Nov. 15, 1999
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — After nearly two years on the job, Florida State’s
Chris Weinke gets his first shot at Florida.
He missed last year’s game with a neck injury and watched backup Marcus
Outzen win a place in Florida State lore by leading the Seminoles to a 23-12
Coming off perhaps the best game of his career Saturday when he threw six
touchdown passes against Maryland, Weinke is ready for his biggest test.
“Hands down (it’s) the biggest game of my career,” Weinke said Monday.
“No question about it.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback has thrown for 2,840 yards and 24
touchdowns this season along with 13 interceptions.
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is content with Weinke’s preparation for
Saturday’s game in Gainesville.
“This guy is mature, he’s getting better,” Bowden said of the 27-year-old
junior. “Chris ain’t 17. He ain’t looking for anybody to hug. He’s a man.”
Weinke knows he’s living in the shadow of Charlie Ward, Peter Tom Willis and
other Florida State quarterbacks who have engineered victories in Gainesville.
“If you don’t win that game everybody forgets about the first 10 wins,” he
said. “We saw that two years ago. We felt like we had a better team going down
there and we got beat.”
The Seminoles (10-0) were also unbeaten two years ago when they were knocked
out of the national championship chase after being upset 32-29 by a Florida
team with two losses.
Ward, the school’s only Heisman Trophy winner, beat the Gators twice and is
the only Seminole quarterback to leave Gainesville with a victory this decade.
In those two games, Ward was 65-of-90 for 777 yards and five touchdowns. His
79-yard touchdown pass to Warrick Dunn that sealed the 1993 victory is perhaps
the school’s most celebrated single play.
Bowden has already hinted he’s comfortable with his passing game going into
“We’re better throwing and catching than we are at running it,” he said.
Weinke is also moving up the career charts at Florida State, ranking fifth
in passing yardage and touchdown passes – just one behind Thad Busby and four
behind the third-place Ward.
Senior wideout Peter Warrick needs 15 catches and 172 yards to erase career
marks by Ron Sellers, who put up his totals in three seasons.
Warrick caught eight passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and also threw for
a score in last year’s victory over Florida.