Nov. 23, 1996
Dunn and No. 3 Seminoles Trounce Maryland, 48-10
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Warrick Dunn ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns to become the school's all-time rushing leader as third-ranked Florida State remained unbeaten with a 48-10 Atlantic Coast Conference rout of Maryland at Pro Player Park in Miami.
Thad Busby threw two touchdown passes for the Seminoles (10-0, 7-0 ACC), who have won 11 consecutive games heading into next week's showdown with top-ranked Florida.
"We played good enough to win, but not good enough to win next week," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "If we play the same next week as we did today, we'll be in for a long day."
Ohio State's loss to Michigan should vault Florida State to second in the polls and the winner of next week's game will have the inside track to the national championship.
"There's never been an FSU game bigger than this one," Bowden said. "Everyone will be interested in the outcome -- people from Hawaii, New York, all over the country will be watching the outcome."
Dunn carried 16 times, including touchdown runs of 13 yards in the second quarter and nine yards in the third period to boost his career total to 49, a school record and second all-time in the ACC behind North Carolina's Ted Brown.
Dunn boosted his career total rushing yardage to 3,774, moving past Greg Allen (3,769) to become FSU's all-time leader. It was his 20th career 100-yard game and he needs just five more yards to join Brown and North Carolina's Amos Lawrence as the only ACC backs with three 1,000-yard seasons.
Busby was 10-of-16 for 152 yards and one interception. His TD passes of 37 yards to E.G. Green and 44 yards to Peter Warrick came 7 1/2 minutes apart in the first period and gave FSU a 14-7 lead.
But Busby suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee late in the first half and was helped off the field. He said afterward that he would play next week.
"I was feeling pretty good out there and then this thing happens," Busby said. "But that's why we have backups."
"Any time you play a team like Florida you want things to be perfect," Green said. "Sometimes, that's not going to happen."
Dunn departed in the third period after the Seminoles built their lead to 34-10. Dan Kendra replaced Busby and was 9-of-15 for 141 yards, including a 30-yard scoring pass to Wayne Messam. Rock Preston stepped in for Dunn and ran 26 yards for a score in the fourth quarter.
"When I saw Rock come out and get me, I knew I wasn't going to play anymore," Dunn said. (Breaking the record) is like having a monkey off my back. The offensive line was really glad."
It was a "home" game for Maryland (5-5, 4-4), which agreed to move the contest to Miami in exchange for a lucrative payoff. The Terrapins surrendered 34 unanswered points, were outgained 496-186 and lost to Florida State for the seventh time in as many meetings.
"We played an outstanding football team," said Maryland coach Mark Duffner, whose quarterbacks were sacked eight times. "The best defense we've seen FSU put on the field since we played them. Their line rush was the biggest part of the ballgame."
Brian Cummings was 13-of-28 for 194 yards for Maryland. His TD pass of 31 yards to Troy Davidson gave the Terps a surprising 7-0 lead just 2:32 into the game.
After Busby's two touchdown passes, Maryland cut it to 14-10 on a 41-yard field goal by Joe O'Donnell with 11:35 to play in the second quarter.
Geroy Simon caught four passes for 74 yards for the Terps. Green had three catches for 88 yards for the Seminoles.