Nov. 4, 2000
No. 4 Florida St. 54, No. 10 Clemson 7
By EDDIE PELLS
AP Sports Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — They call it tough love, and Bobby Bowden doled out
a bundle to his son Tommy on Saturday night.
Chris Weinke threw for 521 yards and No. 4 Florida State rolled to a 54-7
victory, turning Bowden Bowl II into a complete embarrassment for No. 10
Clemson and coach Tommy Bowden.
“I felt bad, I really felt bad,” Bobby Bowden said after improving to 2-0
in the father-son coaching matchup.
“But the only thing I could tell him is that I’ve been through it. I said,
`You’re young. You ought to go through it.’ I know exactly how he feels and
there’s not a thing you can say or do when something like this occurs.”
The Seminoles (9-1, 7-0) improved to 37-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference games
at home, and clinched the ACC title for the ninth straight time.
Clemson (8-2, 6-2) lost its second straight after an 8-0 start, and will
spend an off week soothing egos. The Seminoles finished with 771 yards, the
most ever allowed by Clemson, and drilled home just how far Tommy Bowden’s
rebuilding project has yet to go.
Somebody asked Tommy if he still loves his daddy after such a beating.
“Yeah,” he said. “But not as much.”
Because there is very little to build on after a loss like that. It’s unlike
last season, when Clemson led by 11 at halftime before falling 17-14 to the
Seminoles in Death Valley, where Bobby Bowden earned his 300th career victory.
“I didn’t predict this,” said Tommy’s mother, Ann, who watched with mixed
feelings from a luxury box, wearing a shirt with garnet and gold on one side
and Clemson’s burnt orange on the other.
“But Bobby felt like if we played as good as we could, it could end up like
Of course, winning is one thing, and pouring it on is another.
That’s what Bobby Bowden seemed determined to do, as he left Weinke in to
lead the Seminoles to their 47th point, then kept his starting defense in to
prevent what would have been a consolation touchdown.
“Did we keep him in in the fourth quarter?” Bowden asked innocently about
Weinke. “Yeah, that might have been too long.”
When the starters finally came out, Clemson had basically quit anyway.
FSU backup Davy Ford broke an 82-yard touchdown run that left Tommy Bowden
in shock, kneeling on the sideline, head in hands as the Florida State crowd
chanted, “Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?”
It was a victory that should impress poll voters, and surely keep Florida
State well in the race to defend its national title. The Seminoles will try to
cap a seventh perfect ACC season next week against Wake Forest (1-7), before
closing the regular season Nov. 18 against No. 6 Florida.
“They throw very talented, fresh bodies at you for 60 minutes,” Tommy
Bowden said. “We can eventually get to that level, but obviously, we have a
ways to go.”
And Bobby Bowden has only one piece of advice for his son.
“You’ve just got to recruit and keep recruiting,” Bobby Bowden said.
“That’s the only thing you can do.”
Florida State’s excellence may have been defined by Weinke’s 98-yard
touchdown pass to Snoop Minnis in the first quarter.
Using a wonderful play-action fake in which he stood flat-footed in the end
zone with his back to the line of scrimmage, Weinke turned suddenly and fired a
laser downfield to Minnis, who had the fooled Clemson defensive backs beaten by
It was an easy sprint to the end zone from there, as Weinke and Minnis broke
the record for Florida State’s longest touchdown pass, set by Jimmy Jordan and
Kurt Unglaub in 1976, Bobby Bowden’s first season at FSU.
“That’s called a `gym’ play,” Bowden said. “That means we don’t work on
it outside where someone might see it. We work on it in the gym. It worked, and
we had a feeling it would.”
The touchdown gave Florida State a 10-0 lead. More telling – it offered a
textbook example of the way good teams respond to bad breaks, stealing the
momentum Clemson had just gained when punter Jamie Somaini nailed a 74-yard
kick to the Seminoles’ 2.
Clemson had other chances to be competitive, but squandered most of them.
Trailing 10-7 in the first quarter, the Tigers used a good punt return to
take over on Florida State’s 18. After three plays netted minus-2 yards, Tommy
Bowden called a fake field goal, but it fooled nobody.
Late in the first half, Jason Holloman recovered a fumble in Florida State
territory. Clemson quarterback Woody Dantzler answered with an interception on
the next play.
The Tigers opened the third quarter with a nice defensive stand, but
Dantzler fumbled on the first play after the punt. Florida State drove 50 yards
and Randy Golightly scored his second touchdown to put the Seminoles ahead
“They’re a good team, but we’re are own worst enemy,” Tommy Bowden said.
Dantzler played the first 2 1/2 quarters despite the sore left ankle that has
limited him the last two weeks. He finished 7-for-21 for 91 yards.
Weinke completed 27 of 43 passes and has 3,490 passing yards this season,
breaking Thad Busby’s single-season record.