Oct. 25, 1997
Seminoles Start Hot, Cruise to 47-21 Win Over Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Thad Busby threw for three scores and true freshman Travis Minor made the most of his first collegiate start by combining for 227 yards and three touchdowns as third-ranked Florida State routed Virginia, 47-21, in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
Busby, who was 18-of-39 for 285 yards, had scoring passes of 38, 74 and 42 yards for Florida State (7-0, 4-0 ACC). The last of those TD tosses was to Minor, who carried 17 times for 159 yards and added six catches for 68 yards.
"We really came ready to play tonight," said Busby. "We started off on fire. It was a great way to start the game and get their crowd out of it."
Minor opened the scoring with an 87-yard touchdown run on the game's first play from scrimmage, helping Florida State race to a 21-0 lead. The Seminoles avenged their lone conference blemish in winning their 15th straight ACC contest.
"It feels great to able to contribute when I was called upon," said Minor. "I felt really good out there and the line did a really good job. Every time I scored, the line made some great blocks."
"I'm very pleased with what Travis Minor did," said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.
Germane Crowell, who had five catches for 163 yards, was one of the lone bright spots for Virginia (4-3, 3-2), which was held to minus-nine yards rushing.
After Minor's burst opened the scoring, Busby pushed the lead to 14-0 on a 38-yard touchdown toss to Peter Warrick 3:22 later. The Seminoles made it 21-0 just 2:30 thereafter when Busby found E.G. Green for a 74-yard scoring strike.
Florida State built its 21-0 lead 6:16 into the contest by running just five offensive plays that averaged 40 yards a pop.
"I can't remember that happening -- a start that hot where we got every break," added Bowden.
"It is awfully tough against that defense," said Virginia coach George Welsh when asked about rallying from 21 points down. "We would have been all right if we wouldn't have given up some other easy ones. They executed very well."
Virginia battled back with a 6-yard TD run by Thomas Jones but gave a pair of points back when quarterback Aaron Brooks stepped out of the back of the end zone for a safety. The Seminoles, up 23-7 at the end of the first quarter, continued to pound the Cavaliers defense.
Fullback Khalid Abdullah's one-yard touchdown run capped a seven-play, 34-yard drive to push the Florida State lead to 30-7. Busby extended that advantage just over five minutes into the second half when he found Minor with a 42-yard scoring toss.
Dan Ellis attempted to rally the Cavaliers with a one-yard scoring run and 15-yard scoring strike to Ahmod Hawkins 2:25 apart. But the Seminoles iced the game with a six-yard touchdown run by Minor and a 34-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski in the fourth quarter.
Seminole defensive lineman Jerry Johnson and Andre Wadsworth combined to record 14 tackles, including six of the team's nine sacks.
"The offense gave us a huge spark to start the game," Wadsworth said. "It was great to see them get off to such a big start and take Virginia right out of the game. The only bad thing about it was that we kept having to back on to the field."