Sept. 6, 1997
Florida State Gets Past USC
LOS ANGELES - Dee Feaster capped a 98-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run as number five Florida State survived a huge scare before pulling out a 14-7 victory in Los Angeles against 21st-ranked Southern California in the season opener for both teams.
Feaster's yards were the only ones on the ground for Florida State in the game-winning drive. His score came with 10:40 remaining. Thad Busby, who was 19-of-39 for 276 yards and an interception, was 5-of-8 for 94 yards on the march.
Florida State waited until third down before making yardage, when Busby's completion to Peter Warrick got the Seminoles a first down by about a foot. Busby then connected with E.G. Green on a 46-yard pass to take the ball from deep in FSU territory to the USC 41.
Green has caught at least one pass in 28 straight games, two short of matching the school record shared by Ron Sellers and Lawrence Dawsey.
Florida State, playing against a Pac-10 school for the first time since 1984, improved to 4-1 against the conference, with the other four games coming against Arizona State. The Trojans' last meeting with an Atlantic Coast Conference school had been a 20-19 loss to North Carolina on August 29th, 1993.
The Seminoles were playing a season opener on the road for the first time since a 31-0 loss to Miami in 1988. Under Bobby Bowden, Florida State is 19-3 in season openers, including its last such defeat, a 30-26 loss in Jacksonville in the 1989 season starter against Brett Favre and Southern Mississippi.
The Trojans fell to 54-16-7 in home openers and lost for the seventh time in their last 28 games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Florida State started the scoring on a one-yard sneak by backup quarterback Dan Kendra, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound moose who was used in short-yardage situations, midway through the first quarter.
The score was set up when defensive end David Warren forced DeLon Washington's fumble and defensive end Roland Seymour recovered on the USC 36. Busby was sacked by linebacker Chris Claiborne, but completed a seven-yard pass to Warrick on second down and a 19-yarder to Damian Harrell on 3rd-and-11, bringing the ball to the USC 18.
Busby threw an 17-yard pass to Laveranues Coles on the next play before Kendra took over and ran in for the opening score.
USC tied the score 78 seconds into the second quarter when quarterback John Fox scored on a two-yard run on 4th-and-1.
The drive started at the FSU 30 after linebacker Jason Steen blocked a punt by Keith Cottrell and Ryan Tyiska recovered. Malaefou MacKenzie had a five-yard gain and a three-yard loss before Fox threw a 17-yard pass on 3rd-and-8 to R. Jay Soward.
Fox was sacked by defensive end Andre Wadsworth for a four-yard loss on the final play of the first quarter and a false start made it 2nd-and-goal from the FSU 20. Fox threw an 18-yard pass to Billy Miller and Washington carried for no gain before Fox's successful keeper on 4th-and-1.