TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the fourth time this season, Jermaine Johnson II is the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week after notching 3.0 sacks and 5.0 tackles for loss Saturday against Miami. Freshman Omarion Cooper is the league’s Defensive Back and Rookie of the Week after defending five passes, with an interception and four breakups, in his first career start.
Johnson, from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, finished with seven tackles, 5.0 for loss, 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble in the Seminoles 31-28 win over the Hurricanes. No player in the 66-game series history between Florida State and Miami has had more tackles for loss than Johnson on Saturday.
The only player in the country with multiple 3.0 sack/4.0 TFL games this season, Johnson leads all Power 5 defensive linemen with 61 tackles and ranks second nationally with 11.0 sacks on the year. His 16.0 tackles for loss are fourth nationally. His sack and TFL totals lead the ACC and are the most for a Seminole since ACC Defensive Player of the Year DeMarcus Walker had 16.0 and 21.5, respectively, in 2016.
Johnson’s 5.0 tackles for loss were one shy of the school record and the most for any Seminole against an FBS opponent since 2002. Johnson’s forced fumble, on his first sack of the game, was recovered by Derrick McLendon II and turned into an FSU touchdown that gave the Noles a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
As a team, FSU allowed just 43 rushing yards, the seventh-fewest for Miami in the series and the third-fewest allowed for a Mike Norvell-coached team.
Cooper, a true freshman from Lehigh Acres, Florida, made his first start of the year and made an immediate impact. Cooper is just the third player in the country this year with four pass breakups and an interception in the same game. He is the first true freshman at the FBS level with those numbers in a game since 2013 and the first Seminole of any class since Derwin James in 2017 against Syracuse.
Cooper’s interception, on Miami’s second drive of the game, was the first of three straight turnovers for the Hurricanes. Cooper has two interceptions on the season.
This is FSU’s fifth Defensive Lineman of the Week award this year, with Johnson’s four and Keir Thomas winning last week. Cooper is FSU’s first Defensive Back winner this year and the second rookie, joining Malik McClain after FSU’s win at North Carolina.
Florida State takes the field again Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at Boston College on the ACC Network. The Seminoles regular season finale at Florida will also be at noon on November 27 on ESPN.
*Press release courtesy of Florida State Athletics
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