Despite rain falling from the sky for the second week in a row, Florida State advanced to 2-0 for the fifth consecutive season, defeating the University of South Florida Bulls 34-14.
Florida State started the game with two empty drives which was just a sign of what was to come for the first half. Dalvin Cook opened up the scoring for the Seminoles with a dazzling 74-yard touchdown run; scoring just over 10 minutes into the game. Later in the quarter, after a punt return by USF set them up with great field possession at the FSU 11, the third down pass into the end zone was intercepted by Marquez White, keeping the score at 7-0 as the first quarter ended.
Early in the second quarter, after some bad coverage by the FSU secondary resulted in a 24-yard completion for the Bulls, USF was able to capitalize, tying the game at seven. The offense continued to be sluggish for the Noles, recording their first, and only completion of the half and converting their first, first down with a little more than 10 minutes left in the second quarter. Heading into halftime Florida State had punted seven times, and recorded 110 yards of total offense while tied at 7.
At the top of the names that struggled was Everett Golson, who went 1-9 for six yards in the first 30 minutes of action. That included two dropped passes by Bobo Wilson. Defensively the Noles were just alright, recording four tackles for losses, and the huge interception by Marquez White.
Kermit Whitfield gave some much needed help to the offense, returning the opening half kickoff for 56 yards. Dalvin Cook once again ended the drive with a rushing touchdown from 24-yards out. On the very next drive, Cook was back at it, rushing for 53 yards in a drive that resulted in a field goal by Roberto Aguayo. Everett Golson started to gain his composure back at the end of the third quarter, going 4-5 for 56 yards on a drive which ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Bobo Wilson, extending the FSU lead to 24-7 as the quarter came to a close. The second half was a much better showing from an offensive standpoint. After punting a total of seven times in the first half, the Noles did not punt once in the second half, scoring on all five possessions.
USF opened up the fourth quarter with a 71-yard touchdown pass due to a missed assignment by the FSU defense as the receiver never had any garnet jerseys within 15 yards of him. Roberto Aguayo tacked his second field goal of the game to make it a 27-14 game after a much needed drive was put together by the Florida State offense. With less than two minutes remaining, Dalvin Cook finished off the scoring with a 37-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 20, which would be the final margin of victory for FSU.
Dalvin Cook became the first running back at Florida State to have at least 200 rushing yards in a game since 1988. He finished the day with 30 carries for 266 yards and three touchdowns, the second best rushing effort in Florida State history. Cook was the much-needed spark to the offense, as there was not much success around him. Everett Golson struggled early, throwing for nine yards in the first half, but answered slightly in the second half, finishing the day 14-26 with 163 yards and a touchdown. The young Florida State receivers made many mistakes, dropping a total of six passes. They were led by Travis Rudolph who had six receptions for 55 yards. In total, Florida State recorded 441 yards of offense.
Defensively, the Noles had an average showing, giving up 274 yards of offense to USF while recording three sacks and intercepting one pass. Ro'Derrick Hoskins led the defense with seven tackles, including two for losses. Despite the low yardage given up, there were many missed assignments and coverage in the secondary which luckily didn't come back to haunt FSU.
Florida State will play their first road game of the season against Boston College this upcoming Friday.