Nebraska scored first following a 3-yard touchdown run from halfback Keith Jones, opening up a 7–0 lead with 9:31 left in the first quarter. With 1:15 left in the opening stanza, Dana Brinson fielded a punt, and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, for Nebraska to open a 14–0 lead.
Florida State got on the board, after quarterback Danny McManus threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Herb Gainer, cutting the lead in half. With 4:48 left in the first half, running back Dayne Williams scored from 4 yards out, to tie the game at 14. With 44 seconds left in the half, McManus connected with Gainer on a 25-yard connection, marking their second hook-up of the game, and the Seminoles took a 21–14 advantage into halftime.
With 11:41 left in the third quarter, Nebraska's Steve Taylor notched the equalizer, rumbling in from 2 yards out, tying the game at 21. Florida State settled for a field goal, and claimed a 24–21 lead with 7:49 left in the quarter. With just 40 seconds left in the quarter, running back Tyreese Knox scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, giving Nebraska a 28–24 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Nebraska got the ball back on its own 26 yard line. Following a methodical drive, they managed to move all the way to the FSU 2-yard line for a first and goal. Knox took the handoff, looking for a sure touchdown, when a defender forced a fumble at the goal line, recovered by Florida State. Following 10 plays, on an 82-yard drive, Florida State had moved to the Nebraska 15. McManus threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ronald Lewis to give Florida State the clinching 31–28 score.