No. 1 Florida St. 46, Cent. Florida 14
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Pooh Bear Williams scored three touchdowns and Danny Kanell threw for two Saturday night as top-ranked Florida State took a 46-14 victory over feisty Division I-AA Central Florida.
Despite being outplayed for much of the first half, Florida State (4-0) took advantage of Central Florida’s problems in its kicking game to take a 23-7 halftime lead.
Central Florida (2-1) missed two field goal attempts and also surrendered a safety when an errant snap on a punt sailed into the end zone or they may have trailed by just a touchdown after the first half.
The Seminoles tacked on another safety in the third quarter when Central Florida quarterack Daunte Culpepper was called for intentional grounding in his own end zone.
Marquette Smith, who began his collegiate career at Florida State, scored both of Central Florida’s touchdowns on short runs and gained a game-high 121 yards.
Williams, the Seminoles’ 280-pound fullback, scored on a 2-yard run and also a 16-yard screen pass from Kanell _ the latter ending a scoring drought of more than 18 minutes for Florida State. Williams added a 3-yard TD in the third period.
Florida State was fortunate on its other first-half touchdown as well when Kanell’s pass went through the hands of Central Florida safety Kenton Rickerson and was caught by E.G. Green in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown on a play covering 8 yards that gave Florida State a 14-7 lead.
Central Florida enjoyed a brief tie early in the first quarter after Smith’s 1-yard scoring run. Smith, who transferred from Florida State two days after the Seminoles defeated Nebraska in the 1994 Orange Bowl to win their first national title, broke loose for a 68-yard gain in the second but that drive ended with a failed field goal try.
Green also scored on a 42-yard reverse in the final seconds of the third quarter to give the Seminoles a 39-14 lead and Warrick Dunn added a 2-yard TD to conclude Florida’s State’s scoring.
Kanell hit 20 of 30 passes for 232 yards before giving way to backup Thad Busby in the fourth quarter. Dunn finished with 100 yards on 17 carries. Dunn, seeking a second straight 1,000-yard season, has 505 yards in four games and is averaging 10.7 yards a carry.