Sophomore quarterback Danny McManus completed 15 of 27 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown to lead 17th-ranked Florida State to a 17-13 victory over No. 10 Nebraska yesterday in Lincoln, Neb.
Nebraska (0-1) scored with only 1:40 gone in the game on fullback Tom Rathman's 60-yard touchdown run.
McManus brought Florida State (2-0) back with a 15-yard scoring pass to Darrin Holloman, and Derek Schmidt put the Seminoles up, 10-7, with a 20-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
The Cornhuskers regained the lead on a one-yard run by Doug DuBose with 8:05 to play in the half after Florida State three times held Nebraska at the one.
But the Seminoles retook the lead, 17-13, when Cletis Jones scored the game-winner on a two-yard run with 3:27 left in the half. That score was set up when Cornhuskers punter Dan Wingard tried to run after a bad snap and was tackled at the Nebraska six.
Nebraska's Dale Klein missed a 31-yard field goal with 10:08 to play and Paul McGowan intercepted McCathorn Clayton's pass with 3:59 left to stop second-half scoring threats by Nebraska.
"The fact we have played a (prior) game had a very definite impact," Seminoles Coach Bobby Bowden said. "They couldn't quite put the pieces together, which we learned last week. If they had played a game and we hadn't, I feel they would have won." Florida State beat Tulane, 38-12, last week.
In 96-degree heat that left the temperature on Nebraska's artificial grass at over 120 degrees, the Seminoles yielded 372 yards rushing to Nebraska, including 129 on 21 carries for DuBose, 113 on 12 carries by Rathman and 97 on nine tries for Clayton. But Florida State recovered two fumbles and intercepted one pass.
"The heat was terrible," Bowden said. "I thought it would be an advantage for us, because our boys were raised in that climate."
More than 100 people were treated at the stadium for heat exhaustion, including three Red Cross workers who tired carrying stretchers bearing other victims.
Florida State managed only 114 yards on the ground, topped by 73 yards on 12 tries by Sammie Smith. Punter Louis Berry continually left Nebraska with poor field position in the second half, kicking the ball out at the Nebraska four- and 12-yard lines in the third quarter.
The Cornhuskers lost their home opener for the second time in Tom Osborne's 13 years as head coach, but extended their NCAA record of sellouts to 137 games.