Tallahassee, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Churning up 324 yards on the ground, Florida State Football got back to its winning ways with an impressive run game as it ran past Duke, 56-35, on Saturday night in its final home game of the season at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles (3-6, 2-6) delivered 524 yards of total offense, as quarterback Jordan Travis proved to be the catalyst with 192 yards passing along with two TDs while adding 90 yards on the ground and another rushing score. Lawrance Toafili led FSU’s ball-carriers with 117 yards rushing, which was highlighted by a game-breaking 73-yard touchdown run in the second half.
Six of FSU’s eight touchdowns scored came on the ground, with running back Jashaun Corbin tacking on three scores along with 72 rushing yards. Treshaun Ward added another TD.
Ja’Khi Douglas broke lose in the receiving game, adding 77 yards with two touchdowns. In FSU’s most productive outing of the year on offense, the Noles averaged 8.2 yards on 64 plays.
FSU will look to close out the season with some momentum when it travels to Wake Forest for a matchup on Saturday, Dec. 19, at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, N.C. A game time will be announced on Sunday.
The Seminoles came out of the second half making the proper adjustments as they out-gained Duke 109-30 in the third quarter. Momentum swung in FSU’s favor on Duke’s first drive of the second half when quarterback Chase Brice scrambled to the sidelines and fumbled on a big hit, which was recovered by FSU’s Amari Gainer at the Duke 29. Travis rushed up the gut two plays later for a 27-yard score, making it 35-21.
Another score was tacked on when Corbin rushed for a three-yard touchdown on FSU’s next drive. A resurgence in FSU’s defense led to an extended Duke drive downfield that resulted in no points, and the quick-strike offense of the Seminoles struck again early in the fourth when Douglas parted the red sea with a 68-yard scoring grab from Travis to help FSU to a 49-21 lead with 13:15 left in the game.
Following a score by the Blue Devils, the Seminoles came right back when Toafili took a hand-off and raced down the middle of the field for a break-away 73-yard TD run, which was FSU’s final score and the touchdown that put the game out of reach.
Florida State opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, as Douglas got into the end zone on the receiving end of a seven-yard pass from Travis. The seven-play, 75-yard drive was highlighted by a 25-yard run from Travis on the game’s first play to get the Noles to midfield quickly.
FSU’s next drive was capped by a 2-yard touchdown plunge from Corbin. Duke’s subsequent possession ended with a tip-drill interception from senior defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen, returning the ball to Duke’s 14. The next play resulted in Corbin’s second score of the game, a 14-yard gain into the end zone to help create a 21-0 lead.
Nasirildeen would end up leading the Seminoles with nine tackles.
A wild first quarter ended with the Seminoles holding a commanding 28-7 lead, punctuated by 26-yard touchdown run from Ward.
Things went back and forth a bit in the second quarter, but Duke was able to bust a long touchdown run when Mataeo Durant broke loose for a 64-yard score to cut the Blue Devil deficit to a couple TDs. Duke then forced back-to-back turnovers on the Seminoles and capitalized with a 12-play, 85-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run by Duke’s Deon Jackson, continuing to chisel away at the FSU lead at 28-21 with 5:14 left in the second quarter.
While the score was close at the half at 28-21, FSU’s second-half explosion on the offensive end was too much for the Blue Devils (2-9, 1-9) to handle. Durant led the Blue Devils on the ground with 127 rushing yards and a score, averaging 9.8 yards per carry.