Nov. 30, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, FL –
Bob Smith, Chairman of the Gator Bowl Association and Senior Vice President of Cendant Mortgage, formally extended an invitation today to Florida State University to play West Virginia University in the January 1, 2005 Toyota Gator Bowl.
The Seminoles finished their regular season with an overall record of 8-3 and ranked #16 in both the AP and USA Today/CNN Coaches polls. They will be making their 6th appearance in the Gator Bowl Classic where their record is 4-0-1.
Florida State last played in the Gator Bowl in 2001 defeating Virginia Tech 30-17. The only meeting in history between Florida State and West Virginia came in the 1982 Gator Bowl with FSU prevailing 31-12. That game drew 80,913 and ranks as fifth best all-time in Gator Bowl attendance.
Coach Bobby Bowden is in his 29th year as Head Coach of the Florida State Seminoles. Prior to coaching at Florida State he spent 6 years as Head Coach of the Mountaineers at West Virginia University from 1970 to 1975.
The West Virginia Mountaineers finished their regular season with an overall record of 8-3 and #24 in the USA Today/CNN Coaches Poll. WVU has won a share of the BIG EAST championship each of the past two seasons.
The Mountaineers will be making a return visit to Jacksonville after playing Maryland in last year’s Toyota Gator Bowl. This will mark WVU’s 5th appearance in the Gator Bowl Classic where their record is 0-4-0. Their first appearance was on December 30, 1982 against Florida State (31-12); followed by the largest attended game in Gator Bowl history, Clemson vs. West Virginia, on December 30, 1989 (27-7); their third appearance was on January 1, 1997 against North Carolina (20-13) and last year marked their 4th appearance in the Gator Bowl Classic against Maryland (41-7).
This is Coach Rich Rodriguez’ fourth year at WVU. He is a 1986 WVU graduate and former defensive back under Don Nehlen.
“West Virginia and Florida State are truly among the greatest of football traditions in the nation. The Mountaineers and Seminoles have had outstanding seasons and we are looking forward to a truly exciting Bowl match up in Jacksonville,” said Chairman Bob Smith.
The 60th Annual Toyota Gator Bowl will be played on January 1, 2005 at 12:30 p.m. in Alltel Stadium. Tickets are available online at www.seminoles.com.