Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Kendall Milton (2) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half in the 2023 Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Georgia throttles No. 5 Florida State in Orange Bowl rout

Carson Beck passed for two touchdowns in two quarters of action and No. 6 Georgia steamrolled No. 5 Florida State 63-3 on Saturday in a record showing at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Beck completed 13 of 18 passes for 203 yards before exiting as the Bulldogs won by an Orange Bowl-record 60 points. The previous largest margin of victory was 55 when Alabama routed Syracuse 61-6 on Jan. 1, 1953.

Kendall Milton rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns and Daijun Edwards also ran for two scores as Georgia (13-1) pummeled a previously unbeaten Florida State squad. The Seminoles were missing several key players on both sides of the ball, most of them either declaring for the NFL draft or entering the transfer portal.

Georgia backup quarterback Gunner Stockton was 6-of-10 passing for 96 yards and two scores. Daylen Everette and Malaki Starks had interceptions for the Bulldogs, who have won 46 of their past 48 games.

Freshman Brock Glenn completed 9 of 26 passes for 139 yards and two interceptions in his second straight start for Florida State (13-1). Glenn became the starter after star Jordan Travis broke his leg and Tate Rodemaker sustained a concussion and later entered the portal.

The shellacking ended Florida State’s 19-game winning streak, which was second-longest behind Washington (20).

The Bulldogs rolled up an Orange Bowl-record 673 total yards and limited the Seminoles to 209.

Georgia blew the game open with a 35-point, second-quarter blitz.

Milton scored on a 15-yard run with 4:05 left in the first quarter and tacked on a 5-yard touchdown run three seconds into the second to make it 14-0.

After Ryan Fitzgerald kicked a 22-yard field goal for the Seminoles, Edwards scored on a 15-yard run for the Bulldogs to make it 21-3.

Florida State’s Deuce Spann fumbled away the ensuing kickoff when hit by Chaz Chambliss and Cole Speer recovered for Georgia at the Seminoles’ 27-yard line. On the next play, Ladd McConkey scooted 27 yards on a reverse to give the Bulldogs two touchdowns in 20 seconds and a 25-point advantage with 10:18 left in the half.

Beck threw two touchdowns passes later in the half, first hitting Arian Smith from 12 yards out and then tossing a 2-yarder to Dominic Lovett to make it 42-3 with 24 seconds to go.

Stockton replaced Beck at the outset of the second half and guided Georgia on a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Edwards capped it with a 2-yard run.

Stockton threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lawson Luckie to make it 56-3 with 2:30 left in the third quarter. He added a 14-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Evans III with 12:10 left in the game.

–Field Level Media

Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Johnny Wilson (14) catches a pass from Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13). The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Miami Hurricanes 27-20 on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.

Super-sized WR Johnny Wilson leaving FSU for NFL

Florida State wide receiver Johnny Wilson declared for the 2024 NFL Draft, ESPN announced Wednesday.

Wilson accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, where the 6-foot-7, 237-pound wideout likely is to be tried at tight end to showcase his versatility and skills to potential future employers.

Wilson accumulated 1,514 career receiving yards and 84 receptions with the Seminoles and the redshirt junior was an All-ACC selection in 2023, with 41 receptions for 617 yards and two touchdowns.

A transfer from Arizona State, Wilson caught 18 passes combined in 2020-21 with the Sun Devils before heading to Tallahassee.

It’s not clear whether Wilson’s decision to turn pro will impact his availability for the Orange Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Tate Rodemaker (18) talks to his teammates. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Boston College Eagles 44-14 at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

Fsu V Boston College Second005

No. 5 Florida State, Florida without starting QBs for rivalry game

While No. 5 Florida State and Florida remain fierce rivals, they have something painfully in common right now.

Each is dealing with a devastating injury to its starting quarterback heading into the annual post-Thanksgiving rivalry clash, which the Gators will host on Saturday night in Gainesville, Fla.

Florida State (11-0) now faces the daunting challenge of trying to keep its national championship hopes alive without Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis, who suffered a significant leg injury during the first quarter of last weekend’s 58-13 win over North Alabama.

Meanwhile, Florida (5-6) lost starter Graham Mertz potentially for the remainder of the season after he suffered a non-displaced collarbone fracture with 2:09 left in the third quarter of the Gators’ heartbreaking 33-31 loss at Missouri last Saturday.

Travis’ injury clearly had an impact on the most recent College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night. The latest poll had the Seminoles ranked No. 5 behind No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Washington, and on the outside looking in after being ranked fourth each of the past three weeks.

Michigan and Ohio State face each other this weekend, which guarantees one of the five unbeaten teams in that mix will drop.

But there’s speculation that even an unbeaten Florida State team with victories over the Gators and potentially Louisville in next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game could get left out of the Playoff in favor of the Michigan-Ohio State loser depending on the impression the Seminoles make over their next two games.

“It’s always about us. And through challenge, through adversity, through whatever the perspective is on the outside of people that think that know our team?” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “I live with them every day. I watch them every day, I watch their work, I watch their heart, the ability — all the things that are important to winning football games and being able to sustain success.”

The Seminoles will try to press forward with redshirt junior Tate Rodemaker starting at quarterback. For the season, Rodemaker is 20 of 31 for 376 yards, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Last week after Travis went down, Rodemaker went 13-for-23 passing for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

“Tate’s an old head,” Florida State offensive coordinator Alex Atkins told reporters this week. “Not like we’re putting in some redshirt freshman, he’s been around. … He’s been in it for a while. He understands the system now.”

The Gators, meanwhile, will go with redshirt freshman Max Brown, who entered in relief of Mertz and will make his first collegiate start against FSU.

Brown completed 4 of 5 passes for 56 yards and ran for 42 yards on seven carries against Missouri.

“Give Max some credit,” Florida coach Billy Napier said after the loss. “Max settled in there a little bit and made a few plays. Obviously, he’s a good athlete and we were able to use his legs a little bit in the read game.”

Napier said Monday that a recent scan of Mertz’s collarbone hinted it could heal on its own allowing him to potentially avoid surgery.

“You know, we’re basically gonna go in a two-week period here where we’re going to give a chance for the fracture to start the process of growing back, and then we’ll re-evaluate things,” Napier said.

The Seminoles will get a desperate Florida team that needs a victory in order to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since going 4-7 in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Nov 4, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) passes the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Florida State won’t take foot off gas vs. North Alabama

No. 4 Florida State can probably play at several levels below its best Saturday night and still win comfortably against visiting North Alabama in Tallahassee.

But fourth-year coach Mike Norvell vows the Seminoles (10-0) will give their FCS opponent the same respect they give anyone else. That includes Miami, whom they beat 27-20 last week to clinch an 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference record and a spot in the league’s championship game on Dec. 2.

“I’ve watched them make the investment,” Norvell said. “And we are going to respect the opportunity and we are going to respect all the work that these guys have poured in to get to this point. We are going to improve this week.”

Florida State, which likely is three wins away from a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals, got 265 passing yards and a touchdown from Jordan Travis against Miami. It continued an excellent season for Travis, who is completing just over 64 percent of his passes for 2,734 yards with 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Keon Coleman has been his favorite target with 42 receptions for 562 yards and 10 touchdowns. Johnny Wilson has 30 catches for 497 yards, while tight end Jaheim Bell has 34 grabs for 406 yards. The running game is spearheaded by Travis Benson (721 yards, 6.4 yards per carry, 10 TDs).

The win over Miami was just the third by a touchdown or less for the Seminoles, who are outscoring teams by an average of 21 points. It was their 16th straight win, dating back to a 34-28 setback to Clemson on Oct. 15, 2022.

That run, the third longest currently in FBS behind Georgia (27) and Washington (17), is why Norvell is so insistent on treating this game like any other.

“If we don’t apply those lessons, we are not achieving the objective of what we set out for,” he said. “We need to go get better.”

While Florida State aims for improvement and another win, North Alabama comes to the end of a long season with a big paycheck at the end of a not-so-beautiful rainbow. The Lions (3-7) have been idle since a 27-14 loss on Nov. 4 against United Athletic Conference foe Central Arkansas.

The one highlight from that game was a milestone. Sixth-year senior Takairee Kenebrew tied the school record for most touchdown catches in a career with 25, grabbing two in the second half, the second one with 3:46 remaining in the game.

“I had been through a lot throughout my career,” Kenebrew said. “So just to have that accomplishment, it just feels really great. But I’m not stopping at tying it. We still got another game to go to break it.”

That Kenebrew reached the record is even more amazing when one considers injuries held him out of all but two games from 2018-20. Since the start of the 2021 season, he has amassed 1,825 receiving yards.

This will be the first meeting of the two programs.

–Field Level Media

The Florida State Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes are tied 10-10 at the half on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.

No. 4 Florida State remains perfect by dispatching Miami

Trey Benson ran for two touchdowns — including the go-ahead 38-yarder in the third quarter — as No. 4 Florida State defeated visiting Miami 27-20 in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday afternoon.

Jordan Travis passed for 265 yards and one touchdown for Florida State (10-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which won its 16th consecutive game. Travis became the first quarterback in Seminoles history to beat Miami three straight years.

Miami (6-4, 2-4) benched quarterback Tyler Van Dyke for the first time in his career. True freshman Emory Williams started instead. Williams completed 8 of 23 passes for 175 yards and two TD.

Williams left the game with 2:42 left due to an injury to his throwing arm. On fourth-and-2, he dove for the sticks and got injured.

Hurricanes wide receiver Jacolby George had a huge game with five catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

The Seminoles got two star wide receivers — Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman — back from the injury list. Wilson had five catches for 82 yards. Coleman had four catches for 24 yards.

Miami, however, was without starter cornerback Daryl Porter due to injury.

Florida State opened the scoring on Benson’s 5-yard run with 7:13 left in the first quarter. That capped a 10-play, 55-yard drive.

In the second quarter, after Miami’s Andres Borregales missed a 51-yard field goal due in part to a bad hold, Florida extended its lead to 10-0 on Ryan Fitzgerald’s 33-yarder.

Miami finally got on the board on Williams’ 3-yard fade pass to George with 2:42 left in the half.

After a sack of Travis at the goal line that was nearly ruled a safety, Florida State punted, giving Miami a short field. That led to a 27-yard field by Borregales, tying the score at 10 on the last play of the first half.

Miami had hoped for more on that drive, but, on third-and-1 at Florida State’s 4-yard line, Mark Fletcher Jr. was dropped for a loss.

Florida State started the second half with an on-sides kick that failed. That led to Borregales’ 51-yard field goal.

On the Seminoles’ next possession, Ja’Khi Douglas caught a short slant and turned it into a 69-yard play. Florida State, with a first-and-goal at Miami’s 5, had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Fitzgerald.

Florida State took a 20-13 lead on Benson’s 38-yard run with 5:48 left in the third.

With 11 minutes left in the fourth, Florida State extended its lead to 27-13 on a 6-yard TD catch by Coleman.

But with 8:22 left, Miami cut its deficit to 27-20 on Williams’ 85-yard TD pass to George.

After Williams left the game injured, Miami got to its 49. But on fourth down, Van Dyke was intercepted by Jarrian Jones, virtually ending the game with 40 seconds left.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) hands off the ball to running back Rodney Hill (29) during the first half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Florida State blows past Wake Forest 41-16

Jordan Travis threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as No. 4 Florida State kept its unbeaten record intact and bulldozed its way to a 41-16 win over host Wake Forest at Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday afternoon.

Travis completed 22-of-35 passes for a season-high 359 yards and also rushed seven times for 29 yards for the Seminoles (8-0, 6-0 ACC).

Trey Benson provided a big boost to the FSU offense, rushing 10 times for 55 yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes for 100 yards and a score. Keon Coleman caught Travis’ other two scoring strikes as part of a seven-catch, 66-yard effort.

Coleman and Benson provided fireworks too. Benson’s receiving touchdown was a short pass that he took 80 yards to the end zone, and one of Coleman’s scoring catches was a one-handed grab.

Wake Forest (4-4, 1-14 ACC) ran the ball 49 times, but didn’t have much success on the ground with 2.6 yards per carry. Justice Ellison paced the attack with 77 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Demon Deacons quarterback Mitch Griffis returned under-center, but was largely ineffective, completing 6 of 16 passes for 82 yards.

Florida State got on the scoreboard quickly, starting the game with a nine-play, 75-yard drive in its opening series that ended with Travis scampering 13 yards for a touchdown.

After an FSU field goal, Wake scored its lone touchdown of the first half following a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Ke’Shawn Williams finding the end zone on a 2-yard run.

The Seminoles then scored 24 straight points to build a 34-7 halftime cushion.

Wake Forest had a Matthew Dennis field goal and scored another touchdown in the third quarter, on a Tate Carney rush from 2 yards out, but never got closer than 18 points of Florida State’s lead.

FSU’s victory snapped a three-game winning streak for Wake Forest in the series. It is also the first time since 2017 that the Seminoles have won at Winston-Salem.

The Seminoles played without wideout Johnny Wilson.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles helmets with stickers honoring the University of Virginia seen before the game against the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

5-star DL Armondo Blount Jr. decommits from Miami to join FSU

Just over a month after announcing his commitment to Miami, five-star defensive lineman Armondo Blount Jr. changed his mind and is now heading to Florida State.

Blount, a junior at Miami Central High School, announced his decision on social media Sunday, one day after the No. 4 Seminoles rallied past 16th-ranked Duke, 38-20, to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 2014.

“This is HOME!!!! I have been discussing with family and I have decided that Florida State is where I am meant to be!” Blount said in a social media post on X. “I want to thank everyone who have been a part of my recruitment process. I am locked in with my decision.”

Blount is the fifth-rated recruit in his class and No. 2 defensive lineman, according to the 247Sports composite. He originally committed to the Hurricanes on Sept. 14 after Miami improved to 3-0 and was ranked No. 22. The Hurricanes have gone 2-2 since and have fallen out of the top 25.

Blount decided to head north to FSU after his recruiting visit this weekend.

“I feel like Florida State can develop me better as an athlete and as a person,” he told ESPN, which reported that Blount will reclassify into the 2024 class.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound lineman has 32 tackles, including 10 for loss, and eight sacks through five games this season at Miami Central.

–Field Level Media

The Duke Blue Devils lead the Florida State Seminoles 20-17 at the half on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

No. 4 Florida State rallies from early hole to beat No. 16 Duke

Jordan Travis spearheaded two drives that resulted in fourth-quarter touchdowns as fourth-ranked Florida State overcame No. 16 Duke 38-20 Saturday night in Tallahassee, Fla.

Travis ran 2 yards to complete a 96-yard drive early in the fourth quarter and then threw 21 yards to Lawrance Toafili less than five minutes later in the Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 ACC) are the only ACC team without a league loss.

Duke (5-2, 2-1) lead at intermission but couldn’t get going in the second half. Quarterback Riley Leonard, who was injured in the waning seconds three weeks earlier in a loss to Notre Dame, was back in a starting role, but he didn’t have his normal impact and was replaced in the fourth quarter after he was shaken up.

Leonard, who has been one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks, ended up 7-for-16 for 69 yards with an interception. He carried once for 13 yards.

Travis was 27-for-36 passing for 268 passing yards with two scores and an interception. He also gained a team-high 62 yards on the ground on 10 carries.

Duke’s Jaquez Moore gained 110 yards on 16 carries, but had only 10 yards in the second half.

Florida State trailed 20-17 when it finally got rolling. Travis threw or ran for 80 of the 96 yards on the long go-ahead drive. He was good for 73 of the 74 yards on the next drive, capped by 21-yard touchdown pass to Toafili with 8:18 left.

Rodney Hill ran 9 yards for the final touchdown with 4:15 left.

Duke led 10-0 barely more than eight minutes into the game. Moore opened the scoring on a 42-yard run. Following Florida State’s second failed fourth-down play, Todd Pelino kicked a 45-yard field goal.

Then the Seminoles drove 85 yards on 13 plays to score on Travis’ 7-yard pass to Caziah Holmes with 13 seconds to play in the opening quarter.

The momentum shifted back and fourth in the second quarter. Duke’s Chandler Rivers intercepted Travis on a tipped pass and made a 13-yard return for a touchdown. But Florida State’s Deuce Spann answered with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Pelino’s 33-yard field goal made it 20-17 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) in the second half against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Florida State looks to smash Syracuse again

No. 4 Florida State is one of four Atlantic Coast Conference teams that are undefeated in league play.

The Seminoles (5-0, 3-0) may be the best of the bunch, but in order to support that claim, they’ll need to defeat visiting Syracuse (4-2, 0-2) on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla.

Florida State is in the midst of a three-game homestand that began last weekend with a 39-17 victory over Virginia Tech. The Seminoles have tallied at least 31 points in every game this season and rank sixth in the nation in scoring (42.4).

Jordan Travis is the engine driving the Seminoles, as he’s passed for 12 touchdowns with only one interception. He has thrown two TDs with no picks in each of the last four games and completed a season-high 75 percent of his passes against the Hokies.

“I’m not going to enjoy watching him play,” quipped Syracuse coach Dino Babers, “but when you get done, he’s one of those guys that you do turn on the TV to watch because he plays at an extremely high level.”

Travis lit up the Orange last season, completing 21 of 23 passes for 155 yards and three TDs in a 38-3 shellacking. The Seminoles lead the all-time series 13-2 and are 7-0 at home against Syracuse.

Babers knows the challenge that awaits his team, which has been outscored 71-21 over the last two weeks and is in the midst of a 34-day stretch without a home game.

“We’ve beaten a team in the top five before, but it’s very, very difficult to do, and it’s extremely difficult to do when you’re at their place,” Babers said.

If they have any hopes of pulling the upset, the Orange will need a big day out of Garrett Shrader. The senior signal-caller has been held under 200 yards passing in three of the last four games and has thrown at least one interception in four straight contests.

He also has rushed for a total of 102 yards in the last three games after erupting for 195 rushing yards and four scores in last month’s win over Purdue.

“Obviously you look at the course of work that he’s done over the last couple years, he’s a very talented player and can do a lot of great things with his arm,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “If you account for everybody in the passing game and don’t have eyes and a body on him, he’ll definitely make you pay as a runner.”

On the other side of the ball, Syracuse leans on a dangerous defensive line that has helped the Orange lead the ACC in tackles for loss (7.8 per game). Linebacker Marlowe Wax is a major factor as well, having registered a team-high 45 tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks and an interception.

“You’re not going to see a team that brings more variations of pressures,” Norvell said. “Just the different looks from three down to four down to — they can blitz everybody on the field at some point. You have to be great with your eyes. You have to be great with your technique. We had a couple slow reactions where we gave up pressures there the other day.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Keon Coleman (4) catches a touchdown pass in the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Florida State survives in OT win at Clemson

Keon Coleman caught a 24-yard jump-ball touchdown pass in overtime as No. 4 Florida State beat Clemson 31-24 in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup in Clemson, S.C.

On second down, Coleman went up over Tigers cornerback Jeadyn Lukus and pulled in the game winner to put the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 ACC) ahead for the first time.

On fourth-and-2 on his team’s OT series, Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik threw errantly on fourth down as (Clemson 2-2, 0-2) lost for the first time in eight meetings with FSU.

Tigers kicker Jonathan Weitz missed a tiebreaking 29-yard field goal inside the final two minutes of regulation

FSU’s Jordan Travis went 21 of 37 for 289 yards including two scores to Coleman.

The Seminoles lead the series 21-15 and won for the first time in fives games at Clemson.

Klubnik was 25 of 38 for 283 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for one.

Will Shipley rushed for a score and caught one.

On its second possession, Clemson started at its 8-yard line then had to convert a fourth-and-1 at midfield during a drive that appeared to stall.

The 15-play, 79-yard drive, which moved down to the 10, ended with new kicker Weitz making his first career attempt, a 30-yarder, for a 3-0 lead at 1:47 left in the first quarter.

Clemson’s next series was kept alive by an FSU holding penalty on a third-down pass play near the goal line. Klubnik then called his own number on a sneak and was shoved in from a yard out for a 10-0 advantage at 11:33 of the second quarter.

On the following possession, Travis got great protection on third-and-goal and zipped a 7-yard strike to Coleman all alone in the end zone at 5:10.

The Seminoles’ first scoring drive traveled 75 yards in 13 plays and also included Travis converting fourth-and-1 at midfield.

After Shipley answered for the Tigers by ending a 71-yard drive with a 10-yard TD reception to push it to 17-7, Travis scored his 26th career rushing TD — a school record for a quarterback — on a sneak with 22 seconds left.

Three minutes into the second half, FSU tied it on Ryan Fitzgerald’s 48-yard kick.

Shipley pulled Clemson ahead by tallying his first rushing TD this season on a 1-yard run with 3:32 left in the third quarter.

But FSU tied it at 24-all on a blitz when Kalen DeLoach jarred the ball loose then recovered it and rumbled 56 yards for the tie.

–Field Level Media