January 3, 2000 - by
Notes And Audio From Sunday At The Sugar Bowl

Jan. 3, 2000


Florida State

  • Tommy Polley

  • Bobby Rhodes

  • Eric Thomas

  • Brett Williams

  • Ron Dugans

    Virginia Tech

  • Shane Beamer

  • Andre Kendrick

  • Jimmy Kibble

  • Shayne Graham

  • Caleb Hurd

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    “I heard on the news last night one of the sports commentators said we were the Buffalo Bills of college football. Something like that, you mention to the team and let them think about it.” — FSU linebacker Bobby Rhodes


  • Florida State has faced mobile quarterbacks with mixed success this season. UNC’s Ronald Curry had three passes intercepted, fumbled once and was sacked five times by the Seminoles. However, Georgia Tech’s Joe Hamilton torched FSU, completing 22-of-25 passes and accounting for 405 yards of total offense and five touchdowns.

    Now the ‘Noles face redshirt freshman phenom Michael Vick, who led the nation in passing efficiency and finished third in the Hesiman Trophy voting.

    The young signal caller has earned the Seminoles’ respect.

    “He has the athleticism of a Joe Hamilton,” said linebacker Tommy Polley. “He’s a great quarterback and a tremendous athlete, but we’re going to try to put some pressure on him, try to get after him a little bit and contain him as best we can.”

    Although Vick’s skills are comperable to Hamilton’s, Polley expects the results to be different.

    “The thing about Georgia Tech is when we played them, we hadn’t seen their offense,” said Polley. “We studied Vick and their offense, so I think we’re going to be OK.”

    In the past six weeks, the Seminoles have had ample time to familiarize themselves with Virginia Tech.

    “I think I know their plays better than they know their plays,” said Polley.

  • The FSU players differ on their opinions about the 45-day layoff between games.

    “Field goals being missed, missed assignments… That’s a lack of playing football,” said Polley. “There’s only so much you can simulate in practice.”

    But linebacker Bobby Rhodes said the Seminoles handled the layoff well and have maintained their focus.

    “We’ve been able to practice, take a week off, practice, then take a week off,” said Rhodes. “The little breaks from football have really helped the team.”

    Rhodes said the lengthening of the season would be the problem with a college football playoff.

    “Three or four more games of the best teams in the country going at it would take an unbelievable toll on the players,” said Rhodes.

    Still, Rhodes is intrigued by the idea.

    “I really wouldn’t mind a playoff system because then you would know for sure who’s the best team and there wouldn’t be any question about who should be playing for the national championship,” said Rhodes.

  • The Sugar Bowl has been deemed a “Sod Game” for the Seminoles.

    “Usually, a ‘Sod Game’ is a game where another team is favored over us and it’s an away game or a bowl game, and all championship games are designated ‘Sod Games,'” said center Eric Thomas.

    Generally, FSU celebrates a “Sod Game” victory by bringing a small piece of the game field back to the “Sod Cemetery,” located at their practice field. But Thomas wonders how the Seminoles will get a piece of the Superdome’s artificial turf.

    “I’m not sure how they’re going to do it this year,” said Thomas. “Hopefully they’ll have a piece in the back they can give us.”

  • Placekicker Sebastian Janikowski and receiver Ron Dugans ran sprints in practice as punishment for missing curfew on New Year’s Eve, but Eric Thomas said the situation has been overblown by the media.

    “We had a couple of guys miss (curfew) the other day, but they really missed by a couple of minutes,” said Thomas. “It’s just a situation where they lost track of time. I think we were perfect last night.”

    In fact, Florida State is under stricter rules than Virginia Tech when it comes to enjoying the Big Easy. FSU players have a 1 a.m. curfew, and they’re prohibited from visiting the local casinos. Virginia Tech has a 2 a.m. curfew and their players are allowed to go to the casinos. But since FSU is such a frequent visitor to the Sugar Bowl, the Seminoles generally shrug their shoulders at the temptations in the French Quarter.

    “This is my third time here in New Orleans,” said Thomas. “A lot of guys are like me — we’ve been here before, so we’re not really distracted by the city.”

  • Janikowski was one of six players from ACC schools who were named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Century Team. Janikowski joins FSU receiver Fred Biletnikoff, NC State center Jim Ritcher, Maryland defensive lineman Randy White, FSU cornerback Deion Sanders and UNC cornerback Dre’ Bly.

    The team of 83 college football greats was selected by a survey of current and former head coaches, sports information directors and members of the media.

  • After fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during Friday’s practice, the assumption was that Virginia Tech wide receiver/punt returner Ricky Hall was out for the Sugar Bowl. But officially, the senior is now listed as “doubtful.”

    “Chances are that he won’t play, but it will be a last-minute decision,” said Virginia Tech athletic trainer Mike Goforth.

    Hall has had a custom-molded plastic splint placed inside his shoe.

    “I’ll wear a splint and see what I can do,” said Hall. “I have to suck it up if at all possible and help this team. It’s all a matter of what I can handle.”

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