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Florida State Stops Virginia

Atlantic Coast: Seminoles beat the Cavaliers, 45-14, and near their seventh consecutive league title.

November 08, 1998|From Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden was worried at halftime Saturday, plenty worried.

"It was kind of shaky," Bowden said after watching his sixth-ranked Seminoles run away in the second half to a 45-14 victory over No. 12 Virginia. "We had a touchdown lead and we're without our quarterback."

Virginia Coach George Welsh, on the other hand, was hopeful at halftime after Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke had been knocked out of the Atlantic Coast Conference game because of a neck injury.

"I thought at the half we had a good chance to win," Welsh said.

"We knew we were 30 minutes away from something good or something bad," said Florida State tailback Travis Minor, who ran for 130 yards and a touchdown. He was one of seven Seminoles to score.

Florida State's celebrated defense lived up to its reputation, keeping Virginia in its territory throughout the second half.

Bowden, who picked up his 290th victory on the night before his 69th birthday, challenged the defense.

"Coach Bowden told them 'If Virginia doesn't score, we win,' " said Weinke, who spent the second half in the trainers' room. "They took it to heart."

Senior safety Dexter Jackson made two of Florida State's four interceptions that set up touchdowns.

"After you throw an interception, old 'mo' changes real quick," Welsh said.

Virginia (7-2 overall, 5-2 in the ACC) didn't get into Florida State territory in the second half as quarterback Aaron Brooks suffered through a miserable game, passing for only 96 yards and throwing three interceptions.

Florida State (9-1, 6-1) can now win its seventh consecutive league title with a victory next week at Wake Forest.

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