With homecoming festivities in full swing, the Florida State Seminoles added to the fireworks. The Seminoles (9-0, 6-0 ACC) pulled out a gritty 34-20 win over the Virginia Cavaliers (4-6, 2-4 ACC).
The level of energy the Noles played with was a sight to sore eyes, especially the set of head coach Jimbo Fisher.
“I’m happy that we came out and got a victory,” Fisher said. “We knew they were going to be a tough physical team and winning is not easy."
The much maligned run game for the Noles remained in neutral for most of the game; as they mustered less than four yards a carry for the fourth time this season.
However, the battle in the trenches wasn’t all one-sided, as the Noles run defense came to play holding Virginia to only 37 yards rushing on the night.
The game started out with the Noles sticking to their early season trend of starting slowly. In recent weeks much has been made about redshirt sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston’s first half play.
On Saturday he didn’t do himself any favors to combat those notions in the first quarter. Winston threw two first quarter interceptions that set up the Cavaliers in great position.
Once Winston settled in he would finish the game 22 of 35 for 261 yards, one touchdown and the pair of first quarter interceptions. Winston felt that he could’ve played a cleaner game, but was pleased with the outcome.
“As a quarterback we got a win, but I’ve gotta make smarter decisions,” Winston said. “If I don’t throw picks they don’t score, and don’t have that field position."
With the two early turnovers, the Cavaliers were able to somewhat seize control of the game, when they took a 13-7 lead in the first quarter. But, the Noles quickly responded with an onslaught of 21 unanswered points.
Senior wide receiver Rashad Greene headlined the first half onslaught, as he caught nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Greene moved past for Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins for 3rd on the ACC all-time receiving yards list.
Greene spoke to how he doesn’t pay attention to the records he sets and just focuses on how he can help his team win.
“At the end of the day we won and we have to clean some things up,” Greene said. “I guess it means it means that I was pretty good, but I was unaware."
The second half mirrored the first half, as the Noles had an early turnover that set up a Virginia touchdown which made the score 28-20.
After a pair of field goals by redshirt sophomore kicker Roberto Aguayo the Noles took a 34-20 lead into the fourth quarter. This would prove to be the final margin of victory.
The Noles extended their winning streak to a nations best 25 games and 22 games with Jameis Winston at the helm.
The Seminoles look to push their winning streak to 26 games next week, when they travel to take on in-state rival Miami. Kick-off is set for 8 pm.