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Florida State defeats Savannah State 55-0 in shortened game with running clock

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer
Florida State led Savannah State 48-0 at halftime, and a running clock was used in the third quarter. (US Presswire)

After two weather delays and the implementation of a running clock, Florida State's much-discussed home game against Savannah State reached a premature conclusion, with the Seminoles winning 55-0.

The game was called with 8:59 remaining in the third quarter due to weather. The announcement came after the game entered its second weather-related delay, with storms already causing one delay late in the second quarter. During that one, both coaches -- along with the game officials and Doug Rhodes, ACC director of officiating -- agreed that the remainder of the game would be played under a running clock. The score at the time of the decision was 48-0, and with more storms in the area it was in the best interest of everyone to finish the game as soon as possible.

Florida State and Savannah State did not even get through half of the third quarter before storms caused another delay. After several minutes, the ESPN3 broadcast announced that the game has been canceled. Approximately 30 minutes after the broadcast sign-off, the game was officially called final in the stadium.

The hangup between the broadcast and the official calling of the game reportedly was related to game officials determining the game to be "official" rather than "canceled." Basically, Florida State wanted to make sure the game counted on the official record.

Even with a running clock, Florida State likely could have covered the now-famous 70.5 point spread -- the largest in college football history. However, because at least 55 minutes of competition were not completed, the game will be scratched in most cases where the spread matters.

The stats, however, will count. Florida State's defense will have officially held Savannah State to 28 total yards in the shutout win. Even though the game was called early, the visiting Tigers will not collect a pro-rated appearance fee. Savannah State leaves Tallahassee with the full payment, and did not have to compete against the superior Seminoles for 23:59 of the previously agreed-upon 60 minutes.

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