Hall Capitalizes on Final Chance

Out of all the feel good stories spawning from the Tribe's streak-killing victory over the Hurricanes Monday, Kyler Hall's has got to be one of the better ones. Hall, a fifth-year senior rover from Live Oak, was able to avoid losing to rival Miami for what would have been a staggering sixth time since he arrived on campus in 2001.

"When I saw the ball on the ground (on Miami's potential game-tying kick) I had to look twice to just make sure that it had happened," Hall said. "Even after that I figured we (the defense) would have to go back out there but then when the offense got the first down...if we had to go back out there again, like I told the guys if it was going to take 60 minutes we would have to play all 60 but Leon (Washington) came up with a big play (on the game-clinching first down run) at the end to help us out."

As unbelievable as the outcome was, Hall — who posted a game-high 12 tackles and had an interception — and the rest of the Seminole defense deserved to win the contest. By way of total team play on that side of the ball, FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews' squad posted nine sacks as a direct result of a combination of an excellent pass rush and overall strong secondary coverage.

"It was definitely an all around team effort," Hall said. "The D-line did an incredible job. A lot of people coming into this game were doubting our D-line because we are kind of young and inexperienced up there but Kamerion Wimbley and (Brodrick) Bunkley did an incredible job; the whole D-line did. The pressure they were giving us up front just helped our coverage out even more. The young cornerback did a great job. Tony Carter had an amazing game. J.R. Bryant, Trevor Ford, "G-Ross" (Gerard Ross) all had a great game and the linebackers as well. It was 11 guys doing their job."

The inspired play of the defensive unit made up for the sloppy play on the opposite side of the ball. And while yet another meager offensive output by the Tribe has already caused some widespread concern from fans and criticism from the media, Hall is confident that his counterparts are only going to improve.

"We do have two young quarterbacks that are still learning," Hall said. "They are going to get better; I am not worried about that. Their confidence is going to increase but at the same time, we as a defense know that we have to help those guys out. It's a team effort. If the offense is struggling than the defense has to back them up. The same thing is true for special teams. Special teams is one of the most important phases of the game as everybody knows, especially in this series with (Miami). We are going to continue to keep on doing our job and however many times the defense has to go on the field we are going to do it. As far as the offense, I am not worried about them. They are going to get the job done."

And despite the struggles, FSU still pulled out the victory, halting what would have been the 'Canes seventh straight win against the Garnet and Gold. For Hall, it might have been his final shot (outside of a possible rematch in the ACC Championship game) for redemption after five years of heartbreak.

Making matters even more sweet was the look of his childhood best friend; Miami cornerback Kelly Jennings.

"He's the first person I go up to after every (FSU-Miami) game," Hall said. "I started to celebrate but I had to go talk to him first because we've grown up together and we are best friends. He had a great game and I wish the best for him. I have lost to them five times. The look I saw on his face after the game…I finally saw what I looked like after the games since I have been here."


Nole Digest Top Stories