Auburn came to play in the first half and it showed. The Seminoles knew they were in for a fight when the Tigers rumbled for a first down on their very first offensive play of the game and thus far it has been a battle on both sides of the ball.
So far Auburn has the edge too.
Jameis Winston has not looked like a Heisman trophy winning quarterback early on. The redshirt freshman has taken a couple of sacks, sailed a few passes and just hasn't been able to establish any kind of rhythm -- at least not through the first 25 minutes. It didn't help that the Seminoles became one-dimensional for a good part of the first half when they more or less abandoned the run, either.
Credit Auburn, the Tiger defense is showing a variety of different looks and coverages and their corners have hung tight on the Seminole receivers throughout the first half.
The results on offense have not been good for the Seminoles. FSU punted more in the first half than they did during entire months of this 2013 season, committed penalties and looked generally off-key throughout most of the first half.
It started well enough for Florida State with a quick stand on defense followed by a field goal on offense. Then things started to get hairy for the Seminoles. A poor punt by Cason Beatty left Auburn with phenomenal field position and Tre Mason scored on a touchdown run several plays later.
A blown coverage early in the second quarter gave Auburn its second touchdown on a 50 yard touchdown pass to Melvin Ray and Auburn was suddenly up 14-3 and in position to really take control of the game.
They almost did too, a long drive was stalled by an offensive encroachment penalty and kicker Cody Parkey missed the field goal. Unfortunately for Florida State Jameis Winston coughed the ball up a few plays later and Auburn capitalized when Nick Marshall ran it in from four yards out to make it 21-3.
But FSU did answer late. After another of their drives stalled out the Seminoles ran a fake punt and picked up a big first down that seemed to get the team fired up and ready to go. Jameis Winston came alive for the first time all game -- more with his legs than his arm -- and Fisher let his running backs carry the load some for the Seminoles. Devonta Freeman capped the 66-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
FSU is down, but not out.
Still, Florida State has dug itself a big hole. They will take the ball when the teams come out for the second half but Auburn has shown it can both move the ball and affect Winston early on and if that continues coming back from 11 down could really be a challenge for the Seminoles.
Florida State may have eased through their first 13 games, but this 14th one has been rough.
Passing: Nick Marshall (7/12, 113, 2 TD)
Rushing: Tre Mason (16-89 TD)
Receiving: Rashad Greene (4-63)
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