October 6, 1998
#8/9 Florida State at Miami
Saturday, October 10, 1998, 3:30 p.m.
Orange Bowl (72,319), Miami, FL.
SETTING THE SCENE: No. 8/9 (AP/USA Today) Florida State (4-1, 2-1 ACC) heads south for their annual non-conference battle with Miami (3-1, 1-1 Big East). The Seminoles are ranked fourth in the ACC in total offense (403.2 pg) and first in total defense (212.2 pg).
Tailback Travis Minor is the second-leading rusher in the ACC with 85.0 yards per game and receiver Peter Warrick ranks third in the league with 97.2 receiving yards per game. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who tied an FSU record with five field goals at Maryland, leads the nation in FG with a 2.6 per game average.
The Seminole defense has been dominating, allowing opponents to convert on third down just 22.5 percent of the time – the best in the league.
THE OPPONENT: Miami (3-1) tuned up for FSU with a 53-17 conference victory at Rutgers Saturday. In that game, QB Scott Covington threw for 312 yards and hit Santana Moss, who was on the receiving end for 146 of those, for three scores. Edgerrin James ran for 129 yards on just 15 carries and two touchdowns. The Hurricanes lone loss was a 27-20 overtime contest against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Miami is averaging just over 44 points a game and more than 450 yards of total offense through their first four contests.
On the season, James is the leading ground gainer (97.9 yds per game, 4 TD) with Reggie Wayne (83.5, 4 TD) and Santana Moss (97.7, 6 TD) the top two receivers. Defensively, the ‘Canes have given up an average of 218 yards through the air and 119 rushing yards on the ground per game.
SERIES NOTES: Miami leads the series 23-18 in Florida State’s longest series, but FSU has won the last three meetings. The Seminoles had not won three straight since they defeated the Hurricanes seven consecutive times from 1963 to 1972 (’63, ’64, ’66, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’72). FSU is 13-13 against the Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles have outscored Miami 122 to 33 in the last three meetings — a 29.7 average margin of victory. Bobby Bowden in 10-14 vs. the Hurricanes in his career, including wins in four of the last five meetings. Miami is the only team to shut out FSU in the past 19 seasons, holding FSU scoreless in 1976 and 1988. There have been six one-point games in series history and 11 games have been decided by three points or less.
TELEVISION: CBS-Sports. Talent: Craig Bolerjack, Ed Cunningham, John Dockery.
RADIO: Seminole Sports Network. Talent: Gene Deckerhoff, Peter Tom Willis.
Coach: Bobby Bowden (Samford ’53)
Overall Record: 285-84-4/33rd Season
Record at FSU: 212-52-4/23rd Season
Record vs. Miami: 9-13
Coach: Butch Davis (Arkansas ’74)
Overall Record: 25-13/4th Season
Record at Miami: 25-13/4th Season
Record vs. FSU: 0-3
South Florida Connection: When the Seminoles travel to Miami this weekend it will be a homecoming of sorts for many Florida State players. The FSU roster lists 14 players from Miami, 15 from Dade County and two more from nearby Broward County. Five Florida State starters are from either Dade or Broward and six more are on the Seminoles’ two-deep depth chart.
Stopping the Pass: After holding Maryland to just 64 passing yards, Florida State has now held three of its first five opponents to fewer than 100 yards passing this season. Last year’s dominating unit held just two of 12 opponents to less than 100 yards with North Carolina just topping that figure at 101 in Chapel Hill. The 1997 pass defense gave up an average of 189.5 yards per game. This year’s unit is allowing only 106 yards per game through the air.
Kicking It: Placekicker Sebastian Janikowski tied an FSU record with fivefield goals, in six attempts, in the win over Maryland. The sophomore leads the nation in field goals per game with an average of 2.60. In the Maryland game, he matched Bill Capece’s record, orginally set on October 11, 1980 against Pittsburgh. Janikowski is now 13-of-16 on the season on field goal attempts. He needs 10 more three-pointers to tie the Florida State season record of 23 set by Derek Schmidt in 1987.
Punch It In: Florida State’s offense moved into the redzone four times last Saturday against Maryland and did not score a touchdown. The Seminoles had to settle for three Sebastian Janikowski field goals and a Janikowski miss on its trips inside the Maryland 20-yard line. Getting touchdowns instead of field goals has been a problem for FSU’s offense this season. In its last 11 trips inside its opponents’ 20, Florida State has scored just two TD’s. The Seminoles have scored 21 times in 28 red zone appearances this season, but just 10 of those 21 scores have been touchdowns.
Kickoff Returns Improved: Last year, Florida State ranked eighth in the ACC in kickoff returns with an average of 19.5 yards per return. The Seminoles have improved by almost six yards from a year ago and now rank fourth in the conference and 18th in the nation at 25.3 yards a return. The Tribe did not return a kick for a touchdown in 1997. They have brought one back this season in only four games of play. Laveranues Coles recorded that score and he leads the team with a 36.0 average per return. He leads the conference in that category and ranks second in the NCAA individual return stats.
Holding On To It: After turning the ball over a total of nine times in their first two games, the FlSU offense has not thrown an interception or lost a fumble in three straight games. The only turnovers in the last three games were a pair of fumble by the Seminole punt return team at Maryland. The last time FSU did not commit a turnover for two straight games was in 1990 — vs. South Carolina (11/3/90) and Cincinnati (11/10/90). The Seminoles have forced nine turnovers in the last two games for a margin of plus seven.
Lighting It Up: In Florida State’s first 51 games as members of the ACC, the Seminoles have scored 50 or more points in 16 contests. The other eight ACC teams have played a total of 174 conference games in that span but have combined for just 10 games of 50 or more points. The Seminoles’ 62 points against Duke was the most FSU had scored in 34 games since a 72-13 win over Wake Forest in 1995.
IN THE RED ZONE:
Opp Drives Result Percent Inside 20
Texas A&M 5 1 TD Run, 100
1 TD pass,
NC State 2 2 INT 0
Duke 9 4 TD Run, 89
2 TD pass,
USC 7 1 TD Run, 71
1 TD pass,
Maryland 4 3 FG, 75
Total 27 6 TD Run, 77.8
4 TD pass,
Opp Drives Result Percent Inside 20
Texas A&M 1 1 TD run 100
NC State 2 INT, 0
Duke 2 1 TD run, 100
USC 1 1 TD run 100
Maryland 3 1 TD pass, 66
1 Blk FG
Total 9 3 TD run, 66.7
1 TD pass,
Warrick Enters FSU Career Record Book: Peter Warrick caught five passes for 80 yards against Maryland and now has 27 receptions for 486 yards on the season. He moved into Florida State’s career top 10 in receiving yards in the Maryland game and now ranks ninth with 1,837 yards. His next target on that list is Rhett Dawson (1969-71), who ranks eighth with 1,915 yards. Warrick did not score a touchdown for the first time this season last Saturday but still is tied for seventh with Terry Anthony and Hassan Jones on FSU’s career scoring receptions chart with 17. He could move into the Seminole career top 10 in catches against Miami. Warrick presently ranks 11th on that list with 102 and needs five move to tie for 10th with Jessie Hester (1981-84).
FSU Career Receiving:
Name Years Yards
1. Ron Sellers (66-68) 3598
2. E.G. Green (94-97) 2920
3. Kez McCorvey (91-94) 2660
4. Barry Smith (70-72) 2392
5. Mike Shumann (73-75,77) 2306
6. Lawrence Dawsey (87-90) 2129
7. Jessie Hester (81-84) 2100
8. Rhett Dawson (69-71) 1915
9. Peter Warrick (96-98) 1837
10. Andre Cooper (93-96) 1810
Chaney & The Century Mark: Sophomore tailback Jeff Chaney broke the 100-yard barrier for the first time in his career in the Seminoles’ 24-10 win over Maryland last Saturday when he carried 30 times for 133 yards. Chaney was making the first start of his career in place of the injured Travis Minor. Minor ran for 146 yards on 34 carries in FSU’s season-opener against Texas A&M. Chaney and Minor are the first pair of Seminole backs to break the 100-yard mark in the same season since 1995 when Warrick Dunn and Rock Preston both had at least one 100-yard rushing game. Florida State has had at least two runners have 100-yard games in every season this decade except the 1991, 1996 and 1997 campaigns.
Not Since: Southern California’s 23 passing yards were the lowest total a Florida State team has allowed since 1980 when the Seminoles gave up just seven yards against East Carolina. The second lowest total in the last decade came against Michigan State as the Andre Rison-led Spartans passed for just 25 yards on the Seminoles and Deion Sanders.
Big Play Makers: Florida State’s quartet of wide receivers – Peter Warrick, Ron Dugans, Laveranues Coles and Marvin Minnis – have all proved to be dangerous deep threats in the first half of the 1998 season. All four players have yards per catch averages of at least 16.0 yards and all have caught at least one pass of at least 35 yards. Here is how the foursome breaks down:
Player Catches Yards TDs Avg. Long
Coles 6 149 1 24.8 62
Dugans 18 328 1 18.2 36
Warrick 27 486 5 18.0 74
Minnis 9 146 0 16.2 43
‘Noles in the Pros: On the National Football League’s final rosters this season, former Florida State players are represented on every team except three – Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego. Thirty-eight former Seminoles made opening day NFL rosters.
Aye, Aye Captain: Head coach Bobby Bowden announced this year’s captains at the annual Kickoff Luncheon. Senior defensive lineman Billy Rhodes will remain a captain despite moving to defense, senior linebacker Lamont Green was named as the defensive captain and senior linebacker Demetro Stephens will be the special teams captain. Fullback Lamarr Glenn is the new offensive captain.
A Look Back: To put the impact of the FSU-Miami series into perspective, most look at the 1987 game which was Deion Sanders’ junior year. A total of 52 of 52 players who were listed on the roster in Miami’s 26-25 win that season went on to play in the NFL – 29 Hurricanes and 23 Seminoles.
Hurricane Connection: Florida State offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Mark Richt played quarter at Miami behind Jim Kelly. In 1982, Richt started against the Tribe, completing 18-of-37 for 237 yards in a 24-7 loss to Florida State. In addition to Kelly, two other furture NFL quarterbacks were on the Hurricanes’ roster – Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar.
Always a Tough Game: While almost every other team in the nation can say the same for both FSU and Miami, the Hurricanes have been an awfully tough hurdle for the Seminoles during the series history. The ‘Canes have handed Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles their first loss of the season eight times (1977-80-87-88-90-91-92-94) during his tenure in Tallahassee.
Winning of the Ground: In the past 10 meetings between FSU and Miami, the team that has totaled the most rushing yards has emerged victorious. The last time the losing team rushed for more yards than the winner was 1987. FSU out-gained Miami, 225 to 52 on the ground that year, but lost 26-25 after an incomplete two-point conversion pass. Last year, the Seminoles rushed for 174 on 45 carries and held Miami to -33 yards rushing in the 47-0 shutout.
Three Get First Start: Jeff Chaney got his first career start at tailback as against Maryland while Travis Minor is nursing a sprained left ankle suffered against USC. Brian Allen also got his first start in place of Demetro Stephens at middle linebacker. Stephens broke his right hand in practice last Wednesday. A surprise starter in the defensive secondary was sophomore Shawn McCorkel who started at free safety for senior Dexter Jackson due to a coach’s decision.
Fumbles Have Been Rare: Peter Warrick’s first quarter fumble on a punt return marked the first fumble FSU has lost since the season-opener against Texas A&M when the Tribe coughed it up three times. FSU did not lose a fumble against NC State, Duke or USC and had not committed a turnover in three consecutive games.
Tay Takes It Away: Sophomore cornerback Tay Cody’s fourth-quarter interception agaisnt Maryland was his first of the season and his fourth of his career. In all, the FSU defense has five pickoffs on the year.
Florida State First-Year Quarterbacks
at Miami in the 90s:
Year Quarterback Att-Comp-Int Yards TD Result
1996 Thad Busby 17-8-0 125 0 W, 34-16
1994 Danny Kanell 23-13-3 153 0 L, 20-34
1992 Charlie Ward 40-20-2 261 0 L, 16-19
1990 Brad Johnson 37-26-1 251 1 L, 22-31
A Look At Recent Years: Over the last three games, the Seminoles have outgained Miami by an average of over 200 total yards of offense. FSU has also held UM to an average of just 20.7 rushing yards over the last three years.
Florida State Miami
Year Result Rush Pass Total Rush Pass Total
1997 FSU 47, UM 0 174 248 422 33 164 131
1996 FSU 34, UM 16 222 125 347 42 267 309
1995 FSU 41, UM 17 273 222 495 53 170 223
Avg. (1995-97) 240.7 198.3 421.3 20.7 200.3 221.0
FSU Career Stats vs. Miami:
Dee Feaster 11-44 yds. (1 TD)
Travis Minor 9-23 yds. (2 TD)
Peter Warrick 5-65 yds.
Laveranues Coles 3-39 yds.
Lamont Green 20-2-1/2
Demetro Stephens 11-1-1/2
Larry Smith 9-1-1
Shawn McCorkel 8-1-1
“If you blasted Maryland, say 55-6, and you’d won three in a row against Miami maybe you would have to guard against overconfidence. But, the Maryland game was close all the way. I think its gonna be a close ballgame, probably determined by turnovers and defense. Its a game either one can win, it might be whoever gets hot. They’ve got good skill people and so do we and that points to up front.
“We would have had a much better gauge had they played UCLA, but Miami missed out on a great opportunity on getting them down there in the humidity. There is no question we would have learned a lot more about them. They bring a dangerous offensive team and they are a team of potential much like us. They have plenty of good receivers and the quarterback is throwing it good. The question will be can they protect their quarterback.
“General Neyland always said there’s no defense against a perfectly thrown pass. Look at NC State against us with Holt and their quarterback throwing as good as he can and anything can happen. I don’t worry about us playing bad down there, I worry about them playing good. They step up their level in front of the home crowd.
“Chris (Weinke) has had no turnovers since NC State. He is coming along beautifully.”
C Eric Thomas:
“It has been a dream ever since I was a kid to play in the Orange Bowl. I’m from down there so when I used to root for the Hurricanes when I would go see them play in the Orange Bowl. It came down to Florida State and Miami when I made my final decision on where to sign.
“I didn’t play when we were down there in 1996, so this is a different feeling. Now I have a chance to play a part in deciding the outcome of the game. I have a lot of family and friends going, including my parents, so this is a game I’ve been looking forward to.
“Offensively, we have been pretty good between the 20’s. We have to move down the field and get six points instead of three points. We haven’t been good enough in the red-zone.
“I’ve seen Miami in a couple games and seen the highlights. They have some really good players on offense and their defense is usually strong.”
LB Lamont Green:
“This game means something extra since it is in my hometown and this is my senior year. This is my last chance to play Miami in the Orange Bowl. I will have a lot of friends and family at this one.
“I thought the defense played pretty well against Maryland, but we still have some things to improve on. We knew we needed to come out in the second half and take control of the game and we did that. That safety gave us some momentum that we really needed.
“From what I’ve seen, Miami has a good football team. They have an offense that can score on you quickly. They have a lot of speed and skill, especially at the running back and wide receiver positions. We will have to limit their big plays. That’s how a lot of Florida State-Miami games have been decided.
“We will have to go out and play our best football to win this game. Anytime you go down and play in the Orange Bowl its going to be a battle.”