Florida State fell just short of their second straight National Championship this season, but at 13-1 there was still quite a bit to celebrate. The Seminoles won their second straight State Championship and the ACC for the third straight year. Here are the 2014 NoleDigest staff’s season awards.
Offensive Player of the year: Jameis Winston
Others receiving votes: Rashad Greene
Stats: 305-467, 3907 passing yards, 26 TDs, 18 INTs, 65 rushing yards, 3 TDs.
Winston didn’t follow up his Heisman campaign in 2013 with better numbers, but he may have been better as a player. When the teams back was up against the wall, as it was multiple times this season, Winston was at his best leading the team to another ACC title.
Defensive Player of the year: Jalen Ramsey
Stats: 79 tackles, 9.5TFL, 3 sacks, 2 INTs, 14 passes defensed, 2 FF, 1 blocked extra point.
Ramsey was the unanimous selection for this award. He was the leader of the defense and was clearly the best player on it. Like Jameis Winston, Ramsey seemed to be at his best when the team was backed up against the wall. He was second on the team in tackles for loss, sacks, and interceptions. He lead the team in passes defensed and forced fumbles.
Team MVP: Jameis Winston
Another unanimous selection Winston was the cog that made everything turn on this team. He was the leader of this team and they went as he went. Without Winston the Noles likely lose two or three of the games they trailed in.
Offensive Rookie of the year: Dalvin Cook
Stats: 170 Carries for 1059 yards, 5.9 YPC, 8 touchdowns, 22 receptions for 203 yards.
Arguably the easiest award to give, freshman Dalvin Cook far exceeded expectations this year. Cook set the Florida State record for rushing yards and became the second straight Seminole to run for over 1000 yards following Devonta Freeman in 2013.
Defensive Rookie of the year: Three Way Tie
We have a three-way tie for this award as there weren’t many players to choose from and the ones that were there didn’t separate themselves from the others.
Wayne’s Choice: Lorenzo Featherston
Stats: 19 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QBHs, 1 FF, 1 FR
Jason’s Choice: Mathew Thomas
Stats: 26 tackles, 2.5 TFLs,
Geoff’s Choice: Jacob Pugh
Stats: 12 tackls, 2 TFLs, 2 INTs, 1 FR
Most Improved Player: Derrick Mitchell
Others receiving votes: Desmond Hollin
Stats: 20 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FR
Mitchell was thrown into a very tough situation after Nile Lawrence-Stample went down. In 2013, like much of his career, Mitchell was injured and there were questions whether he would ever contribute at Florida State. He wasn’t flashy, but for most of the season he got the job done.
Play of the Year: Three Way Tie
Unlike the defensive rookie of the year award this one had a plethora of choices. All three are worthy of the award.
Wayne’s Choice: Jameis Winston’s 28-yard touchdown run vs. Oklahoma State
Jason’s Choice: Rashad Greene’s 74-yard touchdown reception vs. Clemson
Geoff’s Choice: Karlos Williams’ 12-yard touchdown run in OT vs. Clemson
Game of the year: Clemson
Others receiving votes: Notre Dame
Florida State came into the Clemson game with everything going against them. Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was suspended for the game, and backup quarterback Sean Maguire had just three days to prepare for the best defense in college football. The offense had trouble getting anything going, but the Florida State defense stepped up and dominated the game.
All hope looked to be lost after Maguire threw his second interception in Seminole territory with 2:14 remaining in the game. Two plays later Eddie Goldman stripped the Clemson running back and Florida State recovered to send the game into overtime. Florida State held the Tigers in overtime and Karlos Williams found the endzone to seal the Seminoles third straight victory over Clemson.
Best Moment: Three Way Tie
In a season with a ton of great moments it’s easy to see why the three of us disagreed on the best.
Wayne’s Choice: Dalvin Cook throwing up the 305 symbol after scoring the game-winning touchdown against hometown Miami with 3:05 left on the clock.
Jason’s Choice: When the yellow flag landed on Bobby Bowden Field after Notre Dame’s apparent game-winning score.
Geoff’s Choice: Karlos Williams 12-yard touchdown run in OT vs. Clemson