Florida State runs over Duquesne in opener

Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State showed its offensive identity – running the ball at will – and dominated an FCS program.

Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson and Lawrance Toafili surpassed 100 rushing yards and Florida State dominated Duquesne 47-7 in a lightning-delayed game. The Seminoles ran for 406 yards and opened the season with a victory for the first time since 2016.

“This was the first glimpse of the 2022 Florida State football team and I’m proud of our players,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “It definitely wasn’t a perfect game. A lot of guys played, got opportunities. There was some good, some bad things that we’re going to have to continue to grow upon. But the experience and the approach is what I’m really pleased about. I thought we showed as a fast and physical football team.”

Florida State had shown it could be a run-oriented offense in Norvell’s first two seasons. But the Seminoles had three 100-yard rushers in a single game for the first time in school history, albeit in a game against an overmatched Duquesne.

Ward (14 carries, 127 yards), Benson (11 carries, 105 yards) and Toafili (13 carries, 101 yards) led the ground attack, which featured six touchdowns. Ward had two TD runs, and Benson had a 41-yard TD as the Oregon transfer frequently racked up yards after contact. True freshman Rodney Hill also had 55 rushing yards and a touchdown.

“Before the game, this morning, we broke off on 500, because that’s what we wanted to get,” Ward said. “Just to see everyone get 100 yards makes me proud. And seeing Rodney score too made me proud as well. Seeing everybody get their burn and seeing everybody get their touches, it makes us proud. Nobody is selfish in this room. We want to see everybody eat and get to the next level. So it’s something in our room that no one else has.”

Florida State scored on eight of its first nine drives. Jordan Travis, Toafili and Ward had TD runs as Florida State led 20-0 after the first quarter.

Travis completed 11 of 15 passes for 207 yards. Kentron Poitier had four receptions for 84 yards. Mycah Pittman also had four catches for 44 yards. Johnny Wilson hauled in a 51-yard grab that set up a touchdown.

Joe Mischler completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Abdul Janneh in the third quarter for Duquesne. The Dukes capitalized off a short field after Ryan Webb intercepted a pass from Florida State backup Tate Rodemaker.

Florida State’s defense forced eight punts. The Seminoles had five pass break-ups, including two by safety Jammie Robinson.

IMPACT TRANSFERS

Three of Florida State’s top receivers – Pittman, Wilson and Deuce Spann – were transfers. Spann added three receptions for 40 yards. Linebacker Tatum Bethune, who played at UCF, had four tackles and a pass breakup. Jared Verse, who played at Albany, had four tackles and recorded a sack.

A FIRST BUT WORK TO DO

Florida State had not won a season opener under Norvell. The Seminoles have started slow in his first two seasons and are a combined 0-6 in September in the Norvell Era.

TAKEAWAYS

Florida State: The Seminoles last surpassed 400 rushing yards in a game in 2016, when Dalvin Cook and Jacques Patrick led the team to 478 yards at South Florida.

Duquesne: The Dukes managed just 164 yards (3.5 yards per play).

UP NEXT

Duquesne plays at Youngstown State on Saturday

Florida State plays LSU at New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 4.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”