FSU-Virginia: Game Balls

by | Sep 17, 2019 | Game Balls, News

Damon Herota/FSU athletics

It was another nail-biter for Florida State, as the Seminoles let yet another fourth-quarter lead slip away in a 31-24 loss at No. 25 Virginia.

Although the Seminoles were unable to come away victorious, there were a number of players who had decent nights. As usual, we’ll highlight those who stood out in each phase of the game.

Handing out game balls this week will be Fifth Quarter moderators Mike Ferguson, John Cooper, Garlic Wing Sauce, Cory, Rednollah and Danielle Kelley.


Mike and John: James Blackman, QB
Florida State redshirt sophomore quarterback James Blackman missed some critical throws in the fourth quarter, but overall, had a decent night against one of the ACC’s best defenses. Blackman finished the evening 22-for-37 passing for 234 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers. It marked the fifth straight start for Blackman dating back to 2017 that he tossed at least three touchdowns. That ties an FSU record set by Bill Cappleman in 1968.

Cory and Rednollah: Cam Akers, RB
Cam Akers failed to break the 100-yard mark rushing for the first time this season. The junior running back still led the Seminoles in yards from scrimmage and ran hard against a stout Virginia defense. Akers finished the night with 78 yards rushing and caught his second touchdown of the season to give FSU a halftime lead. Akers finished with three catches for nine yards and carried the ball 18 times to finish with 87 yards from scrimmage.

Danielle: Keyshawn Helton, WR
With junior D.J. Matthews suspended, Keyshawn Helton stepped up to make an impact on Saturday night’s contest. Helton finished with a team-high five receptions for 34 yards and caught the 17-yard touchdown that put the Seminoles ahead in the fourth quarter. Helton’s two touchdown catches this season is tied for the team lead. Helton also had a 5-yard rush.


Mike and Cory: Cory Durden, DT
The final quarter was disheartening for FSU, but overall, Saturday’s contest featured the best effort of the season on that side of the ball. Defensive tackle Cory Durden finished the evening with 1.5 of FSU’s two sacks to go with three total tackles. For the season, the redshirt sophomore leads the Seminoles with 2.5 sacks.

John: Asante Samuel Jr., CB
Sophomore cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. was in on the play early and often for Florida State on Saturday night. Samuel finished with a team-high eight tackles and grabbed his first interception of the year on Virginia’s opening drive to thwart a scoring opportunity. It was the first pick of his career.

Garlic Wing Sauce: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S
For the first time this season, junior safety Hamsah Nasirildeen failed to lead Florida State in tackles, but he remained very active. Nasirildeen finished the night with six tackles, including three solo stops. His 28 tackles for the season leads the Seminoles.

Rednollah: Emmett Rice, LB
For a widely criticized position group, redshirt junior Emmett Rice brought a spark to the FSU lineup on Saturday night. Rice finished the evening with four total tackles, including one of the team’s five stops for loss.

Danielle: Levonta Taylor, DB
After a rough start to the season, senior defensive back Levonta Taylor was able to help the Seminoles on Saturday night. Taylor finished with three total tackles and an interception late in the first half that helped preserve a 14-10 halftime lead.

Special Teams

Mike, John, Garlic Wing Sauce and Rednollah: Ricky Aguayo, K
After a rough 2018 season, senior kicker Ricky Aguayo is still perfect in 2019. Aguayo was 3-for-3 on extra points and tied a career-long with a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter that extended the Florida State lead to 17-10.

Cory and Danielle: Tommy Martin, P
It’s unclear how long suspended senior punter Logan Tyler will be out, but walk-on Tommy Martin seems to be filling in just fine. On Saturday night, Martin averaged 42.3 yards per punt on six punts, which included a long of 59 yards. Three of Martin’s six punts landed inside the Virginia 20-yard-line.

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.