Florida State dominated Duke from start to finish in a 48-7 win. Florida State amassed 560 yards on 68 plays and held Duke to 232 yards on 70 plays. And late in the game, the players found out that Florida State now holds the division lead outright thanks to N.C. State's loss to North Carolina.
It wasn't perfect, but it was effective. Florida State started both the first and second half very fast, and proved that Duke, while bowl eligible, still has a serious lack of talent.
Through three quarters, Florida State held a 45-7 lead and had run off 458 yards on 47 plays (9.7/play), while holding Duke to just 202 on 61 plays (3.3/play). Florida State's EJ Manuel was far from sharp. But when he connected, he connected big. As in 282 yards on only 16 passes (8 completed), an incredible 17.6 yards-per-attempt and 35 per completion.
Florida State's defense was dominant, holding Duke well below its previous season low. And impressively held Duke's star receiver, Conner Vernon, to 12 yards on 3 catches. Vernon needed 93 yards to take the all-time ACC receiving record from Florida State legend Peter Warrick.
Upon being told about that, Florida State Lamarcus Joyner grinned. "Peter should thank us," Joyner said, jokingly.
Dustin Hopkins' 56-yard field goal was a career best, and his 81st, an ACC career record.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe was impressed.
In what seemed like a poor coaching decision, Florida State left quarterback EJ Manuel in the game into the fourth quarter with the Seminoles up 45-7. Coach Jimbo Fisher was trying to prove a point to his offense about finishing drives and games, after the FSU attack fumbled three times in the quarter, and FSU did run only 47 plays through three quarters (a low number for three quarters), but his move exposed Manuel to unnecessary hit after unnecessary hit as the game was well in hand.
The Seminoles did manage to get in a lot of defensive players later in the game.
9 of 11 #FSU defensive players to start this drive are either freshmen or sophomores.— Brandon Mellor (@BrandonMellor) October 27, 2012
Up next: bye week, then Nov. 8 at Virginia Tech (Thursday)
Injury news: James Wilder Jr. (shoulder) and Amp McCloud (undisclosed) were both not serious according to Jimbo Fisher.