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Notes: Johnson, Cooper take top ACC honors

Two Florida State defenders earn ACC player of the week recognition. 

Jermaine Johnson was honored as the league’s top defensive lineman after he had seven tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks. No player in the FSU-Miami series has had as many tackles for loss. Johnson leads the ACC with 11 sacks. He has the most sacks by an FSU player since DeMarcus Walker had 16 in 2016.

“When your best players are your hardest workers, they can be that example of what it takes,” FSU coach Mike Norvell said. “It’s huge. It’s huge for the young guys, it’s huge for the guys that work side-by-side next to him. I think we’ve got a core group of leaders that really tried to be that example. There’s a different feel to things when you walk out on the practice field. You see that work ethic and how that translates out on game day, just the energy, the endurance, the strength, the power, all those things that show up in his game, we get to see it every day in practice. And that’s a great example for our young guys. He’s made an incredible impact.”

Omarion Cooper was named the league’s top defensive back. Cooper had four pass break-ups and an interception in the win. He is the only freshman in the nation to record an interception and four pass break-ups in a game, and Cooper is the first freshman to do so since Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller in 2013. Cooper has two interceptions in 2021.

“He missed some of fall camp but I knew he was going to have the personality to be able to handle it,” defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said. “Was he going to be OK enough physically, could he catch up to it mentally, the speed of the game, all of those things, I wasn’t sure. But he’s got a really humble confidence to him. He expects to make all of those plays. He’s wants to please. He’s always been a Seminole in his mind. I think that means something. To see him go out there on a big stage and come up big was critical for us. Really important for his growth.”

Haggins honored

Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins, an FSU assistant since 1994, is one of 59 nominees for the Broyles Award. The honor is presented to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Thanks, FSU fans

Norvell used a good portion of his opening statement to thank the FSU fans for their vocal support on Saturday as well as during the fall.

“I want to take a minute to thank our fans, everybody that showed up,” Norvell said. “It was an unbelievable atmosphere. To all the season-ticket holders who showed up this year, it was a tremendous amount of support. I know the COVID year before was so tough to deal with, just the support we received at home, makes a tremendous advantage for us. It’s great for the support for our players, for our program in general. Definitely brings a level of excitement that’s definitely one of a kind in Doak Campbell. It was a wonderful night.”

Quick hits

A few good notes off Saturday’s game:

FSU is 11-7 vs. Miami since the Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004.

Jordan Travis’ 336 yards of total offense set a new career high. He had a career-best 274 passing yards and 62 rushing yards. Travis also has 16 career rushing touchdowns.

Game times coming up

FSU will play at Boston College on Saturday at noon (ACC Network).

The Seminoles’ regular-season finale will be at Florida next Saturday at noon (ESPN).