Sims Recaptures Dominating Form

Involuntarily reacting, the legs of Ernie Sims got a little ahead of their owner as the FSU linebacker made a critical fourth-quarter interception in Saturday's victory over Maryland.

Seeing nothing between him and the end zone as he stepped in front of Joel Statham's pass into the left flat, Sims started sprinting towards pay dirt before he even had possession of the football.

"I got so excited, my legs just started pumping," Sims said. "It was like instinct. I almost forgot to do the whole catching motion thing."

He didn't his touchdown, but Sims managed to corral the interception after several tips to himself. The takeaway led to an insurance score for the Seminoles and provided a fitting finish to a dominating day by Sims.

"That play was just me concentrating," said Sims, who credited increased practice work on reading the eyes of the quarterback for his second pick of the season. "It was disappointing that I couldn't get a touchdown out of it but we ended up with one and I can live with that."

Sims also forced a fumble on Maryland's first drive of the game and totaled a team-leading 11 tackles, just one off of his career-high 12 set last season against Florida.

The performance was a return to form for Sims, who has been plagued by ankle, concussion and inconsistency problems since a big opener opposite Miami. He had just 28 tackles in the first seven games of the season combined.

"Today was the first time since then that I have really been able to dominate and show what I can do," Sims said. "It all came together."

The Tallahassee native added a sack, two tackles for loss and a pair of pass defenses to round out his most complete performance this season.

"He was getting it done out there," said A.J. teammate and fellow Butkus Award finalist A.J. Nicholson. "He's capable of a performance like that every time out."


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