Deondre Francois threw for a season-high 352 yards and two touchdown passes as Florida State used an efficient first-half offense en route to a 37-19 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday.
Francois had his seventh career 300-yard day, completing 23 of 31 passes. The junior had a 78-yard touchdown pass to Tamorrion Terry and an 8-yard TD pass to Jacques Patrick.
Despite using a fourth different starting lineup on the offensive line, the Seminoles generated a season-high 473 yards against the Huskies. Florida State was at its best in the first half, generating four scoring drives as the Seminoles took a 20-7 lead.
The Seminoles (2-2) gave coach Willie Taggart his first win over an FBS opponent in 2018. Florida State’s other win came against Samford on Sept. 8.
Ricky Aguayo had made just one of four field-goal attempts coming into the game but connected on three kicks – from 50 yards and twice from 42 yards.
NIU’s Marcus Childers tossed a pair of touchdown passes, including a 66-yard catch-and-run to D.J. Brown. Childers also had an 11-yard touchdown run for the Huskies (1-3), who were forced to punt eight times and couldn’t convert a pair of fourth-down conversions.
Keith Gavin set career highs for catches (six) and receiving yards (93) in the first half for the Seminoles.
Northern Illinois: The Huskies had one of the nation’s worst offenses coming into Saturday and needed 19 minutes to earn their initial first down. NIU scored its first-half touchdown with the benefit of a short field, starting at Florida State’s 23 after the Huskies recovered a fumble.
Florida State: The Seminoles had 19 first downs in three quarters and were efficient, relative to the previous three games, despite losing three fumbles. Florida State ran a season-high 75 plays.
Northern Illinois: The Huskies will return to MAC play at Eastern Michigan next Saturday.
Georgia Tech: The Seminoles will travel to play ACC opponent Louisville next Saturday.
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