Perhaps no Jacksonville State player was more excited for the trip here to meet Florida State than DT Torrey Davis, the former Armwood High and University of Florida standout.
"I haven't been home in like 21/2 months," he had said.
First and foremost, Saturday night's game meant he could see his mother and grandmother and son, Torrey Jr. But it also meant an opportunity to remind folks that although he left the national champion Gators, he was still playing the sport he loves, albeit at the Division I-AA level.
"I wanted to get out of Florida and I wanted to be able to play as soon as possible and I felt Jacksonville State gave me a great opportunity to do that," he said.
UF officials confirmed in March that Davis had left the program for personal reasons. His time there was marked by lows - a four-game suspension to start the 2008 season) and highs - back-to-back touchdown-saving stops of Oklahoma RB Chris Brown near the goal line during the first half of the Gators' Bowl Championship Series title game win - plays he says are "the only reason people remember me."
"It's a fresh start (here)," he said. "It's given me a chance to start over and do things different."
He finished with one tackle against the Seminoles.
Career-best catch: FSU senior TE Caz Piurowski had a career-long 53-yard catch to set up the lone first-half score. It was also the longest by an FSU TE since Lonnie Johnson's 78-yarder for a touchdown against Clemson on Sept. 11, 1993.
Familiar face (and voice): Former star FSU QB Danny Kanell was in town for a regular-season game for the first time since his playing days ended after the 1995 season. He was the analyst on the ESPN360.com broadcast.
"I'm glad I made it back," he said. "It was great catching up with everybody. It's been too long."
Remember when: Former Jacksonville State coach Don Salls, who just turned 90 in June, was back in Tallahassee - the scene of perhaps his biggest win. He led his team to a 7-0 win on Dec. 6, 1947, the Seminoles' first season of college football. The win meant Jacksonville State finished 9-0; FSU was 0-5.
"My mother and father flew down from New York to see the game," said Salls, then in just his second season. "We got national publicity because we were undefeated. From that point on, everything went up. ... Everything was roses because of what happened right here."
Jacksonville State won seven conference titles and three bowl games (the Refrigerator and the Paper Bowl in Pensacola) in the 19-year tenure of Salls, a former star player at Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as is a dear friend, FSU's Bobby Bowden.
TV change: The replay of the game on Sun Sports will now be shown after the second game of the Rays-Red Sox doubleheader. The Bobby Bowden Show also has moved to about 3:30 p.m., between the two baseball telecasts.
For more on Florida State, check Brian Landman's blog at blogs.tampabay.com/seminoles.