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No. 2 Florida State Is Doing It With Defense

Atlantic Coast: Defense sacks North Carolina's Keldorf eight times in a 13-0 victory.

September 29, 1996|From Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — No longer should Florida State be thought of only as having one of the nation's most explosive offenses.

This season, the No. 2 Seminoles are making big plays with their defense.

Florida State, which has the nation's top-ranked defense, sacked North Carolina's Chris Keldorf eight times Saturday and its special teams blocked two punts and a field goal in a 13-0 Atlantic Coast Conference victory which ended the No. 11 Tar Heels' winning streak at six games.

North Carolina (3-1, 1-1) was held to 187 yards total offense by Florida State (3-0, 3-0), which is giving up only 157.7 yards a game.

"You ended up with two sluggers out there knocking the heck out of each other," Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden said. "It was one of those games you were so happy with your defense and kicking game."

North Carolina's deepest penetration came in the third quarter when it reached Florida State's 33 before punting.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything like it," North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. "They make the plays."

Keldorf was 16-of-35 for 147 yards and spent most of the game played in a driving rainstorm under tremendous pressure from Florida State's relentless front line. Defensive ends Peter Boulware and Reinard Wilson combined on 4 1/2 sacks and have teamed for 11 of Florida State's 20 this season.

"I thought Chris Keldorf showed great courage because they've got the two best ends, probably in college football," Brown said. "Those two guys are really hard to block."

It was the first shutout since 1994 for the Seminoles and the first time since 1989 the Tar Heels have been held scoreless.

Both of Scott Bentley's field goals were set up on blocked punts by sophomore safety Dexter Jackson.

The Seminoles' only touchdown--Warrick Dunn's 11-yard run with 2:45 left in the first half--came one play after North Carolina freshman defensive back Dre' Bly fumbled while running back an interception. It was Bly's fifth interception of the season.

Florida State managed 213 yards as junior quarterback Thad Busby passed for only 65 yards and was intercepted twice.

"They've got great athletes," Busby said about North Carolina's defense. "A little luck helps, and a great defense."

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