TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Despite a 48-point win, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher saw lots of room for improvement.
Quarterback Jameis Winston completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, Devonta Freeman ran for 112 yards and a touchdown to lead the No. 8 Seminoles to a 54-6 win over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday night.
The defending ACC champions (3-0, 1-0) will want to clean up their offense before starting a seven-game stretch against conference foes next week.
“Had three or four dropped balls. Had two dropped touchdowns. We have a lot of room to grow,” 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.”
Winston entered the game with more touchdown passes (6) than incompletions (5). His highlight moment came when he scrambled from the B-C 11-yard line, spun out of a LeBrandon Richardson sack, kept his eyes downfield and connected with Benjamin for a touchdown.
Freeman had 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 quarterback Jackie Wilson with 8:21 left in the third quarter.
“I feel as good as I can feel about a game like this,” Bethune-Cookman coach Brian 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.”
Florida State ran away in the second quarter and took a 33-0 lead into halftime, but all three starting receivers had dropped passes, including two for touchdowns. 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. Quarterback Quentin Williams stared down and pointed to receiver Eddie 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 towards the end zone just before halftime. Replay ruled it a drop instead of a fumble.
“It was a catch and I thought I was going to score,” Shaw said. “My eyes got big and I got excited. That happens in football, but we’re going to pick it up from here on out.”
Wilder, Jr. lost a fumble at the Bethune-Cookman 3. The defense even had its issues as missed tackles plagued the Seminoles.
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 tonight. We have to do a better job.”
Telvin Smith posted a game-high 12 tackles and had his first sack of the season. The Seminoles’ three sacks matched their total from the first three games. Redshirt freshman defensive end Chris Casher finished with 10 tackles, including two for loss.