October 11, 1999 - by
Florida State Spreads Ball Around Against Miami

Oct. 11, 1999

By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Fans checking the statistics from Florida
State’s
31-21 victory over Miami might have wondered if they were reading the right
summary.

Florida State’s first three touchdowns were scored by a track star, a
reserve running back and a walk-on.

The track star, Germaine Stringer, a speedy, little-used fifth-year
senior
with just 12 catches before Saturday, caught three passes for 80 yards,
including a 48-yard TD 3:47 into the game.

The backup running back, Jeff Chaney, had a 3-yard TD run with 4:20
left in
the first quarter. The walk-on, Ryan Sprague, scored the first touchdown of
his
career.

“It was important being able to spread the football around,” Florida
State
quarterback Chris Weinke said after throwing for 332 yards and two touchdowns,
finding 11 different receivers along the way. “We were going to find out what
kind of team we were and I think we showed it.”

And Florida State’s defense woke up early in the second quarter, shutting
down Miami in the final 40 minutes of the game as the Seminoles shook off the
effects of star receiver Peter Warrick’s legal troubles to win for the fifth
straight time over longtime nemesis Miami.

Suspended indefinitely after his arrest on a grand theft charge, the
All-American wide receiver went on national TV moments before Saturday’s
kickoff and apologized. Then Warrick watched his teammates have all the fun.

“We can’t stop the show,” said senior wideout Ron Dugans, who caught five
passes for 80 yards. “Football is a team game.”

Sprague’s 18-yard touchdown catch that tied the game at 21 was his
first at
any level of competition.

“You could say it was just another catch, but it wasn’t,” Sprague said.
“It was a great feeling.”

And Dugans came through with a key 54-yarder that set up Travis Minor’s
clinching 2-yard touchdown with 9:55 left in the game. Minor had 146 yards on
25 carries.

It was easy to tell that many of the Seminoles were tired of the fuss
over
Warrick.

“I don’t want to talk about Peter at all,” Weinke said. “This football
team showed up and played and won. They got the job done.”

Top-ranked Florida State (6-0) has not only beaten Miami (2-3) five
straight, but hasn’t lost at home in 44 games, winning their last 27 at Doak
Campbell Stadium.

“I’m just glad to be here after the stuff that happened to us last week,”
said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who won his 298th game, and improved
his
record with the Seminoles to 11-13 against Miami.

“Miami was a lot better than I thought they were,” Bowden said. “They
came here with more firepower than I thought. They were very well prepared for
us.”

Miami scored its points in the first half, with Kenny Kelly throwing TD
passes of 8 yards to Reggie Wayne and 80 and 14 yards to Santana Moss. The
Hurricanes finished with 448 yards, but were held to 166 in the second half by
a defense that almost gave away the game in the opening 30 minutes.

Kelly completed 27 of 41 passes for 370 yards. Moss finished with nine
catches for 180 yards.

Bowden gave Weinke credit for taking a leadership role usually
reserved for
Warrick, who coined this year’s theme that appears on the front of the
Seminoles’ practice T-shirts: “TEAM – It’s not about me.”

“He looked serious when he was practicing,” Bowden said. “He was stepping
forward and making statements that I hadn’t seen him making, such as `Let’s do
this!”‘

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