It was a sloppy evening in terms of weather and Florida State's tackling early on in this one. The Seminole defense found itself in good position with regularity on their first several defensive stands but failed to make key tackles at or around the line of scrimmage and ended up surrendering extra first downs.
That let the Wildcats move the ball beyond the 50 on both of their initial two possessions and they dominated the first quarter time of possession battle 12:06-2:54.
A large part of that was due to the pick-six that Telvin Smith hauled in to stop Bethune's first possession. It was the first since Terrance Parks did it at Florida in 2011, but it also gave the ball right back to the Bethune. The Wildcats again drove to midfield before the Seminoles stopped them. It wasn't until the 4:07 mark in the first quarter that the Seminole offense even took the field.
Early on FSU's offense was a bit incosistent too. Dropped passes, missed assignments and a fumble by James Wilder Jr. inside the Bethune five yard-line limited the Seminoles to just a field goal on their first two drives, but after a Wildcat holding penalty in their own endzone awarded Florida State a safety, the Seminoles drove for a touchdown on their ensuing possession. The drive culminated in the play you see above (an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin on an impressive scramble).
Florida State also added scores on runs by James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman, but all in all I don't think Jimbo Fisher and his coaching staff are going to be thrilled with some of the sloppiness of the first half. FSU left points and stops on the field and that's going to need to be corrected before the level of competion gets ramped up.
The receivers in particular had a number of drops after being nearly perfect through the first two games of the season. Winston also had nine incompletions in the first half after throwing just five of them through two games to start his career.
Look for Florida State's starters to get a few more series in the second half before they give some playing time to the younger guys.
Passing: Jameis Winston (7/16 112, TD)
Rushing: Devonta Freeman (9-79, TD)
Receiving: Kenny Shaw (2-45)
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