Fourth-ranked Florida St. bests Ole Miss
ORLANDO, Fla. — Redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois completed 33 of 52 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 59 yards in leading No. 4 Florida State to a 45-34 win over No. 11 Mississippi on Monday night.
Francois, the fourth freshman to start the season at quarterback in FSU history, led the largest comeback in Seminoles history — 22 points — after a shaky start in the classic SEC-ACC showdown at Camping World Stadium.
Francois and the Seminoles, on the verge of becoming the third top-5 team to lose in the opening week, scored 33 consecutive points during a stretch from late in the second quarter until early in the fourth to overcome a 28-6 deficit.
With Ole Miss daring Francois to pass by stacking the run to stop Heisman Trophy hopeful Dalvin Cook, the freshman showed poise by making critical throws and also picking up big yards with his legs.
Ricky Aguayo, another freshman, converted on an FSU-record six field goals on six attempts — breaking a mark shared by his brother Roberto.
Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly had a strong first half but FSU defensive end DeMarcus Walker and the rest of the defense started getting to him after halftime to slow down the no-huddle offense. The Seminoles forced Kelly into back-toback turnovers early in the third quarter on an interception and a fumble.
Both turnovers resulted in FSU touchdowns as the Seminoles took a 29-28 lead and never looked back.
Saban hires Sarkisian
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Former University of Washington head football coach Steve Sarkisian is joining No. 1 Alabama’s staff as an analyst.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban confirmed the hiring Monday.
“We talked about it really quite a while ago, and I told him that we’d love to have him as part of the organization,” Saban said. “He’s going through some personal things himself to get himself in a very positive position and wants to continue to do those things in the future and professionally. He loves coaching. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a very, very good coach.
“To make a contribution to being an analyst here and having some input in some things that we can do better, I think, will be a real positive for our organization.”
USC fired Sarkisian last October after athletic director Pat Haden said Sarkisian showed up intoxicated at a practice. Sarkisian later sought treatment for alcoholism and has sued USC, alleging the school breached his contract and discriminated against him on the basis of a disability.
Sarkisian coached Washington from 2009-2013 before taking the USC job.
LSU’s Boutte suspended
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU has suspended offensive lineman Josh Boutte for one game after his late hit Saturday in the final minutes of the Tigers’ loss to Wisconsin.
A release from the school said Boutte called Wisconsin defensive back D’Cota Dixon on Monday to apologize for the hit, which came after Dixon had sealed a Wisconsin victory with an interception. Boutte was ejected after leveling Dixon as he celebrated the interception.
Boutte will sit out No. 5 LSU’s home opener Saturday against Jacksonville State.
The SEC issued a statement from Commissioner Greg Sankey saying the league has accepted the one-game suspension imposed by LSU and will not impose any additional penalties.