The concern for Everett Golson coming into this season was his tendency to turn the football over, but he has been error-free through five games this season — including Saturday’s 29-24 win over Miami.
Golson finished the game 25 of 33 for 291 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly, he took care of the football. That leaves coach Jimbo Fisher confident enough to put the game in Golson’s hands.
“We trust him,” Fisher said after the game. “We like the calls going in, and he stepped up. The look in his eye was different. There was a confidence, and hopefully, that can grow. That’s going to happen as he gets used to us calling the game and practicing more.”
Fisher had enough confidence to put the game in Golson’s hands down 24-23 and facing a third-and-8 from their own 18-yard line. It was a make-or-break moment as the offense began to waver midway through the game after their strong start.
Golson dropped back and threw a confident 20-yard strike to Jesus Wilson. It’s that kind of play that shows the strides Golson has made within the Noles offense. Golson went on to lead FSU on an eight-play, 84-yard drive that culminated in Dalvin Cook’s 23-yard scamper into the end zone.
Florida State went on top 29-24 and that wound up being the final score. Cook will make plenty of headlines with his 222-yard, two-touchdown effort, but the growth of Golson will leave Seminoles fans optimistic.
Golson couldn’t miss to start the game. He completed his first nine passes and looked much more comfortable as the leader of the Noles offense. Earlier this season, he struggled at timing throws, but the offense started clicking early in the first half Saturday.
Florida State’s first five drives finished inside the red zone. The Seminoles offense gained 358 yards in the first half that they converted into 20 points.
Golson was effective when scrambling, electing to use his legs to extend plays through the air rather take off on the ground. Even in those situations, he made good decisions.
“[Golson] was decisive,” Fisher said. “He didn’t play scared to make a mistake; playing to make plays, but also still managing the football and taking care of the football at the same time.”
The former Notre Dame quarterback had 22 turnovers (14 interceptions, eight fumbles) for the Fighting Irish last season. His ability to take care of the football has come as a bit of a surprise to the Seminoles.
Another surprise came when Golson ran an option play in the opening drive. He had just converted a third-and-5 on the first series of the game, and two plays later executed a brilliant pitch to Cook.
Florida State hasn’t used that play all season and caught the Miami offense off guard. Golson was able to draw the Miami defense toward him as he tossed the ball to Cook at the last moment.
Cook used a terrific block on the outside by Travis Rudolf to take the ball 72 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The Seminoles jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and the crisp execution set the tone offensively for the rest of the half.
If this is any indication of how Golson will play out the season, Seminoles fans should be just as confident in their quarterback’s ability as Fisher was Saturday night.