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An exciting game at Camping World Stadium, Orlando, saw number 4 seed Florida State come back from 22 points down to beat number 11 seed Ole Miss 45 -33 in a game that finally finished ten minutes past midnight on Monday evening.
The game started with Ole Miss looking like a team that could contend for the SEC West title as a quick-strike offense and an aggressive defense dominated the No. 4 team in the country, building a 28-6 lead late in the second quarter in the season opener against Florida State.
Just about everything went right for the Rebels for 29 minutes with four touchdown’s after passes from Kelly found Damore’ea Stringfellow, freshman D.K. Metcalf and Evan Engram. When Akeem Judd scampered into the end zone with three minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Rebs led 28-6 and it looked like it was game over. It got even worse a few seconds later as Florida State battled back only to see Dalvin Cook fumble of an easy touchdown inside the 5-yard line. FSU weren’t to be denied a late score though as a touchdown drive ended with a 16-yard strike from Francois to Travis Rudolph. It proved a crucial turning point in the game as the momentum shifted. Dramatically.
From that point forward, Florida State scored points on every single drive, except for the one that ran the clock out at the end. An inexperienced Rebel secondary imploded, allowing FSU receivers to run free as the defense just couldn’t get off the field in the second half. Having settled into a groove and with his confidence back, Francois sat back and picked the Rebels apart, finishing the game with 419 yards and two scores, with another 59 yards on the ground.
It was a remarkable come back and after the game FSU Coach Fisher said: “First of all, I’m very proud of these guys, just the way they competed in the game and overcame adversity. I’m not happy about the situation we put ourselves in, and sometimes in opening games, though, you never know. But what I do know is, we’ve got a bunch of competitors that care about each other and fight.
Now, again, my hat’s off. Ole Miss is a heck of a football team. That was two very good football teams out there that played a hard fought game. And there’s a lot of guys that stepped up and made roles and made plays, and it was a fun game to coach in when it was all over with and very exhausting while we did it. That’s what college football is about, and this opening weekend is that.
You can say one thing about our kids. They’re competitive. And Ole Miss has great kids. They fought and battled right back and made it a heck of a game. So it’s what it’s about.”
More photographs from the game at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com