Sept. 25, 1999
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The main problem for No. 1 Florida State on
Saturday was staying interested for four quarters after its lightning-quick
The Seminoles (4-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) put this one away early,
scoring four touchdowns before the first quarter was half over en route to a
42-10 victory over North Carolina.
It was Florida State’s fastest start in its seven-plus seasons in the ACC.
“It looked like in the first quarter they simply were not going to be able
to stop us,” Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said. “Then we substituted a lot of
people and we lost continuity.”
Bowden played a whopping 52 players in the first quarter and 70 in the game.
“As soon as we started substituting the engine cut off,” Bowden said of
his offense. “We just shut down and never could get the thing cranking
It’s a good thing for the Tar Heels (1-2), who are off to their first 0-2
ACC start in a decade with games at Clemson and No. 10 Georgia Tech next on the
Sophomore quarterback Ronald Curry had three passes intercepted, fumbled
once and was sacked five times.
“It was like a nightmare we couldn’t wake up from,” North Carolina coach
Carl Torbush said. “By the time we got out of it we were down 28-0. It was
just boom, boom, boom, boom.”
The Seminoles ran their record to 32-4 as the nation’s top-ranked team and
Bowden moved within four victories of 300.
Many of the Florida State players said they wanted to prove a point with a
“Nobody (in the country) is really playing like they’re No. 1,” said
Florida State’s star receiver Peter Warrick. “So, we went out there with an
attitude that we’ve going to play like No. 1 today.”
Tailback Travis Minor, who scored twice, agreed.
“We wanted to come out and set ourselves apart from everybody else,” Minor
said. “You know how it is with people saying we have potential but we really
haven’t reached that potential.”
Chris Weinke, who threw for 272 yards, marched the Seminoles 80 yards on
their opening drive, completing passes of 28, 20 and 19 yards before Minor
scored on a 14-yard run – the first of his two first-quarter TDs.
Curry played giveaway on the next two possessions as the Tar Heels fell into
a deep hole against one of the nation’s better defenses.
Three plays after Minor’s score, Curry was stripped of the ball by Jerry
Johnson. David Warren recovered at the North Carolina 25 and the Seminoles were
in business again. Forty-five seconds later, Minor was in the end zone on a
5-yard TD run.
Curry’s first pass on North Carolina’s next series was returned 25 yards for
a score by Sean Key, who stepped in front of tight end Alge Crumpler and raced
down the right sideline untouched for a 21-0 lead less than five minutes into
The Tar Heels received a mock cheer from their crowd when Curry finally
completed a pass for a first down, but the drive stalled and more bad news was
on the way.
Warrick, Florida State’s flashy receiver and equally elusive return man,
raced 75 yards with a punt return for a score, helping his cause in the Heisman
“You have to have 10 great guys blocking for you,” Warrick said of his
long return. “Those 10 guys did the job and I thank them for it.”
It was the first time a team had scored four TDs against the Tar Heels in a
quarter since Florida in 1969.
“That would have been a good time for them to crumble but they kept
fighting and matched us from then on,” Bowden said of the Tar Heels.
North Carolina picked up the pace and closed to 28-3 on a 36-yard field
goal, but allowed the Seminoles to strike quickly again at the end of the half.
Weinke drove Florida State 92 yards in 90 seconds, capping the drive with a
25-yard pass to former walk-on and fourth-string receiver Atrews Bell.
Florida State intercepted a third pass off Curry on North Carolina’s opening
possession of the second half, and Warrick’s spectacular 28-yard catch over a
defender set up a 1-yard run by backup quarterback Marcus Outzen.
“You can’t expect to spot the No. 1 team in the country 28 points and then
just come back on them,” Curry said. “Florida State did everything we
expected and more.”