TALLAHASSEE — Florida State sophomore Greg Reid couldn't help but start to think that the Samford Bulldogs would never give him the chance to return a punt Saturday.
Bob Hooper angled his first three punts toward the sideline and away from Reid, sacrificing distance but avoiding a highlight-reel moment from the nation's leading punt returner in 2009. His fourth punt was blocked and then, midway through the second quarter, he hit a punt that didn't quite carry out of bounds and Reid had only one thought.
"Touchdown," he said. "I'm thinking touchdown every time."
He slid through one tackle then zipped by Samford players for a career-long 74-yard touchdown, the second punt return score of his young career. Hello highlight reel.
"We weren't going to kick it to him," Samford coach Pat Sullivan said. "We were just going to be stubborn about it. We kick it to him one time and he returns it for a touchdown. But you've got to give him credit."
A lot. Reid, who started at cornerback for the first time, also had an offensive play, carrying the ball on a toss sweep for an 8-yard gain that set up FSU's third touchdown.
"The guy is amazing," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "He is an amazing guy."
Game ball: FSU athletic director Randy Spetman gave Fisher a game ball for his debut win as FSU's ninth coach. He's just the fourth to win his debut, joining Don Veller, Bill Peterson and Larry Jones. FSU's 59 points were the most by FSU in a coach's debut; the previous high was Veller's first game, a 30-0 shutout of Cumberland in 1948.
Finding the end zone: FSU redshirt junior WR Bert Reed had 60 catches last season but, remarkably enough, not one for a TD. That won't be a stat to watch this season. One of his five receptions went for a 15-yard score.
"It felt really good, just to get it early, early on in the season and get it off my back," he said. "(OT Andrew) Datko did a really good job of getting up on the cornerback. I call it a free touchdown. I didn't really have to work too much for that one, I just had to catch the ball. I feel like I'm going to get there a lot more."
Youth served: FSU had 26 first-time players, including 12 true freshmen — S Chad Abram, CB Terrence Brooks, DT Darious Cummings, WR Greg Dent, DT Cameron Erving, WR Jarred Haggins, LB Christian Jones, CB Lamarcus Joyner, LB Jeff Luc, WR Kenny Shaw, LB Telvin Smith and DE Bjoern Werner.
Local impact: FSU RB Ty Jones (Middleton) went a career-long 57 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter. He finished with a game-high 107 yards on eight carries.
Staying perfect: The Seminoles improved to 16-0 against Division I-AA opponents.
Hot day: Billy Smith, the former state trooper who has been there to protect FSU coaches since 1964, needed to get out of the midday heat and receive some treatment; he was okay.
Aye, Aye captains: Fisher named senior QB Christian Ponder, senior LB Kendall Smith and sophomore K Dustin Hopkins the game captains. Permanent captains will be announced at the end of the season.
Back on the field: Before the game, FSU recognized its 2010 Hall of Fame inductees, which included longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews and two of the brightest stars of the 1999 national championship team, WR Peter Warrick and DT Corey Simon. All received applause as they waved from midfield.