Dec. 26, 2003
Miami, FL –
The ninth-ranked Florida State football team practiced 12 periods Friday afternoon at Barry University. This is the Tribe’s first Orange Bowl practice in Miami. The team arrived in North Miami Beach, FL today as they continue to prepare for their New Year’s Day meeting with 10th-ranked Miami, the 48th meeting in the rivalry.
“I think the teams are looking forward to the game and I know the players are,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “It’s fun playing Miami. It has been fun for them lately that’s for sure. Miami/FSU is amazing. It’s not a mean game but it’s as intense as any game.”
The Hurricanes have won the last four meetings between the teams after losing five straight to FSU from 1995-1999. No current Seminole has ever beaten Miami and this will be the last shot for the Seminole seniors to get a win over the Hurricanes.
“They (Miami) have been a thorn in my side ever since I came to FSU,” said Bowden. “In 1976 they were as bad as we were and I think we played them in the second game of the season. I thought we would finally get a win. It ended up like 47-0 for Miami. They have been tough on us ever since we started to play them.”
This will be quarterback Chris Rix’s fourth game as a starting quarterback versus UM. He is coming off two of his best performances of the year against NC State and Florida. In his last two games, the redshirt junior has gone 29 of 51 for 439 yards and five touchdowns.
“I think he (Rix) has gotten better every year,” said Bowden. “He was better his second year than he was in his first. He was better in his third year than he was in his second and he’ll be better in his fourth year than he was in his third. He is so spectacular at times but at other times he makes mistakes. I think he is doing that less and less.”
No Seminole player missed the Orange Bowl trip due to academics but a few have had difficulty making it down to Miami. Alex Barron, Lorenzo Booker, Bobby Meeks, Eric Broe, Travis Johnson and Ray Willis all were delayed on their way down to south Florida but all are expected to arrive tonight and be at Saturday morning’s practice.
“I think five or six players got stranded on their way down here,” said Bowden. “Several of our guys from California and Texas couldn’t get down here for practice. There’s probably five or six on the way.”
The Tribe will return to Barry University Saturday, December 27 as they continue preparations for the Orange Bowl. For all the latest news on the 2004 OB or Seminole football please log on to the official athletic site for the Florida State University Department of Athletics at www.seminoles.com.