TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State's Buster Davis picked a
great time for his first career interception.
A leaping grab by the 5-foot-10 linebacker set up a 4-yard
touchdown run by Joe Surratt with 1:56 left as the ninth-ranked
Seminoles rallied late to escape with a 24-17 victory Saturday over
The Seminoles (2-0) scored two touchdowns in the final 6:12 to
avoid what might have been the most embarrassing home loss in coach
Bobby Bowden's 31 years coaching at the school.
"I didn't begin to panic until ... the fourth quarter," Bowden
said. "It was like having a nightmare. Like having a bad dream."
But Davis got his coach, and teammate Chris Davis, off the hook
when he intercepted Omar Haugabook's third-down pass at the Troy 29
moments after Florida State had tied it at 17.
"We knew we had to get the ball back," the 240-pound Buster
Davis said. "We got a great pass rush and I think he hurried his
pass and I was able to make a big play."
Haugabook completed 28 of 46 passes for 219 yards, but was
intercepted three times, the last time with only seconds left when
linebacker Geno Hayes also came up with his first career pick.
"We couldn't close the deal," veteran Troy coach Larry
Blakeney said. "But we were very close."
Bowden thought his team might have been outplayed by the Trojans
of the Sun Belt Conference, just five days after an emotional
come-from-behind 13-10 win at archrival Miami.
"I couldn't believe what they were able to do with us," Bowden
said about Troy.
"They deserved to win it as much as we did. They might have
deserved it more than we did, but it didn't happen."
Drew Weatherford threw a 5-yard tying TD pass to Chris Davis,
whose muffed punt minutes earlier led to Troy grabbing the lead,
with 6:12 left.
"I knew I couldn't drop that one," Davis said. "I had to
catch that one."
Weatherford, who passed for 336 yards, also connected on a
17-yard scoring pass with Greg Carr that gave the Seminoles a 7-3
lead early in the second half.
After managing just 1 yard rushing against Miami in their
season-opening victory, the Seminoles again were stalled on the
ground. Florida State gained 45 yards on 28 carries, nearly all
coming in the fourth quarter.
"We weren't prepared or ready to play," said Weatherford, who
completed 30-of-43 and was intercepted once.
Freshman Antone Smith led Florida State with 25 yards rushing on
a half dozen carries and Lorenzo Booker added 18, also on six
Davis' muff with 12:54 left was recovered by Elbert Mack at
Florida State's 31 and Haugabook scored on a 1-yard run to give
Troy a 17-10 lead a minute and a half later.
"We didn't want any moral victories," Haugabook said. "A lot
of people didn't think we'd be this close."
Buster Davis, however, wasn't surprised the Seminoles struggled.
"Playing Miami on Monday and then turning around," he said.
"I don't care who you would have played on Saturday it was going
to be a tough victory."
Gary Cismesia, who had earlier missed from 39 yards, tied the
game at 10-10 with a 44-yard field goal with 4:04 left in the third
The Seminoles scored on their first drive of the second half on
Carr's leaping catch in the end zone.
But Troy (1-1), which was 4-7 last season, answered with an
80-yard scoring drive culminated by Haugabook's 3-yard touchdown
strike to Toris Rutledge.
Troy had its chances to put more points on the board.
Despite moving inside Florida State's 20 on three occasions in
the first half, the Trojans managed just one field goal -- a 39-yard
kick by Whibbs with 4:41 left in the second quarter that stood for
a 3-0 halftime lead.
Troy made it to Florida State's 3 on the game's opening drive,
but Roger Williams intercepted Haugabook's pass in the end zone
after it was first tipped by cornerback Tony Carter.
The Trojans had a second scoring opportunity moments later in
the first quarter, but Whibbs 31-yard field goal try was blocked by
Florida State's Everette Brown.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... A Joe Surratt 4-yard TD run with 1:56 left gave the Seminoles their come-from-behind seven-point win.
Gameball goes to... Drew Weatherford. The sophomore QB lead two fourth-quarter TD drives to bring No. 9 FSU back from the brink of an upset.
Stat of the game... 14-177. The two teams combined for 14 penalties, totalling 177 yards. That's nearly 13 yards per penalty, not your garden variety five-yard types.