It ended up being the final score of the game for Florida State, but Cornellius Carradine/db] had no idea it was more than a sack. As Carradine came free and walloped South Florida backup quarterback Matt Floyd, the ball popped loose and found its way into the hands of [db]Christian Jones who scored from 12 yards out.
"I didn't know what was going on," Carradine said. "I didn't even know that our own teammate scored."
Carradine finished the night with a team-high nine tackles, including 1.5 sacks and tackles for loss. The senior said a lot of his tackle numbers had to do with a concerted effort from the Bulls to run right at him.
"They kept running to my side," said Carradine. "I guess they picked me out to be the weakest link
I knew that I was going to be able to get to them eventually."
After a first quarter in which USF gained 53.7-percent of its total offensive output, Carradine said the defense did not do anything but stick together in order to quell the Bulls. Although he admitted he and his teammates did not expect to see a straight-up offensive attack, the senior also said the Seminoles should expect the opponent to bring its best "for the rest of the games."
"To us, everybody's game is like their National Championship once the play Florida State," said Carradine. "So we know we've got to work out hard in practice, we've got to come out strong, because every team we're going to play, they're going to give us their all."
As for the beneficiary of Carradine's sack/fumble, Jones was predictably happy with his defensive end's effort.
"Tank's a real good player and he's going to be a great player at the next level, so it's good to have him on the team" said Jones.
Fisher says 'Noles need to "clean up" short-yardage woes
Head coach Jimbo Fisher said there were some "critical mistakes" during Saturday's win. One major thing that Fisher wants to "clean up" over the next week will be short-yardage situations around the goal line.
"If we convert in the red zone and get touchdowns instead of field goals, it's a little different situation," Fisher said.
The most glaring missed opportunity occurred in the second quarter, where the Seminoles came away with just three points after first and goal from the USF six and second and goal from the one. Fisher said that because of the Bulls stacking the area between the tackles, runs to the perimeter were the prudent calls. But because of missed assignments, the possession turned into what Fisher termed a "blunder."
"We've got to kick the ball up inside," Fisher said. "We've got to kick that out and walk it up inside
We've only run three our four plays this week and we worked them, that was very disappointing. That was a critical mistake early down there on the goal line."
Florida State scored on all four red zone possessions, but came out with a total of just 20 points. The time that the Seminoles came away with six points from point-blank range, Fisher called a timeout before deciding to go with a play-action from one yard out. Fisher said the reason for the pass was the same as the earlier calls for stretch runs and options.
"Everybody says 'well just run the ball inside,'" Fisher said. "They put four guys inside your three guys, and they've got two guys in the (interior) gap. I mean and they pinch and sell it out. We had to decide if we want to try to do that and go uphill, because you can say it all you want, when they root down in the ground, you're not getting in."
Run, pass, red zone or between the 20's, Fisher said short yardage is on the list of things to work on this week in practice.
"We've got to get that fixed up," Fisher said. "That was disappointing for us right there."
Pryor fumble a rarity
Running back Lonnie Pryor's fourth-quarter fumble didn't cost the 'Noles - guard Josue Matias came away with the loose ball - but it was literally unprecedented.
"Terrible, I always say that's like the worst feeling ever," Pryor said. "I haven't fumbled in (the) four years, since I've been here. I'm just glad that Josue picked it up and we got it. But it won't happen again, you know things happen and you've just got to move on and keep going."
Although he was contrite for the fumble, Pryor did have fun describing Matias' efforts to keep the ball in the Seminoles' possession.
"They held me down, and I just see Josue come out of nowhere like a rocket and just dive in," Pryor said emphatically. "I think the other guy had the ball, but Josue was so determined, and ripped it out and got it."
Pryor finished the night with a single game career high as he carried seven times for 65 yards.
Florida State has not lost to an in-state opponent since November 28, 2009.
Attendance for the game was a USF record 69,283.
Jones' defensive touchdown was the first defensive score by FSU since Terrance Parks' interception return against Florida in November of 2011.
Receiver Rodney Smith has caught a pass in 30 conecutive games.
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