Oct. 28, 2000
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. — Bobby Bowden kicked himself for not running the ball
more two years ago in an upset loss to North Carolina State. There was no
second-guessing Saturday night as No. 6 Florida State rolled over the No. 21
The Seminoles (8-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) spent most of the first
half polishing their ground game against a Wolfpack team led by former Florida
State assistant Chuck Amato. FSU scored four touchdowns in a span of 14 minutes
in the second quarter.
Florida State’s emphasis on the ground attack was displayed in the play
selection by Bowden, the Seminoles ran 14 more running plays than passing plays
in the opening 30 minutes.
Travis Minor had 92 of his season-high 129 yards in the first half and
scored on two 2-yard runs as the Seminoles won their 68th ACC game in 70 tries
with a season-high 324 yards rushing on 54 carries.
With losses earlier Saturday by No. 1 Nebraska and No. 5 Clemson, the
Seminoles are once again in the national title picture and two victories away
from a ninth straight ACC crown.
Bowden, who won his 312th game, posed for photographers near midfield 45
minutes before the game started. Amato gave his former boss a red sweater as
the two cracked jokes.
But there was little joking once the game started and the Seminoles began to
dominate yet another ACC opponent.
The Wolfpack (5-2, 2-2) intercepted FSU quarterback Chris Weinke six times
in a 24-7 win here in 1998, but its defense could do little to stop the
Seminoles’ ground attack, and N.C. State trailed 27-0 at halftime.
N.C. State’s freshman sensation Philip Rivers was intercepted three times in
the first half, with Tay Cody returning one interception 52 yards for a
touchdown 48 seconds before halftime.
Florida State, which has outscored opponents 99-14 in the first quarter this
season, was held scoreless in the first 15 minutes but cranked up its offense
in the second quarter.
Weinke’s 69th career TD pass and NCAA-leading 23rd this season came on the
first play of the second quarter. Anquan Boldin made a nifty spin move at the
10 to avoid two defenders for a 24-yard score.
Five minutes later, Minor scored the first of his two short TD runs,
carrying seven straight times in a 44-yard drive.
After another short punt gave Florida State good field position, Weinke
completed a pair of passes and Minor scored again from short range.
A holding penalty by the Seminoles on a punt kept alive an N.C. State drive
that eventually died when Cody stepped in front of tight end Willie Wright and
raced untouched into the end zone.
The interception return was the first given up by Rivers, who went over the
2,000-yard mark. But N.C. State’s 119 yards of offense in the first half was a
Amato tricked his former boss twice in the first two minutes of the second
half to get the crowd of 52,384 back into the game.
A fake punt produced an 81-yard scoring pass from Austin Herbert to Adrian
Wilson to trim the FSU lead to 20. On the ensuing kickoff, the Wolfpack
recovered an onside kick.
But N.C. State turned the ball over on downs at the Florida State 37, and
the Seminoles tacked on 31 more unanswered points to put the game out of reach.