The goodwill FSU football had from their performance against Notre Dame was lost Saturday night during a loss against Jacksonville State. The Noles came out flat and without focus and located themselves during a dogfight, losing 7-0 early in the second quarter. McKenzie Milton got the beginning for the ‘Noles offense, and therefore the FSU wide receivers did him no favors early within the game. Keyshawn Helton dropped a wide-open pass that might are a touchdown, which was foreshadowing for the remainder of the night.
Mike Norvell tried to use a two-quarterback system with Jordan Travis on the sector at an equivalent time as Milton, but that was an experiment they might have left on the shelf. Jordan Travis within the game appeared to throw everything off, and therefore the Noles couldn’t get into a rhythm. It wasn’t until Derrick McClendon forced a fumble with Jacksonville State threatening within the red zone that the Noles got some momentum. FSU turned that turnover into a touchdown on a 12-yard journey by Jashaun Corbin.
The Noles took a 14-7 lead right before halftime on McKenzie Milton’s first touchdown pass as a Nole to Andrew Parchment. FSU’s defense held Jacksonville State to three .97 yards per play, and therefore the Noles averaged 4.4 yards per play within the half . The last half was a mixture of poor execution and penalties. The offense couldn’t get much going, and that they had a few poor officiating calls to pack up their momentum a few times. Ryan Fitzgerald got an attempt at redemption as he made a career-long 53-yard field goal to offer the Noles a 17-7 lead with 4:20 remaining within the third quarter. That field goal proved important as Jacksonville State scored a touchdown to chop the cause 17-14 with 5:04 remaining within the game.
FSU had an opportunity to place the sport away but turned the shock on downs after having third and goal from the one-yard line. The Noles had an opportunity to place the sport away another time but punted to Jacksonville State with 1:32 remaining. Jacksonville State started their drive on the 17-yard line and marched to the FSU 41-yard line. Jacksonville State launched an Ave Maria caught on the 19-yard line and missed a few tackles while Jacksonville State waltzed into the top zone for the 20-17 win.