Florida State had not scored more than 30 points this season before facing Delaware State. The Seminoles accomplished that early in the second quarter Saturday and didn’t let up, coasting to a 77-6 rout.
The 71-point win is the second-highest margin of victory by Florida State (4-6), falling three points shy of tying the 74-0 win against Whiting Field in 1949.
The 77 points also ties for the second-most points the Seminoles have scored in a game The school record is 80 against Idaho (80-14) in 2013.
“I’m proud of our guys, we played a complete game,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We dominated the game, but we should have dominated the game and we went out and played and did it and there’s something to that; playing for four quarters.”
The victory keeps Florida State’s hopes of making a bowl game for the 36th consecutive season still alive. They need wins at Florida on Saturday and against Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 2 in order to be bowl eligible.
“We’ve just got to feed off this week and bring it into next week,” said Ermon Lane, who was one of nine FSU players to score a touchdown. “We’ve just got to continue doing what we are doing and compete.”
Delaware State (2-9) was competitive for the first 10 minutes. A Nyfease West 1-yard touchdown run brought the Hornets within 14-6 with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter before FSU scored the final 63 points.
The Seminoles would lead 56-6 at halftime, which tied a school record for most first-half points (they also scored 56 on Nov. 14, 1992, against Tulane). They took control by scoring a touchdown on six of their first eight possessions.
Florida State also accomplished a rare trifecta in the first quarter, scoring touchdowns on offense, special teams and defense. That is the first time the Seminoles have done that in the same game since 2013 against Wake Forest.
The Seminoles opened the scoring on a Jacques Patrick 14-yard touchdown run and extended their lead to 14-0 when Tarvarus McFadden took a blocked field goal 63 yards.
The Hornets got the ball back with a chance to tie the game at 14, but Derwin James picked off Keenan Black and ran 41 yards for his first career touchdown.
Former Glades Central star James Blackman completed 11 of 15 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns for FSU. Ryan Green (seven carries, 96 yards) and Patrick (three carries, 28 yards) also ran for a pair of scores.
The Hornets gained 125 yards on their first two drives but were held to 67 the remainder of the game. Black played quarterback in the first half and was 7 of 18 for 98 yards.
“Obviously, you never want to get beat like that,” Delaware State coach Kenny Carter said. “When you make mistakes early and you are playing a team that has superior talent, it’s hard to overcome that.”
The Seminoles travel to Florida on Saturday. It is the first time since 1959 that both teams go into the game with losing records.
SHORTENING THINGS UP
The teams agreed to play 10-minute quarters during the second half. NCAA rules state that at “any time during the game, the playing time of any remaining period or periods and the intermission between halves may be shortened by mutual agreement of the opposing head coaches and the referee.”
It is the seventh time since 2012 a game has been shortened in the second half. It is the second time involving Florida State (2012 against Savannah State).
“You don’t ever want to embarrass and humiliate anybody. There’s no sense in that, so we agreed to do that,” Fisher said.
Noteworthy: FSU players who normally don’t get snaps got a lot of playing time. Sophomore fullback Gabe Nabers and senior wide receiver Justin Motlow scored their first touchdowns and senior running back Ryan Green got his first TD since 2013. Motlow is the first member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to score a touchdown for FSU. … Carter and his team can claim at least one moral victory. The touchdown marked the first time in nine games that an FCS team had scored a first-quarter TD on the Seminoles.