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Sunday, September 20, 2009
Win might have righted Florida State's season



Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire
Florida State's Christian Ponder made big plays with his legs and his arm.

PROVO, Utah -- Coach Bobby Bowden was as surprised as anyone about the final result at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night.

Florida State had controlled the game from start to finish, scored on nine of their 12 possessions and escaped one of the greatest home field advantages with a dominating 54-28 win.

“I don’t think we expected to win, especially with that kind of a score,” Bowden said after the game.

"I've been through this thing so many times, I knew we had an advantage. We went out there and made some plays, which we hadn't done lately, and we also forced some crucial turnovers."

Florida State consistently put pressure on the BYU offense to score, but it didn’t give them much of a chance by keeping the ball for nearly 40 minutes. It converted its first nine third-downs and most importantly forced BYU into five turnovers.

It was the kind of game Florida State expected in the season opener against rival Miami or at the very least in last week’s game against Jacksonville State. The Seminoles rushed for 313 yards, its best rushing effort since the 2005 Gator Bowl, and quarterback Christian Ponder continually made plays with his legs and his arm.

It was exactly the result the Seminoles needed heading into its final nonconference game.

“This means a lot,” Ponder said of the win. “We knew this was going to be a statement game We knew it was going to be a tough game, tough environment, their first home game and we came out and just laid it all on the line. The defense stepped up and it was the first time in awhile we’ve played as a whole team and that was good to see. Hopefully, we’ll carry this and use it as motivation for the rest of the season.”