Florida State Lights Up No. 7 BYU In Utah

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

PROVO, Utah(AP) Christian Ponder threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Florida State beat No. 7 BYU 54-28 Saturday, ending the Cougars' 18-game home winning streak and probably any hopes they had of a BCS berth.

Florida State (2-1) was too fast for the BYU (2-1) and avoided its first 1-2 start in 20 years.

Three weeks after upsetting Oklahoma in the season opener, BYU's Bowl Championship Series aspirations faded a little bit on each drive by the Seminoles.

The Seminoles pounced for 10 points in the final 24 seconds of the second quarter and added two touchdowns in the third, running away in the Cougars' home opener.

Ponder was 21-for-26 for 195 yards and Ty Jones ran for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Max Hall completed 20 of 31 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns for BYU, but also threw three interceptions. Harvey Unga ran for 97 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars, who turned the ball over five times.

The Seminoles took advantage of two turnovers while scoring 24 straight points, including Greg Reid 's 63-yard interception return for a touchdown that put Florida State up 37-14 with 12:52 left in the third quarter.

The Seminoles outran the Cougars 313 yards to 108 and converted on their first nine third downs. FSU didn't punt until about a minute remained in the third quarter and scored all eight times it got inside the 20.

If the Cougars expected to be at an advantage playing at 4,500 feet above sea level, the Seminoles from the Atlantic Coast Conference quickly dispelled that notion and showed they were ready to run all four quarters.

Even when BYU of the Mountain West Conference appeared to be on the verge of a big stop, Ponder was able to get the ball away or tuck it and run for a first down.

BYU had chances to almost keep up with the Seminoles, but coughed up the ball at crucial moments. The Cougars fumble after driving inside the Florida State 20 on BYU's opening series, then a fumbled kickoff return allowed the Seminoles to add a field goal by Dustin Hopkins as the clock expired at the end of the second quarter for a 30-14 halftime lead.

Once Reid stepped in front of a pass by Hall and sprinted untouched for a touchdown, the Seminoles were up 37-14 and the blue-clothed fans who packed LaVell Edwards Stadium sat silently as a small contingent of FSU fans chanted and chopped in the northwest corner.

Ponder added a touchdown on a 6-yard run with 5:11 left in the third to put the Seminoles up 44-14 and even an 80-yard touchdown pass by Hall to McKay Jacobson 12 seconds later wasn't nearly enough to revive BYU.

The closest BYU got was 20-14 on a 3-yard pass from Hall to Manase Tonga with 5:11 left in the second quarter, but Ponder led the Seminoles 82 yards over 12 plays, hitting Caz Piurowski for a 5-yard touchdown pass.


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