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Dawg Review: #4 Florida State Beats Pitt 24-7

Acrisure Stadium
Photo via TJ Chapman

For one half the Florida State offense was stifled by the Pitt defense. But in the second half quarterback Jordan Travis and the Seminole offense got going and torched the Panthers en route to a 24-7 victory.

An 18.5-point favorite, the #4 ranked Seminoles started slow, outgaining Pitt 297-228 in the first half and only led 10-7. But Florida State rushed out to a 24-7 lead in the third quarter on back-to-back drives.

On the first drive, Travis hit tight end Markeston Douglas on a 22-yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing Pitt drive the Panthers were forced to punt and Florida State took over at their own 15-yard line. That drive was two plays, finishing with running back Trey Benson racing for a 55-yard touchdown run.

Travis finished 22-36 passing for 360 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing. Travis was already without four of his receivers going into the game, but right before kickoff his top target, Keon Coleman, was ruled out with an undisclosed injury. The Seminoles needed someone to step up and that receiver was junior Ja’Khi Douglas who finished with six catches for 115 yards.

In the opening possession, the Pitt defense forced a fumble by Florida State’s Lawrence Toafili. However, the Pitt offense could not capitalize on that turnover, going three and out. After the teams traded punts the Panther offense thought they had an 82-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Veilleux to Konata Mumpfield. But Florida State defensive back Fentrell Cypress, II forced a fumble on the 1-yard line and recovered it in the endzone for a touchback.

Pitt’s defense put a lot of pressure on Travis in the first half and that, along with the injured Seminole receivers had the Florida State offense out of sync. However, with the ineptitude of the Pitt offense, the Panther defense was on the field for 34:54. Obviously, this was a point of frustration for Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi. “Our defense played their tails off,” Narduzzi said in his post-game press conference. “They’re on the field for 35 minutes, so we lost the time of possession by ten minutes again today.”

The struggles of the Panther offense also seemed to draw the ire of Narduzzi. “It’s hard to win football games when you only put 7 points on the board. We (Pitt offense) gave up 13 points. You know, you’re talking about a 20 to 24 game with the No. 4 team in the country on the field, and we just didn’t play clean enough, disciplined enough to overcome those things.”

One of the play's drawing questions was the call on Pitt tight end Gavin Bartholomew on the Pitt sideline for unsportsmanlike conduct. Asked about the call, Pitt quarterback Christian Veilleux did not hold back. “I mean I thought it was bullsh** honestly.” The redshirt sophomore said after the game. “I don’t get that call. I think they were making calls today that didn’t make sense.”

The Florida State MVP was quarterback Jordan Travis. After a sluggish start, Travis finished the game completing 61.1 percent of his passes for 360 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown.

The Pitt MVP was linebacker Brandon George who finished with 10 tackles, seven solo, and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Florida State improves to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the ACC. Next Saturday the Seminoles host their rivals, the Miami Hurricanes. Kickoff time has yet to be determined.

Pitt drops to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the ACC. The Panthers travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.


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