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Five Spring Game Observations

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The 2016 Garnet and Gold game has officially concluded with a 24-24 tie, a rare feat in a glorified scrimmage such as this. With the Gold team down 24-21, head coach Jimbo Fisher elected to have freshman Ricky Aguayo kick a 46-yard field goal at the end of the game to tie it up. Despite no winner, plenty of players stood out in Orlando and gave fans a glimpse of how special 2016 could be for Florida State.

  1. With all of the focus on the quarterback position, Deondre Francois and Malik Henry did not disappoint. Francois finished 20-33 for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Henry finished 15-22 for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While both players struggled at first, they each turned it on in the second half, cumulating in a wild finish to the spring game. Francois played the majority of the game for the Gold squad, showcasing his strong arm and dual-threat ability to lead his team to several scoring drives. He overshot his targets on a couple of occasions, but hooked up with Auden Tate for two impressive touchdowns. While Henry started the game behind J.J. Consentino, he quickly overtook the sophomore quarterback and ended the game with an impressive touchdown pass to junior Travis Rudolph. While both of these players will have to compete with Sean Maguire in fall camp, the future of the quarterback position at Florida State looks very, very bright.
  2. Sophomore receiver Auden Tate had a breakout performance in the spring game, catching six passes for 100 yards and two scores. His final score was an impressive grab over sophomore cornerback Tarvarus McFadden where he high-pointed the ball. This is exactly what Florida State was missing in the red zone last year, a big body who is able to go up and get the ball. If Tate is able to continue his development throughout the rest of the offseason, Florida State will be in great position if they pair Tate with Travis Rudolph, Kermit Whitfield and Bobo Wilson.
  3. It looks as if Ricky Aguayo is ready to step into the spotlight. With his older brother, Roberto, moving on to the NFL, Ricky dazzled in front of fans as he hit field goals of 45 and 46-yards, the latter of which tied the game at the end of regulation. He also connected on all of his extra point attempts and showed that Florida State should not take a step back in the kicking department with the elder Aguayo departed.
  4. Perhaps a forgotten player to many fans, Ryan Green firmly established himself as a playmaker in the spring game. After coming to FSU as a running back, he moved to defensive back last season but sat out with an injury. This offseason, he moved back to running back and showed in Orlando that he is more than capable of sharing the load. He carried the ball 16 times for 84 yards and also caught five passes for 41 yards. With FSU looking for a dependable backup behind Dalvin Cook, Green showed that he is ready for major game carries.
  5. Despite all the attention on the quarterbacks and receivers, the defensive backfield showed that they are more than ready to become superstars. With senior Marquez White sidelined with an injury, sophomore cornerbacks Tarvarus McFadden and Marcus Lewis stepped up. McFadden shadowed 6-5 Auden Tate for most of the game and displayed good coverage. Lewis also had some great coverage on the Garnet receivers. Senior safety Nate Andrews had a nice interception of Deondre Francois in the end zone where he caught the pass and still managed to get his feet down to complete the catch. Sophomore A.J. Westbrook might not be the biggest name on the team, but showed good coverage and had a nice pass breakup as well. With All-American Jalen Ramsey moving on to the NFL, Florida State looks to be in great position to continue their excellent track of developing defensive backs.
Dakota Moyer
Florida State student and writer for NoleGameday.

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