The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats entered Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium fresh off their first FBS victory.
They couldn’t repeat the feat against No. 8 FSU as the Seminoles routed the Wildcats 54-6 on Saturday night and handed them their first loss of the season.
Quentin Williams became the first Bethune-Cookman quarterback to start two games in 2013, but he didn’t last long. He completed three of seven passes for 23 yards and an interception.
Jackie Wilson replaced him late in the first quarter. Wilson went 5-for-10 with 37 yards passing and 41 yards rushing, including a touchdown.
“I thought we hung in there with them toe to toe for a while,” Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins said. “We made some mistakes that they capitalized on and that’s what good teams do.”
Still proud of team
Anthony Jordan ran for 81 yards as the Wildcats managed 182 yards on the ground. Eddie Pool caught three passes for 46 yards. Marquis Drayton led the Bethune-Cookman defense with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. An interception thrown by Williams that was returned for a touchdown, and a holding call in the end zone, however, gave Florida State a free nine points.
“We caused their quarterback probably to have more incompletions in this game than in the first two games combined, so that’s a plus,” Jenkins said. “I’m looking at the fight in my team that I am impressed with, that I am proud of.
“I’m looking at the mistakes we made, against any good ball club, you would struggle to win.
We just have to get those things fixed.”
TD in third quarter
Florida State’s Jameis Winston completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
He entered the game with more touchdown passes (6) than incompletions (5).
Seminoles running back Devonta Freeman ran for a game-high 112 yards and a touchdown — his second consecutive 100-yard game. Karlos Williams finished with 83 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and James Wilder, Jr. added 56 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Shaw tied Rashad Greene with a game-high four receptions. Shaw led all pass-catchers with 89 yards receiving.
The Wildcats (3-1) scored their lone touchdown off a seven-yard run from Wilson with 8:21 left in the third quarter.
“I feel as good as I can feel about a game like this,” Jenkins said. “We finished the game fighting, we finished the game strong.
“For me it’s some good and some bad, too, that we’ve got to get corrected.”
Errors for both teams
Florida State ran away in the second quarter and took a 33-0 lead into halftime, but all three starting receivers had dropped passes. The defense also missed several tackles.
Both teams committed their share of unforced errors in an odd first half. Bethune-Cookman returner Darian Baker muffed two kickoffs that left the offense starting from the 2 and the 6.
Tackle Alex Monroe was flagged for holding in the end zone to give the Seminoles a safety.
Williams stared down and pointed to Poole just before Telvin Smith picked off the pass and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown.
Florida State receivers entered the game without a single drop this season, but that quickly changed. The usually sure-handed Greene dropped a pass in the first quarter. Kelvin Benjamin dropped a ball just outside of the end zone that would have been a score. Shaw also muffed one as he turned the corner toward the end zone just before halftime. Replay ruled it a drop instead of a fumble.
“Had three or four dropped balls. Had two dropped touchdowns. We have a lot of room to grow,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We have to clean a lot of things up.
“I just think it was a lack of focus. It was lack of concentration. It can happen to anybody, you have to stay focused.”
On to Delaware
Wilder, Jr. lost a fumble at the Bethune-Cookman 3.
Florida State held its opponent to a single score for the second consecutive game and was responsible for scoring nine points. The unit was down three starters as linebacker Christian Jones and defensive end Eddie Goldman were held out due to a violation of team rules.
Defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. sat out with a hand injury.
“We have to tackle in space better,” Fisher said. “I wasn’t happy with the way we tackled in space at times. We have to do a better job.”
Bethune-Cookman will take on Delaware State on the road on Oct. 5.