Florida State Scores Last 17 Points To Edge Notre Dame, 31-26, For 10th Straight Bowl Win
MIAMI, FL--Danny Kanell threw four touchdown passes, including three to Andre Cooper, as Florida State scored the final 17 points and continued its postseason dominance with a 31-26 win over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl at Miami.
Eighth-ranked Florida State (10-2) won its 10th straight bowl game and is unbeaten in its last 14 at 13-0-1. The Seminoles won at least 10 games for an NCAA record ninth straight season.
"I was afraid of Notre Dame," said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. "I was afraid of Notre Dame, especially Lou Holtz. He is a master at preparing his team. Our kids rose up. This team was so close to having the year we were supposed to have -- we had two bad quarters all year."
Sixth-ranked Notre Dame (9-3) had its six-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-4 in bowl games under Lou Holtz.
"Florida State is a great football team," said Holtz. "They played as well as they have all year. We have no alibis, I felt we had a chance until the very end. It was an outstanding game."
Kanell threw a pair of touchdowns in a 3:38 span of the fourth quarter to erase a 26-14 deficit. He found E.G. Green for an 11-yarder with 9:47 left.
Kanell completed 20-of-32 passes for 290 yards.
"We wanted to win it for Coach Bowden so badly because at the end of the season we struggled a little bit," Kanell said. "I just kept my head. I wanted to come out strong. There was a lot of pride on the line. This was my last game so I wanted to come out and play strong win or lose. They were an excellent team, we knew that. We knew it was going to be a battle to the end."
On the next possession, Green caught a 21-yard pass on 4th-and-5 to the 4-yard line and Kanell later followed with a 2-yard scoring strike to Cooper, who set an Orange Bowl record with his third touchdown catch. Cooper, who had just four receptions in the game, then caught the two-point conversion pass. The touchdown followed a 41-yard punt return by Dee Feaster to the Irish 30.
The 17-0 run concluded when Tom Krug of Notre Dame was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety.
Warrick Dunn of the Seminoles carried 22 times for 151 yards, including 98 in the first half. The four touchdown passes by Kanell are also an Orange Bowl record.
Krug threw three touchdown passes, including two long strikes to Derrick Mayes. Krug connected on passes of 39 and 33 yards to Mayes, who beat defensive back Samari Rolle each time, and added a five-yarder to tight end Pete Chryplewicz.
"I didn't think we had the game wrapped up," Krug said. "We knew they were capable of coming back quickly. We tried to keep scoring and keep scoring since we knew they could come back and score. You throw the ball up in an area and you know he's going to bring it down. It's a great feeling when you know you can relax back and throw and 99 percent of the time he's going to catch it no matter where it is."
Mayes outleaped Rolle for his second score with 8:04 left in the third quarter to give the Irish a 17-14 lead. Krug kept the drive alive with a four-yard run on fourth-and-three to the Seminole 32.
Krug was 14-of-24 for 140 yards while Mayes had six receptions for 96 yards.
Notre Dame tacked on a safety early in the fourth quarter. A 44-yard punt by Hunter Smith was downed at the 1-yard line and Kanell then stepped out of the end zone while rolling out to pass. Notre Dame moved downfield after the ensuing free kick and the drive ended with the touchdown pass to Chryplewicz.
Kanell threw a pair of touchdown passes to Cooper to help Florida State post a 14-10 halftime lead.
Cooper made a leaping catch over two defenders in the end zone with 2:30 left in the half to give the Seminoles their first lead at 14-10. The flanker also caught a 15-yard scoring strike from Kanell midway through the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7.
Notre Dame struck first when Mayes beat Rolle with 8:27 left in the first quarter. Scott Cengia added a 20-yard field with two seconds in the first quarter.
Mayes returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter, but the score was called back by an illegal block.
"I wish all the scores could have been traded for a win," said Mayes. "I came here to be a winner, hopefully the younger guys could pick up where I left off."
At The Orange Bowl January 1, 1996 Attendance: 72,198
Florida St (8) 7 7 0 17 - 31 Notre Dame (6) 10 0 7 9 - 26
ND--Mayes 39 pass from Krug (Cengia kick) FSU--Cooper 15 pass from Kanell (Bentley kick) ND--FG Cengia 20 FSU--Cooper 10 pass from Kanell (Bentley kick) ND--Mayes 33 pass from Krug (Cengia kick) ND--Safety. Kanell stepped out of end zone ND--Chryplewicz 5 pass from Krug (Cengia kick) FSU--E Green 11 pass from Kanell (Bentley kick) FSU--Cooper 2 pass from Kanell (Cooper pass from Kanell) FSU--Safety (Krug, intentional grounding in end zone)
FSU ND First downs 26 17 Rushes-yards 37-188 45-256 Passing yards 290 169 Sacked-yards lost 3-24 1-11 Return yards 60 35 Comp.-Att.-Int. 20-33-2 15-26-1 Punts 3-44.0 5-42.4 Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1 Penalties-yards 7-59 7-55 Time of possession 28:13 31:47
RUSHING: Florida St.-Dunn 22-151, Preston 6-55, P. Williams 2-7, Abdullah 2-2, Kanell 5-minus 27.
Notre Dame-R. Farmer 7-93, A. Denson 11-67, Edwards 14-55, Krug 11-45, M. Thorne 1-4, Sollman 1-minus 8.
PASSING: Florida St.-Kanell 20-32-2-290, Dunn 0-1-0-0.
Notre Dame-Krug 14-24-1-140, D Smith 1-1-0-29, Edwards 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Florida St.-Messam 6-103, E Green 5-99, Cooper 4-38, Dunn 2-19, P Williams 2-17, Abdullah 1-14.
Notre Dame-Mayes 6-96, Chryplewicz 3-18, Edwards 2-25, Stafford 2-14, Mosley 1-13, R. Farmer 1-3.