Game ball: Travis Rudolph entered the season with sky-high expectations and, through two games, he’s more than held up his end of the bargain. The junior from West Palm Beach posted seven catches for 105 yards Saturday while tacking on two of Florida State’s first three touchdowns in a 52-8 victory over Charleston Southern. Including his performance against Ole Miss last week, has already amassed 13 catches for 179 yards and three touchdown receptions. He had seven touchdowns in 13 games a year ago.
Play of the game: Punt returns for touchdowns have been an infrequent occurrence at FSU in recent years, so Bobo Wilson’s 89-yard scamper at the end of the first quarter is no doubt one to remember. With FSU leading 21-0, the senior receiver fielded the punt at his own 9-yard line, split three CSU defenders and outran another on his way to the right sideline. By then, Wilson had a full convoy of blockers and needed to make just one more move – a nifty, subtle head-fake – to throw off any remaining pursuers and reach the end zone. It was Florida State’s first punt return for a touchdown since Tyler Hunter did it against Duke in 2012.
“I kind of looked up and looked down at the same time, and I saw it open,” Wilson said. “It felt really good … we’ve been taking special teams this year very seriously.”
Turning point: There’s not much of a turning point on a game that was never in doubt, but Dalvin Cook’s 37-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter might have significant implications for Florida State’s season. Before then, we hadn’t seen Cook be Cook, for lack of a better term. Although he was productive against Ole Miss, Cook had yet to break free for the kind of tackle-breaking, jaw-dropping runs that were so common in 2014 and 2015. But that changed on Saturday, when Cook ran into the heart of the CSU defensive line, ducked under three defenders and somehow emerged on the other side. From there, Cook had space to play with, and, after shifting gears in the open field, cut back across for an easy touchdown that mead the score 42-6.
“‘Four’ is ‘Four,’” said Jacques Patrick, referring to Cook’s jersey number. “He did his thing.”
It was over when: Deondre Francois connected with Rudolph for a 21-yard touchdown on third-and-four to make the score 21-0. Rudolph made a pretty play to come back to the ball, then effortlessly shed a Charleston Southern defender before walking into the end zone. The outcome of this game was all but certain before it kicked off, but, with a three-score lead, the Seminoles could be sure they had handled their business.