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Game story: FSU football takes care of business, blows out UMass

‘Noles outgain Minutemen by over 300 yards.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Tallahassee, FL- Florida State football took care of business, and then some, today with a 59-3 win over the UMass Minutemen. The Seminoles were dominant on the ground and made timely plays on both sides of the ball. The ‘Noles out-gained UMass by over 300 yards. They averaged nearly 10 yards per play. They were 6-9 on third down and held UMass to 3-12. FSU was 6-6 in the red-zone, while UMass was 0-2. Florida State had just three penalties. The Seminoles now have three straight wins and are the first FBS team ever to do that right after losing their first four games.

Moments that mattered

‘Noles turn ball over on the first play of the game

A key component of FSU’s dominant win at North Carolina was the ability to protect the ball. The Seminoles never turned the ball over in Chapel Hill, but the first play against the Minutemen resulted in a turnover. Travis Jay brought the kickoff out of the end-zone and made a couple men miss to get just past the 25, but he fumbled just before going to the ground. The Minutemen recovered it to give their offense the ball at FSU’s 27. The Seminoles’ defense responded, as UMass lost two yards on three plays. They were still able to put points on the board with a 45-yard field goal.

Travis, offense starts fast

Last week, Jordan Travis became the first Florida State quarterback with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. He put his wheels on display on FSU’s first offensive play, as he scampered into UMass territory on a 39-yard gain. Jashaun Corbin broke off a 21-yard run on the next play. A drop by Ontaria Wilson, on a perfect RPO read by Travis, brought up third-and-10. Travis diagnosed a blitz and got the ball out quick to Camren McDonald in the flat for a first down. The QB rushed into the end-zone on the next play thanks to a block from TE Preston Daniel.

More big plays, more points

Freshman Kevin Knowles diagnosed a screen on third-and-eight and came up with a tackle for loss to force a quick punt. Lawrance Toafili rushed for 38 yards on FSU’s first play of their second drive. Wilson made up for the drop with a leaping grab on third-and-nine for a 35-yard gain to move FSU into the red-zone. The drive stalled after a sack, but Ryan Fitzgerald converted a 36-yard field goal.

After another UMass punt, the offense went back to work with more big plays. On third-and-four, Malik McClain caught a short pass over the middle, broke a tackle, and showed off his speed as he glided down the sideline for a 51-yard gain. Three plays later, Corbin broke loose on a short third down for a 29-yard touchdown.

Robinson keeps Minutemen out of end-zone with an INT

The Minutemen looked like they were getting themselves back into the game with a strong drive. The ‘Noles handed UMass a third-down conversion on a roughing the passer penalty. A 16-yard rush gave them a first-and-goal from the four. Jammie Robinson came up with the big play that FSU needed to keep the momentum on their side. Robinson picked off QB Brady Olson in the end-zone to end the drive. It was his first interception as a Seminole.

‘Noles continue to pound the rock on the ground, Ward cashes in

Travis opened FSU’s next drive with a 12-yard rush. Treshaun Ward moved FSU across midfield with a 23-yard gain on the ground. A face-mask penalty moved the ‘Noles near the red-zone. On third-and-two, Ward bounced a run outside and jogged into the end-zone for an easy 17-yard touchdown. The touchdown, set up on a nice block by Darius Washington, put FSU up 24-3.

Williams flashes for the first time as a ‘Nole, joins in on the TD party

Following the Ward TD, the defense forced a three-and-out. Travis connected with Helton for a twenty-yard gain on the second play of the next drive. Three straight runs picked up 32 total yards and moved FSU near the red-zone. Auburn-transfer DJ Williams finished off the drive with a 23-yard TD, his first touchdown as a ‘Nole.

Brownlee puts exclamation point on first half with a house call

After what happened earlier in the season versus a lesser opponent, FSU would’ve been easily satisfied with a 28-point lead going into halftime, but Jarvis Brownlee decided to add an exclamation point to the dominant half. A long kickoff return gave the Minutemen a short field to work with. On the third play of the drive, Brownlee jumped a comeback and exploded down the sideline to won a one-on-one race for a pick-six to put FSU up 38-3 at half.

Purdy gets most of reps in second half

Travis got just one series in the second half before Chubba Purdy took over behind center for three drives, and led the ‘Noles to a touchdown on every drive. Purdy was one of many young reserves that FSU was able to get some experience today. Other redshirt or true freshmen that saw lots of action were OL Zane Herring, OT LLoyd Willis, OL Bryson Estes, TE Markeston Douglas, TE Jackson West, CB Hunter Washington, CB Demorie Tate, S Shyheim Brown, DE Pat Payton, and DT Joshua Farmer. Nine true freshman played for FSU.

Corbin helped kickstart the first of three TD drives with a 25-yard run. Purdy then found Darion Williamson on an RPO for a 16-yard connection. After Toafili picked up a first down, Purdy connected with Camren McDonald, who broke a tackle and walked into the end-zone for a 12-yard TD.

Amari Gainer forced a fumble on the following kickoff, which was recovered by DJ Lundy at UMass’ 25. A pass interference in the end-zone gave FSU first-and-goal. Toafili became the fourth Florida State running back to find the end-zone on a 10-yard rush.

Another long UMass punt gave FSU the ball at their own 14. Purdy found Andrew Parchment on a slant. Parchment spun away from a defender and got into open space to pick up 38 yards. A few plays later, he connected with Parchment for another big gain. Purdy rolled to his left on third-and-five, turned his shoulders, and fired a dart to Parchment for a 27-yard gain. On the next play, he found a wide open Jordan Young for a five-yard TD.

Purdy finished the day a perfect 5-5 for 98 yards and two TD’s.

FSU notables

Travis: 5-10, 123 yards, 9 rush, 78 yards, TD

Purdy: 5-5, 98 yards, 2 TD

Corbin: 11 rush, 127 yards, TD

Toafili: 4 rush, 63 yards, TD

Ward: 8 rush, 57 yards, TD

Williams: 4 rush, 31 yards, TD

McDonald: 3 rec, 29 yards, TD

Parchment: 2 rec, 65 yards

Up next: Florida State will travel to Clemson next week. The game is at 3:30 PM on Saturday and will be televised on ESPN.