Sept. 28, 1996
No. 2 FSU Wins Defensive Struggle Over No. 11 Tar Heels, 13-0
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Warrick Dunn ran 11 yards for the game's only touchdown and Scott Bentley kicked two field goals as second-ranked Florida State overcame its lowest point total in five seasons for a 13-0 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over number 11 North Carolina.
Defensive end Peter Boulware had 2 1/2 sacks for Florida State (3-0, 3-0 ACC), which took control of the conference with its first shutout since 1994 against Clemson. The Seminoles gave up 2.6 yards per play and recorded eight sacks.
"The defense played even better than I thought we could," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "We got up 10-0, and with the rain, the thought became, 'Don't do anything to lose the game.'"
Reinard Wilson had 1 1/2 sacks to become the all-time leader at Florida State with 25 1/2, moving past Ron Simmons. Linebacker Henri Crockett had nine tackles, a sack and knocked down a pass. Dexter Jackson blocked two punts, tying an FSU record set by Ron Hester in 1980 and matched by Kelvin Smith in 1987.
"Our goal this week was to shut them out," Boulware said. "Reinard and I was just trying to get to (Chris) Keldorf today, because we knew that he wasn't very mobile. We knew the only time he left the pocket was on rollout passes, so we concentrated on putting pressure on him."
"We played a great defensive game today," Wilson said. "The most important thing was that we got the shutout. It doesn't make a difference how bad the offense plays, because if we shut the other team out, we're going to win the game."
The Tar Heels (3-1, 2-1) had won at Syracuse and shut out their first two ACC foes but did not come close to scoring as they had a six-game winning streak snapped. North Carolina fell to 0-7-1 against Florida State.
"I thought it was a defensive struggle," North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. "There are the No. 1 and 2 defenses in the country. FSU plays great defense. They've always played great defense. They have probably the two best ends right now. Those two guys (Wilson and Boulware) are real hard to block."
Usually known for their offense, the Seminoles sputtered to 213 total yards but gave up just 187 as they handed the Tar Heels their first shutout since the 1989 season finale against Duke. Florida State hadn't scored less than 13 points since a 10-2 win over Texas A&M in the 1992 Cotton Bowl.
Carolina quarterback Chris Keldorf was 16-of-35 for 147 yards and one interception. Leon Johnson was held to 75 yards on 23 carries.
North Carolina's only scoring chance came in the first quarter, when Josh McGee had a 53-yard field goal attempt blocked. The Tar Heels reached the Seminoles 33 in the third quarter and lined up for a field goal, but a delay of game penalty forced them to punt instead.
Dunn had 73 yards on 21 carries. His score came one play after the teams traded turnovers on the same play.
Tar Heels defensive back Dre' Bly intercepted Busby's long pass near the goal line and began his return when he was hit by FSU receiver Andre Cooper and fumbled. Lineman Todd Fordham fell on the loose ball at the 11 and Dunn went off right tackle on the next play, giving FSU a 10-0 lead with 2:45 to go in the half.
"I was trying to make a big play," Bly said. "I didn't have the ball tucked away but I slipped, and he hit me right on the ball."
Bly added another interception, lifting his season total to six, tops in the nation.
Bentley, who kicked a 33-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, added a 37-yarder with 5:52 remaining.
Busby was 9-of-17 for just 65 yards and two interceptions. Rock Preston led all rushers with 77 yards on five carries.
"I thought Thad was inconsistent today," Bowden said. "But we didn't call a lot of plays that would show what he could do. We just couldn't block the right people."
Florida State 13, North Carolina 0
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- North Carolina (11) 0 0 0 0 0 Florida St (2) 0 10 0 3 13 FINAL Florida St-FG Bentley 33 Florida St-Dunn 11 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-FG Bentley 37 North Carolina Florida St First downs 13 7 Rushed-yards 37-40 36-148 Passing yards 147 65 Sacked-yards lost 8-43 2-18 Return yards 19 63 Passes 16-35-1 9-17-2 Punts 9-39.1 9-47.2 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1 Penalties-yards 5-20 8-86 Time of possession 32:44 27:16 Individual Statistics RUSHING: North Carolina-L Johnson 25-73, M Mcgregor 4-9, Keldorf 8-minus 42. Florida St-Preston 5-77, Dunn 21-73, Warrick 1-5, P Williams 1-1, Busby 8-minus 8. PASSING: North Carolina-Keldorf 16-35-1-147. Florida St-Busby 9-17-2-65. RECEIVING: North Carolina-N Brown 6-29, Stevens 5-60, Barnes 2-25, Watson 1-21, Linton 1-7, F Jones 1-5. Florida St-Dunn 3-10, Eg Green 2-18, Charlton 1-20, Messam 1-14, Dugans 1-8, Preston 1-minus 5. Att: 80,120