College Football Flashback: Florida State Spoils BYU Home Opener

By Ross Everett

BYU’s BCS hopes went down hard on Saturday, as the Cougars were no match for the superior team speed of Florida State. Looking nothing like the team that had struggled against FCS Jacksonville State the week before, the Seminoles used 23 second quarter points to blow open the game and went on to defeat BYU 54-28. The opportunistic Florida State defense forced BYU into committing 5 turnovers, and Seminoles QB Christian Ponder threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the blowout victory on the Cougars home field. There had been some speculation that Florida State would struggle at the 4,500 foot altitude of Orem, Utah but the Seminoles were faster and displayed more energy throughout the contest.

College football betting devotees who backed the Seminoles as a +8 road underdog were counting their winnings by halftime, as BYU never led in the game. The Cougars dropped to 11-16 ATS over the past three years, while Florida State improved to 3-4 as an underdog in that same timeframe. The 82 combined points went well OVER the posted total of 54.

After a season opening loss to Miami-FL and a sloppy victory over Jacksonville State, the Seminoles were firing on all cylinders in Orem, Utah on Saturday. FSU QB Ponder was elated that his team had finally played up to its considerable abilities:

“It shows us what we can do. It’s the first time in a while we played as a whole team. The defense played great. The offense played incredible.”

Seminoles offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, meanwhile, gave much of the credit to his quarterback:

“He can beat you with his arm, his legs and his mind. And then he can also beat you with how competitive and tough he is.”

Venerable FSU coach Bobby Bowden was nonplussed as his team avoided a 1-2 start for the first time since 1989:

“I’ve been through this thing so many times, I knew we had an advantage. We went out there and made some plays, which we hadn’t done lately, and we also forced some crucial turnovers.”

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall gave credit to the Seminoles superior preparation:

“I think Florida State was more prepared in general than we were tonight, really from beginning to end. I think their preparation exceeded ours and it showed — especially on third down.”

Cougars running back Harvey Unga was classy in defeat :

“Any loss is devastating, regardless of if you’re ranked. Hats off to those guys. They came here ready to play.”

Florida State will return home to face South Florida next weekend. Theyll hit the road the following Saturday, heading to the northeast to take on Boston College. Theyll be back in Florida for a game against Georgia Tech on October 10th. BYU will try to get back on the winning track next weekend as they host Colorado State. Theyll play Utah State on their home field the following week, and then head to Southern Nevada for a game against UNLV on October 10th.

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