Image Credit: FSU Athletics

Although it’s been a season to forget for the Seminoles, they managed to continue the longest series winning streak in the country alive.

FSU extended its lead against Duke to 21-0, remaining undefeated against the Blue Devils.

The game itself was a rollercoaster ride, with momentum swinging back and forth. However, the Seminoles started the second half strong and never lost the lead.

Red-Hot and Ice-Cold

Florida State looked like they were going to blow Duke out of the water by the end of the first quarter. The Seminoles scored on their first four drives. Meanwhile, the Seminole defense shut the Blue Devils out. FSU was closing out the first quarter up 28-0 with an easy victory looking extremely likely.

Then Duke scored.

Duke quarterback Chase Brice tossed a dime to wide receiver Eli Pancol to give the Blue Devils their first score of the game, which sparked a massive comeback.

The Seminoles proceeded to roll over for the entirety of the second quarter. The Seminole offense produced nothing but turnovers and three-and-outs, while the defense was gashed repeatedly. Duke answered with 21 points and fans were seeing flashbacks of the North Carolina game.

Florida State gained 199 first-quarter yards to Duke’s 18. In the second quarter, the Blue Devils out-gained the ‘Noles 231-45.

Rediscovering what Worked

Florida State opened the second half with conviction. A huge hit by Brendan Gant took quarterback Chase Brice out of the game and handed FSU the ball. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis immediately answered with a touchdown.

FSU found their first quarter magic again. Offensively, the wildcat and option run carried the ‘Noles to victory.

The Seminoles played an extremely physical second half, running down the clock and playing hard-nosed defense. With Chase Brice in the locker room, Duke was unable to muster much of an offense.

The Blue Devils only managed only two touchdowns while the Seminole offense compiled four scores to cruise to a 56-35 win.

A Solid Norvell Victory

Before Norvell’s coaching chops are talked about, it’s worth mentioning that Duke is a bad team. However, soundly beating bad teams is something Florida State has had difficulty doing recently.

This victory was a result of having essentially a three-week mini camp to install more of the teams’ systems. With COVID-19 delays causing a two-game hiatus, the coaching staff was able to work on fundamentals and scheme.

With more time in the system, Florida State delivered its first convincing victory against a Power 5 opponent in years.

If Florida State can build off of this victory and beat Wake Forest next week, Mike Norvell will go into the offseason with a lot of momentum.

PROS/CONS

PROS

  • Rushing. FSU averaged 8.7 yards per rush (sack-adjusted) for 340 yards, and posted six scores on the ground.
  • Turnovers. The ‘Noles won the turnover margin 2-4.
  • Chunk plays. Florida State had 14 plays of 15+ yards to the Blue Devils’ 11.
  • First downs. Thee Seminoles scored

CONS

  • Third down conversions. FSU converted just two of their eight attempts.
  • Rush defense. The Seminole defense allowed 4.8 sack-adjusted yards per carry.