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If Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis becomes a Heisman Trophy finalist in December, it may have all started in September at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Travis threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 8 Seminoles routed No. 5 LSU, 45-24, in front of the largest Sunday night college football opener in seven years, according to television ratings for the game released Monday.
A total of 9.1 million watched the game on ABC in prime time – the most for a Sunday season opener since Texas beat No. 10 Notre Dame, 50-47, in double overtime in 2016 before 10.9 million viewers. The 9.1 million was 20 percent better than ABC’s opener last year when unranked Florida State beat unranked LSU, 24-23, in front of 7.6 million viewers.
LSU-Florida State Could Have Had Many More Viewers
And the numbers for LSU-Florida State could have been significantly higher. The game was not available to approximately 15 million subscribers of Charters Spectrum cable in Florida because of a dispute with Disney.
“It had a championship-type feel to it, and you know, I thought it was just a great experience for our players and all that are a part of the program,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “I told them before the game, they are built for a time like this, this stage – two top 10 teams in the country.”
The crowd of 65,429 featured mostly Seminole fans. The Florida State campus in Tallahassee is just a four-hour drive from Orlando. The LSU campus is 10 hours away in Baton Rouge.
“I would be remiss to not mention that atmosphere and our crowd,” Norvell said. “And our band’s unbelievable job. That was an electric atmosphere that we got to play in, and great to be here in our home state and to see such a wonderful turnout, and just the energy in that game.”