Florida State quickly shook off a 28-day layoff. And despite a lethargic second quarter, the Seminoles poured it on in a runaway victory.
Jashaun Corbin ran for three touchdowns while Jordan Travis threw for two TDs and ran for another as Florida State snapped a three-game skid with a 56-35 win over Duke on Saturday.
FSU had a depleted roster, listing 50 scholarship players on the official participation report. The Seminoles started seven true or redshirt freshmen.
“It’s been a long time since we had an opportunity to compete in a game,” coach Mike Norvell said. “It’s been a lot of adversity. It’s been an extremely challenging last month. Playing a lot of young players. Seeing those guys continue to work and invest in their improvement, it was a great sight to see tonight.”
The Seminoles are 3-6, 2-6 ACC going into the regular-season finale at Wake Forest next week, a game that will be broadcast at noon on the ACC Network.
FSU improves to 21-0 all-time vs. Duke.
Florida State opened with touchdowns on the first four drives. The Seminoles’ three touchdowns on the first three drives marked the first time FSU had put up 21 points in the first quarter.
Travis now has the most rushing yards in a season by an FSU quarterback. Travis has 559 rushing yards, surpassing Charlie Ward’s school record of 504 rushing yards (set in 1992). In the passing game, Travis was efficient: he completed 13 of 18 passes for 192 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Ja’Khi Douglas recorded his first FSU touchdowns, a 7-yard reception and then a 68-yard reception, both from Travis.
Corbin scored a pair of touchdowns, a 2-yard run out of the wildcat and a 14-yard touchdown that put FSU up 21-0.
Treshaun Ward, who hasn’t had a carry since the Sun Bowl, had a 26-yard touchdown run. Lawrance Toafili added a 73-yard touchdown run.
FSU ran for a season-best 324 yards on 43 carries (7.5 yards per carry). The six rushing touchdowns were the most since a Sept. 2016 win over South Florida.
FSU was playing shorthanded at receiver without Jordan Young and Warren Thompson. Ontaria Wilson caught a 39-yard pass but came up limping. The Seminoles made up for it by using running backs and tight ends in the passing game, with Toafili grabbing three receptions in the first half. Douglas had three receptions for 77 yards.
The Seminoles were averaging 22 points per game coming in but the 56-point outburst lifts FSU’s season average up to 25.7.
Florida State started off well, getting three stops. A Hamsah Nasirildeen interception and the return set up FSU inside Duke’s red zone.
Duke bounced back with three touchdowns to close what was an FSU 28-0 lead to 28-21 at the half.
One Blue Devils touchdown came a play after a Travis interception. Mataeo Durant ran 64 yards for the touchdown as the Seminoles defense was caught off guard in the sudden change of events.
Nasirildeen, Brendan Gant and Travis Jay each had interceptions. Gant also forced a fumble.
Nasirildeen led the team with nine tackles. Sidney Williams had eight tackles.
FSU officials announced attendance at 14,872. The crowd looked far less with fans scattered around the bowl of Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles finished 3-2 at home.
FSU’s 56 points are the most against an ACC opponent since a Sept. 2014 win over NC State, 56-41.
Duke was often its own worst enemy with eight penalties for 65 yards in the first half.
A scout from the Pittsburgh Steelers was in attendance.
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