Nov. 2, 1996
ATLANTA — Lamont Green returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown
and Shevin Smith recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a
score as third-ranked Florida State overcame a slow start for a
49-3 Atlantic Coast Conference rout of Georgia Tech.
Warrick Dunn rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown for the
Seminoles (7-0, 6-0 ACC), who need to beat lowly Wake Forest
next week to wrap up their fifth straight ACC championship since
joining the conference in 1991. They are 37-1 all-time in the
ACC and have beaten Georgia Tech (5-3, 4-3) five straight times.
“Our defense had definitely been the main aspect of our team
this year because so many times our offense has got off to a
sputtering start and the defense has saved us,” FSU coach Bobby
Bowden said. “That is what happened tonight.”
Florida State used big plays to win its eighth straight game and
remain in the national title chase. The Seminoles, who won the
championship in 1993, do not leave Florida for the rest of the
season. They face top-ranked Florida at home on November 30th.
Dunn carried just 13 times in his third straight 100-yard game.
Thad Busby was 11-of-22 for 148 yards, one touchdown and three
interceptions for the Seminoles, who outgained Georgia Tech,
“I thought the offense struggled quite a bit tonight,” said
Busby, who played with a sore left wrist. “It was really just a
matter of hurting ourselves. We had too many turnovers and too
many penalties to sustain anything consistently.”
Georgia Tech’s first drive ended with a 35-yard field goal by
Brad Chambers less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Busby was
intercepted twice in the first 16 minutes, but the defense gave
Florida State the lead.
Green stepped in front of a soft screen pass by Joe Hamilton and
raced untouched down the left side for a 7-3 lead with 13:28 to
go in the first half. The Seminoles forced a punt and Dunn’s
52-yard run set up Rock Preston’s six-yard TD with 8:23 to go.
“I didn’t think it would snowball but I hoped it would,” Bowden
said. “The interception put us ahead and took our neck out of a
noose. Then Dunn makes his big run, and now with 14 points and
the way your defense has been playing, you think you might be in
pretty good shape.”
Hamilton was just 4-of-11 for 30 yards and an interception. He
eventually was replaced by Brandon Shaw, who was 7-of-16 for 84
“I think we need more speed and more athletes to beat a team
like them,” Hamilton said. “No scout team can really prepare
you to play a team like them. Even though our scout team does a
great job, you have to think game speed in practice and realize
that in the game, they’ll be getting to you a lot quicker.”
The Seminoles again stopped the Ramblin’ Wreck and punter Rodney
Williams set up inside the 5. Peter Boulware broke through the
left side of the line and blocked the punt and Smith fell on it
with 3:43 remaining.
“We worked on it all week,” Boulware said. “We thought we might
be able to get one tonight and we did. Lamont Green got a good
inside rush and that freed me up on the outside.”
It was the fifth blocked kick for Florida State and the third TD
for Smith, who also has returned an interception and fumble for
Busby finally got into the act, connecting with Andre Cooper up
the right sideline for 38 yards and a 28-3 lead with 1:39 left
in the half.
“The one thing we said going into the game was that we couldn’t
give up big plays and they got a lot of big plays against us,”
Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary said.
Dunn added a 45-yard touchdown scamper with 1:38 left in the
third quarter. In the fourth quarter, redshirt freshman Dan
Kendra directed a pair of TD drives.
Kendra threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Peter Warrick, who had
two catches for 33 yards and a 36-yard run on the march. Kendra
added a two-yard TD run with 5:10 remaining.
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- Florida St (3) 0 28 7 14 49 Georgia Tech 3 0 0 0 3 FINAL Georgia Tech-FG Chambers 35 Florida St-L Green 56 interception return (Bentley kick) Florida St-Preston 6 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-S Smith recovered blocked punt in end zone (Bentley kick) Florida St-Cooper 38 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-Dunn 45 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-Warrick 19 pass from Kendra (Bentley kick) Florida St-Kendra 2 run (Bentley kick) Florida St Georgia Tech First downs 18 14 Rushed-yards 34-265 52-155 Passing yards 178 114 Sacked-yards lost 0-0 0-0 Return yards 65 7 Passes 13-27-3 11-27-1 Punts 6-44.7 10-31.9 Fumbles-lost 3-0 4-0 Penalties-yards 9-104 8-71 Time of possession 23:53 36:07 Individual Statistics RUSHING: Florida St-Dunn 13-121, Feaster 4-43, Glenn 4-36, Warrick 1-36, Preston 2-12, Kendra 6-10, P Williams 2-10, Team 1-minus 1, Busby 1-minus 2. Georgia Tech-C Rogers 15-58, Cj Williams 13-50, Hollomon 15-44, Shaw 5-7, Tj Johnson 1-1, Hamilton 3-minus 5. PASSING: Florida St-Busby 11-22-3-148, Kendra 2-5-0-30. Georgia Tech-Hamilton 4-11-1-30, Shaw 7-16-0-84. RECEIVING: Florida St-Cooper 5-65, Dunn 2-33, Warrick 2-33, Eg Green 1-16, Messam 1-12, Coles 1-11, P Williams 1-8. Georgia Tech-Middleton 5-44, C Rogers 2-21, Sheridan 1-24, Muyres 1-11, Stallworth 1-8, Hollomon 1-6. Att: 46,311