Both players had dominant performances in helping the Noles overcome the Gators in a 45-38 win that made the record books.
Benson led the team in both rushing and receiving yards and broke three ties with his three trips to the end zone. The Noles have been on a hot streak, winning five of their last games with Benson starting while breaking career highs for the running back in each of those contests.
Smith took every offensive snap (76) against the Gators, grading out with a pass-blocking grade of 81.4, and helped the offense score the most points against UF since 1992. The two have teamed up, earning ACC honors previously in the season against Syracuse, while Benson is tied for first in the country in the number of times honored for 2022.
The Noles are gearing up for bowl season for the first time in the Mike Norvell era with the hopes of going big in a New Year’s Six and a chance of hitting the 10-win mark and start 2023 strong.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After helping lead Florida State to a 45-38 win vs. Florida, running back Trey Benson and center Maurice Smith have combined to win the ACC’s Running Back and Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. It is Benson’s fourth weekly honor this year (all over the past five games), while Smith has won two of the Seminoles’ four Offensive Lineman of the Week honors.
Benson, a redshirt sophomore from Greenville, Mississippi, ran for 111 yards and a career-high three touchdowns Friday against Florida. Benson scored three of FSU’s five rushing touchdowns – the most surrendered by the Gators since 1997 – and was the first Seminole with three rushing touchdowns in a game since 2020. All three of Benson’s touchdowns broke a tie and gave FSU the lead – he opened the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown, one play after a 45-yard run; scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter that broke a 24-24 tie; and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 17-yard run with 4:06 remaining in the fourth quarter in a 38-38 game.
Benson also caught two passes and led FSU with a career-high 51 receiving yards. For the season, Benson has 965 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns, which are both Top 20 in FSU single-season history. He leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally with 6.84 yards per carry.
Benson has started each game in FSU’s current five-game winning streak, the first starts of his career. Benson was also named the ACC Running Back of the Week after setting career-high rushing totals in consecutive weeks against Georgia Tech, Miami and Syracuse.
Smith, from Miami, played every offensive snap against the Gators. The Seminole offense scored 45 points, FSU’s most against Florida since 1992, and tied for the second-most in series history, while the 497 total yards were the most for FSU against the Gators since 1994.
FSU ran for 227 yards, the seventh consecutive game with at least 200 rushing yards. That is tied for the longest streak in school history and the longest in the country this season.
The Seminoles also had eight plays of at least 20 yards – including quarterback Jordan Travis’s 29-yard touchdown run – and continue to lead the country with 88 plays of 20 or more yards on the year. Travis accounted for 353 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, his sixth straight game with at least three touchdowns and one or fewer turnover.
Each week that Benson was named the ACC Running Back of the Week, FSU also won the Offensive Lineman of the Week. Smith and Benson teamed up against Syracuse; D’Mitri Emmanuel won the award against Georgia Tech, while Dillan Gibbons earned the honor after FSU’s 45-3 win at Miami.
Benson matches Pitt’s Israel Abanikanda for the most Running Back of the Week honors this season, while Smith is the fourth player with multiple Offensive Line awards this year. FSU’s four o-line honors tied for the most this season.
Florida State has now won 13 ACC player of the week honors this season:
Player Award Opponent
Ontaria Wilson Receiver vs. LSU
Jared Verse Defensive Lineman vs. LSU
Shyheim Brown Specialist vs. LSU
Johnny Wilson Receiver at Louisville
Jammie Robinson Defensive Back Wake Forest
Trey Benson Running Back Georgia Tech
D’Mitri Emmanuel Offensive Lineman Georgia Tech
Trey Benson Running Back at Miami
Dillan Gibbons Offensive Lineman at Miami
Trey Benson Running Back at Syracuse
Maurice Smith Offensive Lineman at Syracuse
Trey Benson Running Back Florida
Maurice Smith Offensive Lineman Florida