December 8, 2013

Insider Report: Williams shines again in ACCCG, FSU defense leads way early

Last season. Karlos Williams entered the ACC Championship game as a backup safety/linebacker.

When senior linebacker Nick Moody went down with an injury, Williams responded by leading the defense and helping the team capture the ACC title. Williams had 11 tackles and the game-clinching interception as FSU defeated Georgia Tech 21-15.

Jump forward a year. Williams is no longer a defensive player. Earlier this season he made the switch to running back, And for 11 games he has worked to earn a spot in the running back rotation.

"It's getting there" Williams said after the ACC title game. "Always, always something to work on. And you know it's just going to take time to perfect the position."

A season's worth of hard work finally paid off for Williams. And where else for a breakout game but the place where he had his best game prior to switching?

On Saturday, Florida State returned to Charlotte with a chance to defend its ACC Title. Williams stepped out onto that familiar field and once again played a key role in leading his team to victory.

"I don't have to chase people all night." Williams said. "Just to have the ball in my hands. Last year I got the ball and I didn't touch the end zone. This year I got a carry and I did. That's a big difference."

The roles were different, but his impact on the game remarkably similar. Williams saw his most extensive work of the season with the first team getting in the game much earlier than he had been in previous games. Williams carried the ball seven times for 55 yards and a touchdown, and his pounding, shoulder-lowering touchdown run gave FSU an early spark.

He also found ways to make an impact on the game even when his number wasn't called to carry the ball. Late in the fourth quarter Williams had the key block to spring fellow running back Devonta Freeman for the team's final touchdown.

"Just selling out for your guys because you know they're selling out for you." Williams said. "It's a great feeling and just to see him in the endzone is all I wanted."

With another ACC title in their belt and another key performance for Williams in the books, his teammates are starting to take notice of just how special a player he is.

"Man Karlos is a freak athlete." Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin said after the game. "He's so big and to be that fast, and he brings a lot of weight with him as well."

Seminole defense carries water early

The Seminoles came into the ACC Championship game with the second ranked scoring offense in the country, but for the first time since their November 2012 matchup against the Florida Gators, Florida State was held scoreless in the first quarter.

The team was able to rely on their defense to get them through the quarter. The defense forced a three and out on three out of four of Duke's first quarter possessions and only surrender 77 total yards in the quarter.

"Their offense is very good," said defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. "They did good as far as the hurry up and the fast pace…We really had to be sharp as far as assignments."

The Blue Devil's lone drive of the quarter that lasted longer than three plays stalled at the FSU thirty yard line and resulted in a missed 48-yard field goal attempt. The 15 play 67 yard drive took a little over six minutes off the clock, but the defensive squad cracked down and stopped the Blue Devils from scoring.

The defense carried the dominate performance into the second quarter. Duke's four drives resulted in three punts and a Lamarcus Joyner interception. Joyner's pick led to the first score of the game, a 12-yard touchdown by Williams that helped preserve FSU's streak of consecutive quarters without trailing. The Seminoles have not trailed for 38 consecutive quarters totaling 517.49 minutes of game-time.

Aguayo climbs up record books

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston is the likely winner of the Heisman trophy, but fellow redshirt freshman Roberto Aguayo is quietly having a record breaking season of his own. Aguayo now holds the FSU and ACC records for points in a season with 147 breaking Dustin Hopkins record of 140 set in 2012.

Aguayo has also made all 90 of his extra point attempts on the season putting him only four shy of the single season record of 94 set by Oklahoma kicker Jimmy Stevens in 2004. His 90 consecutive extra points extends his own record set when he surpassed the previous record of 78. If Agauyo continues his streak of perfection through the bowl game he will set the NCAA record for extra points in a season without a miss. The current record is 77 by Louisville kicker Art Carmondy set in 2004. Earlier this week Aguayo was voted to the All-ACC second team and he is a Lou Groza finalist.

  • Cason Beatty set a new career long with a 59-yard punt in the first quarter

  • FSU's defense has allowed just 35 points in four games against ranked opponents

  • Jameis Winston was named the MVP of the tile game, stretching his list of honors even further. Winston also broke Sam Bradford's record for most touchdown passes by a freshman in FBS history and also broke the record for most passing yards by a freshman in FBS history. Winston's mark also surpasses Tajh Boyd for most touchdown passes in a season in the ACC.

  • Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw all have more the 900 yards receiving after Saturday's game. Devonta Freeman is also just 57 yards shy of crossing 1,000 yards rushing. Benjamin is second all-time at FSU for receiving touchdowns in a season with 14.

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