Inquirer Daily News
 
                     === No. 4 Florida State downs USF ===
 
 Tampa,  FL (Sports Network)  - E.J. Manuel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown
 and  keyed a third-quarter surge that kept No. 4 Florida State unbeaten with a
 30-17 victory over South Florida Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
 
 The  Seminoles  (5-0) were clinging  to a 13-10  lead midway through the third
 quarter before tallying 17 consecutive points over a stretch of just over five
 minutes,  with  Manuel's one-yard  touchdown strike to  tight end Kevin Haplea
 with 5:09 left in the period beginning the run.
 
 Dustin  Hopkins later  kicked his third field  goal of the night to extend the
 margin  to 23-10, and linebacker Christian Jones delivered a 12-yard touchdown
 return on a fumble recovery on the final play of the third quarter that helped
 send  South  Florida (2-3)  to its third  straight loss and  10th defeat in 13
 games over the last calendar year.
 
 The  Florida State defense forced three turnovers in all and held the Bulls to
 268 total yards, the majority of which came in the first quarter.
 
 Manuel  completed 19-of-26 attempts for the game, while Rashad Greene finished
 with 71 receiving yards and had a 10-yard touchdown run for Florida State.
 
 South  Florida  quarterback B.J. Daniels had  a game-high 72 rushing yards and
 two  touchdowns  in  a losing  cause,  but  managed  just  143 yards  with  an
 interception on 17-of-33 passes against a Seminoles stop unit that entered the
 contest ranked second in total defense and fourth against the pass.
 
 The  heavily favored  Seminoles  appeared  in control  after  building a  13-3
 halftime lead, but South Florida captured some momentum when Tashon Whitehurst
 blocked  a punt from  FSU's Cason Beatty that gave the Bulls the ball at their
 opponent's eight-yard line less than two minutes into the third quarter.
 
 Three  plays later, Daniels crossed the goal line from one yard out to cut the
 deficit to just three points with 11:55 to go in the stanza.
 
 Following an exchange of punts, Manuel directed a critical seven-play, 63-yard
 drive that put Florida State back in front by double digits.
 
 The  talented senior hit  on all three of his throws on the march, which began
 with  a  32-yard connection to Greene  that moved FSU into Bulls' territory. A
 12-yard  run by Chris Thompson later on gave the Seminoles a 1st-and-goal from
 the  USF five,  and Manuel capped the  possesion by finding Haplea in a third-
 down situation for a 20-10 cushion.
 
 Florida  State then  forced a  three-and-out  on the  ensuing possession,  and
 marched  68  yards in  eight plays  to set  up Hopkins'  23-yard field goal to
 extend the margin to 13 points in the final minute of the third quarter.
 
 Daniels  was briefly knocked out of the game shortly afterward after being hit
 hard  on  a 20-yard  run that  was called back  on a  holding penalty, and the
 Seminoles took advantage of backup Matt Floyd's short time on the field.
 
 Defensive end Cornellius Carradine broke free and sacked Floyd on a 3rd-and-12
 with  the  Bulls pinned  back near their  own end, with  Jones scooping up the
 loose  ball  and racing untouched into  the end zone  for a 30-10 lead as time
 expired in the third quarter.
 
 The  Bulls would  answer with a six-play, 73-yard series, however, highlighted
 by  a 37-yard catch-and-run by Derrick Hopkins that led to Daniels' three-yard
 touchdown scamper with 12:37 to go.
 
 USF  would  get the  ball back twice  more afterward, but  failed to cross the
 Seminoles' 40-yard line on either ocassion and Florida State ran out the clock
 following a Daniels incompletion on fourth down with 2:18 left.
 
 The  Seminoles spotted USF an early 3-0 lead, but wasted no time regaining the
 upper hand on their first drive of the night.
 
 Karlos  Williams took  the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to the Bulls' 37-yard line
 and  Manuel connected on a pair of passes to move Florida State inside the red
 zone. Two plays later, Greene scored on an end-around from 10 yards out to put
 Florida State up by a 7-3 count with 8:57 left in the opening quarter.
 
 A  39-yard pass from Manuel to Greene set up a 26-yard Hopkins field goal that
 extended  the Seminoles'  edge to 10-3 with under six minutes remaining in the
 first  half,  though FSU failed  to reach the  end zone despite a 2nd-and-goal
 from the Bulls' one-yard line.
 
 Manuel was initially ruled to have lost a fumble on a botched pitch attempt on
 the  second  of those plays, but  a replay review  showed his knee had hit the
 ground before getting rid of the ball.
 
 Hopkins  misfired  on a  48-yard field  goal try  shortly before halftime, but
 Florida State quickly got the ball back when Xavier Rhodes intercepted Daniels
 near midfield on USF's second play of the drive. Hopkins would later make good
 on a 43-yard attempt to give the Seminoles a 13-3 advantage at intermission.
 
 South Florida compiled 144 total yards -- including 82 rushing -- in the first
 quarter  on FSU's vaunted defense, but could only come up with a Maikon Bonani
 32-yard  field goal  on the  game's opening  possession. A  25-yard pass  from
 Daniels to tight end Evan Landi led to the score.
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Carradine  tallied  1 1/2  sacks and now  has notched six  over his last three
 games ... The Seminoles improved to 5-0 against Florida teams under head coach
 Jimbo  Fisher, having  previously recorded wins over in-state rivals Miami and
 the  University  of Florida  ... Florida  State also moved  to 9-1 all-time in
 games  held  in Tampa  and was making  its first appearance  in the city since
 1979.
 
 
 09/29 23:12:16 ET