FSU opens the 2022 season by rushing past Duquesne

Florida State Seminoles Head Coach Mike Norvell and his 'Noles participate in the "Ankle Walk"...
Florida State Seminoles Head Coach Mike Norvell and his 'Noles participate in the "Ankle Walk" prior to taking on Duquesne(Ryan Kelly | WCTV Sports)
Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 11:15 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Noles247) - Florida State defeated Duquesne, 47-7, in their season-opening game on Saturday evening inside Doak Campbell Stadium. The weather, which caused a 90-minute delay to the start of the game, was the only thing that slowed down the Seminoles on the evening. FSU improved to 12-1 all-time in August and 31-11 all-time when opening the season at home. FSU is 55-21 all-time in season openers. It marked FSU’s first season-opening victory since 2016.

As FSU (1-0, 0-0 ACC) opened season three under the guidance of head coach Mike Norvell, they used the rushing attack to beat up on the Dukes (0-1, 0-0 NEC). FSU rushed for 406 yards on 54 carries and had six rushing touchdowns by five different players in the game. A trio of FSU backs had 100 or more rushing yards in the same game for the first time in program history - Treshaun Ward (14-127-2 TD), Trey Benson (11-105-1 TD), and Lawrance Toafili (13-101-1 TD).

Behind 200 rushing yards in the opening half and three touchdowns on the ground in that same span of time, the Seminoles led 26-0 after the first 30 minutes. Ward and Toafili each scored on the ground in the opening half, as did quarterback Jordan Travis.

FSU immediately scored to open the second half as they got a three-and-out and then went 62 yards on four plays in 97 seconds to put themselves up 33-0 on the Dukes as Ward scored on the ground for the second time on the day. That wrapped up the day for Travis at quarterback. He finished 11-of-15 for 207 passing yards, including a 51-yard pass to wide receiver Johnny Wilson and a 48-yard pass to wide receiver Kentron Poitier.

After Travis was pulled, quarterback Tate Rodemaker entered the game. He was intercepted on a 4th and 7 from the Duquesne 32-yard-line by Ryan Webb, who returned it 50 yards. Two plays later Duquesne quarterback Joe Mischler connected with wide receiver Abdul Janneh for a 22-yard touchdown pass. FSU led 33-7 with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

FSU would answer the score by the Duke going 85 yards on five plays in 2:24. The drive was capped off by a 43-yard touchdown run by running back Benson, his first as a Seminole. It was the longest rush on the day.

The final score of the day by the Seminoles also came on the ground, as freshman running back Rodney Hill punched it in from eight yards out. He was the fifth different FSU player to rush for a touchdown in the game. Hill finished with 55 rushing yards on nine carries.

Rodemaker finished the game 2-of-6 for 15 passing yards and the interception. He also had two rushes for two yards.

Freshman quarterback AJ Duffy also got to play for the Seminoles, handling the final drive of the game. Duffy was 1-of-1 for 10 passing yards and had a 5-yard rush.

Defensive end Jared Verse recorded FSU’s first sack of the day on the final play of the third quarter. It was the lone sack of the day for the FSU defense. FSU’s defense also had six tackles for loss.

Duquesne had just 164 total yards in the game - 71 passing yards and 93 rushing yards. They were just 1-of-10 on third-down conversions.

FSU had 638 yards of total offense on 76 plays (8.4 yards per play). They were 5-of-10 on converting on third downs and 1-of-2 on converting on fourth downs. FSU allowed just one sack and one tackle for loss.

FSU returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 4th, when they face LSU in New Orleans, La. The game between the Seminoles and Tigers will be shown on ABC.