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Travis gives FSU a dynamic QB – and plenty for UF to contemplate

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Kendal Briles has given Florida something to think about.

And just a few weeks ago Jordan Travis was essentially considered FSU’s third (or fourth) quarterback.

Travis has seven carries for 163 yards and has completed 3 of 7 passes for 71 yards in Florida State’s last two games. Travis, a Louisville transfer, also had a 66-yard touchdown run and a 26-yard TD run in the victory at Boston College.

“Jordan gives you a lot,” FSU interim head coach Odell Haggins said. “He’s a kid that can throw the ball, he understands the game, and then he’s just a humble kid. You know he’s a very unselfish young man. He came to Florida State knowing that, hey, I probably will be on the third team, but that kid is going to be a leader for this team one day. 

“That tells you something. Hey, it gives you another weapon.”

Throughout 2019 – in the months leading up to the opener, in preseason camp and then during the fall – fans have wondered how Briles’ offense would look with a dual-threat quarterback. Travis gives FSU a dynamic offense, an athletic quarterback who can run and throw.

Yes, James Blackman has shown the ability to run. But Briles clearly has a different game plan set aside when Travis is in the game.

Travis doesn’t nearly have the arm strength of Blackman. No one is confusing the two. What Travis has is the ability to complete short and intermediate passes while also blending in the run-pass option that Briles desires. 

After not throwing a pass in limited snaps at BC, Travis tossed a few short passes against Alabama State and Gabe Nabers turned a decent gain into a 63-yarder in the final minutes. And Travis is not just quick – he’s fast and elusive in the open field.

“Once he gets going, it’s hard to stop him,” Blackman said after the BC game. “I promise you. And he put that on display today. He been through a lot. I’m just so happy that he was able to go display his talent today and help this team win.”

With a bye week ahead for Florida, the Gators defensive coaches will have plenty to discuss as they analyze FSU’s quarterbacks. Briles also has a chance to use the extra weeks of practice to see what plays Travis is comfortable running.

Bowl scenarios

Most of the national bowl projections have the same forecast as the prior week, slotting FSU to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26. That game will air at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The complete bowl schedule can be seen here.

Let the kids play

FSU’s blowout of an FCS opponent allowed the coaches to give opportunities to linebacker Kevon Glenn and defensive end Quashon Fuller, freshmen who earned playing time on Saturday. 

Cornerback A.J. Lytton and running back Khalan Laborn also got their first starts. Laborn ran 12 times for 55 yards, while Deonte Sheffield got his first career touchdown run. Lytton was second on the team with six tackles.

“You saw young kids coming out there playing,” Haggins said. “That was awesome. But that’s the expectation at Florida State. When you step on that field, you’re a starter.”

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