Week 10 Offensive and Defensive MVP’s

Florida State rallied from 20-10 deficit to win 24-20, and defeated North Carolina State in a gutsy effort. This victory improved FSU’s record to 6-3, and has them sitting at #20 in the most recent AP college football rankings. Let’s check out this week’s offensive and defensive MVP’s!

Offense MVP: Nyqwan “Noonie” Murray

After Bobo Wilson went down against Wake Forest, we knew someone in this receiving core had to step up. That player has without a doubt been Nyquan Murray. Prior to the Clemson game, Noonie had recorded 5 catches for 46 yards all season. Since then, he’s put up 15 catches for 249 yards and one touchdown reception. Murray has turned into a safety blanket the last two weeks, and Deondre Francois has begun to target him more than any other receiver because Murray has the shiftiness to get open and he makes big time catches.

Noonie was mostly quiet in the first half against the Wolfpack, recording only two catches for 27 yards in the first 30 minutes. In the second half, he started to make his presence felt.

On the drive in which FSU closed the deficit to 20-17, Murray made back to back catches to bring the Noles into NC State territory. And on the drive to take the lead, he made one of the biggest plays of his young career.

With under four minutes to play, and FSU trailing 20-17, the offense was driving. After huge pick up of 27 by Kermit Whitfield, the Noles had made it to almost midfield, and were well on their way to tying the game or scoring the winning touchdown. FSU came out with 3 receivers to the left, Dalvin Cook in the backfield, and Murray lined up alone on the right side. Prior to the snap, Francois motioned Travis Rudolph over to Murray’s side, then he called for the snap. Rudolph ran a short out route while Murray ran a deep flag, cutting outside towards the right boundary. Francois released a touch pass that dropped perfectly into Noonie’s hands as he cut up field, finally being dragged down by an NC State defender after he picked up 37 yards.

Murray would finish the game with 9 catches for 153 yards, both career highs. It looks like he is going to have a big role going forward on this football team, and he’ll need to continue stepping up, especially after we learned that Bobo Wilson will miss the rest of the season after undergoing foot surgery.

Defensive MVP: DeMarcus Walker

Walker makes his third appearance of the season on our MVP list, we also selected him as the defensive MVP after his performances against Ole Miss (week one) and Miami (week six).

In this game, DeMarcus Walker recorded 10 tackles and two sacks. He helped lead a defense that only allowed NC State to score 7 points in the second half, and his two sacks were crucial for the Seminoles.

The first sack came towards the end of the first half, with the score locked up at 10-10, it was up to the defense to make a play. Ryan Finley took the snap for the Wolfpack from the FSU 14 with 15 seconds left in the half. With nowhere to throw, he was quickly taken down by Walker. This forced NC State into using a timeout, and also made it third and long. On the next snap, NC State would run for no gain and that would bring up fourth down. Walkers sack essentially forced a FG attempt instead of a potential touchdown, and FSU only trailed 13-10 at half.

Walkers second sack helped get the ball back into the Seminoles offense hands. With FSU trailing 20-17 and NC State in a 3rd and 5 situation at the FSU 48, it was time to see if this defense would collapse yet again. In FSU’s close losses against North Carolina and Clemson, it was the defense who faltered in the end. Against UNC, they gave up a game winning field as time expired after allowed the Tar Heels to gain almost 50 yards in a 23 seconds. Against Clemson, the Noles took a 5 point lead with under four minutes left, and in the ensuing possession Clemson scored in 5 quick plays to take the lead back for good.

However in this game, the Noles defense would make a stand. Once again, the Seminoles covered the NC State receivers well, giving Walker enough time to come off the edge to bring down Finley. The Wolfpack would punt, and the Noles would take the lead on the next possession before stopped the NC State offense one more time, preserving the win.

Walker has already matched the sack total he put up in 2015 (10.5), and he leads the nation in sacks. He is also only the third Seminole to record consecutive double digit sack seasons, joining Peter Boulware and Reinard Wilson. His 23 sacks also currently have him tied for 6th in FSU history. It seems like his decision to return for his senior season was the correct one.

Previous MVP’s:

Week Seven

Week Six

Week Four

Week Two

Week One

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