January 4, 2006 - by
Orange Bowl Post-game Notes

Jan. 4, 2006

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Florida State vs. Penn State
January 3, 2006

Willie Reid has had a huge impact on the 2006 Orange Bowl and was named the game’s MVP. He set a new OB record with an 87-yard punt return that resulted in the Seminoles first TD. It was the third longest punt return in school history and it is a big reason Reid set two new records tonight. The senior broke his own single season record for punt return yards and he has now also set the record for punt return yards in a single game. Last year Reid’s 522 yards broke Deion Sander’s record of 503 yards set in 1988. Coming into the Orange Bowl, Reid had amassed 361 yards. Thanks to his school-record 180 yards tonight, the Kathleen, GA native has 542 yards on the season. Leon Washington held the previous single game record when he recorded 159 yards on punt returns versus Wake Forest October 23, 2003.

The last time the Seminoles played an overtime game was also the last time the team played in Miami. In 2004 FSU opened the season in Miami versus the Hurricanes. FSU surrendered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of that game and then lost to the Hurricanes in overtime. This is the fourth time Florida State has been involved in an OT game and they are 1-3 on those occasions. The Seminoles have now lost all three OT games played on the road. The first one came in a 26-20 loss at Louisville in 2002. In 2003 FSU defeated NC State 50-44 in double OT in Tallahassee. FSU had never played OT in a bowl before tonight’s game and this was also the first triple overtime game ever played by an FSU team.

Florida State was held to just 26 yards rushing by Penn State in the 2006 Orange Bowl. It was the second-lowest output of the season for Florida State. Boston College limited the FSU running game to just 13 yards September 17 in Chestnut Hill. This was the third straight game an opponent limited FSU to fewer than 50 yards rushing in a game and the fourth time in the last five games that has happened.

Gary Cismesia tied tonight’s game in the fourth quarter with a 47-yard field goal. It was the fifth time in the last seven games that the FSU kicker has connected on a field goal of 40+ yards. Last season Cismesia connected on just two field goals of 45 or more yards. This season he has done it five times, four of which have come in the last seven games. The last time FSU successfully connected on a field goal to win or tie a game in the fourth quarter was October 23, 2004. Xavier Beitia hit a 22-yarder to down the Demon Deacons 20-17.

The safety recorded by Penn State at the start of the fourth quarter was the first recorded against a Seminole team in over three years. The last time an opponent recorded a safety against FSU was NC State in 2002. The Wolfpack recorded two in the fourth quarter and won that game 17-7, November 23.

FSU fullback B.J Dean scored the Seminoles TD in overtime, his first of the year. The touchdown was the fourth of the senior’s career and he now has scored at least one rushing touchdown in three straight seasons.

Tony Carter’s first quarter interception was the first INT by a Seminole cornerback this season. The Seminoles have never gone an entire season in Bobby Bowden’s 30-year tenure as FSU head coach without a cornerback making an interception. In 1994, FSU had just two interceptions by a cornerback, which was the lowest total before this season.

Willie Reid’s second quarter punt return for a TD was the senior’s third of the season and second in consecutive games. He is the first returner in the Bobby Bowden era to return three punts for touchdowns in the same season. In 1984, special teams’ star Joe Wessel returned three blocked punts for touchdowns but no FSU punt returner in the last 30 years has ever taken three to the endzone. Reid’s punt return was an Orange Bowl record, ironically breaking the record set by former FSU Athletics Director Hootie Ingram, February 1, 1953.

Florida State is trailing at the half for the fifth time this season. The Seminoles are 2-2 in those previous four occasions. FSU’s last win when trailing at the half came October 29 in a 35-27 win against Maryland in which the Seminoles trailed 21-14 at the half. In three of Florida State’s last four games heading into tonight’s contest, FSU had been tied at the half. The last time Florida State has gone to the lockerroom with a halftime lead was October 22 versus Duke – a stretch of six games. The Seminoles led that game 21-7 at half.

Gary Cismesia had made 45 consecutive point after attempts before missing the first of his career tonight in the second quarter. The last time an FSU kicker missed a PAT was during FSU’s 37-0 victory over North Carolina, August 30, 2003 (Xavier Beitia).

Tonight, Seminole senior Ron “Lucky” Lunford made the third straight start of the season and fifth of his career. The Jacksonville native opened the game at right guard where Cornelius Lewis was originally scheduled to start. Mario Henderson started in Lunford’s spot at left tackle.

Former Florida State players on the sideline tonight include Paul Irons, Tommy Polley, Anquan Boldin and Samari Rolle. All four just completed their NFL seasons. Irons appeared in two games for the Cleveland Browns. Both Rolle and Polley play for the Ravens and Boldin just completed the best season of his three-year career with 102 catches for 1,402 yards.

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