Miami, Fla. (Jan. 1, 1994) — The 60th Annual Orange Bowl game proved indeed to be a “Classic”
as the nation’s top two teams battled to the last second for the 1993 National Championship. When
Florida State kicker Scott Bentley’s field goal with 21 seconds left in the game split the uprights
and Cornhusker Byron Bennett’s last second kick sailed wide left, the Seminoles stood as 18-16
victors over number one Nebraska.
Both teams started slow offensively, failing to score in the first quarter. In all, the teams
combined for five punts and a missed field goal in the period. And while defense continued to
dominate in the second stanza, FSU took a 3-0 lead on Bentley’s 34-yard field goal after
marching 63 yards. The big play in the FSU drive was a 31-yard pass from Charlie Ward to Kevin
Knox, while a pass interference penalty on Nebraska gave Florida State a first down on third-and-six.
It took less than two minutes for the Cornhuskers to counter. When FSU’s Devin Bush tipped a
pass from Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier into the hands of receiver Reggie Baul, NU had a
34-yard touchdown completion and a 7-3 lead.
Florida State and Nebraska traded possessions before FSU was able to add another three. Seminole
quarterback Ward showed the skills that won him the Heisman Trophy, scrambling for 23 and passing
for 39 of the 71 yards on the drive. Bentley nailed a 25-yard field goal with 22 seconds left
and as the half ended, the heavily favored Tribe trailed, 7-6.
FSU regained the lead after taking the second half kickoff and driving 67 yards. Ward, the game’s
Most Valuable Player, set up William Floyd’s 1-yard TD plunge with a 41-yard pass to Knox before
his two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete. Nonetheless, the Seminoles took a 12-7 lead.
One possession later, FSU increased its lead. After taking over at its own 12, Florida State
looked to junior fullback Floyd for a spark. He obliged with a career-long 34-yard run to the
FSU 46-yard line. Six plays later, Bentley’s third field goal of the night, this one from 39
yards out, put the Seminoles up 15-7 with 3:06 remaining in the third.
Nebraska held the ball for the rest of the quarter, and on the first play of the final period,
Lawrence Phillips ran to the right for a 12-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion attempt to
tie the game at 15 failed when Frazier was knocked out of bounds at the one.
Florida State was unable to advance past the Nebraska 45 on its next drive, so the Cornhuskers
once again took over. Their march deep into Seminole territory came to a sudden end when Richard
Coes intercepted a pass at the FSU nine. But the Seminoles went three and out, turning the ball
over to the Cornhuskers with 4:39 left in the game.
Nebraska drove from its own 20 to the FSU 4 after Liss’ 42-yard punt. Phillips ran for 17 yards
on the first play of the drive, while Frazier gained 32 yards on another rush. But the Seminole
defense stiffened from there. Three runs netted minus five yards and Bennett kicked a 27-yard
three-pointer from the five, giving the ‘Huskers a 16-15 lead with 1:16 to play.
Starting at the 35-yard line after Bennett’s kickoff went out of bounds, Ward took over. Aided by
a pair of penalties against Nebraska — a 15-yard late hit after a 21-yard Warrick Dunn pickup,
and a 15-yard pass interference call — Ward led FSU to the Nebraska five with 21 seconds left.
Bentley’s 22-yard kick on second down sailed through the uprights and gave Florida State an 18-16
edge with 21 seconds left.
But Nebraska was not ready to call it a day. On second down from the Nebraska 43, Frazier completed
a 29-yard pass to Trumane Bell. The Seminoles celebrated as time apparently expired on the play,
but the Cornhuskers had called a time out with one second remaining. As Bennett’s last second
attempt sailed wide left, the Seminoles wrapped up their first 12-win season and earned Florida
State’s first football national championship.
Score By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F FSU 0 6 9 3 18 Nebraska 0 7 0 9 16 Scoring Summary FSU - Bentley 34 yd. field goal, 7:54 NEB - Baul 34 yd. pass from Frazier (Bennett kick), 5:59 FSU - Bentley 25 yd. field goal, :29 FSU - Floyd 1 yd. run (Ward pass incomplete), 12:50 FSU - Bentley 39 yd. field goal, 3:06 NEB - Phillips 12 yd. run (Frazier run failed), 14:55 NEB - Bennett 27 yd. field goal, 1:16 FSU - Bentley 22 yd. field goal, :21 Team Statistics FSU NEB First Downs 22 20 Rushes - Yards 24-47 44-183 Passing Yards 286 206 Comp.-Att.-Int. 24-43-0 13-25-2 Plays-Total Offense 67-333 69-389 Punt Return Yards 0 18 Punts - Average 6-45.2 7-38.4 Fumbles - Lost 0-0 2-0 Interceptions - Yards 2-21 0-0 Penalties - Yards 10-69 11-115 Time of Possession 27:03 32:57 Third Down Cov. 1-12 7-16 Individual Statistics Rushing: FSU - Jackson 8-(-6), Floyd 7-53, Dunn 1-3, Ward 8-(-3); NEB- Jones 9-28, Makovicka 2-7, Benning 5-5, Phillips 13-64, Frazier 14-77, Dixon 1-2. Passing: FSU - Ward 24-43-0; NEB - Frazier 13-24-2, Jones 0-1-0. Receiving: FSU - Frier 5-46, McCorvey 5-70, Floyd 1-(-7), Knox 5-99, Vanover 6-48, Dunn 2-30; NEB - Jones 1-(-7), Muhammad 1-14, Johnson 3-40, Baul 1-34, Bell 4-75, Dixon 3-50.