Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics
Florida State’s downhill spiral continued on Saturday in Tallahassee.
Against a Pittsburgh team that had lost four straight games, the Seminoles were embarrassed at home, 41-17. With the loss, FSU fell to 2-5. It will need to win each of its final four games to avoid a third straight losing season.
For as bad as Saturday and 2020 as a whole has been, it’s our duty to focus on the good each Sunday. Without further ado, the Fifth Quarter staff of managing editor Mike Ferguson, executive editor Cory Thorpe and lead writer Jacob Bunting hand out game balls to the FSU players who shined.
Unanimous Game Ball: Jordan Travis, QB
Although he played just a half before leaving with injury and threw a costly interception, Jordan Travis was all that FSU seemed to have on offense on Saturday. Travis finished 11-for-18 passing with 106 yards. He also powered the ground attack with 80 yards rushing. The numbers would have been larger had it not been for five first-half sacks. Travis’ 88-yard touchdown run served as the longest ever for a Seminoles’ quarterback.
Mike’s Game Ball: Asante Samuel Jr., CB
Overall, it was not a terrible day for the FSU defense. The Seminoles were consistently put in bad spots, but junior cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. had a solid day. Samuel did a nice job in coverage for the most part although he was beat once and committed one pass interference penalty. Samuel finished the day with three tackles, including one for loss and a forced fumble. He added a pass break-up in the loss.
Cory’s Game Ball: Stephen Dix, LB
Freshman linebacker Stephen Dix may have had his best day yet as a Seminole. Dix tied for a team-high with eight total tackles. Dix had a half-tackle for loss and nearly his first career touchdown. The freshman looked to have returned a Pittsburgh fumble for a touchdown, but replay overturned the call when it was ruled that Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett’s arm was moving forward.
Jacob’s Game Ball: Emmett Rice, LB
For the second game in a row, Emmett Rice was atop FSU’s leaderbord for tackles. Rice joined Dix and Jarvis Brownlee with a team-high eight tackles on Saturday. Rice also had a tackle for loss. The Miami native now leads the Seminoles with five tackles for loss this season. Only Amari Gainer has more total tackles.
Mike’s Game Ball: Parker Grothaus, K
With the placekicking duties back on Parker Grothaus, he made the most of his opportunity for FSU on Saturday. Grothaus closed the first half with a 47-yard field goal that cut the Pitt lead to seven at the break. Two of his three kickoffs went for touchbacks.
Cory and Jacob’s Game Ball: Alex Mastromanno, P
In a season that has been one to forget, punter Alex Mastromanno continued his solid campaign. On six punts, Mastromanno averaged nearly 45 yards per boot with a long of 49 yards. Three of his six punts were downed inside the 20-yard-line. Four of the six punts were returned for a total of 33 yards.