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College roundup: FSU’s offense comes to play against Louisville

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It was supposed to be the legs of Leonard Fournette that was going to make the difference.

Instead, it was the skinny legs of Trent Domingue that was the downfall of the eighth-ranked Florida Gators.

Florida lost a 35-28 game in Baton Rouge when LSU faked a field goal, and Dominique took a lateral, bottled it, and then ran into the end zone.

Fournette rushed for 180 yards, 100 of it in the first half when Florida’s defense was at its softest of the year. The Gators gave up 304 yards in the half, including 189 yards passing by Brandon Harris, and rolled up 28 points in the quarter, the most the Gators have given up in a single quarter since 2002.

That defense played better in the second half, however, and Florida was tied late at 28.

For Florida, much of the post-game analysis will be about quarterback Treon Harris. Harris doesn’t throw as pretty a ball as suspended Will Grier, but he threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns.

It was LSU’s second successful fake field goal in five years against the Gators.

FSU 41, Louisville 21: Call off the search for the FSU offense. We have a sighting.

The Seminoles rolled up 35 points in the second half Saturday, coming from a slight deficit to beat the Louisville Cardinals after sputtering for most of the year.

And with performances like this, why not? Start with running back Dalvin Cook who continues to have problems with a tender hamstring. Cook had 160 yards rushing and 60 more receiving for three touchdowns. But quarterback Everett Golson had his best day, hitting 26 of 38 for 370 yards and three scores. And wide receiver Kermit Whitfield caught nine balls for 172 and a touchdown.

In all, it was enough of a highlight reel to make you forget that Louisville actually led 7-6 and 14-13 before the Seminoles scored on five straight possessions in the second half.

For Louisville, freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for 307 yards. James Quick caught five for 130 yards of them.

FSU visits Georgia Tech Saturday.

Miami 30, Virginia Tech 20: Brad Kaaya had his second straight strong game, throwing for 296 yards and two touchdowns as the Hurricanes broke a two-game losing streak.

The Hurricanes won despite committing nine penalties for 81 yards, including four false starts and an offensive pass interference that negated a touchdown. Miami averaged only 2.5 yards per rush.

But big plays – including two interceptions by Artie Burns – led Miami, which had lost its last two games to Cincinnati and FSU. UM, which had struggled with its third-down conversions all year, made seven of 16 chances.

The Hurricanes play Clemson on Saturday.

USF 28, UConn 20: The Bulls won their second straight game to even their record at 3-3 as quarterback Quinton Flowers had 255 combined yards.

Flowers hit 11 of 15 passes for 157 and ran for 98 to lead the Bulls. Running back Marlon Mack had his sixth 100-yard game with 113 yards. Wide receiver Rodney Adams caught five passes, three for touchdowns, for 118 yards.

The Huskies gained plenty of yards against the Bulls, but they kept bogging down as they got close to the goal. Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for 365 yards.

USF returns home to play SMU next weekend.

Temple 30, Central Florida 13: For a half, it was close. But only for a half, and then UCF went on to continue its winless season.

The Knights lost with a meak offense, one that gained only 67 yards through the air and 67  more on the ground. Temple, meanwhile, moved the ball easier. Running back Jahad Thomas rushed for 199 yards on three scores.

UCF is home against Houston Saturday

Marshall 33, FAU 17: The Thundering Herd rolled up 500 yards of total offense to hold off FAU.

For Marshall, 326 of those hards came on the ground.

FAU played with backup quarterback Jason Driskel.

Marshall got 122 yards from Hyleck Foster and 83 from Devon Johnson. Marshall took a 23-10 lead in the first half and pulled away.

FAU plays at UTEP next week.

Middle Tennessee 42, FIU 34: A sack as FIU was moving the ball allowed the Blue Raiders to hold onto its victory over the Panthers.

FIU picked up 20 yards on its first two plays to move to the Middle Tennessee 40, but a 14-yard sack blunted FIU’s momentum.

Middle Tennessee had scored 21 in the second period to move ahead. Desmond Anderson had 144 of Middle’s 200 yards rushing.

For FIU, Alex McGough had 260 yards and two touchdowns. Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill had 261.

Thomas Owens led the Panthers with 10 catches for 118 yards.

FIU is home against Old Dominion next week.

Florida A&M 41, Delaware State 13: Homecoming at Florida A&M produced a number of firsts on Saturday. Thankfully for the Rattlers, they were on the right side of statistic sheet.

For the first time in more than one year, the Florida A&M Rattlers left the field at Bragg Stadium a winner, 41-13 over the Delaware State Hornets. Quarterback Carson Royal threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns as the Rattlers broke a 4-game home losing streak. Akil Blount returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, helping Florida A&M broke the game open late. They led 17-7 at half.

A crowd of 22,678 witnessed the Rattlers’ first Homecoming win since 2012. It was Florida A&M’s first victory of any kind since November 15, 2014, a 41-7 win over the same Hornets in Dover, Delaware.

Florida A&M is now 1-3 in the Middle East Athletic Conference and 1-6 overall. They have a bye week on Saturday before welcoming North Carolina A&T to Tallahassee for the final home game of the season.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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