Florida State Smokes Virginia 34-14

The Florida State Seminoles passed their second road test of the season, beating Virginia 34-14.  It wasn't even that close, as FSU led 27-0 at the half and out-gained Virginia 298 to 42.  Virginia came out firing in the second half, but the game was never seriously in doubt.  

Defense keyed the 'Noles hot start to the day, opening the game with 7 straight punts forced.  Five of Virginia's first seven drives gained fewer than one yard.  The defensive line was dominant, led by defensive tackle Everett Dawkins.  The secondary provided tight coverage too.  Virginia's run game could never get anything going as the 'Noles kept good leverage on the ball and controlled the line of scrimmage.  Florida State had only one badly blown coverage, and the referees did an awful job letting Virginia hold on an insane number of passing plays.  Virginia scored a touchdown when the backups were in the game to cut FSU's lead to 34-14.  Florida State finished with two interceptions on the day and pushed its NCAA lead to 25 sacks, tallying 6.

The offense didn't look great to start, but it did kick into gear.  Jermaine Thomas ripped off a 70-yard TD run to make it 10-0.  FSU had nice blocking on the edge and Thomas took the outside zone play to the boundary to the house.  FSU had offensive drives of 59, 70, 87, 55, 14, 31, 11, 31, and 80 when the starters were in.  Ponder hit Willie Haulstead on a beautiful throw to the endzone off a pump fake.  Haulstead had a big day and it looks as if Christian Ponder now trusts him as a viable third option.  FSU ran for 261 yards on the day and threw for 171.  It was a good but not great effort for FSU's offense.  And the offense did not commit a turnover.  

This was a good win for FSU as the 'Noles took care of business against an inferior opponent.

Unfortunately for the 'Noles, FSU lost starting linebacker Mister Alexander to a concussion and lost reserve corner Lamarcus Joyner to an ankle injury.  Florida State is now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC.  The 'Noles face Miami next week at 8 PM.

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