Sept. 6, 1997
LOS ANGELES – Dee Feaster capped a 98-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown
run as number five Florida State survived a huge scare before
pulling out a 14-7 victory in Los Angeles against 21st-ranked
Southern California in the season opener for both teams.
Feaster’s yards were the only ones on the ground for Florida
State in the game-winning drive. His score came with 10:40
remaining. Thad Busby, who was 19-of-39 for 276 yards and an
interception, was 5-of-8 for 94 yards on the march.
Florida State waited until third down before making yardage,
when Busby’s completion to Peter Warrick got the Seminoles a
first down by about a foot. Busby then connected with E.G. Green
on a 46-yard pass to take the ball from deep in FSU territory to
the USC 41.
Green has caught at least one pass in 28 straight games, two
short of matching the school record shared by Ron Sellers and
Florida State, playing against a Pac-10 school for the first
time since 1984, improved to 4-1 against the conference, with
the other four games coming against Arizona State. The Trojans’
last meeting with an Atlantic Coast Conference school had been a
20-19 loss to North Carolina on August 29th, 1993.
The Seminoles were playing a season opener on the road for the
first time since a 31-0 loss to Miami in 1988. Under Bobby
Bowden, Florida State is 19-3 in season openers, including its
last such defeat, a 30-26 loss in Jacksonville in the 1989
season starter against Brett Favre and Southern Mississippi.
The Trojans fell to 54-16-7 in home openers and lost for the
seventh time in their last 28 games at the Los Angeles Memorial
Florida State started the scoring on a one-yard sneak by backup
quarterback Dan Kendra, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound moose who was used
in short-yardage situations, midway through the first quarter.
The score was set up when defensive end David Warren forced
DeLon Washington’s fumble and defensive end Roland Seymour
recovered on the USC 36. Busby was sacked by linebacker Chris
Claiborne, but completed a seven-yard pass to Warrick on second
down and a 19-yarder to Damian Harrell on 3rd-and-11, bringing
the ball to the USC 18.
Busby threw an 17-yard pass to Laveranues Coles on the next play
before Kendra took over and ran in for the opening score.
USC tied the score 78 seconds into the second quarter when
quarterback John Fox scored on a two-yard run on 4th-and-1.
The drive started at the FSU 30 after linebacker Jason Steen
blocked a punt by Keith Cottrell and Ryan Tyiska recovered.
Malaefou MacKenzie had a five-yard gain and a three-yard loss
before Fox threw a 17-yard pass on 3rd-and-8 to R. Jay Soward.
Fox was sacked by defensive end Andre Wadsworth for a four-yard
loss on the final play of the first quarter and a false start
made it 2nd-and-goal from the FSU 20. Fox threw an 18-yard pass
to Billy Miller and Washington carried for no gain before Fox’s
successful keeper on 4th-and-1.