With each team missing its standout rusher, protection dominated at Tuesday’s Solar Bowl. Usually dazzling, nonetheless hardly ever a instruct for Arizona Train coach Herm Edwards.
“Obviously it became once a sport no longer finest to the observe,” he acknowledged.
Willie Harts returned an interception 25 yards for a landing within the fourth quarter to handbook Arizona Train to a 20-14 victory in opposition to Florida Train. Harts, a freshman cornerback, halted a 14-0 surge by Florida Train (6-7) and helped the Solar Devils (8-5) dangle on for his or her fourth Solar Bowl victory, despite no longer scoring an offensive landing.
“Our D became once on fireplace tonight,” Harts added. “It factual presentations the aptitude for our protection.”
James Blackman threw a 91-yard landing rush, the longest rush play in Solar Bowl historic previous, to Tamorrion Terry to present Florida Train its first lead, 14-9, within the third quarter. The Seminoles trailed 9-0 at halftime.
Cristian Zendejas kicked a Solar Bowl file-tying four area dreams for Arizona Train, at the side of a 34-yarder within the fourth quarter to minimize the FSU lead to 14-12.
Blackman’s fourth interception of the game became once returned by Harts to position the Solar Devils ahead for correct with 10: 06 left within the fourth.
“Even as you catch six turnovers, it’s best to probably private the game,” Edwards acknowledged.
Jayden Daniels became once named the game’s MVP after going 12-for-28 passing for 198 yards to handbook the Solar Devils. He moreover ran 36 yards and a 2-point conversion.
The principle half became once a comedy of errors for both offenses as the defenses stepped up within the absence of the groups’ critical particular person rushers. Eno Benjamin of ASU and Cam Akers of FSU both sat out to guard their NFL draft stock.
Florida Train turned the ball over three events (two interceptions and a fumble) and had a area aim blocked, while Arizona Train misplaced two fumbles.
“The guys accomplished hard,” FSU interim coach Odell Haggins acknowledged. “We made a couple of errors. We’ve obtained to possess creating big habits. We turned the ball over … we can play better. We’re going to play better.”
Cornerback Stanford Samuels moreover sat out for the Seminoles,
Florida Train accomplished redshirt freshman Deonte Sheffield at working serve, who carried out with 87 yards on 18 carries. Arizona Train had freshman Demetrious Plant life and sophomore A.J. Carter tackle dashing responsibilities.
Blackman carried out 14 of 26 for 244 yards, with one TD. Terry had nine catches for 165 yards.
“I didn’t create at the extent my teammates wished me to create,” Blackman acknowledged.
By the terminate of the game, Arizona Train became once down three defensive starters – safety Cam Phillips didn’t dress, while cornerbacks Jack Jones and Streak Lucas suffered injuries all around the game. Solar Devils defensive lineman Jermayne Lole moreover omitted a chunk of second half.
Florida Train: Posted consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1973-76, which became once Bobby Bowden’s first year as Seminoles coach. Florida Train now transitions to coach Mike Norvell. Willie Taggart became once fired in November and Odell Haggins held issues down as interim coach.
Arizona Train: Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk chose no longer to play. Aiyuk carried out eighth within the nation in receiving yards.
Edwards became once thinking about an unfamiliar occasion after winning the Tony the Tiger Solar Bowl — a bucket elephantine of Frosted Flakes dumped over his head.
“That’s recent,” he acknowledged. “And that helps, that’s no longer cool. I factual need some milk and I’ll be dazzling.”
Arizona Train linebacker Tyler Johnson had a fumble recovery tiresome within the fourth quarter to total Florida Train’s remaining chance. After the game, the sophomore announced he became once retiring from soccer as a result of injuries.
Florida Train: The Seminoles play their first sport below Norvell in opposition to West Virginia in Atlanta on Sept. 5.
Arizona Train: The Solar Devils begin next season in opposition to Northern Arizona.