Final: No. 4 Florida State 66, Southern Miss 13

No. 4 Florida State leads Southern Miss 31-3 at halftime.
No. 4 Florida State leads Southern Miss 31-3 at halftime.(Erik Drost / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 9:51 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Florida State University showed the University of Southern Mississippi exactly why the Seminoles are ranked among the top five college football teams in America.

Two FSU quarterbacks threw for a pair of touchdowns each and running back Trey Benson led a ground game that rolled for 306 yards Saturday in a 66-13 win over the Golden Eagles at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The fourth-ranked Seminoles (2-0) gained 554 yards total offense while USM (1-1) managed just 258 yards, with a good chuck of that figure coming in the latter stages of the blowout.

USM starting quarterback Bill Wiles competed 11 of 34 passes for 154 yards, He threw an interception that was returned 30 yards by FSU’s Jarrion Jones for a score.

Rodrigues Clark led USM’s running game, with 86 yards on 15 carries, including a 12-yard scoring run at the the end of the third quarter.

It was USM’s lone touchdown of the game. The Golden Eagles got field field goals of 30 yards and 40 yards from kicker Andrew Stein.

Stein has converted all six of his field-goal attempts this season.

The Golden Eagles found themselves in a deep halftime hole, one that they Eagles helped dig.

FSU starting quarterback Jordan Travis threw for two touchdowns and Benson ran for two of his three scores as FSU dominated, opening a 31-3 lead at halftime.

The Golden Eagles hurt themselves with 11 penalties for minus 68 yards in the first two quarters. They finished with 13 penalties for a negative 98 yards.

The Golden Eagles trailed 14-0 after one quarter beforeStein capped USM’s best drive of the first half with a 30-yard field.

FSU then tacked on the next 17 points to close out the first half.

Benson, who ran for 79 yards on nine carries for FSU, ripped off a 42-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

USM will host Tulane University (1-1) at 3 p.m. Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

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