Photo courtesy of Florida State University
In more than seven decades of football, a Florida State quarterback has thrown for more than 500 yards just three times.
Twice, it was done by Chris Weinke. On this day 20 years ago, Weinke passed for more yards than any FSU quarterback ever. Weinke threw for 536 yards in a 63-14 win over Duke.
Setting the Stage
Florida State was coming off its first loss in 17 games as it returned home to take on Duke on Oct. 14, 2000. The Seminoles were coming off a heartbreaking 27-24 loss to Miami and looking to begin a new winning streak.
Duke had been a traditional punching bag for FSU and the rest of the ACC. The Blue Devils arrived with a record of 0-5 and had not played a game decided by fewer than 16 points.
Weinke had passed for a career-high 496 yards in the week prior against Miami. Weinke would equal that, plus 40.
Before the first quarter had ended, Florida State had a 28-0 lead and Weinke already had three touchdown passes. At halftime, FSU led 42-0 and Weinke had thrown four touchdown passes to four different receivers.
Catching touchdowns from Weinke in the contest were Robert Morgan, Anquan Boldin, Atrews Bell and Marvin Minnis. Weinke would find Bell for the second time on a 48-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.
With the scoring strike, Weinke broke Bill Cappleman’s school-record for passing yards in a game. Cappleman passed for 508 yards against Memphis State in 1969.
But that wasn’t the only record the touchdown pass marked. The touchdown toss to Bell was the 66th of Weinke’s career, surpassing Georgia Tech’s Joe Hamilton for the most in ACC history.
Scoring touchdowns on the ground that night for the Seminoles were fullback William McCray and running backs Travis Minor and Davy Ford. Freshman cornerback Rufus Brown put the exclamation point on the win with a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.
During the 2000 season, Weinke would have three of FSU’s four highest single-game passing totals en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. Weinke passed for 521 yards later in the season in a 54-7 win over Clemson.
Since Weinke’s record-breaking night, only E.J. Manuel and Jameis Winston have come within 100 yards of his total. The record was set on this night two decades ago.