Warrick Dunn, grimacing as his left hand throbbed, leaned over as if assuming crash position while trainers anxiously checked his aching ribs.
"I'm really sore," he said later.
That sort of summed up the day for FSU. An easy win _ on this day, 44-7 over Wake Forest _ never hurt so much. Although the Seminoles clinched their fifth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title since entering the league in 1992 and a berth in the bowl alliance, their injuries are mounting.
In addition to Dunn, receiver Andre Cooper tore knee ligaments in warmups and cornerback Byron Capers broke the middle finger on his right hand, which hampered his ability to jam receivers at the line.
The Seminoles already had four starters out, including Thad Busby. He suffered a hairline fracture in his left (non-throwing) wrist the previous week, pressing redshirt freshman Dan Kendra into the starting lineup for the first time.
"I think I did well. I brought us a victory, and that's the most important thing," said Kendra, who completed 20-of-39 for 281 yards and three touchdowns, including a 42-yard juggling catch by Peter Warrick.
"My one concern before the game was, "Does he know the offense well enough?' " coach Bobby Bowden said of Kendra. "But I'm very pleased with his performance."
After a Dunn touchdown run, Demon Deacons tailback Morgan Kane burst up the middle for an 80-yard score. That was the longest run against FSU since Nebraska's Roger Craig went 94 yards for a touchdown in 1981.
To Bowden, it was a sign of how much the team missed injured tackles Andre Wadsworth and Connell Spain. Late in the third quarter, a late hit forced Dunn out and caused Bowden even more concern.
"Everybody's been out to stop me ... Everybody's been out to kill me," said Dunn, adding he would be ready the next week.