October 13, 2012

Insider Report: Defense sets tone with stand

It looked like a repeat of weeks past, when an opponent drove down the field on a first possession, gashing FSU's defense and getting on the board early. Florida State's defense allowed Chase Rettig and Boston College to drive 68 yards down the field on the Eagles' first possession.

"We have to come out stronger than that," Werner said. "Every time a team comes out."

The Eagles made it to the 99-yard line and had just one yard separating them from an early touchdown. The Seminoles' defense decided it was one yard too many to give up and they took a stand-a goal line stand.

"We got a little setback in the beginning, defense gave up a drive, but then they had a tremendous goal line stand," coach Jimbo Fisher said.

At first and goal from the one yard line, Rettig stepped back to throw to wide receiver Bobby Swigert in the endzone. Bjoern Werner got in Rettig's face and swatted the pass down and incomplete.

Werner and Timmy Jernigan combined to stop running back Andre Williams on second and goal. Williams was again stuffed on third and goal, as he ran to the right.

Boston College went for it on fourth and down instead of settling for a field goal and Rettig's screen pass was incomplete, as he was pressured once again by Werner.

"We stopped them when it counted, we had to stop them and we did. From then on, we did a good job," Werner said.

Fisher said he wasn't surprised that the Eagles tried to throw a touchdown on fourth down rather than run, but that the defense must always be prepared for a potential one-yard run attempt.

"You still have to play run," Fisher said. "It's like standing up there at the plate and (if you) don't look for a fastball and wait for a change-up, he smokes you with the fastball. You got to look fastball and react to everything else. You got to look run on fourth and inches and react to everything else. And that's what the (defense) did and they made a good play."

Dustin Hopkins breaks records

With a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter as time in the first half expired, Dustin Hopkins penned his name into the record books. The kicker eclipsed the all-time FSU and ACC scoring record with just one kick.

Hopkins broke Derek Schmidt's school record and Maryland's Nick Novack's conference record, both of which were 393 points.

"This is a career goal that has been marked off," Hopkins said about breaking the record. "Just to be mentioned with those guys' names that have done so much here and for the ACC and for so many different things, I am just humbled by the whole thing."

Hopkins tacked on an extra eight points after the record-breaker, bringing his game total up to 15 points. He didn't know his 51-yard field goal broke the record.

"I had no idea number-wise where I was at," Hopkins said. "A good friend of mine-Frank Nicholas-told me right after the kick so I didn't know until after it had happened."

The senior was able to break the record in front of many friends and family who came to watch the game. He credits his teammates and those who have assisted him on the field goal team.

"(My team) since I've been here has been so awesome," Hopkins said. "I've had long snapper Dax Dellenbach, holders Shawn Powell and Chris Revell. I couldn't have don't it by myself just standing out there and kicking a ball."

He also gave props to the players who protect on field goals.

"They're going out there and they're putting a lot of selfishness aside and it's a thing that doesn't get a lot of recognition," Hopkins said. "And they're getting blown up all the time…that's why they're my brothers, they're there for me all the time and they're taking a beating. I need to take them out lunch."

Rodney racking up receptions

With a deep receiving corps giving EJ Manuel plenty of options to throw to, the quarterback has spread the ball around. But Rodney Smith stood out against Boston College, reigning in nine catches for 108 yards.

Smith's nine receptions mark the most by a wide receiver since Rashad Greene notched 12 catches against Wake Forest in 2011.

Manuel said following the game that them team wanted to attach the Eagles' defense, so he came out throwing.

"The receivers did a great job," Manuel said. "The O-Line did a great job of pass blocking, giving me opportunities to sit back there and throw the ball."

Smith was a target all game long and finished the night with 108 yards.

"(EJ) and I got in a groove," Smith said. "The plays that coach Fisher was calling were opening up the game and I just happened to be the guy that was in the game then. I just had to make plays."

Smith enjoyed himself while extending his streak of making a catch to 32 consecutive games. The streak dates back to his sophomore season in 2010. He is six games away from the school record of 38 consecutive games with a catch.

"Tonight felt great," Smith said. "I haven't had a game where I was able to catch that many passes, it felt great, like high school where you're just able to catch passes and have fun out there."

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