For the second straight game, the Florida state football team got off to a fast start and then completely collapsed against one of the worst teams at the Atlantic Coast Conference.
As they did in Louisville two weeks ago, the Seminoles looked sharp in the opening run against the bit and took an advantage early in the 14-3. They will lose the lead in the second quarter, with quarterback Jordan Travis starting at half-time and no hope of coming back after that.
The Pitt Panthers, who struggled to lose four games straight, took advantage of several Florida state abuses to win 41-17. The bit improves overall to 4-4 (3-4 on ACC), while FSU drops to 2-5 and 1-5. The loss guarantees that the first season of head coach Mike Norwell at FSU will end with a failed record.
With Travis sidelined by an unpublished injury, junior James Blackman took charge of the quarterback for the first move of the third quarter, immediately throwing an interception. The Panthers took advantage of that opportunity and punched it for another touchdown and 31-17 advantage.
Freshman Subba Purti played the rest of the game in the quarterbacks and often struggled behind a micro Seminole attack line. The team played surprisingly well in the first half of the season, missing a single chance to start on the left, with Devonde Love-Taylor going down with a knee injury and sidelined by athlete Travis.
Pitt’s defense, leading the country on excuses and challenges for loss, squeezed in the second half and eventually scored with a big-six in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers also helped with the return of senior quarterback Kenny Pickett, who has missed a sprained ankle in the last two games. Pickett completed 21 of 27 passes for 210 yards, and he rushed to a touchdown.
While the final score did not suggest it, the Seminoles actually got off to a great start, hitting touchdowns on each of their first two drives to take a 14-3 lead.
First, they marched 75 yards in 10 games and were hit by a tight end Viet Rector on one side in a touchdown fall. The former quarterback moved from right to left, standing behind center Maurice Smith, taking the snap and rising in the final zone to a 7-3 lead.
When the Seminoles were next in line, QB Jordan Travis broke through the defense in the third and 3rd and rushed to the 88-yard touchdown from the depths of the FSU territory. This gave the Seminoles a 14-3 advantage in the first quarter. This is the longest touchdown held by the Florida State Quarterback in school history.
The rest of the first half was very devastating. Seminoles did very little offense, and using the Fit FSU mistakes, returned to a 24-17 lead at halftime.
The Panthers got the ball to start drives three times in FSU territory and hit touchdowns each time. Parker Crotas Seminoles of FSU gave the Seminoles a slight delay with a 47-yard field goal just before half-time, but they could not have taken it in the second half without Travis.
FSU in NC State next Saturday.