Florida State trampled the Duke Blue Devils to the tune of 41-16, in biggest regard to quarterback E.J. Manuel. Recovering from a third degree shoulder sprain suffered to Oklahoma, the Noles went on to lose three games without him healthy. He practiced all week and was ready to play. I grinned and bared my teeth with nervous anticipation, but E.J. was truly healthy and it was a beautiful thing.
FSU never needed the back up quarterback as Manuel dominated the Blue Devil defense. Manuel averaged 17 yards per completion for 239 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Manuel also had 64 yards rushing and scored 2 additional TDs with his legs. He targeted nine different recievers and had three passes over 50 yards, each leading to or setting up a touchdown.
Playing deep and connecting were junior Rodney Smith, sophomore Kenny Shaw, and freshman Christian Green. None familiar names. The Seminole game changer, freshman Rashad Greene, was a game time decision and did not play. The Seminoles did turn over the ball once but limited themselves to five penalties, a vast improvement.
Seven Seminoles recorded rushing yards as Florida State attempted to bolster their ground war, and found two viable weapons against the Blue Devils: E.J. Manuel and freshman Devonta Freeman, who ran for 109 yards for 19 carries and a touchdown. Florida State ran 110 yards as a team last week, in which Freeman led the team in rushing as well. In other words, we found a running back!
So the streak continues. Duke still has yet to defeat the Seminoles and Florida State has an ACC victory to build on. Should Clemson and Wake Forest lose tonight, the Noles will be only two games back in the division.
A victory felt great this week. Next week the 'Unconquered' host Maryland, then N.C. State before traveling to Boston College, each game easier than the last. Hopefully the Noles are headed for redemption.