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Kendra Delivers Solid Performance In First Start

November 11, 1996

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Bobby Bowden got a look at what could be Florida State’s future and liked what he saw.

Dan Kendra, a heralded redshirt freshman quarterback, made his first collegiate start and delivered a solid performance in the third-ranked Seminoles’ 44-7 rout of Wake Forest on Saturday.

``He’s got good athletic ability and did about like I thought he would,″ Bowden said. ``My one concern before the game was: `Does he know the offense well enough?′ But I’m very pleased with his performance.″

Don’t look for him in the lineup next week against No. 25 Southern Mississippi, though. Thad Busby, who sat out Saturday because of a hairline fracture in his left (non-throwing) wrist, is still the No. 1 quarterback.

``He might have earned some more playing time, but he hasn’t played himself into a situation where we’re going to have a quick trigger with Thad,″ offensive coordinator Mark Richt said. ``Thad has done too many good things for us.″

Kendra threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns without an interception against the lowest-ranked defense in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Seminoles (8-0, 7-0 ACC) outgained Wake 401 yards to 186.

Peter Warrick, Melvin Pearsall and E.G. Green caught TD passes, while Warrick Dunn scored twice on the ground as Florida State clinched its fifth straight ACC title to stay on course for a regular season-ending showdown with top-ranked Florida.

``On a scale of 10, I’d give myself a five,″ said Kendra, who had only seen action in mop-up roles before Saturday. ``I brought us a victory, and that’s the most important thing.″

But the lopsided result didn’t answer all the questions Bowden has about his team. The Seminoles haven’t been nearly as explosive on offense as he is accustomed to this season.

``I don’t think we can beat people down the road unless we improve,″ the coach said. ``We have to get a lot more consistent.″

The loss was the seventh straight for Wake Forest (2-7, 0-6), which agreed to move the game from Winston-Salem, N.C., to the Florida Citrus Bowl for a $1.2 million payday.

The Demon Deacons avoided a shutout with Morgan Kane’s 80-yard touchdown run, and were encouraged by the way they played against Florida State’s ``fast break″ offense after falling behind 28-7 at the half.

``When they went with their no-huddle, it was somewhat tiring,″ cornerback D’Angelo Solomon said. ``But after a while, you get a feel for it and things start to slow down.″

Coach Jim Caldwell couldn’t fault the effort of his undermanned team, which has been outscored 281-58 during its losing streak.

``With the exception of a few plays ... our guys played tough,″ he said. ``I am not satisfied with the outcome, but our guys didn’t quit.″

Florida State has games remaining against Southern Mississippi and Maryland before facing Florida on Nov. 30. The Seminoles have won the ACC every year since joining the league in 1992, compiling a 38-1 conference record.

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