Saturday, September 8, 2012
Instant analysis: FSU 55, Savannah State 0
By David M. Hale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's blowout of Savannah State proceeded as expected through the bulk of the first half before lightning provided the Tigers with a merciful early conclusion.
The Seminoles scored on eight of nine possessions in the game, including their first seven, en route to a 55-0 win against overmatched Savannah State. EJ Manuel threw three touchdown passes and freshman Kelvin Benjamin hauled in two scores, and the Tigers mustered just 28 yards of offense.
The game was delayed twice by lightning, the first resulting in a decision to use a running clock the remainder of the game, and the second calling the proceedings to an end completely.
In its first two games of the season, Savannah State was outscored 139-0, having lost its opener to Oklahoma State 84-0.
Florida State, meanwhile, opens ACC play next week against Wake Forest, having taken its first two games by a combined score of 124-3.
It was over when: There was still 8:59 left in the third quarter. Really, it was over before it started, as Florida State had no trouble carving apart the Savannah State defense. But the real intrigue came when the players left the field for the second time due to a weather delay at about 8:52 p.m., and about 40 minutes later the game was officially called.
Game ball goes to: Manuel. He didn't get much playing time, but he certainly made the most of what little action he got. Manuel completed 11 of 13 passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns -- just the second game of his career with three or more TD throws.
Stat of the game: 385. That was the total yardage difference between the two teams, despite the game ending 23 minutes early. Florida State racked up a whopping 413 yards of total offense before the weather forced an early finish, while Savannah State mustered a mere 28 yards in the game, including just nine via passing plays, as QB Antonio Bostick finished 2-of-15.
Unsung hero: Chris Thompson. The senior running back didn't see a ton of action, like all of FSU's starters, but he did pick up 44 yards on just four touches, including a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was Thompson's first touchdown since Sept. 10, 2011 against Charleston Southern. The senior broke his back three weeks later and missed the remainder of the 2011 season.
What we learned: Not a whole lot. Florida State's starters barely played. The second-stringers took only a few snaps in the second half. The third-stringers barely had a chance to get loose before the weather brought things to a halt. But if there's anything for coach Jimbo Fisher to take from this game, it's that his team lived up to expectations, looking incredibly sharp early rather than overlooking an obviously inferior opponent.