Berry: ULM better than showing at No. 6 Florida St
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)
The second-year ULM coach was confident that his Warhawks could turn in a respectable performance against the Seminoles, but it didn't materialize in a 34-0 blowout defeat.
''We missed too many opportunities out there on both sides of the football that could have kept the game a better game,'' a sweaty, disappointed Berry said afterward. ''We knew that it was going to be difficult going into the game and we would have to make those plays, and we didn't.''
But Berry believes his team will profit from their experience in the season opener.
''I want to give them (Florida State) a lot of credit for making those plays, but I'm disappointed in us, too,'' he said. ''I think that our players are, also.''
Things could have been even worse for the Warhawks in the first half if not for an interception by safety Darius Prelow. After a 30-yard punt return gave Florida State the ball at the ULM 17, Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel threw into double coverage in the end zone where Prelow stepped in front of Reed for the interception.
''He just thought he could juice it in there,'' Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. ''He's got to learn from that.''
ULM (0-1) got to Florida State's 28 - its deepest penetration in the game - in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before quarterback Kolton Browning was dropped for a loss on a fourth-and-1. The Warhawks managed to reach Seminole territory just once in the first half reaching the 44 before having to punt.
''Field position played a huge factor and to their credit they changed field position,'' Berry said.
''The first few drives I had some jitters,'' admitted Manuel, who completed 22 of 34 passes despite missing a handful of open receivers during the course of the game.
ULM struggled all day against Florida State's defense in the first meeting between the schools. The Warhawks converted on only 5 of 15 third down tries and failed on both fourth down attempts.
''They were basically just beating us,'' Berry said.
Florida State (1-0) led 17-0 at halftime and built its advantage to 27-0 before Manuel gave way to Trickett.
Manuel connected with Bert Reed on a 9-yard TD pass to get the Seminoles on the scoreboard in the opening quarter and hit Greg Dent in full stride on a 50-yard scoring play just before the half.
Manuel, who started six games during his freshman and sophomore seasons when Christian Ponder was out with injuries, was replaced by Trickett with 7:03 left and the Seminoles leading 27-0. Trickett, the youngest son of Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett, fired a 28-yard touchdown pass to freshman Rashad Greene, on his first collegiate play.
Dustin Hopkins kicked a pair of short field goals and freshman Devonta Freeman added a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to account for the other Florida State scoring.
Browning led the Warhawks in rushing with 28 yards on 11 carries. He managed to complete 11 of 19 passes for 85 yards while ULM's Tim Taylor produced a game-high nine tackles, including one for a loss.
ULM has been outscored 168-10 since the start of last season in losses to Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and now Florida State.
But Berry believes better times are ahead.
''We're going to be a good football team, but we didn't necessarily show it today,'' he said. ''I felt that we prepared well and I still think that we prepared well, but ultimately this game still comes down to whether you make a play or not, and we didn't.''