TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State lost star quarterback Jordan Travis to injury and trailed by two touchdowns late in the first quarter. The Seminoles were clearly emotional, yet quickly responded and rallied around backup Tate Rodemaker.
Fourth-ranked Florida State lost Travis to a major leg injury in the first quarter and regrouped around backup Tate Rodemaker, who guided the Seminoles to a 58-13 win over North Alabama on Saturday night.
Travis suffered the injury on a run up the middle late in the first quarter. After an air cast was placed on the leg, Travis was carted off.
“Jordan went down, that was something that nobody ever wants to see a player go down,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “I don’t have any updates on it tonight. But I was proud of the way our guys responded throughout the course of the game.”
Rodemaker completed 13 of 23 passes for 217 yards with touchdown passes to Keon Coleman and Caziah Holmes as the Seminoles (11-0) won their 17th straight game while trying to maintain the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff standings.
The redshirt junior came into the game with 70 career passes, and it was the most significant playing time he has seen since relieving an injured Travis to help Florida State win at Louisville in Sept. 2022.
“What he did, where he located the ball, he made a couple of great decisions just in progressions and read,” Norvell said. “He showed all the work he has been putting in. He was ready for his moment when his number was called.”
Despite a few drops that stalled out some drives, Rodemaker showed composure when forced into a pressure-packed moment — and he could be facing more of those with a matchup at Florida and an ACC title game to come if Travis indeed is out for the coming weeks.
“He has been prepping for this,” tailback Lawrance Toafili said. “I know he is ready. He is ready to step up to the plate.”
CJ Campbell had a 70-yard touchdown run, while Trey Benson, Holmes and Toafili added TD runs.
Senior defensive back Jarrian Jones forced a fumble to set up a first-half touchdown, and his second-half interception set up another score in what was his final home game.
“Florida State really made me a man,” Jones said. “I feel like I went through my hardest trials and tribulations here. I’m forever indebted to Florida State and forever will be a Nole.”
UNA quarterback Noah Walters completed 13 of 26 passes with touchdown throws to Takairee Kennebrew, his 10th of the season, and J.J. Evans. But UNA (3-8) punted nine times.
Florida State should hold its No. 4 spot in the CFP standings, although undefeated Washington has an argument to move up following a win over Oregon State.
A large group of Florida State’s 2013 seniors returned to Tallahassee for a reunion weekend. The group welcomed the current team at Legacy Walk before the game. Jameis Winston was honored after the first quarter, and the team was introduced to the crowd at halftime.
HOME SWEET HOME
Florida State finished the 2023 home schedule 6-0. It was the first time since the 2013-15 seasons that the Seminoles were unbeaten at Doak Campbell Stadium. During the 1990s, Florida State didn’t lose at home in 1990, as well as 1992-99 (including the 1994 tie with Florida).
Norvell has also improved to 7-0 in the last two Novembers.
North Alabama: The Lions had 172 offensive yards on their first three drives, including a pair of touchdowns. UNA finished with 226 offensive yards.
Florida State: The Seminoles racked up 521 offensive yards, their fifth game surpassing the 500-yard mark.
North Alabama: Season complete.
Florida State: The Seminoles play at Florida on Saturday.
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