Florida State Rises to the Challenge to Beat LSU : South: No. 1 Seminoles rally from early 13-0 deficit for 27-16 victory.

From Associated Press

Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong early in the game for top-ranked Florida State. Then the Seminoles dug deep and came back from a 13-point deficit to beat Louisiana State, 27-16, in a steady, heavy rain Saturday night.

Florida State (8-0) was favored by almost four touchdowns over LSU (3-4).

“The Michigan game, we won on talent,” Coach Bobby Bowden said. “The Syracuse game, we won on talent. Tonight, we won on character.


“At halftime, I told our team it was probably the most important 30 minutes of their lives.”

Amp Lee ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Casey Weldon. It was his fifth 100-yard rushing day in eight games this season.

Linebacker Kirk Carruthers said he felt at halftime that the defense would be the key to the game.

“We felt that we didn’t play too good in the first half,” Carruthers said. “We knew if we could hold them to no points in the second half, our offense would start clicking and we would eventually win the ballgame.

“The second half was the best defense we’ve played all year.

“We had a lot of things going against us--the weather, the crowd, the breaks, but we overcame the obstacles, rose to the occasion and dominated.”

Lee scored on a dive over the line in the second quarter, caught the touchdown pass in the third quarter, and capped his night with a sprint around left end for one yard and his final score with 10:14 left in the game.


Florida State took its first lead, 21-16, on a one-yard plunge by William Floyd with 45 seconds gone in the final quarter.

LSU took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, the first time Florida State has been shut out in the first quarter all season.

LSU scored on a 63-yard pass from Chad Loup to Todd Kinchen on the second play of the game. Florida State cornerback Terrell Buckley bit on a pump fake, and by the time he recovered, Kinchen had him beaten by 10 yards and headed down the left sideline.

Pedro Suarez kicked field goals of 35, 27 and 41 yards to make it 16-7 at halftime.

“They handled adversity tonight,” LSU Coach Curley Hallman said. “It was the first time they’ve been put in that situation all season, but they handled it.”,

At least six Florida State players were knocked out of the game for at least a series. Tackle Kevin Mancini tore ligaments in his left knee. Weldon strained ligaments in his right knee and had to leave midway through the third quarter, but he returned to finish.