The Buffaloes were in danger of getting shut out for the first time since Nov. 12, 1988, at Nebraska, until Cody Hawkins found tight end Tyson DeVree in the back of the end zone on fourth-and-10 from the Seminoles 11 with 3:40 remaining.
That was the latest the Buffs had scored in their 225-game scoring streak, the longest in the Big 12. The Buffs' last whitewash at home was a 28-0 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 15, 1986.
After the score, the Buffs went for 2, but Hawkins' throw was high, and Richard Goodman recovered the onside kick for Florida State, which avoided its first 1-2 start since 1989.
Colorado lost star senior cornerback Terrence Wheatley to a knee injury late in the game. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury.
The Buffs (1-2) had hoped the returns of tailback Hugh Charles (knee) and freshman receiver Josh Smith, the talk of camp before bruising a kidney in preseason practice, would provide a boost, and they did - just not nearly enough to counter Florida State's vastly superior speed.
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden had said he wasn't concerned about the altitude in the Seminoles' first trip into the Rockies, and he was right not to worry.
What bothered the Seminoles much more was Colorado's scrappy defense that made just one big mistake when it allowed Antone Smith to burst through the line with nobody deep to help. The result was a 36-yard touchdown run that helped Florida State take a 10-0 halftime lead - the first time the 'Noles took a lead into the locker room since last Nov. 18 against Western Michigan.
The Seminoles thwarted the Buffs by using their safeties to shut down the run and relying on their speedy cornerbacks to take away Cody Hawkins' downfield receiving targets.
But the Florida State offense couldn't capitalize on the good field position it had most of the night.
A 44-yard punt return from Preston Parker and a 5-yard face mask penalty set up the Seminoles at the Buffs' 15-yard line in the third quarter, but Florida State was forced to settle for Cismesia's 27-yard field goal to make it 13-0.
After David Carr hauled in Drew Weatherford's 45-yard pass at the Colorado 27, the offense again stalled and Cismesia's 37-yarder made it 16-0 early in the fourth quarter.
Buffaloes kicker Kevin Eberhart, who replaced two-time All-American Mason Crosby this season, missed from 37 and 46 yards.
Josh Smith finally gained some separation and Hawkins hit him for a 38-yard gain over cornerback Michael Ray Garvin in the third quarter. But after the Buffs reached the Seminoles 13, they lost 16 yards on their next three snaps and Eberhart was wide left from 46 yards.
Eberhart pushed a 37-yard field goal wide right at the end of a 16-play first-quarter drive that chewed up 7 1/2 minutes. Although they had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, the Buffaloes showed Florida State - and, more importantly, themselves - that they could move to the ball.
It's just that they couldn't get it into the end zone or through the uprights until it was too late.
The Seminoles, who lost at Clemson in their opener and had to rally to beat UAB at home last week, have lost back-to-back road games just twice under Bowden.
The Associated Press News Service
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