RECAP: No. 19 Seminoles continue hot streak with 49-17 triumph over Ragin’ Cajuns

RECAP: No. 19 Seminoles continue hot streak with 49-17 triumph over Ragin’ Cajuns

No. 19 Florida State (8-3, 5-3 ACC) entered Saturday afternoon’s contest with Louisiana (5-6, 3-4 SBC) on a hot streak. The Seminoles had outscored their previous three opponents by a combined margin of 124-22 while also holding the opposing offense to under 100 total yards in the opening half in three consecutive weeks. The Seminoles were able to overlook a team from Louisiana that was starting its backup quarterback in Tallahassee. They showed maturity by jumping over the Ragin’ Cajuns and getting out of the gates again. FSU scored on its first three possessions of the game and five of its first six possessions of the first half en route to a 49-17 victory. The victory was Florida State’s eighth this season, matching the total of Mike Norvell’s two years as the program’s head coach. With one regular-season game and a bowl game remaining, the Seminoles have a chance to finish with double-digit wins for the first time since 2016. Louisiana won a coin toss, and decided to defer to the second-half, giving Florida State first. The Seminoles marched into the opposing territory using a combination of runs and passes. The offense was faced with a third and short. Treshaun Ward, running back, and Jordan Travis, quarterback, chose to go Wildcat. Ward used his patience and vision to hit a hole for 36 yards and a touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Brendan Gant laid a hit stick on the returner, pinning Louisiana at its own 14. DJ Lundy, linebacker, delivered a sack against quarterback Chandler Fields. The pressure forced a throwaway to force the Ragin’ Cajuns to go for a three-and-out on their first drive. After a punt, Travis got a first down with a clever scramble wherein he tip-toed to the sideline. Running back Lawrance Toafili bounced to the right side for 33 yards. He fumbled at play’s end, but the ball made a friendly jump right out of bounds. Travis, following his lead blockers to his right, scored on the ground for his fourth score of the season.

The Ragin’ Cajuns gained a down on their next possession, and a pass interference penalty moved it near midfield. Safety Jammie Robinson made two huge hits at the line-of-scrimmage to force downs. After a lengthy review, Louisiana was initially given the conversion on fourth-and-short. However, Florida State was awarded the ball after a thorough review.

The Seminoles relied on the steadiness of Benson as the redshirt sophomore earned 16 yards to the left on 3rd and 9. Travis ended the drive in a similar fashion to the first. He sprinted in for his second rush score of the day. It was the fifth time in his career that Travis had scored more than once on the ground. With just under two minutes to play in the opening quarter, Florida State had built a 21-0 lead.

Chris Smith returned the ensuing kickoff to the Louisiana 34 but a holding penalty moved the ball back all the way to the 9. The Ragin’ Cajuns were unable to generate much success with a slow offense and a long field. Lundy kicked a ball from Bralen Trahan’s hand to force their third consecutive punt.

Florida State finally had to punt on the fourth drive of this game. The offense was penalized, but Markeston Douglas’ tight end screen made it 3rd. Ward fell in the backfield, causing Ward to lose his Wildcat status. Alex Mastromanno booted the ball 41 yards and a penalty pushed the Ragin’ Cajuns back to their own 15. Thanks to two big plays by Patrick Payton, Louisiana went three-and-out again. The redshirt freshman used her length to force Fields to throw a poor pass before scoring another touchdown. Florida State took over at the UL 44 and pounded the rock to get the possession going. Travis connected with Toafili from the backfield to make it first and goal. The Seminoles used the wildcat for the third consecutive time (with DJ Lundy at fullback), as Ward plunged in for an instant touchdown. On Louisiana’s fifth drive,

Florida State didn’t have their defense on the field for much longer. Jared Verse, defensive end, read a running back screen perfectly. He tried to get in position to grab the pass, but he just missed it. The Seminoles were able to force three more and then go out.

On the first play of the next possession, Travis connected with tight end Cam McDonald for 32 yards on the outside. To score, he hit wide receiver Malik McClain before finding the sophomore in endzone for a touchdown. The throw was slightly behind McClain but he made a fantastic adjustment to reel it in and make the game 35-0 late in the first half. The Ragin’ Cajuns finally found life with a two-minute drill just before the break. A 23-yard pass to wide receiver Michael Jefferson placed Louisiana at the Florida State 2 with under 30 seconds remaining in the half. Robinson made a tackle and the Seminoles forced two incompletes to hold UL to a field goal.

Scroll to Continue

No image description

At the half, Florida State led 35-3 and held a 318-121 advantage in total yards. While Louisiana ended the defense’s streak of holding an opposing offense to under 100 yards in the opening two quarters, it was still a strong effort. As for the offense, it only took one half for the Seminoles to extend their streak of 200 rushing yards to six games after compiling 206 yards on the ground. Florida State began to clear the benches in the second quarter as backups and younger players earned the majority of the last two quarters. Kalen DeLoach, linebacker, dropped an interception. Verse was able however to end Louisiana’s first possession by a sack.

The Seminoles offense took the field for their first time in the third quarter when redshirt sophomore Tate Rodemaker was replaced by Travis. Ja’Khi Douglas, wide receiver, gained a first down with a jet sweep. Rodemaker then threw deep for Kentron Poitier, wide receiver. The ball was thrown behind Poitier but he brought it in and cut upfield for 45 yards. A better throw would have likely resulted in a score. To continue Florida State’s success, Benson was able score on a short run.

Defensive lineman Fabien Lovett made a fumble, and safety Shyheim brown recovered it to get the Seminoles back onto the field quickly. True freshmen were quarterback AJ Duffy, Rodney Hill, running back, and Jaylen Early, offensive tackle. Duffy threw towards the right pylon and connected with Markeston Douglas for a 16-yard touchdown. It was both of their first scores at the college level and made the score 49-3. The Ragin Cajuns gained two first downs and moved into Florida State territory, as the third quarter was winding down. The defense responded by sacking Fields on fourth and forcing a turnover.

Runs from Hill and walk-on running back CJ Campbell pushed the Seminoles inside the Louisiana 40. Florida State lost the ball after a bad start and back-to-back incompletions by Duffy on overthrows.

Down 49-3 and facing a 4th and 2 to begin the final frame, Terrence Williams went up the middle to earn Louisiana a first down. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored a goal after a long pass. Amari Gainer, a linebacker, brought down the running back for the loss and stopped another skill player from reaching the end zone. UL scored a touchdown on fourth-down on a pass from Fields and Jefferson. It was the first touchdown Florida State allowed since the last play against Georgia Tech. The field was dominated by reserves.

Walk on quarterback Gino English was active in the fourth quarter. He completed a pass to fellow walk-on wide receiver, Mike Roussos, for 16 yards and first down prior to the game going final.

The Seminoles finished with 440 yards of total offense, including 251 yards on the ground and 190 yards through the air. Travis finished 9/14 for 112 yards and one score while running 5 times for 38 yards and two touchdowns. Four players finished with 35 rushing yards, led by Benson’s 16 carries for 80 yards and a score. Nine different players caught a pass, with Poitier leading the way with one catch for 45 yards.

Defensively, FSU limited Louisiana to 291 total yards (121 in the first half), including 159 yards through the air and 132 yards on the ground. Robinson, Gant and Lundy tied for the team-lead, with six total tackles. Four Seminoles had 0.5 sacks or greater, while six players earned 0.5 tackles or more.

Florida State returns to action on Friday, November 25 at 7: 30 p.m. against the Florida Gators to conclude their regular-season.

READ MORE: Florida State leaves RB Cedric Baxter Jr. with a decision to make

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the season.

Follow NoleGameday on Twitter and Facebook

Read More