Week 5: Offensive and Defensive MVP’s

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After 5 games into the 2018 season, we are starting to see signs of progress from the Seminoles. A dramatic come from behind victory against Louisville was not something ‘Nole fans envisioned when the schedule was released earlier this year. The offensive line is still a tremendous problem that will continue to plague what Taggart and Bell are trying to accomplish on offense by establishing a power run game. Even with the O-line limiting the offense, I have to give credit to the group not giving up a sack for the entire game, something that hasn’t been accomplished since the 2014 ACC Championship game vs Georgia Tech. After averaging a respectable 6.4 yards per play, the offense is finding success with chunk plays through the air. The defense, however, did not look great throughout many moments on Saturday with Louisville finding success attacking the middle of the field. Harlon Barnett made some key adjustments which led to limiting the Cardinals to only 3 points in the second half. A couple guys really stepped up on Saturday in which their efforts were crucial in leading the ‘Noles to victory. Here are two offensive and defensive MVPs from the win in Louisville:

Nyqwan Murray:

Noonie Murray has been criticized for his inconsistency this season but his effort on Saturday was instrumental for securing the victory. Murray finished the game with 6 receptions for 114 yards and 2 TDs. One of his receptions was an incredibly difficult grab on a 3rd & 5 midway throughout the second quarter. Murray has proven in the past that he is capable of producing big-time moments in crucial situations and his 58-yard touchdown late in the fourth to win the game was one of his best in garnet and gold. Let’s hope Murray can build on this performance and provide some consistency throughout the remainder of the season

Deondre Francois:

Francois recovered from a fairly poor first half to finish the game with 294 yards through the air and 4 touchdowns. He still fails to consistently make the correct reads but he showed the ability to fight through a first-half performance which left much to be desired. It was extremely encouraging to see him fight through and finish the game strong by making some big-time throws. The deep ball to Terry and the touchdown pass to McKitty were beautiful as he put some serious touch on them. Francois also had a passer rating of 199.6 which is strong as well.

A.J. Westbrook

Westbrook had the biggest play of his career on Saturday by intercepting Jawon Pass late in the fourth the give Florida State the opportunity to score a game-winning touchdown. That play illustrated how much Westbrook has grown as a player. In 2016, Westbrook was thrown into the starting lineup after Derwin James was injured right before the matchup against Louisville. That 2016 Louisville performance was one to forget from not only Westbrook, but the entire team. Saturday, Westbrook noticed the tight end make a gesture towards Pass in which tipped him off on Louisville wanting to pass. His experience led him to capitalize and make a play when Florida State needed it the most. He also led the team with 10 tackles on the day.

DeCalon Brooks:

DeCalon Brooks had a solid performance finishing with 9 tackles, a sack, 2 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Brooks had some success on the blitz in which he was able to put some pressure on the quarterback. Brooks may lack the desired size for a linebacker but he makes up for it with his instincts and physicality. DeCalon was also awarded the ACC Co-LB of the week award for his performance against the Cardinals. His career day in Louisville was certainly crucial for the ‘Noles and he will continue to be an important aspect of the defense throughout the rest of the season.

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