Sept. 27, 2003
By AARON BEARD
Associated Press Writer
B.J. Ward blocked two field goals for the Seminoles (5-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast
Conference), who got rushing touchdowns from three players and improved to 12-0
in the series.
Chris Douglas had a 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for Duke
(2-3, 0-2), which lost a record 27th straight ACC game.
Florida State scored touchdowns on its first three drives and took a 28-7
The Seminoles widened their lead three plays into the second half in unusual
fashion. Nicholson scooped up Mike Schneider’s fumble at the Blue Devils 23,
fumbled it en route to the end zone, but picked it up in stride and scored. He
was credited with a 3-yard TD return for a 35-7 lead.
Cromartie added a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the
Things won’t get much easier for the Blue Devils. After winning two straight
games for the first time in five years, they have lost two straight heading
into a stretch that includes home games against Wake Forest and North Carolina
State, and road games at Maryland and Tennessee. All four teams have been
ranked this season.
On its first drive, Florida State marched 80 yards in five plays – keyed by
Jones’ big run – to take a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run by B.J. Dean just 97
seconds into the game.
Florida State’s next drive went 92 yards, ending with a 2-yard run from
Jones with 6:30 left in the quarter. The Blue Devils aided that drive with a
roughing-the-kicker penalty, giving the Seminoles a first down.
Duke responded with an 82-yard touchdown drive, ending with Douglas’ 10-yard
score that cut the deficit to 14-7 with 1:17 left in the quarter.
But Florida State wouldn’t let Duke build any momentum. Cromartie returned
the ensuing kickoff 62 yards, and the Seminoles pushed the lead to 21-7 on
Willie Reid’s 1-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Just before halftime, Rix completed a 43-yard TD pass to Craphonso Thorpe,
who outjumped a defender to make a spectacular catch, for the 28-7 lead at the
Duke had its chances to keep the game close, but came up empty on two
second-quarter drives. On the first, Ward blocked Brett Garber’s 43-yard
field-goal attempt. On the second, Schneider lost a fumbled to end a 53-yard
drive. Ward also blocked Garber’s 42-yard attempt in the third quarter.