TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's good day was made even better by what took place about 600 miles north of Tallahassee.air max pas cher
Behind 104 yards and two touchdowns from running back Devonta Freeman,
the No. 12 Seminoles cruised to a 48-7 victory over the Duke Blue Devils
at Doak Cambell Stadium. And by virtue of North Carolina's 43-35 win
over North Carolina State, FSU reclaimed control of its destiny in the
Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division. "I think they're the best team in the country. I do," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "I don't see where the weakness is."
UNC's Giovanni Bernard returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown in the
final seconds to hand N.C. State its second conference loss, and if
Florida State can win its final two league games -- at Virginia Tech and
at Maryland -- the Seminoles will play in Charlotte on Dec. 1 for their
first ACC title since 2005. "That was always our perspective at
the beginning of the season, but after that devastating loss (to N.C.
State), it was kind of a toss-up," FSU safety Lamarcus Joyner said. "But
now we're put back on that pedestal so we have to take advantage of
it." Duke brought perhaps its most talented team to ever play at
Doak Campbell Stadium and one of the ACC's top passing combos in
quarterback Sean Renfree and receiver Conner Vernon. But the latest
edition of this series looked just like the first 17 meetings --
domination by FSU on both sides of the ball and a lopsided final score.
The Seminoles piled up 560 yards of offense and quarterback EJ Manuel
threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns, despite going just 8-for-16, to
help FSU achieve its first 8-1 start since 2003. Duke,
meanwhile, struggled in nearly every phase. The Blue Devils mustered
only 232 yards of offense, were penalized 10 times for 95 yards and
surrendered a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown to FSU's Tyler Hunter
while the game was still close. "Those of you who hadn't seen us, that's not who we are," Cutcliffe said. "We're a good football team. We were not today."
FSU was hardly perfect, though. After building up a 31-7 lead at
halftime, the Seminoles got careless with the ball, fumbling it away
three times on three consecutive third-quarter possessions. Florida
State lost four fumbles over the course of the game and, after
struggling with ball security in last week's win over Miami, has fumbled
it away six times in two weeks. "That's a total lack of focus
and putting the balls on the ground were just completely -- that's us,"
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "That's my fault as a coach and we're going
to get it fixed." The Seminoles' defense, though, made sure those miscues didn't matter much.
Renfree passed for a season-low 92 yards before leaving the game with a
head injury late in the second quarter. Backup Anthony Boone fared even
worse, connecting on just three of his 15 attempts. Vernon,
meanwhile, will have to wait at least another week to break former FSU
star Peter Warrick's ACC record for career receiving yards. The senior
from Miami came into the game needing 94 yards to reach the milestone
but was held to just 12 yards on three catches, both season lows.
"We try to take out players that are threats," Joyner said. "If you are
a threat and get our attention, we need to take care of that. Being
able to double him and put pressure on his side, that was the game plan
and it went through." NOTES: Dustin Hopkins' 56-yard field goal
in the fourth quarter gave him 80 for his career, tying him with former
Maryland kicker Nick Novak for the most field goals in ACC history ...
Senior linebacker Christian Jones recorded eight tackles in the first
quarter and finished with a team-high 11 ... FSU scored at least 31
points in a first half for the fourth time this season ... James Wilder
Jr.'s 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter gave him 10 scores for the
season, making him the first Seminole to reach that mark since 2009.