Sept. 27, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Antone Smith ran for 154 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as Florida State defeated previously unbeaten Colorado 39-21 in Bobby Bowden’s 500th game as a college head coach.
Bowden, in his 43rd season as a head coach and 33rd at Florida State, notched his 376th career victory to momentarily catch Penn State’s Joe Paterno, whose team was scheduled to play Illinois later Saturday.
Florida State (3-1) scored three times in the final 2:29 of the first half to take a 19-7 lead on the way to its first win of the season over a Bowl Subdivision team. The Seminoles opened the season with wins over Western Carolina and Chattanooga before last week’s 12-3 loss to Wake Forest.
Smith, who carried 25 times, went 60 yards down his own left sideline with 2:29 left in the half to give the Seminoles a 14-7 lead.
After holding Colorado on downs deep in its own territory, Dekoda Watson blocked Matt DiLallo’s punt out of the end zone for a safety and Graham Gano finished off the half with a 36-yard field goal. He added field goals of 52 and 44 yards in the second half.
Florida State relied on its running game for 259 yards while quarterback Christian Ponder completed just 10 of 22 passes for 119 yards and one interception.
Colorado’s Cody Hawkins threw for 154 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Josh Smith, Riar Geer and Patrick Devenny for scores.
Colorado (3-1) was unable to put much together offensively until an 80-yard scoring drive that culminated early in the fourth quarter on Hawkins 2-yard touchdown pass to Geer. That cut the lead to 25-14.
But Florida State’s Michael Ray Garvin, a world class sprinter who qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials, answered 12 seconds later with a 94-yard kickoff return to give the Seminoles a 32-14 lead.
Florida State capitalized on an early Colorado turnover to grab a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game on Smith’s first 2-yard TD run. Smith had all 27 yards on the drive, which followed a Neefy Moffett fumble recovery. Smith’s third touchdown came with 3:37 left in the game.