Oct. 12, 1996
No. 3 Seminoles Dominate Instate Rival No. 6 Miami, 34-16
MIAMI -- Warrick Dunn rushed for 163 yards and a score as third-ranked Florida State used a dominant defense to knock off sixth-ranked Miami, 34-16, for its first road win in the intrastate rivalry in 12 years.
Thad Busby threw for 125 yards and ran for a score as he ended the quarterback jinx for Florida State (5-0), which forced three turnovers and sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Clement nine times. Defensive back Shevin Smith returned a fumble 54 yards for a TD in the first quarter, setting the tone.
"Our plan to beat Miami was to stop the run and we did a great job as far as that goes," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "Because that was our plan, we had a lot of 1-on-1's and even though they made a couple, overall it was an outstanding job."
The Seminoles scored the first 17 points and never trailed as they beat Miami (4-1) at the Orange Bowl for the first time since 1984 and in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1978-79. They ended Miami's 11-game winning streak, which had been the longest in Division I-A.
The Hurricanes entered the game with the top-ranked defense in the nation, but allowed two TD drives in the second half as their national championship hopes came to an end.
"I was disappointed in our rush defense in the second half," Miami coach Butch Davis said. "We committed the three cardinal sins. We had a lot of penalties (five), turnovers and gave up the big plays. When you do that, you're going to lose every time."
FSU scored 10 points while moving against swirling winds of up to 30 miles per hour, including a 72-yard fourth-quarter drive capped by Busby's clinching TD sneak. The Hurricanes scored all of their points in the second quarter, when they had the wind.
Busby was just 8-of-17, but had no interceptions or fumbles as he became the first quarterback to win his initial start in the rivalry since Miami's Craig Erickson in 1990. Relying on Dunn and Rock Preston -- who added 61 yards on nine carries -- Busby was 4-of-6 in the second half, when FSU held Miami scoreless.
"I went in there with a lot of confidence," Busby said. "I really wasn't thinking about being the first quarterback since 1984 to win here."
Clement, meanwhile, dropped to 0-2 in the rivalry, among the most heated in college football. He was 20-of-31 for 267 yards and two touchdowns, but threw an early interception and had a crucial fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"We would have won if not for the turnovers," he said. "We shot ourselves in the foot."
Clement was pressured all day by the Seminoles, ranked third in the nation in defense. Reinard Wilson had three sacks and Greg Spires added 1 1/2 for FSU, which outgained Miami, 347-309.
"It feels good to come in and beat them in their own house," FSU middle linebacker Daryl Bush said. "It meant a lot to come out and perform the way we did."
Miami's Yatil Green caught eight passes for 157 yards and two scores, but all but one catch came in the first half as he sat out all of the third quarter with cramps. Danyell Ferguson needed 27 carries to amass 81 yards.
"I never, ever, ever -- not even in high school -- wanted to win a game so badly in my life," Green said.
Using their defense, the Seminoles nearly turned the game into a rout in the first quarter. An interception by Troy Saunders set up Scott Bentley's 48-yard field goal and Smith pounced on a fumble by Ferguson and raced untouched for a touchdown less than three minutes later.
FSU then turned to its offense for another score. On third down, Dunn took a handoff, squirted up the middle, juked a tackler and outraced several defenders up the right sideline for an 80-yard TD and a 17-0 lead with 4:12 left in the period.
"It felt really good that we got a big early lead," Busby said. "It took a lot of pressure off of us."
Miami got the wind and finally got untracked with an 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. Clement capped it with a 31-yard TD pass up the left sideline to Green, who barely got inbounds. The extra point was no good.
The Seminoles answered with a 65-yard drive into the wind. Busby converted a 4th-and-1 with a sneak to the Miami 14 but couldn't move them any further. Bentley's 32-yard kick made it 20-6 with 9:09 remaining.
Clement was sacked on 3rd-and-5 by Connell Spain, who was ruled offsides, giving the Hurricanes a key first down. Miami marched to 3rd-and-goal at the FSU 5, and Clement stepped back from the rush and found Green in the end zone with 2:29 left.
On the first play following the ensuing kickoff, Preston fumbled and Miami defensive end Kenny Holmes recovered at the 16. But Florida State's defense stiffened and Crosland's 26-yarder cut the deficit to four points at halftime.
The Seminoles took the wind and the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards for a touchdown, making it 27-16. On 3rd-and-13, Preston atoned for his fumble with a 15-yard catch, breaking four tackles to the Miami 2. After a procedure call, Preston ran three yards, then four more for the TD.
Against the wind with Green sidelined, Miami could get nothing going until late in the quarter, which ended with the Hurricanes on their own 40. On the first play of the final period, Miami gave away the wind when Clement fumbled.
Peter Boulware recovered for FSU but Bentley missed wide right on a field goal, keeping the 'Canes in it. Clement directed a drive to the Seminoles 20, but Wilson's sack set up fourth down and Clement's pass to Gerard Daphnis was two yards shy, giving Florida State possession at its 28 with 7:29 left. Preston's 33-yard run set up Busby's TD with 1:23 to go.
Florida State 34, Miami (Fla.) 16
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- Florida St (3) 17 3 7 7 34 Miami Fla (6) 0 16 0 0 16 FINAL Florida St-FG Bentley 48 Florida St-S Smith 54 fumble return (Bentley kick) Florida St-Dunn 80 run (Bentley kick) Miami Fla-Green 31 pass from Clement (kick failed) Florida St-FG Bentley 32 Miami Fla-Green 5 pass from Clement (Crosland kick) Miami Fla-FG Crosland 26 Florida St-Preston 4 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-Busby 1 run (Bentley kick) Florida St Miami Fla First downs 18 17 Rushed-yards 38-222 41-42 Passing yards 125 267 Sacked-yards lost 2-20 6-45 Return yards 79 0 Passes 8-18-0 20-31-1 Punts 2-59.0 3-41.7 Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2 Penalties-yards 7-49 5-31 Time of possession 24:08 35:52 Individual Statistics RUSHING: Florida St-Dunn 22-163, Preston 9-61, Busby 7-minus 2. Miami Fla-Ferguson 27-81, Mcmillan 3-8, Joseph 1-1, Clement 10-minus 48. PASSING: Florida St-Busby 8-17-0-125, Dunn 0-1-0-0. Miami Fla-Clement 20-31-1-267. RECEIVING: Florida St-Eg Green 2-44, Cooper 2-31, Pearsall 1-19, Preston 1-15, Abdullah 1-11, Warrick 1-5. Miami Fla-Green 8-157, Benton 3-29, Ch Jones 2-26, T Gaiter 2-23, Chambers 1-16, Daphnis 1-11, Joseph 1-3, Williams 1-3, Ferguson 1-minus 1. Att: 75,913