Jeremy Esbrandt/D’Vel Photography/FSU athletics

It may have been the most dissatisfying win for Florida State in a long time, but the Seminoles broke into the win column on Saturday with a hard-fought 45-44 overtime victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

FSU led 21-0 in the first half, but found itself down 35-31 in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles managed to take the lead before ULM gifted the game to the Noles on a missed extra point in overtime.

FSU will get ready for ACC play on Saturday when it heads to Charlottesville to take on No. 25 Virginia. Before that happens, the Fifth Quarter staff hands out its game balls for the FSU players who stood out in each phase of the game in Saturday’s stressful victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Joining the staff this week is Danielle Kelley, who is accompanied by Mike Ferguson, Rednollah, Garlic Wing Sauce, John Cooper and Cory.

Offense

Unanimous Game Ball: Cam Akers, RB
There seemed to be only one right answer as to who shined brightest for Florida State on offense Saturday night. Junior running back Cam Akers finished the evening with 248 yards from scrimmage and three total touchdowns, including the 3-yard scamper in overtime that put the Seminoles ahead for good. Akers carried the ball 36 times for 193 yards and also caught five passes for 55 yards. Included in those is a 44-yard touchdown reception with over six minutes to go that put FSU back in front after it had fallen behind.

Defense

Mike, John, Garlic Wing Sauce and Danielle: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S
After leading FSU in tackles as a sophomore in 2018, 6-foot-5 defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen has been the top tackler for the Seminoles in the first two games of 2019. Nasirildeen finished Saturday night with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. Eight of the junior’s stops were of the solo variety.

Rednollah: Marvin Wilson, DT
The numbers don’t suggest a big night, but junior defensive tackle Marvin Wilson continues to wreck havoc for an FSU defense that largely doesn’t as a whole. Wilson finished with four tackles, including three solo stops. Wilson actually also helped end a drive with his effort in pass coverage.

Cory: Jaiden Lars-Woodbey, LB
It wasn’t a great night for the FSU defense, but Jaiden Lars-Woodbey was partially responsible for the only turnover by FSU. Lars-Woodbey had a fumble recovery to go with five total tackles.

Special Teams

Mike and Garlic Wing Sauce: Tommy Martin, P
With senior Logan Tyler suspended, walk-on punter Tommy Martin performed admirably in his first game. Martin averaged nearly 43 yards/punt on 5 kicks, with a long of 58 yards. Two of Martin’s five punts were downed inside the Louisiana-Monroe 20-yard-line, including one that was fallen on at the 1.

Rednollah and Danielle: Keyshawn Helton, WR
There weren’t many bright spots for FSU on Saturday, but one of them may have been special teams and the return game. Sophomore wide receiver Keyshawn Helton had a decent day returning kicks with five returns, averaging 27 yards/return. That included a 49-yard return – the longest for FSU on the young season.

John: Ricky Aguayo, K
After a shaky junior season, Ricky Aguayo is perfect two games in for FSU. Aguayo was 6-for-6 on extra points on Saturday and drilled a 36-yard field goal as the first half concluded to give the Seminoles a 24-7 lead.

Cory: Jacob Meeks, K Louisiana-Monroe
Florida State didn’t anticipate needing breaks to beat Louisiana-Monroe, but it certainly did – and it got one from Louisiana-Monroe kicker Jacob Meeks. Meeks pulled an extra point to the right to allow FSU to escape. Prior to that kick, Meeks had made all five XP tries and his only field goal attempt from 24 yards away to force overtime.

Mike Ferguson is a contributor for Fifth Quarter FSU and the editor of The Daily Nole. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.