Florida State Seminoles: tigers-noles-090812

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For one reason or another, it didn't seem as if redshirt freshman quarterback Jacob Coker's first career touchdown pass was meant to be.

Facing a third-and-7 at the Savannah State 14, Coker dropped back and found wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the end zone for a score that was negated by an illegal motion call on Benjamin.

Florida State went right back to the same call, though, and this time it worked out just fine. Benjamin again was wide open in the end zone for an easy pitch and catch for the 19-yard touchdown.

"It was awesome," Coker said. "It was a dream come true for me. Doing something like that, it is something that I have always dreamed of.

"I was just reading the safety and I saw KB out there, and I saw I had a little room there so I put it up for him and he made the play like he always does."

Redshirt sophomore and No. 2 quarterback Clint Trickett, who is ahead of Coker on the depth chart, was among the most jubilant of cheerleaders for Coker's first career touchdown pass. The initial disappointment of the penalty quickly was wiped away.

"When it first happened, we were all wondering, 'What do we have to do to get this guy a touchdown?' " Trickett said with a laugh. "And then they went right back to it and we were all happy for him."

Benjamin shows off dynamic skill set

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
11:30
PM ET
Kelvin Benjamin knew the ball was coming his way and he knew he would be open. Sure enough, Jacob Coker found Benjamin in the end zone as he leaped over his defender and came down with the pass.

The only problem, however, was that Benjamin was called for illegal motion.

"I got a little anxious," he said.

No matter, fellow receiver Rodney Smith thought. Smith turned to a teammate after referees negated the play and predicted the next throw would go right back to Benjamin.

"Never a doubt," Smith said.

As it turned out, the penalty only managed to add a small degree of difficulty for Benjamin, who quickly hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass -- the final touchdown in a 55-0 win over Savannah State.

It was Benjamin's second touchdown of the day -- and of his career -- and perhaps the start of bigger things to come.

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Anthony McCloud's face was drenched with sweat as he talked with reporters after Saturday's abridged 55-0 win over Savannah State.

EJ Manuel snuck up from behind and used his shirt sleeve to blot McCloud's head before joking about getting the senior defensive tackle back to work.

In truth, there wasn't much work for McCloud on Saturday. Timmy Jernigan started for the second consecutive game and McCloud played just six snaps in the game. But it was a nice chance to get back into the swing of things after missing all of fall camp and last week's opener because of a pectoral injury.

"It wasn't very long," McCloud said of his debut. "But I shook the rust off, and I'm thankful for that."

Coach Jimbo Fisher said McCloud turned in a good week of practice leading up to the game, and the senior said he was pleased with how he felt after his limited workload Saturday.

"It feels great," McCloud said. "I'm getting stronger every week. I'm going to be full-throttle, 100 percent for our next opponent."

The same should be true for tight end Nick O'Leary (thigh) and center Bryan Stork (neck), Fisher said.

Both starters were held out of Saturday's game because of nagging injuries, with Christo Kourtzidis and Kevin Haplea starting at tight end Saturday and sophomore Austin Barron starting at center.

Fisher said neither injury was a big concern, however, and that the weather and the opponent played a part in his decision to rest them.

"Those guys should definitely be back," Fisher said.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's blowout of Savannah State proceeded as expected through the bulk of the first half before lightning provided the Tigers with a merciful early conclusion.

The Seminoles scored on eight of nine possessions in the game, including their first seven, en route to a 55-0 win against overmatched Savannah State. EJ Manuel threw three touchdown passes and freshman Kelvin Benjamin hauled in two scores, and the Tigers mustered just 28 yards of offense.

The game was delayed twice by lightning, the first resulting in a decision to use a running clock the remainder of the game, and the second calling the proceedings to an end completely.

In its first two games of the season, Savannah State was outscored 139-0, having lost its opener to Oklahoma State 84-0.

Florida State, meanwhile, opens ACC play next week against Wake Forest, having taken its first two games by a combined score of 124-3.

It was over when: There was still 8:59 left in the third quarter. Really, it was over before it started, as Florida State had no trouble carving apart the Savannah State defense. But the real intrigue came when the players left the field for the second time due to a weather delay at about 8:52 p.m., and about 40 minutes later the game was officially called.

Game ball goes to: Manuel. He didn't get much playing time, but he certainly made the most of what little action he got. Manuel completed 11 of 13 passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns -- just the second game of his career with three or more TD throws.

Stat of the game: 385. That was the total yardage difference between the two teams, despite the game ending 23 minutes early. Florida State racked up a whopping 413 yards of total offense before the weather forced an early finish, while Savannah State mustered a mere 28 yards in the game, including just nine via passing plays, as QB Antonio Bostick finished 2-of-15.

Unsung hero: Chris Thompson. The senior running back didn't see a ton of action, like all of FSU's starters, but he did pick up 44 yards on just four touches, including a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was Thompson's first touchdown since Sept. 10, 2011 against Charleston Southern. The senior broke his back three weeks later and missed the remainder of the 2011 season.

What we learned: Not a whole lot. Florida State's starters barely played. The second-stringers took only a few snaps in the second half. The third-stringers barely had a chance to get loose before the weather brought things to a halt. But if there's anything for coach Jimbo Fisher to take from this game, it's that his team lived up to expectations, looking incredibly sharp early rather than overlooking an obviously inferior opponent.

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