It wasn’t pretty, but Florida State came out of its road game at Duke 17-10 victors.
After a messy first three quarters, Florida State and Duke were tied up at 10 heading into the fourth quarter.
FSU got the ball after forcing Duke’s first three-and-out of the game. Yes, Florida State did not force a three-and-out in the first three quarters.
The ’Noles converted two third and longs, deep in its own territory, and proceeded to march up the field. Cam Akers capped the drive with a 42-yard touchdown run to put FSU back up 17-10 with 8:23 left in the game. It was the true freshman’s first touchdown of his career and it put him over the century mark for the game.
Now it was time for Florida State’s fourth quarter defense to redeem itself. Redemption was accomplished as Duke was forced to punt to FSU with 6:02 left in the game.
Florida State thought it had a first down, but a holding penalty brought a long run by Patrick back, forced a 3rd and 17, and resulted in a punt back to Duke. Logan Tyler had what could have possibly been the play of the game, punting a kick 61-yards, pinning Duke at its own 18 yard line with just under four minutes left in the contest.
Duke went three-and-out, and FSU got the ball back with 3:24 and a chance to ice the game.
FSU then followed with its own three-and-out, failing to convert a second and four.
Duke had one last chance with the ball at its 15 yard line and 1:32 left.
Moments later, the Blue Devils were in business, reaching FSU territory with 39 seconds remaining.
They then reached the FSU 32 yard line with 35 seconds left.
Fortunately for the Seminoles, the 30-yard line is as far as they would reach.
Florida State starting quarterback James Blackman threw for 199 yards on 18-21 passing with a touchdown and those two costly interceptions. On the ground, freshman Cam Akers had a game high 115 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
Leading FSU receivers was Nyqwan Murray with 81 yards on five catches. Auden added three receptions and a touchdown.
The Florida State offense averaged 7.0 yards per play despite the low point total. The biggest threat coming into Saturday’s game was the Duke rushing defense that ranked seventh in the country. The Seminoles’ running backs averaged 6.54 yards per carry on 35 attempts.
Each team had success on third down with FSU going 6-13 and Duke converting 5 of 13 chances.
The Seminoles have a chance to get back to .500 next weekend with a home matchup vs. Louisville.