TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State fumbled at the goal line and another first-quarter drive deep into Georgia Tech territory was halted on downs. However, the Seminoles capitalized on their drives in the second quarter and pulled away to beat Georgia Tech.
Jordan Travis wasn’t sharp at times, but he still completed 23 of 38 passes for a career-best 396 yards and a career-best three touchdowns as Florida State beat the Yellow Jackets 41-16 on Saturday.
“You sit there and there were so many opportunities during that game to really put it down early and play your best,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “I thought there were a lot of great performances.
Travis connected with Johnny Wilson on a 78-yard TD, Lawrance Toafili on a 62-yard TD and Ja’Khi Douglas on a 24-yard TD as the Seminoles (5-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a three-game losing streak.
Trey Benson ran 18 times for 111 yards, Toafili had 13 carries for 70 yards and the Seminoles racked up 246 rushing yards, an average of 5.7 yards per carry.
Travis completed passes to 10 receivers. Wilson caught three passes for 111 yards and Toafili caught five passes for 84 yards.
“We’re used to responding, that’s what Coach Norvell stresses a lot,” Travis said. “I’m changing my mindset. I’m taking a lot of responsibility from now on. I don’t want to lose another football game this year. I come every day with the idea of being the best, smiling at myself.” face at every moment.”
Freshman Zach Pyron completed 18 of 28 passes for 198 yards as well as a TD pass and a TD run for Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3). Pyron took most of the snaps when he replaced Jeff Sims, who left last week’s game against Virginia with an injury.
Georgia Tech started Zach Gibson at quarterback and was 2 of 3 on the first two drives. Georgia Tech interim coach Brent Key said the plan was to use freshman Zach Pyron on the third drive and decided to stick with him after he settled in.
The Yellow Jackets used an onside kick to open the second half and took advantage as Pyron connected with EJ Jenkins for a 32-yard touchdown to cut Florida State’s lead to 24-10. But the Yellow Jackets failed to score on their next two drives.
Georgia Tech struggled on third downs, going just 2 of 13, and the Yellow Jackets couldn’t stop Florida State, which was 9 of 15 on third down.
“We got outplayed, offensively and defensively,” Key said. “On defense, it’s hard to get off the field on third downs.
Florida State committed a season-high 13 penalties for 104 yards and Toafili fumbled twice. There were also a number of drops, including Travis’ third down pass that slipped through Wilson’s fingers in the second half.
“There were things that showed up as the game went on,” Norvell said. “Offensively, I had some dropped balls, too many penalties, just like the football team. That’s something we’ve got to make sure we stay in control, calm and everything and work at the level I know we’re capable of.”
Sims threw a few passes in the pregame but was unable to make a play. Interim coach Brent Key is unsure if Sims will be able to play in next week’s game.
Florida State defensive tackle Fabien Lovett returned after a five-game absence. Started the game and had one tackle.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets were held to just 24 yards on 24 plays in the first half and couldn’t recover while playing a pair of backup quarterbacks.
Florida State: The Seminoles topped the 200-yard mark as they rushed for the third straight game and controlled the game after a sloppy first quarter as they beat Georgia Tech for the first time since the 2014 ACC Championship Game.
Georgia Tech: Plays at Virginia Tech on Saturday
Florida State: Plays at Miami on Saturday
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