Dramatic win caps off wild week for Maguires
Tina Maguire didn't see her son Sean's fourth-quarter touchdown pass. She had retreated earlier to a Doak Campbell Stadium tunnel because the stress was getting to her.
And once Rashad Greene hauled that pass in for a 74-yard score, which lifted Florida State into a 17-17 tie with rival Clemson, her family told her she wasn't allowed to watch the rest of the game, either.
After a bizarre week that saw Sean thrust into the starting lineup and the Maguire family make a last-minute decision to drive hundreds of miles to the game, Tina and husband Kevin weren't about to do anything to jinx their son's big day.
"We told her she had to stay down there," laughed Kevin, a retired New Jersey State Police lieutenant.
It wouldn't be that long of a wait. After Florida State's defense recorded a fourth-down stop on Clemson's first drive of overtime, the Seminoles scored two plays later on a touchdown run by Karlos Williams to claim a dramatic 23-17 victory.
It was an improbable end to a game that appeared to be slipping away from almost the beginning.
"Like everybody else, we just went nuts," Kevin said as he stood outside the Seminoles' locker room. "I think I just started breathing again now."
For much of Saturday's game, it didn't appear as if anyone in garnet and gold was going to be smiling, especially not the Maguires. The Seminoles trailed 10-3 at halftime and then 17-10 in the fourth quarter, and the sophomore signal-caller was having a tough time handling Clemson's heavy blitz packages.
By the time the night was over, Maguire would be sacked five times and commit two turnovers.
But it was the way his son battled back from those early problems - including a third-quarter interception in Clemson territory - that made Kevin Maguire the most proud. Two series after that miscue, Sean Maguire hit Greene with the 74-yard scoring strike.
"To come back from the pick and throw the touchdown pass was awesome," Kevin said.
Sean finished the day with 305 yards on 21-of-39 passing to become the fourth consecutive FSU quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards against the Tigers.
And to think, the Maguires very nearly missed all of it.
When Sean met with the media on Wednesday, he explained that his parents wouldn't be making the trek down from New Jersey for a number of reasons. His sister Mackenzie, a prep lacrosse star, had already scheduled a recruiting visit to Mary Washington University in Virginia for this weekend. His mother, Tina, was scheduled to be on duty as a flight attendant. And the family had already given their tickets for the game to another family member.
But after initially deciding to skip it, the Maguires later called an audible when they found out Sean would be starting for the suspended Jameis Winston.
Recruit reaction to FSU's win over ClemsonClick Mackenzie, who Kevin described as a "trooper," agreed to cut short her recruiting visit so she and her father could drive down Saturday morning; they left at 6 a.m. and pulled in to Tallahassee about 12 hours later. Along the way, they stopped in Jacksonville to pick up Tina, who had grabbed a flight south from New Jersey when she finished her shift.Here to view this Link.
"It was just perfect timing," Kevin said. "It just worked out perfectly today. … Now we've got the nice long trip back to Jersey because I've got to get her (Mackenzie) back to school."
There were moments during the game, of course, that weren't exactly pleasant. When Maguire and his teammates were struggling offensively, the family heard some not-so-nice things said about their son from others in the crowd of more than 82,000.
But Kevin Maguire said it did noting to diminish the experience: "When he was in high school, we could sit off to the side away from everyone. We couldn't do that here. But we didn't have any problem with it. It's great that the fans are so passionate and care so much. We're just glad it all worked out."