Savannah State was a 70½ point underdog in its game against Florida State, and the FCS school was able to beat the spread — thanks to the weather.
The Seminoles looked like they would easily cover the spread, which was considered the largest ever for a college football game. The team scored 35 points in the first quarter and in the third quarter was up 55-0. That’s when the weather kicked in.
A fierce storm forced referees to call off the Savannah State-Florida State contest with 8:59 remaining in the third quarter, robbing the Seminoles of the chance to cover the historic spread.
“I’ve never had that happen in my career,” said Fisher, who has spent slightly more than a quarter-century in the college game. “It’s easy for me to say I want to keep playing, but I understand the situation.”
The situation, mostly, was the weather intervening to end a game that many felt should never have been scheduled.
“That was out of our control,” Jimbo Fisher, coach of the sixth ranked Florida State Seminoles, told ESPN. Fisher noted that Savannah State took the place of West Virginia, which broke the contract earlier this year after joining the Big 12 Conference. “We executed and did what we were supposed to.”
Florida State dominated in all aspects of the game, racking up points at will and holding Savannah State to just 28 total yards. The first quarter set the tone, with Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel completing 11 of 13 passes for 161 yards and the team getting touchdowns from five different players, Yahoo! Sports noted.
“Everything was open that we thought would be open,” said Manuel, who left the game after the first quarter. “We always tell each other that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
The game had an initial 56-minute weather delay in the second quarter with Florida State leading 48-0. Officials agreed to re-start the game with a running clock after that first delay. When players left the field at 8:52 p.m. as more dangerous weather was expected to move through, both coaches agreed to call off the rest of the game.
Had the weather ended the Savannah State-Florida State game early, the Seminoles had a chance to set a school record for biggest victory. In 1949 the team beat Whiting Field 74-0.