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Quarter by quarter: FSU vs. USF
Florida State vs Wake Forest
TAMPA, Fla. -- By head coach Jimbo Fisher's standards, No. 4 Florida State did not play its best game in Tampa. However, the 'Noles came away with a 30-17 win over host South Florida to improve to 5-0 on the season.
"Our kids gutted it out," Fisher said in his post-game television interview. "It wasn't pretty."
The Seminoles outgained the Bulls by a 425 to 268 total offense margin, however Florida State came away with just 20 points in four red-zone possessions. Defensively, the 'Noles put the clamps on USF after the first quarter. The Bulls gained 144 yards in the first quarter, but only gained 124 the rest of the night.
Both teams benefited from non-traditional means of scoring, with the Seminoles' Christian Jones taking home a 12-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. USF blocked a Cason Beatty punt in the third quarter to take over at the FSU eight-yard line. Quarterback B.J. Daniels walked in the end zone three plays later.
Seminole quarterback EJ Manuel finished the game completing 19 of 26 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. Senior Chris Thompson led all FSU rushers with 74 yards on 16 carries.
Florida State moves on to play North Carolina State Saturday, October 6th for an 8 p.m. kick.
The Skinny: South Florida controlled the clock, running 23 plays from scrimmage compared to the Seminoles' nine. USF possessed the ball for 10:28 of the quarter.
Key Play: After South Florida took a 3-0 lead following a solid 10-play, 62-yard opening drive, kick returner Karlos Williams took a kick back 60 yards to give the Seminoles great field position at the Bulls' 35. Rashad Greene would punch in the 'Noles' touchdown on a 10-yard reverse.
Key Stat: Florida State ran only nine offensive plays in the first quarter in two total drives.
Key player: USF quarterback BJ Daniels racked up 41 rushing yards in opening period as the Seminoles were outgained 144-85.
The Skinny: Florida State found its footing defensively, holding the Bulls to 18 total yards and one first down after giving up 144 yards in the opening period.
Key Play: Leading 10-3 with less than two minutes left in the half, FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes
Key Stat: FSU seemingly found some answers for USF QB BJ Daniels, who was held without a yard rushing after 42 yards in the first quarter.
Key player: DE Tank Carradine has led the defensive effort, logging six tackles and 1/2 a sack through two quarters.
The Skinny: Florida State effectively put the game away with a stifling defensive performance in the third quarter. The Seminoles posted 17 points in the third quarter to take a 30-10 lead going into the final 15 minutes.
Key play: On the final play of the quarter, DE Tank Carradine came in untouched, sacking USF backup QB Matt Floyd and forcing a fumble. The ball was scooped up by Christian Jones, who ran it in from 12 yards out to make it 30-10 FSU. Daniels was out after being hit hard the previous play.
Key Stat: Since a 144-yard first quarter, South Florida has been held to 40 total yards and one first down.
The Skinny: Florida State held off USF, surrendering a second B.J. Daniels rushing touchdown on the way to a 30-17 win.
Key Play: As it stopped the Seminoles on third down with close to five minutes remaining in the game, USF drew a dead ball personal foul that allowed the 'Noles to take additional time of the clock. The play killed swelling momentum for the Bulls as well as helping FSU change field position for its final defensive stand.
Key Stat: 73. That's EJ Manuel's completion percentage on a night that the senior did not have his 'A' game.
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