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Despite being almost 20 pounds lighter this season,it would appear taht Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner is still a handful for opposing offenses.
Werner recorded five tackles, all for loss, four sacks and forced a fumble as the Seminoles rolled FCS Murray State 69-3 in their season opener.
"I played a lot of snaps out there and I feel great," said Werner who is now listed at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds. "I was sick a little bit and I felt that a little bit, but I felt like I could move around. I was quicker side to side and that's what I was working for."
Werner's performance was not only a career high in sacks for the junior, but his five tackles for loss also tied him for the most TFLs in a single game in school history with Daryl Bush who recorded five sacks against North Carolina in 1997.
"I thought he was very average," head coach Jimbo Fisher said with a laugh. "All that guy does between the white lines, when the lights come on, he just can play the game-rush, stop, bat the ball, plays the run. He's just instinctive and a heck of a football player."
Werner not only dominated as he was lined up in traditional spot at left end, but he also made a big impact filling in for Brandon Jenkins on the right side.
Jenkins recorded three tackles and a sack before leaving the game in the second quarter with a foot contusion. X-rays were negative and the senior pass rusher is expected to be fine for next week's game against Savannah State.
With Jenkins sidelined, Werner did his best impression of the Tallahassee native with a speed rush that led to a fumble by Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman, which was recovered by Giorgio Newberry at the Racers' 10-yard line.
"I got a good takeoff and I put my hand out there and hit the ball," Werner said of the forced fumble. "I don't know, I was lucky."
As a whole the FSU defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage throughout the game. MSU finished with just 156 yards of total offense as the Seminoles recorded six sacks.
"That's how you win a game," said defensive end Cornellius Carradine, who finished the game with a team-high nine tackles and a sack. "Up front with a D-line controlling the line of scrimmage and I think we did a pretty good job of that."
The FSU defensive front didn't just terrorize the Murray State passing attack, but also swallowed up the run game as well. The Racers finished with just 39 yards rushing and averaged a measly 1.2 yards per carry.
"Their defense is the real deal," said MSU head coach Chris Hatcher. "They are the best defense I've seen in my tenure as a football coach."
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