The quarterback of Florida State's future got a good bit of playing time, and if there is one thing coach Bobby Bowden discovered about Thad Busby on Saturday, it is that the redshirt freshman still has a lot to learn.
FSU's 59-20 victory over Duke at Doak Campbell Stadium gave Busby his first substantial playing time.
He entered the game for starter Danny Kanell late in the third quarter and completed 5 of 11 passes for 72 yards, including a 33-yarder. He also had one pass intercepted and scored on a 1-yard run.
"It's a learning process," Bowden said. "You see how much they're not ready. It's up here (pointing to his head.) We had some checks, and he didn't get them.
"He's got the arm. I wish he could handle everything right now. But you just don't do that overnight."
Bowden had been hoping to get a better look at Busby, who this week passed backup Jon Stark and moved into the No.
2 quarterback spot.
"I feel like I'm a lot closer than maybe he (Bowden) thinks," Busby said. "I feel I'm going to keep getting better. I really enjoyed just getting in there after knowing all week I was going to play. When you're sitting on third team, it's very hard to stay focused."
End zone buster
'OMar Ellison seemingly has been around forever. He's one of the few fifth-year seniors on the team, and it took him until Saturday to score his first touchdown. He caught two touchdown passes from Kanell, the first for 24 yards after eluding two Duke defenders.
"I got in position," said Ellison, who caught five passes for 122 yards. "I closed my eyes and I got a present."
His friend, Kez McCorvey, had a big yardage day, catching 10 passes for 207 yards.
"I pick on 'Omar," McCorvey said. "I say, "The end zone just resists you. You get in there and it spits you back.' But he's my friend and I'm more happy for him than I am for me. That's my highlight today."
Dunn clears mind
Warrick Dunn had 89 yards on just eight carries, including a 32-yard touchdown run. But he spent a significant time during the second quarter on the bench after fumbling on a fourth-and-1 play.
The Seminoles were at the Blue Devils' 9-yard line when they pitched to Dunn, who dove and was hit by Duke's Ray Farmer. The ball scooted out and was returned 39 yards by John Zuanich.
"I didn't wrap it up," said Dunn, who was replaced by Rock Preston the next three series. "They took me out to clear my mind. It bothered me a lot. I would have done the same thing. I want to learn from my mistakes."
Dan Mowrey was tabbed FSU's kicker this week after Scott Bentley missed two short field goals last week against Clemson and an extra point three weeks ago against Miami.
So what happens? Mowrey butchered an extra point after FSU's first touchdown. Mowrey, a senior, missed 13 extra points out of 91 attempts going into this year, which ultimately cost him his job last season to Bentley.
"It's unbelievable," Bowden said. "There's something in the water around here that makes you miss kicks."
Bowden asked if Mowrey missed any the rest of the game. When told that Mowrey made his remaining six extra-point attempts and a 28-yard field goal, Bowden replied in jest: "I love him."
If there was a sore spot for FSU, it was special teams. In addition to Mowrey's missed extra point, punt returner James Colzie struggled. His longest return this season is 26 yards, and he fumbled twice Saturday, one of which resulted in Duke's first touchdown.
He was replaced by McCorvey, who returned two punts for 10 yards, and freshman Samari Rolle, who returned three for 19 yards.
End of drought
Before Kanell's 6-yard touchdown pass to Andre Cooper in the first quarter, the Seminoles had gone two straight games without throwing for a score.
The Seminoles travel to Atlanta for an ACC game against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets (1-6) were idle Saturday.
_ BOB HARIG