The third quarter was ending, and fourth-ranked Florida State was losing, 20-10, to unranked but undefeated Kansas.
Coach Bobby Bowden then decided to replace senior quarterback Kirk Coker with freshman Chip Ferguson, who had never thrown a pass in a college game.
All Ferguson did was lead the Seminoles to a 24-20 victory over Kansas at Tallahassee, Fla., the 150th win of Bowden’s coaching career.
“The thing we kept telling ourselves was, ‘Let’s don’t panic--yet,’ ” Bowden said after his team improved to 4-0. Kansas dropped to 3-1.
“We knew we could panic any minute. . . . Coker is a five-year senior who knows more about what he’s doing. But Ferguson can probably do more once he knows what he’s doing.”
Four plays after taking control, Ferguson connected on a 68-yard touchdown pass play to freshman Phillip Bryant to cap an 81-yard drive and close the Jayhawks’ lead to 20-17.
Cornerback Martin Mayhew intercepted a pass by Kansas quarterback Mike Norseth four plays later, setting up a six-yard run by freshman tailback Victor Floyd for the game-winning touchdown.
“I was a little nervous,” Ferguson said. “The crowd helped me out a lot. All the players and the seniors and stuff, they settle you down.”
Norseth ran his Big Eight record to 175 passes without an interception but threw four in the second half. On Kansas’ last possession, cornerback Eric Williams stole a Norseth pass to end the Jayhawks’ hopes.
Oklahoma St. 45, Miami, Ohio 10--At Stillwater, Okla., tailback Thurman Thomas scored four touchdowns to lead No. 7 Oklahoma State.
Thomas scored on a 58-yard punt return just 1:44 into the game, and added touchdown runs of 3, 1 and 1 yards as the Big Eight Conference Cowboys boosted their record to 3-0.
Miami of Ohio, from the Mid-American Conference, dropped to 1-2.
Miami tailback George Swarn, ranked No. 6 in the country in rushing with an average of 156.5 yards coming into the game, was held to just 7 yards in 12 carries but did catch a team record-tying 10 passes for 94 yards.
Thomas, the nation’s No. 2 rusher, finished with 90 yards in 23 carries. The sophomore tailback is averaging 156 yards per game. He averaged 214 yards in his first two games, running for 237 and 190 yards.
North Texas State 22, Kansas State 10--Quarterback Mike Rhone ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Smith kicked two field goals in nonconference game at Manhattan, Kan.
Tom Middaugh blocked a punt to add a safety for the North Texas State, which evened its record at 2-2.
The loss was the second for Kansas State (0-4) since interim coach Lee Moon took over after Jim Dickey’s resignation.