TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Many of the fans made the trip for Florida State’s home opener to see what Jameis Winston would do Saturday.
But what they also saw was a strong running game, with six players scoring rushing touchdowns in a 62-7 win on Saturday over Nevada.
The Seminoles piled up 377 rushing yards, and they pulled away from Nevada with four rushing touchdowns in the third quarter.
The lead was just 17-7 at the half, but Devonta Freeman, Karlos Williams, James Wilder Jr. and Winston each had touchdown runs on consecutive drives to put the Seminoles ahead 45-7 — an impressive display of running within a 10-minute window in the third quarter.
Perhaps the icing on the cake came from Williams. On his first college rush, the junior safety-turned-tailback ran off tackle and quickly covered 65 yards, going untouched for a touchdown.
“Once I saw daylight, I used what God gave me and that was speed,” said Williams, who picked up blocks from fullback Chad Abram, right tackle Bobby Hart and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on the play. “I just tried to get to the end zone as fast as possible.”
Williams had 110 yards on eight rushes, and Freeman had a career-long 60-yard run and had 109 rushing yards on nine carries. Even linebacker Freddie Stevenson and true freshman tailback Ryan Green had 1-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter.
Besides the day that Florida State had on the ground, here are four other things we learned from Florida State’s win over Nevada on Saturday:
1.) The Seminoles bent on defense, but they didn’t break.
Nevada’s star quarterback, Cody Fajardo, did not play with a knee sprain. But the Wolf Pack were still able to move the ball early, going ahead 7-3 with 11:31 left in the first half on Devin Combs’ pass to Brandon Wimberly.
Nevada had 95 first-half rushing yards but was held to just 33 rushing yards in the second half. The Seminoles’ run defense struggled at times in the first half with Nevada’s pistol, but they regrouped and played well the rest of the way.
“Just making adjustments,” defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan said. “That’s all it is. Do your job and the rest will fall into place.”
2.) Florida State needs to watch the penalties.
The Seminoles had five penalties in the first half, many of them mental mistakes.
There were two false starts, two offsides and a personal foul. You can get away with those things against Nevada, but not Clemson or Miami.
3.) Roberto Aguayo has been on target.
After Winston, Aguayo will be the second most scrutinized freshman at Florida State. He made both of his field-goal attempts and all five extra-point attempts in the game against Pitt.
And he followed it up by making a 23-yarder in the first quarter to put Florida State on the board. He added a 33-yarder in the third quarter. Along with 7 of 7 extra-point attempts. So far, a perfect start for Aguayo.
4.) Florida State has impressive depth.
The Seminoles’ fifth-string running back (apparently) is a linebacker, Freddie Stevenson, who scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Eight players caught at least one pass.
The defense allowed Nevada just 128 rushing yards — the Wolf Pack had 438 in the first two games. And that was with the Seminoles playing backups most of the second half.