Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Tre' McKitty with 4:03 to go, as the Seminoles held off Samford University 36-26 on Saturday in Tallahassee.
Trailing 26-21, Francois led the Noles on an 11-play, 82-yard drive that put them ahead for the first time this season. Francois connected with McKitty for the 5-yard touchdown, and he then found Nyqwan Murray for the 2-point conversion as Florida State took a 29-26 lead.
The victory was the first at Florida State for new head coach Willie Taggart, who opened with a 24-3 loss to Virginia Tech on Monday night in prime time.
Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges completed 39 of 60 passes for 475 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Kelvin McKnight, but the senior tossed four interceptions as well. Francois completed 31 of 46 passes and threw two touchdown passes to redshirt freshman Tamorrion Terry. The junior quarterback also had an 8-yard touchdown run.
Samford last defeated an FBS team in 2013, when the Bulldogs won at Georgia State. Florida State has never lost to an FCS program. The start of the game was delayed one hour, 25 minutes due to weather.
Up next for the Seminoles is heading on the road to play at Syracuse on Saturday.