Describing Florida State’s 58-13 win on Saturday night as bittersweet would be underselling the bitter aspect, as despite the Seminoles’ moving to 11-0 (8-0 ACC) on the season and finishing its home slate undefeated they lost quarterback Jordan Travis to a serious leg injury suffered in the first quarter.
It was a start to forget overall for Florida State, as the No. 4 team in the country went down 13-0 early to FCS opponent North Alabama as the offense struggled to find any sense of rhythm. The Lions took advantage, reeling off a 64-yard rush on a fake punt and then putting together an 80-yard drive to pull ahead by two scores (Florida State blocked the second extra-point attempt.)
After the Lions’ second touchdown, Travis took off for a 17-yard rush and was brought down by a hip-dip tackle, resulting in a leg injury that saw him carted off the field.
Tate Rodemaker, who played in relief of an injured Travis in a comeback win over the Louisville Cardinals last season, then led Florida State on its first scoring drive of the game — a field goal converted by Ryan Fitzgerald, pulling FSU within 10.
From then on, it was all Florida State, with the Seminoles reeling off 4x straight points including the aforementioned field goal, enabled by a forced and recovered fumble from Jarrian Jones who had a massive performance on Senior Night by adding an interception later in the game.
Caziah Holmes had two touchdowns for FSU — a three-yard rush in the second and 26-yard screen pass in the third — one of four Florida State running backs to score on Saturday. Trey Benson had the first touchdown of the game for the Seminoles, Lawrance Toafili reeled off a 17-yarder right before half and CJ Campbell had the offensive play of the game with a 70-yard touchdown dash to put FSU up 45-13 in the fourth quarter.
Before exiting the game with the outcome well decided, Rodemaker went 13 of 23 for 217 yards and two touchdowns — the second of which was to Keon Coleman for the receiver’s 11th touchdown of the season.
Brock Glenn, who subbed in for Rodemaker and got a chance at some game action, led a 70-yard drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown rush (the first of his career) to make it 52-13.
To cap things off, the Seminoles blocked a North Alabama field goal attempt after the Lions called timeout with 9 seconds left, with Quindarrius Jones taking it 58 yards to the house for a final score of 58-13.
Next up for Florida State is a trip to Gainesville for a showdown against the Florida Gators. The 67th meeting between the two rivals is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Florida State won last year’s matchup 45-38 — the highest-scoring game in series history and the first-ever Friday matchup in the series.
After that, the Seminoles will travel to Charlotte for the program’s first appearance in the ACC Championship game since 2014 and sixth overall, facing off against the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals (10-1, 7-1 ACC) who clinched a spot in the title game with a win over the Miami Hurricanes.
Florida State 58, North Alabama 13: Final Stats
Here are the stat categories in bold for North Alabama (Team A) and Florida State (Team B):
North Alabama: 226
Florida State: 521
North Alabama: 83
Florida State: 273
North Alabama: 143
Florida State: 248
North Alabama: 8-75
Florida State: 8-83
North Alabama: 14
Florida State: 26
North Alabama: 3-16
Florida State: 4-11
North Alabama: 1-1
Florida State: 0-2
North Alabama: 64
Florida State: 67
North Alabama: 3.5
Florida State: 7.8
North Alabama: 5.5
Florida State: 16.1
North Alabama: 4.2
Florida State: 6.7
Sack-Adj Rush Yd(Avg):
North Alabama: 174 (6.0)
Florida State: 256 (7.3)
North Alabama: 2-3
Florida State: 5-5
Time of Possession:
North Alabama: 31:42
Florida State: 28:18
Turnovers (Def Pts Off):
North Alabama: 2 (14)
Florida State: 0 (0)
North Alabama: 3-1
Florida State: 1-0
Sacks (Def Yds):
North Alabama: 2 (8)
Florida State: 5 (37)
TFL (Def Yds):
North Alabama: 5 (18)
Florida State: 11 (46)
Game notes, via FSU Sports Info
- No. 4 Florida State improved to 11-0 with a 58-13 win over North Alabama, maintaining a perfect 8-0 home record and an 8-0 record for the season.
- FSU is 26-6 all-time when ranked No. 4 in the AP poll, including 16-1 at home and 8-0 this season.
- The team is 155-29 all-time when ranked in the top 5 (10-0 in 2023) and has a remarkable 105-6 record against unranked opponents when in the top 5, boasting 25 consecutive wins.
- This marks FSU’s 6th time going 11-0 in school history and completing an unbeaten home record for the 25th time.
- Florida State’s 17-game win streak is the 3rd-longest active streak nationally, tied for the 2nd-longest in FSU history, and tied for the 3rd-longest in ACC history. During this streak, FSU has outscored opponents 694-295.
- The team ran 37 times for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the game, with notable performances from CJ Campbell, Caziah Holmes, Trey Benson, Lawrance Toafili, and freshman quarterback Brock Glenn.
- Quarterback Tate Rodemaker set career highs with 13 completions, 217 yards, and tied a career high with two touchdowns.
- Keon Coleman caught a 24-yard touchdown from Rodemaker, marking his 11th of the season and tying for 8th in FSU history for receiving touchdowns in a season. Coleman continues to lead the ACC in this category.
- Tight end Jaheim Bell led FSU with 59 receiving yards, highlighted by a 49-yard catch and run, his longest of the season.
- Defensive back Jarrian Jones had an exceptional game with 3.0 tackles for loss, a forced and recovered fumble on a sack, and his 3rd interception of the season. Jones’ sack and forced fumble were the first of his career, and he became the first Seminole with an interception and fumble recovery in the same game since 2011.
- FSU’s defense has maintained a remarkable streak, not allowing 30 points in a game this season. This 11-game streak is the longest active in the ACC and the 3rd-longest in the country.
- The Noles held North Alabama to 3-for-16 (18.8%) on 3rd-down conversions, showcasing the team’s defensive strength.
- Several players made notable contributions, including Patrick Payton, Joshua Farmer, DJ Lundy, Jared Verse, and Liam McCormick, who blocked two kicks, with McCormick’s block resulting in a touchdown return by Quindarrius Jones.
- Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald connected on a 23-yard field goal and six extra points, ranking 12th in Florida State history with 280 career points.
- Quarterback Jordan Travis won his 28th game as a starting quarterback, tying with Chris Rix for No. 2 on FSU’s all-time list. Travis also achieved milestones in passing and rushing yards, cementing his place in ACC history.
- Florida State’s starting offensive line combined for an impressive 203 starts.
- Head coach Mike Norvell improved to 23-5 in November as a head coach, including 11-3 at home.
- Freshmen Samuel Singleton Jr. and Lamont Green Jr. made impressive debuts in their first career appearances. Singleton averaged 8.7 yards on six rushes for a total of 52 yards, showcasing his potential with a notable 24-yard run on his first career play.
- Transfer kicker Tyler Keltner had his first action at Florida State, contributing with a successful extra point in the fourth quarter.
- Senior Day activities honored the following players: DB Danj Altine, LB Tatum Bethune, DL Dennis Briggs Jr., OL Jeremiah Byers, LB Kalen DeLoach, DB Akeem Dent, OL D’Mitri Emmanuel, DL Braden Fiske, DB Renardo Green, DB Jarrian Jones, DL Fabien Lovett, OL Casey Roddick, LS James Rosenberry Jr., OL Thomas Shrader, QB Jordan Travis, and DE Jared Verse. These players were recognized for their contributions and dedication to the team.