Florida State made sure to not have a repeat of last year when they got upset by FCS Jacksonville State, as they trampled Duquesne, 47-7, at Doak S. Campbell Stadium on Saturday night. The game was set to kickoff at 5 p.m. but there was a 90-minute weather delay.
From the start, it was evident that Florida State was superior to the Dukes. They just had bigger, stronger and faster players. Florida State out-gained Duquesne, 638-164. On the ground, the Seminoles rushed for a whopping 406 yards (7.5 average) and had three running backs who rushed over 100 yards — Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson and Lawrance Toafili. Ward led Florida State in rushing with 127 yards on 14 carries (9.1 average) and two touchdowns.
Duquesne mustered just 164 yards of offense. Running back DeMarcus Ware had a 20-yard run and Joe Mischler completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Abdul Janneh, but other than that, it was uneventful. Mischler finished 7 of 17 for 71 yards, no interceptions and a touchdown.
Florida State quarterback Jordan Davis was 11 of 15 for 207 yards. All six of the Seminoles’ touchdowns came on the ground. Davis rushed for 11 yards on four carries and a touchdown.
The Seminoles received the ball first and moved the ball rather easily, as Ward rushed for 52 yards on six carries to set up a Davis 5-yard touchdown run off a read-option to put Florida State up 6-0. Florida State elected to go for two, but Duquesne cornerback Ryan Webb broke up a pass attempt.
Florida State moved the ball fluidly on its second drive which was capped by a Toafili 4-yard rushing touchdown to give the Seminoles a 13-0 advantage. On the play prior to the score, Davis completed to 6-foot-7 wide receiver Johnny Wilson for a 51-yard gain.
Duquesne continued to struggle offensively and went three-and-out. The Seminoles proceeded to run through the Dukes on the ground and scored a touchdown on their third consecutive drive. Ward practically walked into the end zone on a 6-yard run up the gut. The Dukes were significantly overmatched in the trenches throughout the night.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Duquesne moved the ball past the 50-yard line for the first time in the game, but the drive stalled and Brian Bruzdewicz’s 48-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
Two 24-yard field goals by Ryan Fitzgerald gave the Seminoles a 26-0 lead, which ended up being the score at the half. Florida State rushed for 200 yards in the first half and all three touchdowns came on the ground. Florida State out-gained Duquesne, 359-88. Ward led the Seminoles with 89 yards rushing on nine carries and a touchdown.
Early in the third quarter, Duquesne muffed a punt, and Florida State recovered the
loose ball. Four plays later, Ward found pay dirt for the second time in the game to enhance the Seminoles’ lead to 33-0.
Tate Rodemaker replaced Davis at quarterback midway through the third quarter. On his first pass attempt, he got picked off by Webb, who returned it 50 yards to Florida State’s 30-yard line. Two plays later, Mischler connected to Janneh for a 22-yard touchdown to cut the Seminoles’ lead to 33-7 with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter.
It took the Seminoles just five plays to answer, as Benson ran for a 43-yard touchdown. On Florida State’s following possession, Rodney Hill finished off a 13-play, 66-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Seminoles a commanding 47-7 lead.
Duquesne’s next game is on Saturday, Sept. 3, against Youngstown State at Stambaugh Stadium. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. and the game can be viewed on ESPN+. Florida State’s next opponent is LSU. The two teams will square off on Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.