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No. 6 Florida State pummels Savannah State
Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - Sixth-ranked Florida State pummeled Savannah State, 55-0, on Saturday, despite pulling several starters from the game in the first quarter of a weather-shortened contest.
E.J. Manuel went 11-for-13 through the air for 161 yards and threw for three touchdowns, and Rodney Smith caught three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles (2-0), who have outscored their opponents 124-3 over its first two games this season.
"I challenged our team to practice well, focus well, come out and do the things that we were supposed to do and we did that in all three phases," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We played hard on offense. Over on defense and on special teams, we executed and did what we were supposed to do."
Sheldon Barnes ran for 34 yards on 11 carrier and Antonio Bostick completed just 2-of-15 passes for nine yards for the Tigers (0-2), who haven't scored in 2012.
"Obviously, we knew we were coming in a bit overmatched," Savannah State coach Steve Davenport admitted. "They are who we thought they are. They are really, really a fine football team."
The game went into a 57-minute lightening delay in the second quarter, but later resumed with a running clock and a 10-minute halftime. The game was officially called with 8:59 remaining in the third quarter following a second delay.
Florida State scored on its first seven possessions of the game before Savannah State was able to force a punt with 4:58 remaining in the first half.
Savannah State's opening kickoff sailed out of bounds, leaving the Seminoles with excellent field position to start the game. It was an early sign of how things would go for the Tigers.
On the second play from scrimmage, Manuel found Smith for a 61-yard score.
After forcing a three-and-out, FSU made it 14-0 when Chris Thompson punched it in from six yards out.
A 25-yard punt return put the Seminoles in Savannah State territory, and they needed just three plays to find the end zone and Manuel hooked up with Greg Dent for an eight-yard score.
FSU did one better after forcing yet another 3-and-out, and returned the Tigers' punt 39 yards to the Savannah State 30-yard line. After a 21-yard pass to Kenny Shaw, Manuel tossed a nine-yard score to Kelvin Benjamin to go ahead 28-0 just seven minutes and 45 seconds into the game.
The first quarter ended with FSU leading 35-0 after Devonta Freeman scored on a five-yard plunge to cap an 11-play, 76-yard drive.
The Seminoles' reserves took over from that point, and put up a TD on their first possession when James Wilder Jr. ran one in from 19-yards out before punching in from one yard out a little over four minutes later to go up 48-0.
The Tigers finally forced FSU to punt on its next drive, but they couldn't stop the Seminoles for long as they added the final TD on their first drive in the second half.
After recovering a fumble at the Savannah State 17, Jacob Coker found Benjamin for a 19-yard score.
Following the first delay officials from both schools agreed to play the remainder of the game with a running clock ... Ten players caught passes for FSU ... Savannah State gave up more points in its first two games in 2012 (139) than it scored in all of 2011 (138).
09/09 00:41:19 ET