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FSU bounces back with victory over Northern Illinois

FSU’s bowl hopes aren’t dead just yet.

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

It’s parents weekend here in Tallahassee and the Seminoles appeared to be a different team on this sweltering Saturday afternoon. A pair of touchdowns on their first two drives put the Seminoles up 14-0 in the first quarter. For the first time, the fans caught a glimpse of what the Gulf Coast Offense is supposed to look like. Their first drive was a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a lucky touchdown pass that landed safely in the hands of Jacques Patrick after deflecting off of wide receiver Keith Gavin.

Florida State's second drive of the game was a 8-play 70-yard drive that ended with Akers waltzing into the end zone.

During the Seminoles’ third drive, they went for it on 4th and one from the NIU 37, Patrick picked up two yards, but fumbled and the Huskies recovered.

The Florida State defense was able to force three consecutive 3-and-outs as the first quarter expired and both Marvin Wilson and Janarius Robinson flashed. “Big Marv” had his first career start in today’s game.

The Northern Illinois defense forced the Seminoles to punt away the first drive of the second quarter. RB Anthony Grant had a monstrous hit on the Huskies punt returner that highlighted the freshman back’s value on special teams.

The two teams went on to trade possessions where no points were put on the board, but the next drive allowed Northern Illinois to get their first touchdown of the game. FSU’s Levonta Taylor lost his man in one-on-one coverage and gave up his third touchdown catch of the season after giving up none last year. The Huskies now trailed Florida State 14-7.

The second half ended with two Florida State field goals. Francois threw an amazing contested toss to Keith Gavin which set up Ricky Aguayo’s first successful field goal since the Virginia Tech game, a 43-yard missile.

On Florida State’s next possession, they looked to score a touchdown to end the half, but Alec Eberle’s snap to Francois was too high, luckily the ball was recovered by Florida State and they sent the field goal unit out on the field. The Huskies tried icing Aquayo by calling two time outs in a row, but the only ice was in Aguayo’s veins as he launched a second field goal from 50-yards through the uprights.

Deondre Francois ended the first half 19 of 24 for 233 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Francois looked relatively comfortable when running the ball today, something we have not seen in the recent past. The offense had also run 54 plays at halftime. Last week at Syracuse, they had 60 plays total.

The Seminoles hit the locker room up on the Huskies 20-7.

At the start of the second half, the two teams continued to make huge defensive stops that resulted in no additional points. On the Seminole’s second possession, they were held to a field goal for the third time. This lead Aguayo to make his third field goal of the game, a 42-yard try.

The Huskies answered Florida State’s score on their next drive with a 4-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. Northern Illinois now trailed the Seminoles 23-13 heading into the fourth quarter.

During the Seminoles first drive of the fourth quarter, Francois was strip-sacked and the Huskies recovered on FSU’s own 38-yard line. The Florida State defense was able to hold Northern Illinois to a field goal attempt, after a touchdown was called back because the receiver stepped out of bounds prior to the catch. The Huskies missed the ensuing field goal. The Seminoles still lead 23-13.

Feed Tamorrion Terry the ball and he will score. Terry went 78-yards on a beautiful bomb from Francois. He has scored three touchdowns on eight receptions this season. His reception today was the longest for an FSU freshman since Warrick Dunn in 1993. The touchdown put the Seminoles ahead 30-13.

Francois made his second turnover of the game and threw an interception during the second play of the Seminoles drive. The Huskies made Francois pay and scored only 4-plays and one-minute later. Northern Illinois went for the 2-point conversion and failed when Brian Burns intercepted the pass with a one-handed grab.

With four minutes left in the game, FSU CB Kyle Meyers recorded his second sack of the game for a loss of 7-yards when the Huskies went for it on 4th and 10. The Seminoles took over from the NIU 28-yard line and Florida State's last drive consisted of 6-plays, 28-yards that ended with Amir Rasul’s first career touchdown. Rasul was handed the ball for every single play of the drive.

The game ended with a sack from Joshua Kaindoh and Florida State beat the Huskies 37-19.