The Seminoles led 26-7 at halftime on Drew Weatherford's 18-yard touchdown pass to Greg Carr, who also caught a 57-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter from Xavier Lee.
Florida State (3-1) scored earlier in the half on short runs by Joe Surratt and Smith and a pair of field goals by Gary Cismesia, including a 53-yarder.
Florida State ran for 287 of its 500 total yards, nearly doubling the 148 yards it had in its first three games.
Carr, who was not thrown to during limited action in Florida State's 27-20 loss to Clemson a week ago, caught five passes for 107 yards and helped spring two other long gains with downfield blocks.
The Seminoles rolled up 280 yards offense by the half, exceeding their average from the first three games.
Rice (0-4) tied the game briefly, 7-7 midway through the first quarter, when Jarett Dillard ran past Florida State's secondary to haul in a 32-yard scoring pass from Joel Armstrong. It was the sixth straight game Dillard has caught a TD pass.
Quinton Smith ran for 104 yards on 16 tries and Dillard caught seven passes for 113 yards for the Owls, who were beaten 52-7 by Texas last week and have now lost 20 of their last 21 games, leaving new coach Todd Graham still looking for his first victory.
Florida State's 76-year-old coach, Bobby Bowden, improved his 41-year career mark to 362-108-4, the most in major college history and moving him six ahead of Penn State's Joe Paterno, 79.
Weatherford completed 8 of 12 passes for 102 yards and Lee completed 5 of 11 for 111 yards.
Cismesia's also had a 32-yard field goal that was set up by a 54-yard interception return by freshman linebacker Marcus Ball, who was carted off in the second half with an injury to his left knee.
Florida State's 82,000-seat stadium was about a third empty Saturday with the Seminoles coming off last week's loss to Clemson and playing their third straight home game. There were approximately 10,000 empty seats on Nov. 14, 1992 when Florida State routed Tulane 70-7, school officials said.
Seminoles Win Big Against Rice, 55-7
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