By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
November 15, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- For the final time in 2019, the Florida State football team will take the field at Doak Campbell Stadium as they look to achieve bowl eligibility for the first time since 2017 as they take on Alabama State.
The Seminoles will be a tad shorthanded in this one, as Cam Akers, Tre' McKitty and Darius Washington are just some of the names that FSU will be without this afternoon.
Some of those are, for lack of a better term, for load management reasons (i.e. Akers and McKitty, both of who are expected to return for the Florida game in two weeks) while others are dealing with more serious injuries.
Regardless, it shouldn't play too much into a factor if FSU wins or not - the Hornets are 5-4 this year and 4-2 in SWAC play.
ASU does have a bit of momentum on their side, having won two of their last three games and three of their last four (all three wins have com on the road).
Last week, we saw FSU play inspired football under Odell Haggins, along with an inspired performance from Jordan Travis. How much we'll see of Travis today, I'm not sure, but it's at least exciting to know he's now an option to take a few snaps.
This is the part where I'd ponder who we'll see at quarterback, but I don't see that necessary for two reasons:
1.) I think Blackman starting last week means he's Haggins' guy
2.) I don't think it matters who starts, because the game will be over by halftime, and the non-starter will play a majority of the second half (again, I think).
The one thing I am interested in seeing is the crowd: Usually, a game like Alabama State wont draw huge numbers, but with it being the first (and only) home game with Haggins on the sideline, and it being the final home game of the season, I think the crowd may be better than we expect.
But, a noon kick won't help that, that's for sure.
Anyway, lets see if the Noles can begin a new bowl streak today.
FINAL: FSU 49 - ASU 12
A touchdown by Deonte Sheffield with less than 30 seconds to play seals the deal. Noles win and they're going bowling.
Our gamer is here. See you in two weeks.
4th Quarter, 9:45: FSU 42 - ASU 12
The fumble doesn't hurt the Noles and they put points on the board on the next possession.
Jordan Travis set up FSU inside of the five with a 60+-yard scamper and, after a couple of penalties, Blackman found DJ Matthews for his third passing score of the game.
4th Quarter, 13:07: FSU 35 - ASU 12
The Seminoles have turned the ball over for the second time today, this time a fumble out of the hands of Tre'Shaun Harrison.
Which is a shame, because the play could have been a good one for the Noles: James Blackman delivered a perfect ball while a.) throwing from his own end zone and b.) getting hit as he threw, and hit Harrison in stride, but as he was trying to fight off two defenders, Harrison coughed up the ball and the Hornets recovered.
END OF THE THIRD QUARTER: FSU 35 - ASU 12
Only 15 minutes remain for Florida State's home football season. Let's have fun.
Almost as much fun as that third quarter was.
3rd Quarter, 1:02: FSU 35 - ASU 12
Once again, Alabama State seemed to be driving the ball well and was across midfield until Hamsah Nasirildeen picked off Kha'Darris Davis, the first Hornets turnover of the game, and took it to the house from 80 yards out.
It was fairly electric, if I do say so myself.
3rd Quarter, 12:03: FSU 28 - ASU 12
FSU answers right. back. with a touchdown of their own, this one a one-yard rush by Laborn to re-extend the Noles lead to 28-12.
The drive was helped out tremendously by a 35-yard rush on a fake handoff to Laborn just a couple of plays before the touchdown.
3rd Quarter, 13:46: FSU 21 - ASU 12
The Hornets are off to a good start this quarter, as they turn Blackman's interception into six points and their first touchdown of the game.
The FSU defense brought the house on a third down and it left Jahod Booker wide open for a 39-yard touchdown catch.
Consider: If ASU hadn't missed two earlier field goals, this game would feel much, much different.
3rd Quarter, 14:26: FSU 21 - ASU 6
We have the game's first turnover, as James Blackman is intercepted by Irshaad Davis as he was targeting Matthews.
Hornets with great field position.
HALFTIME: FSU 21 - ASU 6
Let's be honest; that was a fairly uneventful second quarter. But, that's the best kind of second quarter in this game if you're FSU.
I wonder how far into the second half we'll see guys like Blackman, Terry and even Laborn into the second half, especially with the Tua news blowing up.
2nd Quarter, 5:48: FSU 21 - ASU 6
The Hornets are on the board again, this time in the form of their second field goal of the game. They're having sparring success moving the ball, especially through the air, against FSU, but the Noles aren't letting them sniff the endzone.
2nd Quarter, 11:55: FSU 21 - ASU 3
James Blackman has his second touchdown of the day, this time in the form of a 39-yard connection with Tre'Shaun Harrison as he drug four defenders into the endzone with him.
The offense hasn't been perfect, as ASU has done an alright job keeping things in check, but it's been good enough.
END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: FSU 14 - ASU 3
Noles have 133 yards of total offense while the Hornets have just 98.
1st Quarter, 8:00: FSU 14 - ASU 3
*chuckles* And you were worried about this one.
While the drive wasn't nearly as easy as the first one, it was still 60 yards in eight plays in less than 2:15 for the FSU offense, capped by a four-yard scamper by Khalan Laborn on the direct snap.
Although, I must give credit where it's due; ASU nearly held the Noles to a three-and-out, with a couple of solid defensive plays from Kirm Martin. I think ASU has figured out the "fast man goes vertical" play.
1st Quarter, 12:22: FSU 7 - ASU 3
Don't call it a shootout: On the first offensive play of the game, James Blackman finds Tamorrion Terry down the sideline, in stride, for a 69-yard touchdown.
With the combination of those two, it's just. that. easy.
1st Quarter, 12:31: FSU 0 - ASU 3
It could have been a better defensive start for the Seminoles, who called called for a personal foul on the first snap of the game, which came after a return which saw the Hornets get to midfield.
The defense didn't break though, forcing the Hornets to settle for three, but still - not what I expected out of the gate.
FSU wins and elects to defer to the second half.
Alabama State will open the game on offense.
Only two more times this season we get to do this and I'm excited to be with you today. Although this game may get out of hand very, very quickly.