August 26, 2000 - by

Seminoles Cruise Over Cougars

Aug. 26, 2000



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    By RICHARD ROSENBLATT
    AP Football Writer

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Not bad for an old guy.

    Chris Weinke did more than stand back in the pocket and throw touchdown
    passes: The 28-year-old quarterback ran, blocked and even knocked over the
    opposing coach as No. 2 Florida State opened defense of its national title with
    a 29-3 victory over BYU in Saturday night’s Pigskin Classic.

    Weinke wasn’t his usual accurate self, but he hit on 32 of 50 passes – both
    career highs – for 318 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran 21 yards – the
    longest of his career – to set up a third score, a 6-yard double reverse in
    which he threw the key block.

    “We did some good things, but we had a couple of missed field goals, a
    couple of missed opportunities,” said the 6-foot-5, slimmed-down-to-229-pound
    Weinke. `We know we could have gotten more points but you can’t be disappointed
    when you win. We know we have some more work to do.”

    Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, in gaining career win No. 305, said the
    offense was inconsistent, but praised the defense, which lost many of its stars
    from last season’s title team.

    “The game surprised me,” Bowden said. “I thought it would be a
    high-scoring game since our offense performed so well leading up to the game.
    Our defense had struggled all preseason, But our defense played just
    beautifully.”

    Anchored by defensive end Jamal Reynolds, who caused a safety and had two
    sacks, the Seminoles intercepted three passes, recovered a fumble and totaled
    five sacks against BYU quarterbacks Bret Engemann and Charlie Peterson.

    The Cougars had 79 yards in the first half – minus-13 rushing – and finished
    with 225 total yards.

    “They’re incredible,” said Engemann, who was 12-of-28 for 139 yards and
    two interceptions. “If they don’t win the championship again this year, I’ll
    be surprised.”

    Bowden isn’t as confident. He criticized his team’s running game, which
    produced 57 yards, and his kicker, Matt Munyon, who missed two field goals and
    an extra point.

    “What needs work? Sustaining out block in the running game,” said Bowden.
    “And the kicking game was what I was afraid it would be.”

    But there was Weinke. On his first TD pass, a 19-yarder to Javon Walker just
    2:47 into the season, the quarterback was pushed into BYU’s LaVell Edwards on
    the sideline and the collision sent the 69-year-old coach sprawling. It might
    have been the hardest hit Weinke took all night at Alltel Stadium.

    BYU was overmatched from the start, unable to keep up with Florida State’s
    new set of speedy receivers featuring Marvin Minnis, Atrews Bell, Anquan Boldin
    and Walker. Peter Warrick? Who’s he?

    BYU barely extended its NCAA record of scoring in consecutive games to 313
    when Owen Pochman kicked a 42-yard field goal with 2:19 left in the third
    quarter. The Cougars were last shut out in 1975, 20-0 by Arizona State

    “It was frustrating,” Edwards said. “It was a typical opener. We did some
    good things. We played hard and well on defense. FSU’s defensive quickness made
    it difficult for us.”

    After a 3-yard TD pass to Bell and safety made it 15-0, he took off on the
    longest run of his career. Before the 21-yarder, his previous longest run was 8
    yards.

    He rolled left, saw running room and outlegged several BYU defenders before
    being chased out of bounds at the 6. On the next play, a double reverse, he
    threw the block that freed up Bell for the TD that put the Seminoles in control
    at 22-0 early in the second quarter.

    BYU, making a rare visit to the East Coast, had little chance against the
    much faster Seminoles, who were last seen beating Virginia Tech in the Sugar
    Bowl for their second national title.

    Weinke needs 389 yards to become Florida State’s career passing leader,
    ahead of Gary Huff, who had 6,378 yards from 1970-72. Weinke, among the top
    Heisman Trophy contenders, has won 22 of 23 games he’s started.

    Florida State extended its winning streak to 13 games and has won 22
    consecutive regular-season games.

    Florida State, with a crowd of 54,260 looking on, scored on its opening
    drive, with Weinke’s first completion of the season a 15-yarder to Minnis
    helping to set up the TD. Four plays later, the one in which he was shoved into
    Edwards, Weinke lofted his TD pass to Walker from about the 30. It dropped into
    the receiver’s arms with three BYU defenders around him.

    “I was actually trying to throw the ball away,” Weinke said. “I saw one
    receivers and figured it would either go to him or out of bounds. Then I got
    pushed into somebody, and I didn’t know who it was. But that’s football.”

    Florida State added a final TD with 1:11 left on Travis Minor’s 5-yard run.

    Minnis led Florida State receivers with nine catches for 137 yards, Walker
    had eight catches for 70 yards.

    While BYU still hopes to make Edwards’ 29th and final season a winning one,
    no doubt the coach will not soon forget the hit he and his team took against
    Florida State.

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