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Florida State 27, Nebraska 14

By
LES KJOS

MIAMI -- Charlie Ward threw two touchdown passes in the first half in the Orange Bowl Friday night and third-ranked Florida State held on through a second-half rain for a 27-14 victory over No. 10 Nebraska.

Ward, who will switch to basketball as the Seminoles starting point guard at Virginia Wednesday, threw touchdown passes of 25 yards to freshman Tamarick Vanover and 4 yards to Kez McCorvey in the first half. Dan Mowrey added field goals of 40 and 24 yards.

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Florida State, 11-1, won its eighth straight bowl game and improved to 11-0-1 over its past 12 bowls while Nebraksa, 9-3, suffered its sixth straight bowl defeat. The Seminoles defeat Nebraska in 1988 and 1990 in bowl games.

Ward's touchdown passes and Mowrey's field goals staked the Seminoles to a 20-0 first-half lead. Nebraska scored with 1:03 left in the first half on a 41-yard pass from freshman Tommy Frazier to Corey Dixon to make it 20-7 at halftime.

Florida State's Sean Jackson added an 11-yard burst over left guard with 4:52 left in the third quarter to increase the cushion to 27-7. Nebraska closed to 27-14 on a 1-yard pass from Tommy Frazier to tight end Gerald Armstrong with 10:24 left in the game.

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Ward completed 15 of 30 for 187 yards. Jackson carried 17 times for 101 yards.

Vanover's first-quarter touchdown finished off an eight-play, 75-yard drive. A 5-yard facemask penalty and a 15-yarder for roughing the passer moved the ball to the 25. Vanover slanted toward the post and grabbed Ward's pass over cornerback John Reece on the 3 and dived in for the score.

Mowrey's 40-yard field goal was set up by a 29-yard reverse by Vanover and a 28-yard handoff and pass from running back Sean Jackson to Ward down the left sidelines.

On the second play after the kickoff, Frazier threw a wild pitchout which Florida State defensive end Dan Footbman recovered on the 2. The Cornhuskers pushed the Seminoles back to the 4, but then Ward found McCorvey all alone in the end zone to make it 17-0 with 9:22 left in the second quarter.

Mowry's 24-yard field goal with 2:34 left in the half finished off a 70-yard, 10-play drive.

Dixon scored Nebraska's first TD, fighting defensive backs Corey Sawyer and John Davis for the ball. The receiver took it off Sawyer's helmet for the touchdown.

Nebraska had two other scoring opportunities in the second quarter, but Byron Bennett missed field goal tries from 23 and 20 yards out.

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Jackson's touchdown finished off a 16-play, 85-yard drive in the rain that consumed 7:48 of the third quarter. The big plays were passes by Ward of 10 yards to Shannon Baker and 14 to Jackson.

Armstrong's touchdown for the Cornhuskers capped a seven-play, 70 yard drive. A 37-yard pass from Frazier to Dixon put the ball on the 1 and set up the score.

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