Sept. 19, 1996
RALEIGH, N.C. — Thad Busby passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns as
third-ranked Florida State raced to a 24-0 halftime lead and
cruised to a 51-17 rout of North Carolina State in an Atlantic
Coast Conference game.
Busby had touchdown passes of 29 yards to E.G. Green and Andre
Cooper for the Seminoles (2-0, 2-0 ACC), who performed far
better offensively than in their season-opening 44-7 rout of
Duke two weeks ago. Florida State had only 221 yards in that
game. Backup Dan Kendra also threw for two scores as the
Seminoles improved their all-time conference mark to 33-1.
“It was a better performance than last week, but we’re not
satisfied at all” said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. “We’re
not happy with everything. I’m very concerned about the
turnovers and the big plays special teams gave up.
“I thought the defense played well. I thought Thad played
pretty well most of the time, but the lights seemed to go out in
the third quarter,” he added. “We’ve got to solve a lot of
problems if we’re going to beat North Carolina.”
Florida State was leading 3-0 late in the first quarter when
tailback Warrick Dunn raced 51 yards to the North Carolina State
29. On the next play — the last of the first quarter — Busby
rolled right and fired a strike to the corner of the end zone
where Green made a diving catch while keeping his knees in
bounds for a 10-0 lead.
Dunn added a one-yard run to make it 17-0 with 9:54 to play in
the first half to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive. He finished
with 108 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving. Byron Capers
capped the first-half scoring 91 seconds later when he recovered
a blocked punt in the end zone. The punt was blocked by Troy
“I thought we played a lot better than the Duke game, but we
still have to keep improving,” Dunn said. “The offensive line
blocked much better tonight. We need to keep improving every
game to reach our ultimate goal.”
Alvis Whitted returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, the
first for North Carolina State (0-2, 0-2) since he ran one back
97 yards against Maryland on November 5th, 1994. It was the
first kickoff return for a touchdown against the Seminoles since
Syracuse’s Qadry Ismail ran one back 95 yards in 1991.
Florida State has won the last six meetings between the schools
and leads the series, 13-4. Last year, the Seminoles whacked
North Carolina State 77-17, rolling up 725 yards.
Marc Primanti ended Florida State’s shutout bid with a 29-yard
field goal to make it 24-3. Busby then marched the Seminoles 65
yards in 84 seconds, capped by his 29-yard scoring strike to
“Everybody needed to pick up the pace tonight and I think
everybody did,” said Busby, who utilized a no-huddle offense. “I
really liked using the fast break, no-huddle. It seems like all
our players are really used to it and we worked out of it well
tonight. I was able to put some zip on the ball and also throw
deep. The offense can still get better and we need to keep
improving by cutting down on our mistakes.”
Shevin Smith, the cousin of Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro
linebacker Derrick Thomas, ran an interception back 61 yards to
extend the lead to 37-3 with 3:21 left in the third quarter. It
was the first defensive touchdown of the season for Florida
State and the first interception return for a TD by a Seminole
since Clifton Abraham ran one back 29 yards against Wake Forest
Tremayne Stephens scored from two yards out for the Wolfpack’s
first touchdown, but Kendra, a highly touted freshman from
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, found Wayne Messam in the back of the
end zone from 11 yards out for his first career scoring pass.
Whitted brought the ensuing kickoff all the way back to make it
44-17 with 7:57 left, but Kendra responded with a 13-play,
83-yard drive, capping it with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Peter
Warrick that closed the scoring.
Florida State amassed 527 yards of total offense. Busby and
Kendra combined to complete 24-of-42 passes for 345 yards.
Kendra was 7-for-16 for 94 yards. Messam caught six passes for
Jose Laureano completed 11-of-33 passes for 119 yards and an
interception for NC State. Stephens, who had 100-yard games
against Florida State the previous two years, was held to 21
yards on 14 carries. The Wolfpack were held to 182 total yards.
“We knew coming in we weren’t going to be able to run the ball,”
said NC State coach Mike O’Cain. “We had to try something to
slow down the pass rush in the second half and we did that. We
came out and ran the ball a couple of times and got a first down
and slowed down the rush a little. … We just weren’t able to
do it in the first half like we needed to.”
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- Florida St (3) 10 14 13 14 51 No Carolina St 0 0 3 14 17 FINAL Florida St-FG Bentley 46 Florida St-Eg Green 29 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-Dunn 1 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-Capers recovered blocked punt in end zone (Bentley kick) No Carolina St-FG Primanti 29 Florida St-Cooper 29 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-S Smith 61 interception return (kick failed) No Carolina St-Stephens 2 run (Primanti kick) Florida St-Messam 11 pass from Kendra (Bentley kick) No Carolina St-Whitted 96 kickoff return (Primanti kick) Florida St-Warrick 13 pass from Kendra (Bentley kick) Florida St No Carolina St First downs 27 17 Rushed-yards 36-182 40-57 Passing yards 345 125 Sacked-yards lost 4-19 6-38 Return yards 120 244 Passes 24-42-2 12-34-1 Punts 4-37.5 8-34.3 Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0 Penalties-yards 10-103 5-23 Time of possession 28:40 31:20 Individual Statistics RUSHING: Florida St-Dunn 14-108, Coles 8-046, Kendra 5-025, Preston 3-023, Feaster 1-006, Abdullah 1-000, Busby 4-minus 26. No Carolina St-Stephens 14-21, Rod Brown 6-15, King 2-15, Spikes 4-13, Laureano 11-6, Chavis 1-minus 1, Barnette 2-minus 12. PASSING: Florida St-Busby 17-26-2-251, Kendra 7-16-0-94. No Carolina St-Laureano 11-33-1-119, Barnette 1-1-0-6. RECEIVING: Florida St-Messam 6-72, Dunn 5-49, Cooper 3-61, L Green 2-53, Pearsall 2-37, Warrick 2-29, Preston 2-22, Stringer 1-15, Feaster 1-7. No Carolina St-Grissett 6-60, Holt 4-41, Addis 1-14, M Thomas 1-10. Att: 45,700