Fourth Quarter (Florida State 48, Duke 7): With the game safely in hand, Florida State elects to rest their starters. Clint Trickett takes over for EJ Manuel, who finished with 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. Trickett leads the Seminoles into Blue Devil territory, but the Duke defense holds at the 40 yard line, appearing to force Florida State into punting. However, the Seminoles send out kicker Dustin Hopkins who connects on a 56-yard field goal to put Florida State up 48-7. With the kick he breaks the ACC record for career field goals with 81. Boone and the rest of the Duke offense fail to move the ball with any consistency. After taking over for the injured Sean Renfree, Boone finished 3-of-15 for just 37 yards. With the loss Duke falls to 6-3 (3-2 in the ACC) while Florida State moves to 8-1 (5-1) on the season. Duke returns home next week to take on Clemson.
Third Quarter (Florida State 45, Duke 7): Seminole fans are starting to leave as their team is comfortably in control of this game. Duke attempted an onside kick to open the half, but the failed recovery gave Florida State a short field to work with and the Seminoles took only two plays to score. Devonta Freeman ran it in from 14 yards out to give the Seminoles a 38-7 lead. After another fruitless series by the Blue Devils, EJ Manuel found Kelvin Benjamin for a 35-yard touchdown, his second touchdown pass of the game.
Following a muffed punt by the Seminoles, Duke found itself in good field position, but couldn’t find any room against the stifling Seminole defense, and Ross Martin missed a 24-yard field goal, ending his streak of 13 consecutive made. The only reason the Seminoles haven’t added to the score is careless ball security. Florida State fumbled three times this quarter, as Duke has the edge in the turnover battle four to zero.
Second Quarter (Florida State 31, Duke 7): Duke’s comeback becomes that much tougher as starting quarterback Sean Renfree and starting running back Juwan Thompson both leave the game with injuries in the 2nd quarter. Florida State opened up the 2nd quarter with EJ Manuel finding Rodney Smith deep for a 52 yard pass. Smith beat Ross Cockrell before finally getting pulled down at the 8 yard line. James Wilder Jr. ran it in for the touchdown, giving FSU a 24-0 lead. The Seminole defense again held the Blue Devils to a three-and-out as Seminole defensive end Cornellius Carradine has put pressure on Renfree all game.
On Florida State’s ensuing drive, Manuel found Kelvin Benjamin for a 32-yard gain before Devonta Freeman pounded the ball up the middle repeatedly, capped off by his nine-yard touchdown run with 11 minutes remaining. Duke finally got something going on offense however. Issac Blakeney had a key catch on third down to move the ball to the Duke 29. Then Renfree found Thompson streaking down the sideline, but an FSU defender laid a helmet-to-helmet hit on Thompson, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Thompson however remained down, and had to be helped to the locker room. Max McCaffrey keyed another 3rd down conversion with his 18-yard catch, and then facing 4th and 9 on FSU’s 23-yard line, Duke elected to go for it. Renfree found Desmond Scott for the conversion, but a late hit on Renfree knocked him out of the game. Anthony Boone replaced him, and handed off to Jela Duncan for Duke’s first touchdown on the day. At halftime Florida State leads 31-7.
First Quarter (Florida State 17, Duke 0): Florida State dominates from the start in all aspects of the game. After the Seminole defense forced a punt on Duke’s first possession, on 3rd and 9 quarterback EJ Manuel hit Rashad Greene for a 71-yard touchdown catch. Again Renfree and company struggled to move the ball as Florida State forced a three-and-out. Manuel drove down the field, but the Duke defensive line brought some pressure, and when Manuel scrambled up the middle, the ball popped loose, and Dwayne Norman recovered for Duke.
However, the Blue Devils failed to move the ball again, and this time Florida State’s special teams unit stepped up. Will Monday punted to the FSU 25-yard line, but Tyler Hunter raced up the left side for a 75-yard touchdown return to put Florida State up 14-0. Renfree almost connected with Connon Vernon on a 31-yard pass on 3rd down, but after initially ruling Vernon’s diving attempt a catch, it was overturned. The Seminoles then connected on a 26-yard field go to go up 17-0.