"It was like having a nightmare where I was trying to run, but I couldn't move my legs," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "I'm trying to scream, but my voice didn't work, then you wake up yelling, I actually had one of those last week.
"But, that's the way I felt. We'd stop them, and the they'd deflect a pass, then go in their half and score a touchdown. We'd get a big run, and then fumble it (the ball). We were overthrowing wide open receivers."
The same formidable FSU defense that held Miami to 10 points on Labor Day appeared unprepared following the short week. For the game, the Seminoles allowed 271 yards passing but just 24 on the ground.
Named national defensive player of the week for his 12-tackle performance against Miami, Buster Davis was one of the standout defenders Saturday. He garnered eight tackles against the Trojans and picked up a key interception late in the game when the Tribe was nursing a seven-point lead.
"My team feeds off what I do," Davis said. "A guy caught a pass off of me and I give him credit for it – it was one heck of a catch. I felt that I needed to go make a big play to get my team back even."
Along with what appeared to be a sub par performance from the front seven compared to last week's game, the 'Nole defense was victim to a few key injuries.
Defenders Emmanuel Dunbar, Paul Griffin, Letroy Guion, and Derek Nicholson were helped off the field during play due to injuries. As of press time the severity of the injuries are unknown.
"It was kind of disheartening," FSU starting defensive tackle Andre Fluellen said, "but it made me play even harder. Just to play for them because they can't be out there."
The other side of the ball had its share of problems Saturday night as well, before coming together for the win in the fourth.
FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford completed 30 of 43 attempts with one interception en route to notching 336 yards through the air.
"Our quarterback was not hot at all in the first half," Bowden said, "then he came out in the second half and got pretty accurate with his throws and we caught the ball. The closest to a plus for our running game (was) at the end, (when) we ran the ball from the nine, and that was encouraging."
The home squad improved its rushing statistics from its last contest, nabbing 45 yards running after putting up just one against the 'Canes. It still leaves room for obvious improvement before the Seminoles face Clemson Saturday at 7:45 p.m. This time, the team has a full week to prepare for the opponent.
"One of the big things is that you play your big rival Monday night, then play a team on Saturday that you are 30 point favorites over," Bowden said. "You don't even get their film in until Tuesday afternoon, so you can't look at them. So, we didn't practice hard Wednesday or Thursday because we just didn't feel like we could.
"We had a hitting contest on Monday and you can't afford to have another one on Wednesday or Thursday. So, we just really weren't prepared. I don't think the kids were really mentally prepared for tonight."
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