Oct. 21, 2000
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Although No. 6 Florida State’s offense sputtered at
times Saturday, the defense was almost perfect in a 37-3 victory over Virginia.
“I don’t remember anybody stopping us cold like that, at least in the last
12 years,” Virginia coach George Welsh said. “We couldn’t run the ball worth
Florida State (7-1, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) forced five turnovers and
totaled five sacks while holding Virginia to just 199 total yards – 33 rushing.
“Our defense played about as good as it can,” Florida State coach Bobby
Bowden said. “It was hard to beat us with two freshmen quarterbacks.”
Freshmen Bryson Spinner and Matt Schaub handled Virginia’s quarterback
duties in place of senior starter Dan Ellis, who missed the game with a
hamstring injury. Spinner was 9-of-21 for 130 yards and sacked four times.
Schaub was 5-of-6 for only 36 yards and both were intercepted.
Florida State, meanwhile, had the country’s oldest quarterback leading the
way in 28-year-old Chris Weinke.
Snoop Minnis caught two touchdown passes and William McCray scored twice on
short runs and freshman Chance Gwaltney added three field goals as the
Seminoles extended the nation’s longest homefield unbeaten streak to 50 games,
including 33 straight wins.
Florida State has not lost at home since a 17-16 defeat to Miami in 1991.
Minnis, who had four receptions for 131 yards, caught scoring passes from
Weinke that covered 58 and 30 yards.
Gwaltney kicked field goals of 22, 36 and 25 yards for the once-beaten
Seminoles, who are trying to claw their way back into contention for a third
straight appearance in the national championship game.
“We know we have to win out,” said Minnis, who has 42 catches for 808
yards and five TDs this season. “We’re taking each game like it’s a playoff
game and it really is a playoff game because if we lose we’re out of it.”
The Seminoles took advantage of numerous Virginia mistakes early on their
way to a 27-0 halftime lead. In addition to the turnovers, Virginia had two bad
center snaps that resulted in losses totaling 60 yards.
Virginia (4-3, 3-2) avoided a shutout when David Greene hit a 37-yard field
goal early in the third quarter. The Cavaliers fumbled away a chance – on a bad
handoff – for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at the Florida State 1.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Welsh said. “We didn’t give ourselves a
Although Weinke and the offense were at times sluggish, Florida State still
rolled up 554 yards, including 426 in the air. The Seminoles, who lead the
nation in yardage, have rolled up over 500 yards in seven straight games.
“Our skill people were too much for them,” Bowden said. “It was a
guessing game who to throw to.”
Weinke was 16-of-28 for 274 yards in three quarters. Backup Marcus Outzen
was 6-of-7 for 152 yards.
Florida State scored in the opening 86 seconds when linebacker Tommy Polley
chased down an errant Virginia snap and ran 9 yards to the Cavaliers’ 1 to set
up McCray’s first touchdown.
“Anytime you can get a turnover at the beginning of the game it helps the
defense tremendously and it gives big momentum,” Polley said.
On Florida State’s next offensive series, Minor’s 67-yard run set up the
first Gwaltney’s field goal.
Bowden recorded his 311th career victory to move within three of Amos Alonzo
Stagg, who is fourth on the career list. Bowden also picked up his 67th ACC win
(against two losses) to move into second place in conference history, ahead of
former Clemson coach Frank Howard.
Bowden trails Welsh, who has 83.