Florida State crushes N.C. State on Bobby Bowden's return to Doak

Bud Elliott

It would have been hard to put together a better tribute for Bobby Bowden in his return to Doak, as the Seminoles crushed the Wolfpack 49-17. It was over quickly. Very quickly.

Through one quarter, FSU had more points (35) than N.C. State had yards (32). FSU's starters were pulled almost immediately after halftime.

It was just that kind of perfect day for the Seminoles.

In the first quarter alone, Jameis Winston was 11 of 14 for 229 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Karlos Williams both had a carry of more than 10 yards. Both starting receivers had a catch of at least 30 yards.

In the first quarter.

FSU allowed only 32 yards on 20 N.C. State plays in the first frame. It held N.C. State QB Brandon Mitchell to 2 of 7 passing. And Florida State forced two turnovers, both via senior Terrence Brooks -- the first a great diving interception, and the second a great forced fumble.

FSU outgained N.C. State by a margin of 14.4 to 1.6 yards per play in that first quarter. That;'s 800-percent. Exactly.

The second quarter did not go quite as well, but FSU was up 42-0 at the half. And it was on pace to outgain N.C. State by almost 600 yards.

Oh, and Jimbo Fisher honored Bobby Bowden by calling a fake punt, reminiscent of the days of the ol' riverboat gambler. And it worked. Bowden planted the spear at midfield after walking out through a tunnel of hundreds of former players from the program he built. And the band spelled out dadgum and "Bobby" during the halftime show.

FSU tied a school record first set in 1995 with its seventh game in a row scoring at least 40 points.

But in the second half, Florida State pulled its starters after just a single offensive drive, and N.C. State was able to put some points on the board. With a game against Miami looming, FSU didn't want to risk getting its starters hurt by playing them too much in the second half.

The Wolfpack broke out double reverses and onside kicks against FSU's reserves, and we learned that FSU's second and third stringers could probably not defeat N.C. State.

Also, College Gameday will officially be in Tallahassee next weekend as Miami comes to town.

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