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Jordan Travis accounts for 3 TDs as No. 4 Seminoles beat No. 16 Duke 38-20 to stay unbeaten

Duke QB Riley Leonard exits game with ankle injury in 3rd quarter
Florida State Seminoles QB Jordan Travis runs for TD vs. Duke Blue Devils, Oct. 21, 2023
Posted at 11:53 PM, Oct 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-22 00:21:50-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jordan Travis accounted for three touchdowns, including a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter that gave Florida State its first lead, and the fourth-ranked Seminoles rallied to beat No. 16 Duke 38-20 on Saturday night.

The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended their winning streak to 13 and became the league's lone remaining unbeaten after North Carolina lost to Virginia.

Travis had everything to do with the latest victory — the 22nd in as many tries against Duke. The sixth-year senior completed 27 of 36 passes for 268 yards and two scores against the ACC’s stingiest defense. He also led the team with 62 yards rushing, including 40 on the go-ahead drive.

He followed that with a 21-yard TD pass to Lawrance Toafili that extended Florida State's scoring streak of at least 30 points to 13.

Duke (5-2, 2-1) could pin its collapse on losing standout quarterback Riley Leonard to a right ankle injury. Leonard, returning after missing a game because of injury, was knocked out of the game with a little less than seven minutes to go in the third quarter.

Duke Blue Devils QB Riley Leonard pulled down by face mask by Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman
Duke quarterback Riley Leonard is pulled down by his face mask by Florida State defensive lineman Braden Fiske (55) as defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) assists during the third quarter Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla.

He worked on the sideline to show team trainers he could play, but coach Mike Elko declined to put him back in the game. The Blue Devils managed just 35 yards after Leonard left the game and backup quarterback Henry Belin replaced him.

Leonard completed 7 of 16 passes for 69 yards, with an interception. Jaquez Moore led the Blue Devils with 110 yards rushing and a TD.

Duke dominated early much of the opening quarter and built its largest lead ever against Florida State, at 10-0. The Blue Devils stuffed two fourth-and-1 plays to end the Seminoles' opening two drives. They scored off both, getting a 42-yard touchdown run from Moore and then a 45-yard field goal.

The Blue Devils nearly kept it rolling when Jordan Travis fumbled on the ensuing possession. But the 'Noles recovered, and Travis later found Caziah Holmes for a touchdown — extending his streak of games with at least one TD pass to 19.

The game got even wackier from there.

Duke’s Chandler Rivers returned an interception for a touchdown and then Deuce Spann returned the ensuring kickoff 99 yards for a score to breathe life into Doak Campbell Stadium.

Still, Florida State found itself trailing 20-17 at halftime. It was the third time in seven games this season that the 'Noles were down at intermission. Just like the other two, it didn't last. Just like the other two, Travis had a lot to do with the outcome.