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Florida State Has That No. 1 Look, 57-0 : ACC: No. 21 Clemson suffers its worst defeat in 62 years as the Seminoles roll up 634 yards.

September 12, 1993|From Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Clemson's Ken Hatfield examined the wreckage Saturday, not too sure how good his conqueror might be.

"Florida State is legitimate," said Hatfield after watching the top-ranked Seminoles vanquish his Tigers, 57-0. "They have talent and they have the Charlie Ward dimension. A player like him doesn't come along too often."

Ward passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns as Florida State punished Clemson with its worst defeat in 62 years and its worst ever in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"It was just one of those days where everything worked," Ward said. "We're peaking during the game."

Ward, yet to play in the fourth quarter in three games this season, completed 25 of 33 passes, and sophomore backup Danny Kanell threw for two scores. Derrick Brooks blocked a punt that was recovered for a touchdown and returned a fumble 83 yards for a score.

"Brooks might be the best defensive player in the country," Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden said. "When we play that kind of defense, we'll be hard to beat."

The Seminoles have outscored their first three opponents, 144-7, the best start in school history. Ward has completed 70% of his passes and extended his personal string to 150 passes without an interception.

Florida State (3-0 overall, 2-0 ACC) extended its winning streak to 10 games.

"They're the best team I've ever played against," Clemson receiver Jason Davis said. "They're No. 1 and proved why they deserve it."

Clemson, which held the ball for more than 20 minutes in the first half, couldn't capitalize on Florida State's early mistakes. The Seminoles, the ACC's most penalized team, were penalized five times and lost two fumbles as they went the last 12 minutes of the half without scoring.

"A little cold spell," Bowden shrugged. "But they got tired chasing Charlie, and that really took it out of them."

Clemson watched its best scoring opportunity vanish when Rodney Blunt failed to score on four attempts from the Florida State four.

The Seminoles scored twice early in the second quarter without Ward on the field. Kanell completed a 78-yard touchdown pass play to Lonnie Johnson and Brooks blocked a punt on Clemson's next offensive series that Clifton Abraham recovered for a touchdown and a 23-0 Florida State lead.

Johnson also caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Ward, who teamed with four receivers for scores. He completed touchdown passes of 16 yards to Warrick Dunn and 12 yards to Wayne Messam.

The Seminoles rolled up 634 yards against the Tigers before a record home crowd of 74,991. Florida State has averaged 600 yards per game this season.

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