Davenport said he told his players before the trip to Oklahoma State that they were going there to win. By halftime, he admitted, he had adjusted his sights and told them to try to score or get a three-and-out before game’s end. Florida State was more of the same. It was 35-0 before the end of the first quarter when Fisher pulled his first-team offense.
Davenport and Steward also pulled out the oft-repeated argument that playing in major college stadiums was the thrill of a lifetime for their players. Maybe it was — until kickoff. It took Florida State 39 seconds to score on Saturday. It seems likely that the thrill wore off soon after that.
Only the weather prevented the Seminoles from easily covering the highest betting line to ever come out of Las Vegas on a college football game — 701
2 points — with ease. Because the game didn’t last 55 minutes everyone who bet on the game was refunded their money. That saved those who had taken the points a few dollars and a lot of embarrassment.
The funniest moment of the night, which was unseen by the public, came when it became apparent that trying to restart the game would be potentially dangerous not only to spectators but, undoubtedly, to Savannah State’s players. When the officials called the coaches and athletic directors to their locker room and walked through all the options, one that was actually mentioned was declaring the game a tie.
“I was in favor of that one,” Miles said. “Florida State was having none of it.”
That’s certainly a surprise.
Of course in a sense, maybe that would have been the right outcome: If you play Savannah State and lightning strikes — in any form — and you don’t win the game, you can’t play for the national championship.
The Tigers now have a week off to try to recover from the beatings they have taken — physically and emotionally. They will have plenty of time to listen to the jokes that will be made at their expense.
A week from Saturday they will host North Carolina Central — the one team they beat a year ago. Here’s hoping they have enough players who are standing upright to have a chance to repeat that success.
For more by the author, visit his blog at www.feinsteinonthebrink.com. To read his previous columns for The Post, go to washingtonpost.com/feinstein.