Sept. 23, 2000
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chris Weinke picked a good time to have a bad
Weinke and Florida State’s offense struggled with its passing game Saturday,
but linebacker Tommy Polley and the defense didn’t need much help.
“I thought our defense played about as good as it can play,” Florida State
coach Bobby Bowden said after the Seminoles posted their first shutout in two
years with a 31-0 win over Louisville. “We’re getting more out of our ends and
we are getting good tackle play from a lot of guys.”
He wouldn’t get an argument from Louisville coach John L. Smith.
“That might be the fastest crew that I’ve ever seen in college football,”
Smith said. “They just fly. Their defense is just unbelievable.”
Polley returned an interception for one touchdown and forced a fumble to set
up another as No. 2 Florida State extended major college’s longest winning
streak to 16 games.
“He’s a playmaker,” Bowden said. “He makes the big plays.”
Weinke threw for 221 yards and a touchdown, ran 2 yards for another, but was
intercepted three times in a penalty-filled game. He had not been
intercepted in the first three games.
Florida State’s defense, which has now scored in five straight games, handed
Louisville its first shutout since 1992.
“And we got it against a good Louisville offense,” Florida State
cornerback Tay Cody said.
Florida State’s last shutout was a 48-0 victory over Clemson two years ago.
Louisville (2-1) lost its only real scoring opportunity in the fourth
quarter when the Cardinals had a first down at the Florida State 2. Two running
attempts and two passes by Dave Ragone failed.
“We really hadn’t been tested at the goal line yet,” Cody said. “That’s
was really big for us.”
The Cardinals averaged 46 points and 435 yards in victories over Kentucky
and Grambling, but managed only three of its 210 yards on the ground.
Louisville picked up 109 of its yards in the fourth quarter.
Polley’s 4-yard interception return for a touchdown, a 5-yard scoring run by
Travis Minor and Matt Munyon’s 23-yard field goal gave the Seminoles (4-0) a
17-0 halftime lead.
“I think we’ll feel pretty good watching film tomorrow,” said Polley, who
returns to his home state Thursday for a nationally televised game at Maryland.
“We’re working at being more disciplined and not making dumb penalties.”
Minor’s touchdown came two plays after Polley forced a fumble by
Louisville’s Tony Stallings that was recovered by Florida State’s Derrick
Gibson at the Louisville 6.
Minor picked up 120 yards on 20 carries, his second straight game over the
100-yard mark, to help the Seminoles overcome five turnovers.
Munyon, who was awarded the starting job after Bowden tried three different
kickers a week ago, hit all four extra point kicks in addition to the field
goal, but missed a 32-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter.
Each team was penalized 13 times with Louisville assessed 133 yards and
Florida State 110.
“We knew coming in we were going to have to gamble some,” Smith said. “We
were going to have to throw caution to the wind and try and see what we could
The Seminoles have won 31 straight game on their home field, where they have
not been defeated in 48 games dating back to a 17-16 loss to Miami in 1991.