Florida State's "fastbreak" offense, which featured a hurry-up, no-huddle philosophy on many occasions during the past few seasons, was put away Saturday.
After a 34-20 loss to Miami two weeks ago, coach Bobby Bowden and his staff elected to pare down the offense. Quarterbacks Danny Kanell and Jon Stark often operated out of the shotgun formation, but many more plays started from the I formation than in the past.
And the offense huddled before every play.
"We wanted to get some more togetherness," said offensive coordinator Mark Richt, who said many plays out of the I-formation do not work as well without a huddle. "You have a better opportunity for more leadership. With the no-huddle, guys aren't in there talking to each other."
Said Bowden: "We tried to run the ball more to take the load off the quarterback."
Dunn helps the run
FSU made a concerted effort to run the ball more, and tailback Warrick Dunn responded. The sophomore from Baton Rouge, La., carried 17 times and was never stopped for a loss. He finished with 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Dunn became the first running back in 20 games to rush for more than 100 yards against Clemson. It was the second-best effort of his career, after 162 yards last year against Wake Forest.
And when Dunn came out for a rest, Rock Preston filled in nicely, with 10 carries for 43 yards.
"The rotation that we have keeps defenses off balance," Dunn said. "We don't lose anything when I come out of the ballgame."
In six games this season, Dunn has rushed for more than 100 yards three times.
In the other three games, he has just 74 yards combined but carried fewer than 10 times in each game.
Although FSU had its best defensive effort of the season, it came against one of the worst offensive teams in the ACC. Clemson is seventh in the league in total offense and last in passing.
"We made so many mistakes offensively," Clemson coach Tommy West said. "It's time for us to come of age. We have got to pick up the pace and quit making mistakes."
When Clemson's third-string quarterback, Patrick Sapp, made a late appearance, it made one FSU defender happy.
All-American defensive end Derrick Alexander, who played with Sapp at Jacksonville Raines High, saw it as a chance to play against a longtime friend. The problem, though, is Sapp (6-4, 230) is almost as big as Alexander.
"You're supposed to grab the quarterback and throw him down with one arm," Alexander said. "He's too big to throw down with one arm. He needs to play another position."
Alexander got his first sack of the season earlier against Louis Solomon, but failed to get a firm hold on Sapp.
"I'm just glad we won," said Alexander, who had been forced to listen to some trash talk from Sapp. "I'm glad I don't have to hear (Sapp) talk all that mess."
Top-rated QB visits
Bobby Sabelhaus, SuperPrep's top-rated quarterback, made an official visit to FSU over the weekend.
Sabelhaus (6-6, 223) threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior at Owings Mills (Md.) McDonough High. He also lists Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and Maryland as prospective schools.
Earlier this fall, Dan Kendra _ SuperPrep's No. 3 quarterback _ visited FSU.
McCorvey moves up
FSU receiver Kez McCorvey's 42 reception yards pushed him past former FSU All-American Lawrence Dawsey into fourth place on the all-time receiving yards list. McCorvey, who trails Mike Shumann by 155 yards for third place, has caught a pass in 25 straight appearances.
The most serious injury was to FSU tackle Forrest Conoly, who left in the first half and did not return because of a sprained right knee and ankle. McCorvey suffered another bruise to his left shoulder, tight end Melvin Pearsall had bruised ribs and safety Devin Bush suffered a sprained right ankle. . . . FSU's victory tied the ACC record for consecutive wins at 21. Maryland won 21 in a row from 1973 to 1975. FSU is 19-0 in homecoming games under Bowden. Conoly started at tackle in place of Todd Fordham. Defensive tackle Orpheus Roye started in place of Tyrant Marion, and nose guard Andre Wadsworth started in place of Connell Spain.
Up next: Duke
The Seminoles play Duke for first place in the ACC at noon Saturdayat Doak Campbell Stadium. The Blue Devils (7-0) defeated Wake Forest 51-26 Saturday.
_ BOB HARIG, JIM LAMAR