Oct. 27, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 5 ranked Florida State Seminoles (7-1, 6-0 ACC) practiced indoors on Monday evening in preparation for this weekend’s match-up against Notre Dame (2-5). The team held practice indoors due to the rainy weather and allowing players to heal from injuries. Practice was spent correcting mistakes from the Wake Forest game and preparation and also working against Fighting Irish scout teams.
“We practiced indoors tonight due to the weather and the minor injuries we have,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “We’ve got a few boys limping around so some of our guys will be getting treated for minor injuries. Tuesday’s practice will be normal though.”
The Seminoles are coming off a 48-24 victory over Wake Forest to remain undefeated in conference play, while Notre Dame fell to future ACC member Boston College 27-25. The Fighting Irish have lost five of their last six games and their only two wins of the season came at Pittsburgh (20-14) and against Washington State (29-26). Earlier in the season Notre Dame running back Julius Jones set a school record with 262 yards rushing at then-No. 15 Pittsburgh on October 11th.
“Overall we had a good performance against Wake Forest, offensively, defensively and in the kicking game, continued Bowden. “We still have some mistakes we need to correct.”
This will be the sixth meeting between the Seminoles and Fighting Irish. Florida State leads the all-time series 3-2, which dates back to 1981. Notre Dame won last year in Tallahsassee by a final score of 34-24. Anquan Boldin led all receivers with 175 yards, while the Seminoles racked up 325 yards passing. FSU is 1-1 at Notre Dame, winning 19-13 in 1981 and losing 31-24 in 1993. Florida State has won both neutral site meetings, 23-16 in Orlando in 1994 and 31-26 in the 1996 Orange Bowl.
“I can’t tell much of a difference in them (Notre Dame), said Bowden. “They play a lot harder at home than they do on the road, so we’re going to catch a really fired up Notre Dame team that will be after the win.”
Florida State’s Leon Washington and Ernie Sims were named ACC Players of the Week following their performances against Wake Forest this past weekend. Washington broke a 29-year old school record with 159 yards on seven punt returns against Demon Deacons on Saturday. The 159 yards was only eight yards shy of tying the ACC record of 167 yards set by Clemson’s Don Kelley against Maryland in 1970. Ernie Sims recorded a career-high ten tackles (seven solo) in the Seminoles win. The outside linebacker was second on the team in tackles against the Deacs and led the ‘Noles with four intimidations and added 1.5 third down stops.
“I thought they both played winning football, which is essential from here on out,” Bowden said. “We’re mighty pleased with our young players.”
FSU travels to South Bend, Indiana this weekend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. and will be carried live on NBC.