TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's backups made the most of their opportunities in Saturday's spring football game, and their performance illustrated the Seminoles' depth going into the 2012 season.
Backup quarterback Clint Trickett threw two touchdown passes and reserve fullback Debrale Smiley had a touchdown run as the Garnet defeated the Gold 35-20.
Trickett connected with Greg Dent on a 70-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown on the game's first play and then found walk-on Rashad Gholston on a 15-yard TD pass in the third quarter to put the Garnet up 21-7.
Gholston also had a 25-yard touchdown catch from walk-on James Moore in the fourth quarter as the Garnet pulled away.
"Some young guys got some opportunities," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We have a lot of work to do (but) we know where we're at. We have a good foundation built. Now it's just a matter of what we do between now and the first ballgame."
The opener is still more than four and a half months away, when the Seminoles host Murray State on Sept. 1.
Starting quarterback EJ Manuel had a hit-and-miss day, throwing touchdown passes to James Wilder Jr. and Kenny Shaw. Manuel completed 28 of 51 passes for 255 yards.
"I did well as far as distributing the ball out to guys," Manuel said. "We definitely progressed this spring."
But Manuel also threw two interceptions, one of which was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by Terrence Brooks in the second quarter. Brooks stepped in front of a pass intended for Shaw.
"I just jumped that (pass) and took it to the house," Brooks said. "It was definitely a good play, and I plan on making a lot more."
Rodney Smith had seven catches for 71 yards for the Garnet.
For the Gold, Shaw had seven catches for 53 yards and Jarred Haggins had three catches for 63 yards. Nick O'Leary added five catches for 53 yards.
Eight players caught passes for the Gold, while 10 pulled in receptions for the Garnet.
"We have a lot of depth," said Wilder, a Gold tailback who had a 2-yard touchdown catch. "We had first-string and second-string on our side and on the other side that could probably start for most other teams."
Trickett and Jacob Coker split time for the Garnet as both attempted to nail down the No. 2 spot at quarterback behind Manuel. Trickett completed 12 of 23 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while Coker completed 8 of 11 passes for 137 yards.
Fisher said the competition will continue when Florida State opens camp in August.
Linebacker Telvin Smith led the Gold defense with eight tackles. Tank Carradine had seven tackles and two sacks for the Garnet.
"I thought the defense played really well, especially early," Fisher said.