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    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    Nole Bowls: 1996 Orange Bowl

    1996 Orange Bowl: FSU 31 Notre Dame 26

    Danny Kanell threw two fourth quarter touchdown passes to lead Florida State to a 31-26 come from behind win over Notre Darne in the final Orange Bowl game played in the historic stadium.

    Kanell hit E.G. Green with an 11 yard scoring strike, then flipped a 3 yard touchdown pass to Andre Cooper with 6:09 left in the game to give the Seminoles an NCAA record 11th straight bowl win and a top four finish in the AP poll for a record ninth straight season.

    Florida State's offense tested the Fighting Irish through the air and on the ground. Kanell completed 20 of 32 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns, while Warrick Dunn rushed for 151 yards on 22 carries. However, it would take a dramatic fourth quarter comeback to give the Seminoles the win.

    Notre Dame opened the scoring in the first quarter with a perfect 39 yard scoring strike from Tom Krug to Derrick Mayes. FSU tied the score when Cooper collected a 15 yard scoring pass from Kanell with 6:08 left in the quarter.

    Trailing 10-7 after a Notre Dame field goal, Kanell found Cooper in the endzone from 10 yards out to give the Seminoles a 14-10 lead at halftime.

    Mayes regained the lead for the Irish in the third quarter on an acrobatic tip and catch in the endzone over FSU defender Samari Rolle with 8:04 left.

    Notre Dame grabbed the momentum over the third quarter and threatened to run away with the game when Kanell stepped on the back line of the endzone while trying to throw for a safety. Notre Dame scored again just two minutes later on a five yard pass to give the Irish a 10 point lead with just under 11 minutes left in the third quarter. FSU did not score in the third quarter and would not score again until under 10 minutes left in the game, but the Seminoles came on strong with 17 points over the final few minutes of the game.

    Kanell used just five plays to cover 73 yards and his touchdown pass to Green with 9:47 left revived the FSU offense. The Tribe defense held Notre Dame without a first down on its next possession and a 30 yard punt return by Dee Feaster set the Seminoles up at the Notre Dame 30. Six plays later Kanell hit Cooper with a TD and then found him for a two point conversion to give the Seminoles the lead.

    FSU's defense forced the Irish into a fumble and a safety on their last two possessions to preserve the win and push Florida State's all time record against Notre Darne to 3-1.

    FSU's Cooper was named MVP after setting an Orange Bowl record with three touchdown catches. Wayne Messam led all FSU receivers with 103 yards on six catches, while Green had 99 yards on five receptions.

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