Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics
For the first time under head coach Mike Norvell, Florida State was a winner on Saturday.
The Seminoles overcame an early 14-point deficit to beat Jacksonville State in their lone non-conference game of the year, 41-24. FSU scored the game’s final 20 points and outscored the Gamecocks 34-3 to end the contest.
It was not a thing of beauty, but FSU finally has something to feel good about as it gets set to face Notre Dame. Looking back on Saturday’s victory, Mike Ferguson, Cory Thorpe and Jacob Bunting recognize the Seminoles who shined brightest with game balls:
Unanimous Game Ball: Jordan Travis, QB
Jordan Travis’ insertion into the starting lineup swung the game in favor of Florida State on Saturday. FSU trailed 14-0 when Travis replaced an ineffective Tate Rodemaker. Travis proceeded to lead five straight scoring drives. On 12-for-17, Travis passed for more yards on Saturday than he had his entire career prior, throwing for 210 yards and a 41-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Helton. Travis added 48 yards rushing and a touchdown in the win. He’ll likely be the FSU signal caller moving forward.
Unanimous Game Ball: Asante Samuel Jr., CB
When the leading tackler is a cornerback, that usually isn’t a good thing for a defense, but Asante Samuel Jr. had a solid day for the Seminoles. Samuel finished with a team-high nine tackles and his team-leading third interception of the season in the fourth quarter helped put the game away.
Mike and Jacob’s Game Ball: Keyshawn Helton, KR/PR
In his new role as Florida State’s kickoff return man, redshirt sophomore Keyshawn Helton shined on Saturday. Helton averaged nearly 27 yards per kick return and twice allowed FSU to start past its own 35-yard-line. Helton wasn’t quite as dangerous on punts with three returns for 12 yards. Offensively, Helton caught three passes for 53 yards and a score.
Cory’s Game Ball: Alex Mastromanno, P
Freshman punter Alex Mastromanno was solid for FSU on Saturday. Mastromanno punted three times for an average of 44 yards with a long of 49. One of his three punts was downed inside the 20-yard-line.