3 takeaways from Florida State's win over North Alabama: All eyes on Jordan Travis, Tate Rodemaker
Florida State defeated North Alabama 58-13 on Saturday night in Tallahassee.
The Noles moved to 11-0 with the win, but it didn’t come without a cost. Quarterback Jordan Travis exited the game with what appeared to be a serious leg injury and the remainder of his senior year is now in serious doubt — to put it lightly.
With Travis out, the Noles turned to Tate Rodemaker. He threw 2 touchdown passes as he led FSU to 45 unanswered points in the victory. Rodemaker is fairly experienced as a backup with FSU and looked strong on Saturday night vs. the Lions.
Here are 3 takeaways from FSU’s win:
Devastation for Jordan Travis
Travis has accomplished so much in his Florida State career, but he was right on the cusp of a massive accomplishment — leading the Noles out from the depths of the Willie Taggart era into the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2014.
Instead, his season — and career — likely ends in agony on senior night against North Alabama. That’s a stage far below what a player of Travis’ magnitude deserves after what he’s been through over the past several years.
He still has accomplished plenty enough to hold his head high when reflecting on his Florida State career. Back-to-back 10 win seasons, three wins over Miami and a 17-game winning streak (and counting) among them. But the fact he won’t get a chance at glory on the CFP stage is a college football travesty.
Can Tate Rodemaker be the guy?
The biggest question now: Can Florida State still make the College Football Playoff?
The answer to that question is double-sided.
On one hand, Florida State has to win its last two games against difficult opponents. Florida has had a down year, but winning in the Swamp won’t be easy — especially without Travis.
There’s also the matter of if the College Football Selection Committee will respect a 13-0 FSU team enough to put it in the four-team field if Rodemaker is the starter. The committee will be permitted to take injuries into account when finalizing their choices for the top 4.
Washington, Oregon, Alabama and Texas are all teams who could have a case for the CFP above Florida State if the Noles are deemed to be compromised by the selection committee.
How Rodemaker plays vs. the Gators and the Cardinals will go a long way toward answering each of those questions.
When Travis went out of the game, Florida State was trailing 13-0. But instead of folding with their quarterback dealing with a significant injury, the Noles came up with an exceptional response.
FSU scored 58 unanswered points, punctuated by a blocked field goal touchdown return as time expired at the end of the fourth quarter. Of course, it would have been better for the Noles to not fall behind by double digits. But once they fell behind, they did well to still earn a positive result on the night.
FSU will take on Florida next weekend in Gainesville.