TALLAHASSEE, Fla. >> Jimbo Fisher says his sixth-ranked Florida State team accomplished what it needed to in a 55-0 win over undermanned Savannah State — even if the weather interfered.
The Seminoles looked as though they would easily cover a 70 1/2- point spread that a Las Vegas gaming house established for the game, but Mother Nature dealt its own hand Saturday, forcing officials to call the game with 8:59 left in the third quarter after two long delays because of thunderstorms.
“I’ve never had that happen in my career,” said Fisher, who has spent slightly more than a quarter-century in the college game. “It’s easy for me to say I want to keep playing, but I understand the situation.”
The situation, mostly, was the weather intervening to end a game that many felt should never have been scheduled.
“That was out of our control,” Fisher said, noting that Savannah State took the place of West Virginia, which broke the contract earlier this year after joining the Big 12 Conference. “We executed and did what we were supposed to.”
EJ Manuel passed for three touchdowns in the opening seven minutes and Florida State’s defense held lower-division Savannah State to 28 yards.
“Everything was open that we thought would be open,” said Manuel, who played just the first quarter. “We always tell each other that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
The Seminoles bolted to a 35-0 lead in the first quarter as Manuel completed 11 of 13 passes for 161 yards and five different Seminoles scored touchdowns.
Florida State (2-0) led 48-0 at halftime and finished with 413 yards. James Wilder Jr. and Kelvin Benjamin each scored two touchdowns before the game was called.
Savannah State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, has been outscored by a combined 139-0 in its first two games this season. It was beaten 84-0 at Oklahoma State last week. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member is collecting paychecks totaling $860,000 for the two games, which will help the athletic program meet its total budget of $5.1 million.
“It would be really good for my perspective at Savannah if those two teams play for the national championship and you guys call me for my evaluation of the game because I’m the only one who has seen them both,” said Savannah State coach Steve Davenport said. “But like I said before, it’s really a helpless feeling. Those two programs and those players are really, really tremendous players.