Sept 20, 2003
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s weak running game was mere afterthought against Colorado.
“We couldn’t hold up,” Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. “They were a lot more talented then we were today, absolutely. And they played harder.”
And the Colorado offense was suffocated through most of the game, managing its lone score on an 81-yard pass from Erik Greenberg to speedster Jeremy Bloom in the second quarter.
Although the Seminoles (4-0) couldn’t get their running game untracked for the second straight week, Rix passed for a career-high 394 yards in three quarters, completing 30 of 39 attempts. Backup Fabian Walker added 64 yards as the Seminoles totaled 458 yards passing.
And Thorpe, who was nearly benched after a couple of critical drops in last week’s 14-13 win over Georgia Tech, came up with the best game of his career.
“We got on him so bad this week he had to perform,” coach Bobby Bowden said.
“He’s got so much ability it’s tough to get him excited sometimes,” Rix said about the 6-2, 175-pound Thorpe.
The Atlantic Coast Conference 100- and 200-meter champion, Thorpe scored on passes of 56 and 37 yards and finished with 205 yards on eight catches – both career bests.
“I was getting a lot of single coverage out on the edges,” Thorpe said. “Every time we came out of our breaks, the ball was right there.”
P.K. Sam chipped in with a career-high 10 passes for 119 more yards as the Seminoles rolled up 551 yards offense compared to Colorado’s 275.
“Hopefully by completing some long passes … we can get some room to run,” Bowden said.
“We still don’t have all the answers yet,” said Bowden, whose team has outscored its first four opponents 133-30. “The key is to continue to get better.”
The Seminoles visit Duke next weekend before an open date and Miami’s visit Oct. 11.
Colorado has a week off before opening its Big 12 schedule Oct. 4 at Baylor.
“We have got to find some answers,” Barnett said. “We just didn’t tackle and we didn’t block.”
Colorado (2-2) managed only 39 yards in the second half and Greenberg, who finished 14-of-30 for 192 yards, was sacked four times. Brian Calhoun led Colorado with 118 yards on 21 carries.
Aside from an 81-yard touchdown pass, Greenberg spent most of his first collegiate star trying to avoid Florida State’s pass rush led by end Kamerion Wimbley.
The 230-pound sophomore, Wimbley created havoc all afternoon for Colorado. He had a pair of sacks among his seven tackles, including four for losses and swatted down a pass, forced a fumble and recovered another fumble.
The Seminoles led just 10-7 in the second quarter before breaking the game open with 37 straight points.
Greg Jones scored on a 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Chauncey Davis’ 31-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown a minute later gave Florida State a 40-7 lead.
Ryan Reynolds, who began the season as the fifth-team tailback, scored his first career touchdown on a 3-yard run with 3:10 left to complete the scoring.
Beitia’s three first half-field goals and Rix’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Thorpe helped the Seminoles to a 16-7 lead.
Florida State took a 10-0 lead on the TD and Beitia’s first field goal, a 20-yard chip shot.
Colorado pulled to 10-7 midway through the second quarter when Greenberg found Bloom at midfield and he outran the Seminoles secondary for an 81-yard scoring play.
Greenberg, who spent the last two years on a Mormon mission, started in place of Joel Klatt, who suffered a shoulder injury last week.
Xavier Beitia kicked four short field goals for Florida State while Colorado’s Kevin Eberhart missed two field-goal attempts in the first half, from 42 and 22 yards.
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Bowden has 336 career coaching wins – second all time to Penn State’s Joe Paterno, who has 338, among Division I-A coaches.