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    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    FSU-Florida: 1996

    November 30, 1996 - For only the fourth time in college football history two undefeated teams met in the regular season finale and Florida State tailback Warrick Dunn saved his best for last in leading the second ranked Seminoles to a 24-21 win over top ranked Florida.

    With the wind gusting at over 20 mph in Tallahassee, FSU used a career high 185 yards rushing by Dunn and a brilliant defense, which registered six quarterback sacks, to run its record to a perfect 11-0 and cash in a ticket to the Sugar Bowl and the national championship game.

    The record crowd of 80,932 braced for the fourth quarter of the No. 1 vs. No. 2 match up and it would prove to be a nail biter.

    After Florida missed a second game tying field goal from 41 yards out with 12:03 to play, the Seminoles began an 11 play, 75 yard drive into the wind that would prove to be the game winner. FSU took over on the Gators' 25 and faced a third and six with momentum on the Gators side.

    Busby, who completed 12 of 32 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown in the game, hit his biggest play of the day when he found Warrick across the middle for a 29 yard gain to keep the drive alive.

    The Seminoles converted their next third down as well when Dunn raced through the Gators for 18 yards before being knocked out at the one yard line. The last of three straight carries by Williams gave Florida State a 24-14 lead with 7:15 left to play.

    Wuerffel, who would finish the day with 362 passing yards (23 of 48) and three touchdowns despite constant pressure from the FSU pass rush, led his team to the 50 on their next drive. But his fourth down pass attempt failed and it set the Seminoles up at midfield.

    UF allowed just one yard on three snaps and then took over for its last possession at the 20. Florida converted two third downs of its own on an eight play, 80 yard drive that ended when Wuerffel found a leaping Reidel Anthony in the endzone from a yard out to make it 24-21 with 2:28 left.

    Florida State never let Florida have the ball back and ran out the clock to preserve its second perfect season in school history.

    FSU's defense held Florida to just 81 yards rushing for the game and set the Tribe up for a national championship showdown in the Sugar Bowl.

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