ORLANDO — Sunday night set the stage for a rematch between two top-10 teams, and Florida State took advantage of the spotlight.
The Seminoles raised several eyebrows after they beat the Bayou Bengals 45-24, and their quarterback clearly stole the show. Jordan Travis lit up LSU’s secondary like a Christmas Tree in December, and scored five total touchdowns, including four passing. Travis couldn’t have asked for a better performance against an almighty SEC team. It was Florida State’s seventh-straight win dating back to last season.
There’s no denying the gunslinger has picked up where he left off. After all, Travis led the ACC in passing efficiency in 2022, and his 3,214 passing yards was the seventh-most in a single-season for the program. Now Travis has passed for a jaw-dropping, 2,149 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions over Florida State’s last eight games.
The Seminoles trailed the Bayou Bengals by a field goal at halftime. Coach Mike Norvell must’ve gave a motivational speech to his team in the locker room, because Travis came out on fire in the second half, and led the offense to 31 unanswered points. The former three-star prospect had complete command of the huddle. He was clearly in a zone for the remainder of the game. The big boys up front mauled LSU’s defensive line, and didn’t allow Travis to get sacked all night.
“Had to get locked in and stay focused and keep the main thing the main thing,” Travis said. “But once again it starts up front, if the offensive line doesn’t protect and give me time, I can’t make throws down the field.”
Travis entered the season ninth in the Heisman odds. However, after the eight-ranked Seminoles took down the fifth-best team in the country, and the outing he had, his stock should rise tremendously. The redshirt senior connected with Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman for three touchdowns. It clearly showed their chemistry together. Not to mention Johnny Wilson was a mismatch nightmare out in the open field.
The Seminoles also converted nine of their 14 third down attempts. Norvell was very pleased with his quarterback’s performance, and knows there’s still a lot for the offene to improve on.
“I told the offense at halftime, I said, you will score every drive in the second half if you just go out there and focus on the little things, focus on the details,” Norvell said. “I’m glad that they went out and executed that. I mean, they did a wonderful job and on third down, Jordan was awesome.”
The offense was very efficient and scored a touchdown on every attempt in the redzone. Travis was able to spread the wealth too. The six-foot-one, 212-pounder completed a pass to seven different players. Wilson and Coleman each eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards. Travis made other around him better, which is what high-caliber quarterbacks do.
The most telling part of Florida State’s execution was time of possession. The Seminoles nearly led the Bayou Bengals by 11 minutes. That means the offense line was able to dictate everything at the point of attack, as Travis shredded Florida State’s defense.
The victory should boost the Seminoles in the AP Poll, and maybe that might land in the top-five for the first time since the preseason in 2017. Now Travis’ Heisman campaign is in full force, which will make every game more intense. The 23-year old appears ready for what lies ahead of him though. Florida State is going to get every opponent’s best. So Travis must have a slim margin for error. Still, he understands what comes with the territory of being the big man on campus, and doesn’t plan on disappointing Seminole Nation.
“It’s easy when I have great teammates around me to push me and tell me they have my back no matter what..”