September 21, 2002 - by
2nd Quarter Burst Enough For No. 5 Florida St. To Beat Duke, 48-17

Sept 21, 2002

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Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Duke played Florida State even for about 20 minutes Saturday. Then it got ugly.

Chris Rix threw two touchdown passes during Florida State’s 21-point burst in the second quarter, helping the fifth-ranked Seminoles break open a tight game on the way to a 48-17 victory.

Florida State (4-0, 3-0 ACC) ignored its running game to work on its passing attack, throwing for 404 of its 510 yards. The Seminoles led 45-3 at one point.

“We had a feeling that we could come out and be able to sling it around a little bit,” said Florida State’s Anquan Boldin, who caught seven passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Three Florida State quarterbacks combined to throw to 10 different receivers for 404 yards and four touchdowns.

“The passing game was really clicking,” said Rix, who threw for 244 yards in his shortest stint in 16 starts. “They were probably more concerned about the run and we took advantage of that.”

Duke (1-3, 0-1 ACC ) outgained the ‘Noles in the opening quarter and tied the game at 3-all two minutes into the second period, on a 23-yard field goal by Brent Garber. But that was it for the Blue Devils, who have lost 18 straight conference games and are winless in 11 tries against the Seminoles.

“We had a problem defending their wide receivers,” Duke coach Carl Franks said. “They’re great athletes and made some big plays.”

Rix’s backup, Adrian McPherson, played most of the second half and threw for two more TDs as coach Bobby Bowden got many of his young reserves some extended playing time. Bowden got his 327th career victory, second only to Penn State’s Joe Paterno (330).

It ended up being an unusually eventful night for the 72-year-old Bowden, who was bowled over on the sidelines by Duke tight end Calen Powell. The 235-pound Powell crashed into an official after being pushed out of bounds, and the official then knocked over Bowden, who got up quickly with a grin on his face.

“I haven’t take a hit like that since college,” Bowden said. “It wasn’t a glancing blow. The guy nailed me, and it still didn’t hurt.”

Powell said he didn’t realize that it was Bowden who ended up on the end of the collision.

“I remember I hit a ref and someone,” he said. “I really didn’t know who it was.”

Florida State’s Greg Jones, who had five straight games of more than 100 yards rushing, had just 44 yards.

Duke scored the game’s final two touchdowns – on passes from Chris Dapolito to Santerrio Landrum and Lance Johnson – to make the final margin more respectable.

Florida State wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe, left, is congratulated by teammate Dominic Robinson, right, following a third quarter touchdown against the Duke Blue Devils.

Bowden was delighted he could play so many of his youngsters, and he praised his starting quarterback.

“Rix played one of his best games,” Bowden said. “He is still learning. What do you expect from a kid who is still only a sophomore?”

After the early tie game, Florida State ran off 42 straight points. Rix, who threw for 180 yards in the first half, threw a pair of 14-yard touchdown passes – to Talman Gardner and Robert Morgan – to make it 17-3.

Florida State’s freshmen then got into the act. Fullback Torrance Washington’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:54 left gave Florida State a 24-3 halftime lead. That score was set up by freshman Leon Washington’s 32-yard punt return.

The Seminoles built the lead to 31-7 when Leon Washington pounced on a botched punt in the end zone. The ball glanced off Duke’s John Paul Kimbrough, who was not trying to field it while standing on his 1-yard line.

Rix left the game after the first series of the third quarter, having completed 16 of 22 passes for 244 yards.

Duke’s Alex Wade gained 114 yards on 25 carries.

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