TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Thad Busby threw for career highs of 304 yards and four
touchdowns and second-ranked Florida State continued its
defensive dominance with a 34-3 Atlantic Coast Conference
victory over Clemson.
E.G. Green caught two TD passes and Dee Feaster returned a punt
79 yards for a score for the Seminoles (4-0, 4-0 ACC), who will
enter next week’s showdown at Miami as the top defensive team in
“The defense had another good ballgame, but it could have been
even better without the (seven) penalties,” Florida State coach
Bobby Bowden said. “The offense made strides. Our plan was to
make our quarterback win the game. I thought Thad did a good
Florida State limited Clemson’s option attack to 54 yards on 36
carries. The defense had two fumble recoveries, two sacks and
one interception and allowed just 3.3 yards per play.
Busby, who threw for just 65 yards last week against North
Carolina, bounced back with his best game of the season. He was
16-of-29 and threw TD passes to three different receivers before
leaving early in the fourth quarter for redshirt freshman Dan
“I knew going into this game that we were going to open the
offense up a little bit,” Busby said. “This offense will
continue to get better with time.
“We still maded some mistakes on offense. We had some stupid
penalties and some missed assignments. the key for us in the
Miami game is to eliminate those mistakes.”
Green had five catches for 156 yards and Warrick Dunn added 96
yards on 13 carries. Dunn and Andre Cooper also had touchdown
“It was nice to see the big plays return to the offense,” said
Green, who had the first 100-yard game by an FSU receiver this
year. “Everyone in the offense got involved tonight and I think
that was the difference.”
All four of Florida State’s scoring drives were at least 61
yards. Meanwhile, Clemson could get nothing going as it was
limited to 4-of-16 on third-down conversions.
Nealon Greene was 15-of-29 for 132 yards for Clemson (2-3, 1-2),
which fell to 3-9 in the all-time series and has not beaten FSU
since 1989. Raymond Priester, who leads the ACC in rushing, was
held to 27 yards on 14 carries.
“We came to win this game,” Clemson ccoach Tommy West said. “Not
just play good, to win. Our plan was to run, throw blitz and
crowd them. We fought as hard as we could fight. When you’re
playing a team like FSU, you have to make the plays, and we
Busby hit Green with a 37-yard scoring toss with 4:22 left in
the first quarter, giving the Seminoles the lead for good.
The Tigers, shut out in the first quarter against Florida State
for the fifth straight time, got a 29-yard field goal by Matt
Padgett on the second play of the second quarter. But Busby
answered with a 60-yard strike to Green and a 23-yard toss to
Dunn less than six minutes apart, giving FSU a 20-3 halftime
Busby had 259 yards in the first half, surpassing his previous
high for an entire game of 251 against North Carolina State.
Cooper hauled in a four-yard TD pass from Busby with 4:52 left
in the third quarter, capping a 13-play drive. The Tigers ran
three plays and punted and Feaster, who was knocked cold and
fumbled on a punt return in the first quarter, took it back for
the second time this season.
“The touchdown helped my self-esteem after I got knocked out in
the first quarter,” Feaster said. “I found the crease and they
did a great job of blocking.”
Feaster, who returned a punt 59 yards for a score against Duke
in the season opener, became just the second FSU player under
coach Bobby Bowden to return two punts for TDs in the same
season. The other is Terrell Buckley in 1990.
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- Clemson 0 3 0 0 3 Florida St (2) 6 14 14 0 34 FINAL Florida St-Eg Green 37 pass from Busby (kick failed) Clemson-FG Padgett 29 Florida St-Eg Green 60 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-Dunn 23 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-Cooper 4 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-Feaster 79 punt return (Bentley kick) Clemson Florida St First downs 16 19 Rushed-yards 36-54 30-124 Passing yards 182 329 Sacked-yards lost 2-12 2-23 Return yards 16 94 Passes 18-35-1 19-37-1 Punts 6-43.0 10-36.6 Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-2 Penalties-yards 4-39 7-68 Time of possession 33:35 26:25 Individual Statistics RUSHING: Clemson-Priester 18-27, Dunnican 4-16, E Smith 6-14, Zanders 3-10, Luckle 1-minus 6, N Greene 4-minus 7. Florida St-Dunn 13-96, Kendra 4-20, Abdullah 3-10, Preston 1-5, Feaster 3-3, Busby 5-0, Warrick 1-minus 10. PASSING: Clemson-N Greene 15-29-1-132, Luckle 3-6-0-50. Florida St-Busby 16-29-0-304, Kendra 3-8-1-25. RECEIVING: Clemson-Horne 8-90, Woods 4-54, Wofford 3-5, Crooks 1-24, Priester 1-5, Dunnican 1-4. Florida St-Eg Green 5-156, Cooper 5-41, Dunn 3-37, Warrick 2-59, Abdullah 1-29, P Williams 1-7, Dugans 1-5, Preston 1-minus 5. Att: 76,360