Oct. 11, 1997
Seminoles try to block a Duke field goal attempt. (Click photo for larger version)
DURHAM, N.C. — Thad Busby ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in a
28-point second quarter as fourth-ranked Florida State rolled
past Duke, 51-27, in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC) used its defense and special teams
in the third quarter to put away the game as defensive back
Abdual Howard ran back a fumble 24 yards for a score and Derrick
Gibson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.
Since a 14-7 victory over USC to start the season, the Seminoles
have outscored opponents 183-63 in their last four games.
Florida State has averaged 52.8 points per game against Duke and
has won by an average of 34.8 points in six games between the
“I think we won the ballgame because we had more better players
than they did,” said Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, who was
unimpressed with his team’s play. “They had some good players,
but we had more. If you grade coaches, counting myself, I would
grade them better. Our kids are a result of what we did. When
my kids get penalized, that’s us.”
Kevin Thompson threw two touchdown passes for Duke (2-4, 0-3),
which fell to 0-6 all-time against the Seminoles. The 24-point
margin of defeat is the closest in the series. The Blue Devils
have dropped their last 12 ACC games.
Duke took advantage of a fumble by fullback Khaalid Abdullah,
which was recovered at the Florida State 19 by defensive tackle
Chris Combs. Bobby Campbell hit Scottie Montgomery with an
18-yard pass before he snuck in from one yard to give the Blue
Devils a 7-0 lead.
An unidentified player breaks a tackle against Duke. (Click photo for larger version)
The teams traded empty possessions, but a quick kick by Campbell
on a 3rd-and-11 backfired, traveling just 15 yards to midfield.
After a penalty and two-yard gain by Dee Feaster, Busby fired
off three straight completions, covering 32 yards.
Davey Ford finished the drive, carrying three times for 21 yards
and capped it with a nine-yard burst up the middle with 3:33
left in the first quarter.
The Seminoles took the lead for good as Travis Minor bulled in
from one yard with 11:04 left in the first half for a 14-7 lead,
capping a 14-play, 79-yard drive that consumed more than five
Cornerback Coronta Cody intercepted a pass by Thompson at the
Duke 9 and a personal-foul penalty on the Blue Devils gave
Florida State a 1st-and-goal at the 4. Duke held Ford to three
yards on three attempts, but Busby snuck in on 4th-and-goal to
make it 21-7 with 6:25 left.
Duke went three-and-out and two plays later, Busby and Peter
Warrick hooked up on a 54-yard TD play for a 28-7 bulge with
A Seminole cheerleader takes in all the action. (Click photo for larger version)
“That was the longest seven minutes of any football game I’ve
ever been through — the first seven minutes of the second
quarter,” said Blue Devils coach Fred Goldsmith. “I was proud
of the way our kids played.”
Warrick set up Florida State at midfield with a 25-yard punt
return and Busby had completions of 25 yards to Damian Harrell
and 22 yards to Warrick before dashing in from three yards to
make it 35-7 with 1:04 to go.
But Thompson, subbing for the injured Campbell, fired a 61-yard
pass to Montgomery to make it 35-14.
Florida State extended the lead to 41-14 as defensive end Tony
Bryant sacked Thompson to cause the fumble, which was picked up
by Howard, who raced 24 yards.
On Duke’s next possession, free safety Dexter Jackson blocked a
punt by Brian Morton and Gibson picked it up at the 1 before
FSU outgained Duke, 417-246, including a 282-115 advantage in
passing yards. Warrick finished with five receptions for 134
yards while Ford added 58 yards on 11 carries.
Florida State also committed a school-record 20 penalties for
138 yards. The previous record of 18 was established against
Duke in 1992 and equaled two years later.
“I’ve never seen so many penalties in all my life,” said Bowden.
“We did not play the way we should have. We looked like we
never played in our life.”
Campbell was 4-of-5 for 36 yards before being injured. Thompson
completed 5-of-16 passes for 79 yards. Montgomery hauled in six
passes for 94 yards and added 146 yards on five kickoff returns.
“We had to break in another quarterback, but he settled in and
did all right,” added Goldsmith.