Sept. 13, 1997
Thad Busby threw for 308 yards against Terps. (File photo)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thad Busby threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns in the first
half and Dan Kendra had a pair of second-half scoring tosses to
Peter Warrick as sixth-ranked Florida State overpowered
Maryland, 50-7, in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
One week after grinding out a 14-7 victory at Southern Cal, the
Seminoles (2-0, 1-0 ACC) exploded in their home opener at Doak
Campbell Stadium, where they are unbeaten in their last 30 games
(29-0-1). They held a 559-105 advantage in total yards and
played 33 freshmen.
“We played like I was hoping we would — dominating,” Florida
State coach Bobby Bowden said. “When they play like that you’re
always going to have a chance to win but we really had every
advantage on Maryland today.”
Florida State improved to 8-0 all-time against Maryland and 40-1
all-time in the ACC, including 22-0 at home. The Seminoles have
outscored the Terrapins, 396-130, in the all-time series.
“It’s hard to find positives in getting beat 50-7,” Maryland
coach Ron Vanderlinden said. “It’s hard to judge if a team is
ready to play. I felt that we were and I felt the true
excitement playing Florida State.”
Busby completed 26-of-34 passes without an interception as he
improved to 13-1 as a starter. He connected with E.G. Green on
TD passes of seven yards in the first quarter and 15 yards in
the second as FSU built a 30-7 halftime lead.
“It was a good game for the offense,” Busby said. “We went back
and looked at the film from the USC game and ironed out the
mistakes that we made. We need to continue to improve and work
on the little things.”
Kendra began the second half and was 6-of-8 for 105 yards. He
found Warrick with TD passes of 17 and 24 yards on consecutive
possessions late in the third quarter, building the lead to
“Normally, I’ll send the first team out for the first series
after the half even if we’re pulling ’em, but we wanted to get
Kendra some work. he did pretty well when he was in there, but
he still needs a lot of work. He needs to play in game
Chris Weinke, who spent six years in the minor-league system of
the Toronto Blue Jays, threw a nine-yard TD pass to William
McCray to cap the scoring with 3:01 to play. Weinke was 5-of-10
for 48 yards.
Green caught six passes for 118 yards, extending his streak of
games with at least one catch to 29 games, one short of the
school record. Melvin Pearsall had seven catches for 65 yards,
Laveranues Coles added four for 91 and Warrick had three for 51.
The Seminoles had 12 different players with a reception.
“After looking at the film of the USC game, we knew we had to
change some things and I think we did that today,” Green said.
“The receivers as a group played really well.”
Lamont Jordan had a 44-yard touchdown run in the second period
for Maryland (0-2), which got off to a 4-0 start last year but
is winless under new coach Ron Vanderlinden. Brian Cummings was
7-for-11 for 48 yards and was sacked four times.
FSU took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards to a 20-yard
kick by Bill Gramatica. Three minutes later, a one-yard TD run
by Dee Feaster made it 10-0.
Busby’s seven-yarder to Green came with four seconds left in the
opening quarter and capped an 80-yard march. A 44-yard kick by
Sebastian Janikowski made it 20-0 before Jordan’s run finally
got Maryland on the board with 5:54 remaining before halftime.
Busby directed a 74-yard march that resulted in his 15-yard TD
toss to Green and Janikowski added a 49-yard field goal with 42
seconds left in the half.
“Their strategy was to come out throwing and they did that very
well,” Vanderlinden said. “Even when we had them covered they
still made big plays. They are definitely a well-coached team.”
Florida State prevented Maryland from making a first down on six
straight possessions during the second and third quarters and
held the Terrapins to 15 yards in the second half.