TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chris Thompson scored on an 83-yard touchdown on his first carry of the game and Ty Jones scored twice as Florida State broke open a close game in the second half, defeating BYU 34-10 on Saturday.
Florida State's defense held BYU to 191 yards — just 39 in the second half — and sacked Cougar quarterbacks eight times.
The Seminoles (2-1) were coming off a 47-17 loss last week at Oklahoma where quarterback Christian Ponder suffered through the worst performance of his career. But Ponder rebounded Saturday and accounted for both of Florida State's scores in a decisive third quarter when the Seminoles opened a 27-10 lead.
BYU (1-2) had scored the final 10 points of the first half to trail 13-10 at the break. The Cougars lone touchdown came with 14 seconds remaining before halftime when Jake Heaps threw a 4-yard pass to Cody Hoffman.
Heaps, a highly recruited freshman, replaced Riley Nelson at quarterback on BYU's second offensive series and played the rest of the game — much of it trying to avoid Florida State's defensive pressure.
JJ Di Luigi led BYU with 93 yards rushing while Heaps completed 15 of 31 passes for 114 yards, but was sacked for 52 yards in losses.
Both schools were coming off disappointing losses last week. Florida State was hammered by seventh-ranked Oklahoma while Air Force trampled the Cougars 35-14. BYU has now been outscored 69-24 in its last two games.
Ponder, who had been the beneficiary of a school campaign for the Heisman Trophy at the beginning of the season, struggled in the first half, passing for just 68 yards and overthrowing a wide open receiver in the end zone that resulted in Dustin Hopkins' second field goal of the game.
But Ponder's 4-yard TD pass to Jones and 1-yard sneak in the final seconds of the third quarter vaulted the Seminoles into a 27-10 advantage and Jones tacked on a 9-yard scoring run in the final seconds of the game to comp
Thompson, who finished the game with a career high 123 yards rushing, was untouched on his 83-yard scoring run that gave Florida State a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Jones added on 95 more yards to the rushing ledger and Ponder had 50 to go along with 149 yards passing.
Despite a 121-6 yardage advantage in the first quarter, Florida State didn't manage to score until Hopkins 26-yard field goal in the final seconds of the quarter gave the Seminoles a 3-0 lead.
Florida State, which is now 4-0 in games against BYU, opens its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next Saturday at home against Wake Forest and BYU hosts Nevada.