Nov. 16, 1997
Dunn Sets Record as No. 3 Seminoles Destroy So. Miss., 54-14
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Warrick Dunn had 204 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to break the all-time school record as third-ranked Florida State roared past number 25 Southern Mississippi, 54-14, for its 10th straight win.
Thad Busby returned from a one-game absence to throw for 302 yards and two touchdowns for the Seminoles (9-0), who will face Maryland at Orlando, Florida next week before their November 30th showdown against top-ranked Florida.
FSU, Florida, Ohio State and Arizona State -- the top four teams in the nation -- all have 10-game winning streaks, the longest in Division I-A.
The point total was a season-high for the Seminoles, who allowed Southern Mississippi (8-3) just 95 total yards, including minus 13 on the ground. FSU had a safety in the second quarter, when it took control.
Dunn had five catches for 137 yards and a touchdown and 67 yards and two TDs on 11 carries. His 77-yard touchdown reception from Busby late in the third quarter gave him 47 TDs, breaking Greg Allen's school mark.
"Warrick Dunn was just amazing," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "I still think he'll be in the Heisman run. If you watch the guy play football, is there anybody better?"
Busby, who sat out last week's 44-7 victory over Wake Forest with a hairline fracture of his left wrist, was 17-of-31 with two interceptions. He gave way in the fourth quarter to Dan Kendra, who started last week and threw two more touchdowns tonight.
"I felt rusty in the first half," Busby said. "I wasn't throwing the ball well. It was a good win for us to put up some big numbers on offense. ... The wrist didn't give me any trouble tonight. I had no trouble with the snaps. It's a little sore."
"At first I thought I should have played (Busby) last week when he threw his early interception," Bowden said. "I thought he was cold, but I thought he plyed superb tonight."
Lee Roberts was 12-of-26 for 108 yards and two touchdowns for the Golden Eagles, who have dropped two in a row after a seven-game winning streak. Both of Roberts' TD passes came in the first 18 minutes, when Southern Miss played FSU to a 14-14 tie.
"We didn't do much of anything good," Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower said. "We hung in there and plaayed tough defensively, but offensively we never got anything going to keep our defense off the field. They re extremely fast, extremely quick on defense and we never bloccked them enough to get anything going with any onsistenccy."
The Seminoles took the lead for good with 5:04 left in the first half on a two-yard run by Rock Preston, who had 47 yards on six carries. Nose guard Jerry Johnson tackled tailback Harold Shaw in the end zone just 2:16 later, extending the margin to 23-14 at halftime.
"The key to the defensive effort tonight was the push we got up the middle," linebacker Daryl Bush said. "Jerry Johnson and Julian Pittman did an excellent job of clogging the middle. If you can hold an offense to negative rushing yards, you know you have done your job."
Dunn had a 15-yard touchdown run just over two minutes into the second half and Scott Bentley kicked a 32-yard field goal with 4:42 left in the third quarter before Busby and Dunn hooked up, pushing the lead to 40-14.
Kendra came on and threw touchdown passes of 16 yards to Ron Dugans and eight yards to Laveranues Coles under three minutes apart. Coles also caught an eight-yard TD pass from Busby in the first quarter after Dunn's four-yard TD run.
Florida State 54, So Mississippi 14
1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- So Mississippi (25) 7 7 0 0 14 Florida St (3) 14 9 17 14 54 FINAL So Mississippi-H Shaw 5 pass from Roberts (Lomoro kick) Florida St-Dunn 4 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-Coles 8 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) So Mississippi-Gideon 13 pass from Roberts (Lomoro kick) Florida St-Preston 2 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-Safety, H Shaw tackled in end zone Florida St-Dunn 15 run (Bentley kick) Florida St-FG Bentley 32 Florida St-Dunn 77 pass from Busby (Bentley kick) Florida St-Dugans 16 pass from Kendra (Bentley kick) Florida St-Coles 8 pass from Kendra (Bentley kick) So Mississippi Florida St First downs 7 26 Rushed-yards 29-M13 45-169 Passing yards 108 379 Sacked-yards lost 6-46 2-15 Return yards 79 61 Passes 12-29-1 21-35-2 Punts 10-37.6 4-38.8 Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1 Penalties-yards 4-37 7-50 Time of possession 28:19 31:41 Individual Statistics RUSHING: So Mississippi-H Shaw 16-17, Windsor 1-7, Bolware 2-5, Francis 3-4, Hamilton 1-0, Roberts 6-minus 46. Florida St-Dunn 11-67, Preston 6-46, P Williams 9-28, Kendra 2-17, Glenn 2-10, Feaster 6-5, Abdullah 2-5, Busby 6-0, Warrick 1-minus 9. PASSING: So Mississippi-Roberts 12-26-0-108, Gabriel 0-1-0-0, Windsor 0-2-1-0. Florida St-Busby 17-31-2-302, Kendra 4-4-0-77. RECEIVING: So Mississippi-Pinkston 3-39, Gideon 3-32, H Shaw 2-11, Francis 2-5, E Shaw 1-11, Lee 1-10. Florida St-Dunn 5-137, Warrick 4-87, Messam 4-54, Dugans 2-26, Coles 2-16, Eg Green 2-16, Abdullah 1-39, Pearsall 1-4. Att: 77,280