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Florida State Storms Past Duke : ACC: Top-ranked Seminoles don't let sloppy conditions slow them down, 45-7.

September 05, 1993|From Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. — Bobby Bowden looked up at the sky and shook his head.

Even a downpour that left the field a sea of mud couldn't slow No. 1 Florida State and Charlie Ward on Saturday night as the Seminoles rolled over Duke, 45-7.

"I thought it was probably one of the worst things we could see, because we are better off under good weather conditions," the Florida State coach said. "We don't want to play in the snow, or ice, hail, sleet, wind or rain. But we got one of them."

Ward completed 22 of 31 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for another score as the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions devastated the Blue Devils along the line of scrimmage in winning their ninth consecutive league game.

"Charlie was in control all the way," Bowden said. "It would be like a fighter that just wins every round. He won every round tonight."

Sean Jackson complemented Ward's passing with 107 yards in 13 rushes, and the Florida State defense held Duke without a rushing yard in the first half. The Seminoles, who beat Kansas, 42-0, last week, missed a second shutout when the Blue Devils blocked a punt late in the fourth quarter and scored two plays later.

"Charlie Ward is every bit as good as he is billed to be," Duke Coach Barry Wilson said. "He was awfully sharp on a very sloppy, wet football field."

The game was delayed 15 minutes because of lightning and heavy rain. But the Seminoles (2-0, 1-0 ACC) scored on their first possession and applied the knockout punch with a 22-point second quarter to hand the Blue Devils their 14th consecutive league loss.

Ward fired a perfect 32-yard scoring pass to streaking Tamarick Vanover to cap an 84-yard opening drive.

Blue Devil quarterback Joe Pickens didn't appear too rusty after not playing in more than two years, completing his first two passes.

But two crushing sacks late in the opening quarter seemed to rattle the Ohio State transfer. Pickens ended up giving way to last year's starter, Spence Fischer, in the second half after completing six for 21 passes for 53 yards.

"The big thing is we deflected passes, we sacked the passer, we harassed the passer, made him throw when he didn't want to, and really put the pressure on their passer," Bowden said. "They couldn't put pressure on our passer. They're not fast enough. We got speed, they don't have the great speed."

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