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No. 2 FSU Avoids Getting Stung

Florida State was about to see its hopes of winning another national title fall apart in the second week of the season. But Chris Weinke didn't come back to school to let that happen.

The 28-year-old senior threw for a career-high 443 yards and a couple of touchdowns as the No. 2 Seminoles escaped a major upset by holding off Georgia Tech 26-21 on Saturday night.

Florida State (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended its winning streak to 14 in a row and improved its conference record to 63-2 since joining the ACC in 1992.

Georgia Tech (1-1), a 22-point underdog, lost its ninth in a row to the Seminoles but received a rousing cheer from the home fans after its final drive ended in Florida State territory.

After passing up a chance to enter the NFL draft, Weinke became Florida State's career-leading passer with 6,433 yards. He was 25-of-38 against Tech, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Robert Morgan with 12:58 remaining that put the Seminoles ahead.

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Game Summary

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  • Weinke, who hooked up with Javon Walker on a 68-yard TD in the first quarter, drove the Seminoles to another score on William McCray's 1-yard run with 7:45 to go.

    George Godsey, who shared the quarterback duties with Jermaine Crenshaw, capitalized on a roughing the passer penalty to thrown a 27-yard TD to Jon Muyres with 4:50 left. Tech stopped the Seminoles and faced fourth-and-3 at the FSU 40.

    Godsey attempted a pass across the middle to Kerry Watkins, who appeared to be hit early by Stanford Samuels. But the officials didn't throw a flag and Florida State ran out the clock.

    Georgia Tech, which lost to Florida State 41-35 last year with Heisman Trophy runner-up Joe Hamilton at quarterback, used both Godsey and Crenshaw to keep things close once again.

    Crenshaw, a third-year sophomore playing his first game at that position, was rotating with Godsey on just about every play in the third quarter, a system tat confused the Seminoles and led to a 13-play, 63-yard scoring drive. Joe Burns went over on an 8-yard run and Tech led 15-12 after a 2-point conversion with 3:17 remaining in the third.

    Godsey ran the team through most of the fourth quarter, completing 13 straight passes and finishing 18-of-32 for 189 yards. Crenshaw was 4-of-5 for 30 yards and led the team in rushing with 36 yards on nine carries.

    Weinke easily broke his previous career high, a 354-yard performance at Wake Forest last year.

    Florida State dominated statistically in a penalty filled game, outgaining the Yellow Jackets 536-298. Yellow was the predominate color of the night, as Tech was penalized 19 times for a school-record 140 yards and Florida State 15 times for 114 yards.

    The nation's top two teams both survived close calls. No. 1 Nebraska won at Notre Dame earlier in the day, 27-24 in overtime.

    The game started with all the makings of a Florida State rout.

    The Seminoles drove 73 yards on their first possession before stalling at the Georgia Tech 4, settling for Chance Gwaltney's 21-yard field goal. Florida State went all the way to the end zone the next time it got the ball, as Weinke hooked up with Walker on the 63-yarder.

    Walker got behind safety Jeremy Muyres, who would have been called for interference except that the receiver still managed to catch the ball and hobble across the goal line after spraining his right ankle on the play.

    At that point, the Seminoles defense got in on the scoring. Godsey was sacked in the end zone by Jamal Reynolds to push Florida State to a 12-0 lead with 3:03 still remaining in the first quarter.

    The Yellow Jackets had been outgained 200-0 when Crenshaw, listed as the third-team quarterback, went in late in the first quarter. He ran for 15 yards on his first play and gave his team a spark of life.

    But Tech's biggest play was provided by the defense, which took advantage of Florida State's decision to give Weinke a breather. Backup quarterback Marcus Outzen tried a pass along the left sideline and Marvious Hester stepped in for the interception, returning it 50 yards for a touchdown with 9:04 left in the second quarter.

    Amazingly, the Yellow Jackets went to locker room trailing only 12-7 even though they been outgained 318-104 in total yardage.

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