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Rapid Reaction: FSU 49 NC State 17

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Florida State put together a 35-point, 13-minute burst in the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way to a victory on Saturday afternoon, winning 49-17. 

Jameis Winston and company got just one drive on offense to start the second half and the starting defense never made it back out on to the field after halftime.

A week after a very physical game at Clemson the Seminoles essentially took the second half off today, resting starters and making sure to stay healthy as the unbeaten Miami Hurricanes head to town next weekend. 

While many Florida State fans would probably have liked to beat NC State by a little more -- especially given the sentiments left over from last year's upset -- the Seminoles probably couldn't have fared much better on Saturday.

Rather than getting involved in a slugfest that took them down to the final seconds -- a la Miami earlier in the day -- FSU had a win in hand and their starters out just minutes into the third quarter. 

On a day when Florida State celebrated Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles did their best impression of the teams from his hey-day. There was even a punt-rooskie -- done in homage to arguably the most famous play in Bowden's career -- included in the festivities. 

The second half of this one is going to raise a few eyebrows though. 

Will poll voters consider the fact FSU had most of its starters out two minutes into the 2nd half? That depends on whether you think voters do more than glance at a box score before casting their ballots. Some do -- they might. Some don't -- that's where an impressive win starts to fade a little bit because of the second half.

But lost in the minutiae of that second half are a few points that are worth noting. For starters, Jacob Coker is in an extremely unenviable position every time he comes in. While Winston plays with three extremely gifted receivers and an offensive line dotted with NFL talent, Coker plays with freshmen and walk-ons. 

You really can't evaluate Winston against Coker based on the players lining up around them. 

The same goes for FSU's defense in the second half. FSU's starters allowed NC State just 85 first-half yards and no points. Then they took the rest of the afternoon off. The Seminoles probably could have put up 50 or 60 points had they left their starters in. 

That wasn't the gameplan. 

Instead they should head into next week's highly anticipated Miami game -- ESPN's College Gameday announced in the second half they will be in Tallahassee next Saturday -- healthy and well-rested. 

Jameis Winston finished the day 17/26 for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Rashad Greene lead the way with 137 yards and a touchdown and Nick O'Leary tied the FSU career record for TD's by a tight end. 

It is now officially Miami week.

 

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