Sept. 7, 1996
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Thad Busby threw a pair of touchdown passes in his first start
and Warrick Dunn ran for a score as third-ranked Florida State
thumped Duke, 44-7, in the season opener for both Atlantic Coast
Busby won the starting job after Danny Kanell graduated. He
opened the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Andre Cooper
and added a 12-yard scoring toss to E.G. Green to extend the
lead to 20-0 just four minutes into the second quarter. Dunn
scored on a 17-yard jaunt to make it 34-0 early in the third
“We went out there today trying to play a balanced game,” said
Busby. “We didn’t put up big numbers, it was just a block here
and a block there. All we need to do is concentrate on ironing
out the little things in practice this week.”
“Busby did a pretty good job, just inconsistent,” Seminoles
coach Bobby Bowden. “He was not as sharp as I wanted and he
might have had too much in his head. It looked like he was
thinking too much.”
Florida State remained perfect against Duke, improving to 5-0
all-time. The Seminoles, who are 32-1 since in the ACC since
joining the conference in 1992, have outscored Duke, 266-81, in
their five meetings.
Duke avoided the shutout when Laymarr Marshall scored from one
yard out to make it 34-7 with 2:25 left in the third quarter.
The Blue Devils were held to 91 total yards.
“We had a tremendous defensive effort,” said Blue Devils coach
Fred Goldsmith, whose team suffered a 70-26 whipping by Florida
State last season. “We gave up 800 yards last year compared to
only 220 today. Our defense fought hard. The offensive
composure is what I’m disappointed with as well as our breakdown
on special teams. We must find more offensive answers.”
Busby completed just 9-of-17 passes for 75 yards and an
interception. It was the lowest yardage total for a Florida
State quarterback making his first start since Chip Ferguson
threw for 158 yards in a 35-27 loss to Miami on November 2nd,
Busby’s first touchdown pass capped a seven-play, 42-yard drive.
Scott Bentley followed with a 23-yard field goal after a Duke
turnover to make it 10-0 with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
Bentley booted a 39-yarder for a 13-0 lead 61 seconds into the
second quarter and Busby’s second touchdown pass less than three
minutes later made it 20-0. Dee Feaster returned a punt 59 yards
to give Florida State a 27-0 lead with 1:17 remaining in the
Backup quarterback Dan Kendra had a one-yard run 1:29 into the
final quarter to stretch the cushion to 41-7 before Bentley
capped the scoring with a 41-yard field goal.
Florida State had 92 yards rushing as Dunn ran for 70 yards on
14 carries. He and Busby played only 2 1/2 quarters. The
Seminoles committed 11 penalties for 96 yards. Duke had 12
first downs, six coming on penalties by Florida State.
Marshall and Charles London each ran for 11 yards for Duke,
which had 13 yards on 47 carries. Quarterback Dave Green was
6-for-12 for 40 yards, while backup Matt Rader fared no better,
going 4-for-11 for 34 yards.
“This game went a lot like our practices have gone,” Bowden
added. Our defense has completely dominated our offense and
they did it to Duke today.”
Seminoles defensive end Reinard Wilson had 13 tackles, including
eight solos and 1 1/2 sacks.
“I just tried to make something happen every time I stepped on
the field,” said Wilson. “After watching North Carolina’s
defense last week, we were motivated to play as good if not
better than them. The key to this defense is the experience
that the young players got with all the injuries last year.”
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- Duke 0 0 7 0 7 Florida St (3) 10 17 7 10 44 FINAL FSU Cooper 20 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) FSU FG Bentley 23 FSU FG Bentley 39 FSU Eg Green 12 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) FSU Feaster 59 punt return (Bentley kick) FSU Dunn 17 run (Bentley kick) DUKE Marshall 1 run (Lenhardt kick) FSU Kendra 1 run (Bentley kick) FSU FG Bentley 41 DUKE FSU First downs 12 11 Rushed-yards 47-13 38-129 Passing yards 78 92 Sacked-yards lost 4-20 3-27 Return yards 30 98 Passes 11-26-0 10-20-1 Punts 7-48.1 6-47.8 Fumbles-lost 5-4 2-1 Penalties-yards 5-36 11-96 Time of possession 32:57 27:03 Individual Statistics RUSHING Duke-L Wilks 8-12, Marshall 15-11, London 6-11, Green 8-6, Raced 2-1, Rader 5-minus 1, Owens 1-minus 3, Krueger 1-minus 11, Team 1-minus 13. Florida St-Dunn 14-70, Busby 3-25, Coles 4-21, Abdullah 4-13, Glenn 1-4, Gooch 3-3, Feaster 2-2, P Williams 1-0, Kendra 5-minus 4, Warrick 1-minus 5. PASSING Duke-Green 6-12-0-40, Rader 4-11-0-34, Thompson 1-3-0-4. Florida St-Busby 9-17-1-75, Kendra 1-2-0-17, Dunn 0-1-0-0. RECEIVING Duke-M Wilson 3-34, Owens 3-15, Marshall 1-13, Montgomery 1-6, Ford 1-5, Opalenick 1-4, Flowers 1-1. Florida St-Cooper 3-28, Warrick 2-36, Eg Green 2-30, Dunn 2-2, P Williams 1-minus 4. Att: 70,181