as Winston hit Nick O’Leary for a 30-yard score to give the ‘Noles a 17-10 lead at the break.

Murphy (6-of-10 passing for 73 yards and a touchdown, 15 carries for 48 yards) rushed for a 21-yard touchdown to tie the game in the third quarter. It was the only score of the second half until Aguayo’s game-winner.

Dalvin Cook rushed 14 times for 76 yards and Karlos Williams added 41 yards and a score to go with Winston’s 281 passing yards, but the hero for FSU – as it has been so many times this year – was Rashad Greene. He left the game in the first half with an apparent arm injury but returned before halftime to grab eight passes for 106 yards, including a couple on the game-winning drive.

Florida State will wrap up its regular season against Florida next week in Tallahassee before meeting Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship in Charlotte on Dec. 6.

Boston College wraps up its regular season against Syracuse next week.

No. 3 Florida State leading Boston College 17-10 through one half

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Well, this certainly isn’t going to help Florida State in the all-important game control metrics. At a rain-soaked (what else is new?) Doak Campbell Stadium, the third-ranked Seminoles lead Boston College 17-10 at the half.

Florida State opened the game with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, capped by a three-yard Karlos Williams run, that ate 6:24 off the clock, and Boston College responded with a 14-play, 50-yard drive that consumed 8:22 to pull within 7-3.

Roberto Aguayo field goal put the Seminoles up 10-3, but Boston College clawed back into it with an interception of Jameis Winston on a tipped pass and a 49-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Murphy to Shakim Phillips.

Florida State responded immediately with a 75-yard scoring drive, capped by a 30-yard pass from Winston to Nick O’Leary.

Winston has completed 14-of-20 passes for 193 yards with a touchdown and an interception while Murphy, a former Gator, has hit four of his five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Boston College holds a 95-36 rushing advantage.

Rashad Greene was taken to the locker room with an apparent arm injury, but returned to the field just before the half.

Boston College will receive the ball to open the second half.