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FSU gets a kick (or two) out of Cason Beatty

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When the punter is awarded the game ball, your team either lost or struggled on offense, or both. Fortunately for Florida State, only one of the above was true as they managed to escape Alumni Stadium and the Boston College Eagles, 14-0.

Teams normally celebrate when they gain yardage through the air in large chunks. The high-fives are lowered a bit when the player putting the ball in the air is the punter.

Cason Beatty, FSU’s punter, quite simply had the game of his life. It could not have come at a better time. After a “rough couple of weeks,” according to Coach Jimbo Fisher, Beatty put on a show for a national television audience.

The senior from Charlotte, North Carolina was called upon to punt 7 times and averaged 52.3 yards per punt. Whenever the Seminoles would lose some field position, Beatty would gain it right back with his right leg.

“I thought he was huge,” said Fisher. “That guy was hitting punts and keeping field position.”

Who would have thought that an FSU kicker impacting the game would be someone other than Roberto Aguayo? This game did involve an upset: Aguayo actually missed a makeable field goal from 42 yards late in the first half.

Operating behind an inexperienced offensive line, star running back Dalvin Cook was often the BC defense’s entrée. He had one scamper for 28 yards, but his other 14 carries netted only 26 yards. Cook missed the chance to tie Warrick Dunn’s record of 6 consecutive 100-yard rushing games.

Quarterback Everett Golson was flawless on FSU’s first possession. He went 5-for-5 and ended it with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph.

During that drive, Golson also threw the best block of the entire game by anyone on the field with a crushing wipeout of BC defensive end Kevin Kavelec. Kavelec did not return.

Maybe his cameo as a lineman affected Golson afterward. With the exception of a pair of remarkable spins to avoid a safety, he looked more like the Golson of the first half in last week’s game against South Florida. He missed some open receivers that led to some Beatty punts that may not have occurred otherwise.

One statistic stands out where the number “0” is a good thing. For the second consecutive game against a good defense, Florida State did not turn the ball over.

There was a near-miss when Bobo Wilson dropped a punt, but the hustle of Javien Elliott was rewarded when he immediately recovered the bobble.

Upsets happen when a favored team struggles on offense, plus takes penalties, plus commits turnovers. FSU was flagged four times for only 26 yards in penalties against a highly aggressive defense.

Those two statistics, among other factors, point to a well-coached team. With that in mind, expect the offensive line to develop into a deeper, effective unit as the season progresses.

The Seminoles’ defense played quite well, though it is hard to gauge the Eagles’ offense. Boston College had put up big numbers in two wins over Division 2-FCS opponents, where they saw nothing like the unit they faced on Friday.

BC never had the red zone in sight, let alone venture into it. Their deepest penetration was the Florida State 39-yard line. They only crossed the 50 yard line twice.

Twice!

The FSU defense matched the offense’s output when Jalen Ramsey scooped up a third quarter fumble by running back Jon Hilliman and scampered into the end zone to cap the scoring.

This is a good time for FSU to have a bye week. The offense can get in some good practice days before heading to Wake Forest on October 3. Miami comes to Doak Campbell Stadium on October 10.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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