Open and shut: No. 1 FSU cruises past Kansas, 42-0 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

August 29, 1993|By New York Times News Service

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The moral of the story is that we all should listen to our legends.

Gale Sayers, the most famous football player in the history of the University of Kansas, underestimated the impact of a game against Florida State when he offered the opinion that a 40-0 loss could create discouragement at the start of a long season. He missed by two points.

Florida State's 42-0 victory in the 11th Kickoff Classic yesterday at a steamy Giants Stadium became the showcase that the Jayhawks had worked to prevent.

The Seminoles, who were ranked No. 1 in both preseason polls for the second time in three seasons and the third time in five, took an impressive first step in the direction of the school's first national championship.

Florida State's fast-break offense, the no-huddle pace from a shotgun formation that has evolved to make use of the talents of quarterback Charlie Ward, produced the largest margin of victory in the history of the event and a Kickoff Classic record of 538 total yards.

Ward completed 16 of 26 passes for 194 yards. Tailback Sean Jackson ran for touchdowns of four and 30 yards, and threw a 40-yard option pass to Kevin Knox to set up another score. Backup tailback Marquette Smith, whose performance became more important after a serious preseason knee injury suffered by Tiger McMillon, led the Seminoles with 105 of Florida State's 258 rushing yards.

The defensive unit, which had been set back by two serious knee injuries in the secondary, provided encouraging answers to nit-picking questions.

The Seminoles stopped Kansas in a memorable and extended goal-line stand in the second quarter, when the Jayhawks were unsuccessful on four runs from the 1-yard line with a chance to come within seven points.

But Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said he couldn't be sure if the questions about the defensive unit had been answered fully.

"It only answered it today," Bowden said. "I don't think Kansas is quite strong enough a football team to answer questions that we're going to need answered."

Jayhawks coach Glen Mason agreed. "Our offense was inept today, at best," said Mason.

Ward's services weren't needed long, as he left in the third quarter. "I'm not the kind of person that's going to tell coaches to leave me in the game to make my nose look good," Ward said. "I'm always risking injury. I was all for coming out in the third quarter. If I can continue to do that, I'll be a happy man."

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