Dustin Hopkins Didn’t Bring FSU Back, He Started Something New
Posted by William Kristoph
By now you’ve seen what happened last night. Somehow, some way, our Florida State Seminoles pulled out a win against the Clemson Tigers after Clemson pretty much whipped them on everything but the score. Doak Campbell Stadium erupted in the loudest cheers that I can remember in years after Dustin Hopkins blasted that 55 yard field goal through the south end zone uprights. The kick was booming, the celebration chaotic both in the stands and on the field, and throughout it all my feelings were not of excitement but of massive hope. Dustin Hopkins with one kick, in a meaningful ACC but otherwise run-of-the-mill game, didn’t bring FSU “back” to where there were in the 90s but instead solidified the whole new 2010s identity of the Noles.
Did you see the other indications of that new identity? E.J. Manuel, Jimbo Fisher’s first hand picked QB at FSU, managed the game well for the Noles against a very good Clemson Tigers defense. Rodney Smith had some great deep ball catches. The FSU defense bent a lot, but didn’t totally break and came up with the big plays when it needed some. Last night you saw the beginning of what we might expect from all future Jimbo Fisher helmed FSU teams. Teams of character. Teams of determination. Teams with short memories of failures. Teams with the ability to handle adversity and turn it into success.
Not convinced yet?
That’s the first “walk-off” field goal for FSU in the history of the institution. By “walk-off”, I literally mean making a kick with 00:00 left on the clock.
That’s something brand spanking new for the record books and media guide. Dustin Hopkins wasn’t the 2nd or 3rd in history to nail a game winning kick for the Noles with 00:00 left. Nope, he was the first. This is the FIRST FSU team to walk of the field as winners thanks to “walk-off” field goal. First. If you were there last night, you witnessed a bit of FSU history in person. As 72,000 other people were screaming, high-fiving and possibly even tearing up, I just smiled. I tried to absorb the fact that one play made a frustrating and overall boring evening of football fantastically exciting. I thought about the future FSU teams that might win a lot of games in similar fashion thanks to their demeanor and their process. I had honest to goodness hope for future seasons for the first time in 10 years.
Thank you Dustin and thank you Noles for an excellent ending last night that sent Noles home and to bed VERY happy.