Andrea AdelsonESPN Senior WriterNov 11, 2023, 10:14 PM ET3 Minute Read
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jordan Travis has earned a distinction no other Florida State quarterback can claim: He is 3-0 against rival Miami as the starter.
Travis helped lead the Seminoles to a third straight win in the series on Saturday night, a 27-20 victory in a physical, tough game they had to grind out with a key fourth-down stop late in the fourth quarter. A South Florida native whose brother played baseball at Florida State, Travis made it clear in his postgame interview that he was happy to get a win in this game in his final season.
“I love winning football games at the end of the day,” he said. “Obviously, going against Miami it’s a little bit different, the emotions are a little bit different. It’s my last year so I’m so happy I’m going out with a win against them boys because I’m not a fan of them at all.”
The play between the teams got chippy on the field. Travis had a chain he wears around his neck yanked by Miami safety James Williams at one point. “He was talking a lot the whole game, he snatched my chain and I had a couple of words for him,” Travis said. “I got it back. It’s broken, though.”
Asked to elaborate on his feelings about the Hurricanes, Travis said, “It’s really big for me, it’s big for my family. Going to my brother’s baseball games when I was 10 years old and hearing the fans, what they said to my brother, that always stuck with me. The fans are not too kind, but at the end of the day, I’m thankful to be a Florida State Seminole, to go out and represent this university, go out with my teammates and compete week in and week out. I’m not a fan of Miami at all, and I’ll say that for the rest of my life.”
Travis, a sixth-year senior, had some of his best moments playing against Miami. In 2021, his fourth-and-14 conversion pass helped lead the Seminoles to a 31-28 comeback victory that sparked the turnaround for the Florida State program. Florida State is 20-4 since that win — and now has notched back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2015-16.
It wasn’t pretty at times Saturday, especially for the offense. Miami clamped down on the Florida State run game and put as much pressure as it possibly could on Travis. The Hurricanes blitzed him on 22 of his 34 drop backs (65 percent), their highest blitz rate since 2018 against LSU and the highest rate Travis has faced in a start in his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Although he was sacked a handful of times, Travis handled that pressure well — completing 14 passes against it, including a touchdown in the corner of the end zone to Keon Coleman that he delivered in the perfect spot. Travis finished 19-of-31 for 265 yards with no interceptions.
Still, Florida State was 3-of-12 on third down and after building a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter did not score again. It was the defense that came up with the big play to help seal the game, when Jarrian Jones intercepted Tyler Van Dyke with 40 seconds remaining.
After scoring 30 or more points in their first eight games, the Seminoles have not hit that mark in their past two. Travis and coach Mike Norvell acknowledged there is work to do as the Seminoles try to close out the season with an ACC championship and College Football Playoff bid. But Florida State would not be in a position to do so without Travis, and the growth he has shown over the past three seasons.
Florida State has now won 16 straight with regular-season games remaining against North Alabama and Florida.
“When you see what Jordan Travis has meant to this program, the path that he’s been on, there’s been ups and downs,” Norvell said. “He’s had to work, he’s had to believe, he’s had to grow throughout it. For him to finish up as the starting quarterback 3-0 against those guys, it’s big. I’m so proud of him, he’s poured so much into this team. He cares so much. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting the win.”