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GAME 7: FLORIDA STATE 49, GA. TECH 3 // Offense proves it can be better late

Not so long ago, if you arrived even a few minutes late for a Florida State game, you probably would have missed seeing a couple of touchdowns.

Not this year.

For the 7 p.m. start against Georgia Tech, you could have showed up by, oh, 8-ish and not missed a darn thing ... except offensive futility. That all changed in the second quarter as the FSU defense, offense and special teams combined for four touchdowns en route to a 49-3 win.

"It definitely took us longer (to get going), but we were expecting that," said Warrick Dunn, who rushed for a game-high 121 yards and one touchdown. "We didn't expect just to come out and have the game handed to us."

At the outset, the Seminoles did their best to hand it to their hosts. Thad Busby, fresh off his best day, threw an interception on the first play, leading to a Tech field goal.

He was picked off again on the first play of the second quarter, but the FSU defense turned the game around. Reserve linebacker Lamont Green, who injured a shoulder a few days earlier in practice and wasn't sure if he would play, intercepted a flare pass and returned it for a 56-yard touchdown.

"We knew we could make the big play in this game," Green said of the defense. "It just happened to be me that did it."

"So many times our offense has got off to a sputtering start and the defense has saved us," coach Bobby Bowden added. "That got our heads out of the noose."

On FSU's next possession, Rock Preston scored on a short run. The lead grew to 21-3 when Peter Boulware blocked a punt and safety Shevin Smith recovered in the end zone. Busby capped the outburst with 38-yard TD pass to Andre Cooper.

"We were killing ourselves," Busby said. "But everything just started coming together."