One could have been forgiven for thinking that Monday night’s game between Florida State and Ole Miss was all but over late in the first half. Akeem Judd gave the Rebels a 28-6 lead on an 11-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left in the first half, and an exciting opening weekend of college football looked to be ending with a dud.
But count out Coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles at your own peril, especially considering the following halftime speech:
Florida State answered Judd’s late first-half score with a touchdown of its own less than three minutes later and then continued in the second half, eventually scoring 33 straight points in a 45-34 win. As noted by ESPN’s David M. Hale, the Seminoles are now 6-1 since 2013 when they trail by at least a touchdown at halftime. The record of every other FBS team in such a situation over that span: 178-1,441 (.110), none better than .500.
“Things weren’t going right, but I couldn’t panic because my team needed me behind the wheel,” Seminoles freshman quarterback Deondre Francois, who completed 33 of 52 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns, told the Associated Press after the game. “So I just kept chopping. We were down, 28-6, but I couldn’t let them see me down, I had to portray the image that we were not about to lose this game.”
Fisher expanded on his thoughts further than just “bleep bleep ba bleep bleep” after the game.
“You keep chopping,” he said, per the Tallahassee Democrat. “You keep sawing. When you’re in a heavyweight fight you’re going to take shots. People are going to hit you. You know that. You’ve got to have the willingness to come back.”