August 22, 2000 - by
Seminoles Prepare For BYU Saturday

Aug. 22, 2000

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#2 FLORIDA STATE vs Brigham Young
Saturday, August 26 – 8:00 PM – ABC
AllTell Stadium – Jacksonville, FL

SETTING THE SCENE: The Florida State Seminoles open the 2000 season ranked No. 2 in both polls after becoming the first team since the AP preseason poll began to go wire-to-wire No. 1 in 1999. Bobby Bowden won his second national championship a year ago and had his first undefeated team (12-0). FSU is currently riding an NCAA record run of 13 straight 10-win seasons and finishes among the AP Top Four.

Back from the 1999 national championship team is senior quarterback Chris Weinke, who has won 20-straight games as the Seminole starter. The Heisman Trophy candidate led the ACC with 3,103 passing yards and ranked seventh nationally with a pass efficiency rating of 145.1. Weinke boasts the best winning percentage (21-1, .955) of any QB in the country in the last 10 years. Running backs Travis Minor and Jeff Chaney return along with fullback William McCray to give the Seminoles one of their most talented offensive backfields in history. Anchored by a pair of All-American candidates at offensive tackle (Tarlos Thomas and Brett Williams), the offensive line has dominated preseason practice after a solid 1999 campaign. With Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans moving on to the NFL, the door is open for some new names to be known in the receiving corps. Marvin Minnis, Anquan Boldin, Atrews Bell and Robert Morgan headline a talented but untested unit.

FSU must replace the centerpieces of the 1999 defense, noseguard Corey Simon and defensive tackle Jerry Johnson. Chris Woods and Kevin Emanuel enter the BYU game as the first team noseguard and tackle. Depth at linebacker is still a question mark, but the starting trio of Tommy Polley, Bradley Jennings and Brian Allen rank among the best in the country. Polley will miss the BYU game as he returns to 100% from a knee injury suffered in the Sugar Bowl. True freshman Kendyll Pope will get the nod at Polley’s spot at weakside linebacker. All four starters in the secondary have started at least half a season with Tay Cody returning for his fourth year as a starter at corner. Derrick Gibson is a three-year starter at rover and is the unit’s big hitter.

TELEVISION: ABC. Talent: Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Lynn Swann.

RADIO: Seminole Radio Network. Talent: Gene Deckerhoff, Peter Tom Willis.


Jim Gladden, in his 26th season at FSU (one year longer than Bobby Bowden) was named assistant head coach this summer. That role was formerly held by Chuck Amato, who took the head coaching job at NC State. Gladden has coached the defensive ends since 1996 and guided several current NFL standouts at that position, including Peter Boulware (Ravens), Reinard Wilson (Bengals) and Andre Wadsworth (Cardinals). Gladden will now also be responsible for handling many of Coach Bowden’s administrative duties.


Along with Jim Gladden, several FSU coaches have been with the program for a number of years. Bowden’s nine assistants average 19 years of collegiate experience (171 years total). Only two coaches have departed since the 1993 national championship season. Billy Sexton (25th season) and Mickey Andrews (17th season) are next in line behind Gladden in tenure at FSU.


With Chuck Amato taking the head coaching job at NC State, FSU brought in one of the top defensive coaches in the college game to take over as linebackers coach – Joe Kines. Kines brings an impressive resume with stops at Clemson, Florida, Tampa Bay (NFL), Arkansas and Georgia. Kines served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 1995-98 and was the Bulldogs’ assistant head coach last year before coming to Tallahassee.


Head coach Bobby Bowden will receive the 1999 Vince Lombardi Award for coaching excellence on August 25th in Jacksonville, FL. The award will be presented to Bowden by Joe Lombardi, chairman of the Lombardi Award committee and the brother of the late Hall of Fame coach for whom the award is named. Bowden is the fifth winner of the award, following Joe Gardi of Hofstra (1995), Paul Pasqualoni of Syracuse (1996), Joe Paterno of Penn State (1997) and Harold “Tubby” Raymond of Delaware (1998).


BYU is coming off an 8-4 1999 campaign that concluded with a 21-3 loss to Marshall in the Motor City Bowl. WR Margin Hooks, who caught 60 passes for 1,067 yards a year ago, is one of six starters returning on offense. S Jared Lee led the 1999 team in tackles with 96 and headlines a Cougar defense that brings back seven starters. BYU will start a new quarterback due to the departure of three-year starter Kevin Feterik.


Florida State won the first and only meeting between the two schools in the 1991 Disneyland Pigskin Classic. In a duel between Heisman hopefuls Casey Weldon of FSU and 1990 winner Ty Detmer, the Seminoles cruised to a 44-28 victory. Weldon was named the game’s MVP after completing 21-of-28 passes for 268 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions while Detmer finished 19-of-32 for 229 yards with two TDs and one interception. Edgar Bennett (98 yards), Amp Lee (75 yards) and Sean Jackson (75 yards) led the Seminole rushing attack. Bennett recorded three scores on the day with two rushing TDs and one TD catch.


The Seminoles played a neutral site game in Jacksonville against Duke last season and recorded a 51-23 victory. FSU scored on each of its eight first half possessions en route to a 44-0 halftime lead. There are five players on the FSU roster that played high school football in Jacksonville – WR Atrews Bell, OT Char-ron Dorsey, S Gennaro Jackson, FB William McCray and DT Randy Wilkins.


Chris Weinke’s streak of 20 consecutive wins ranks as the eighth best run by a starting quarterback in college football history. Weinke has not lost since FSU fell to NC State in the second game of the 1998 season. He would need to win eight straight in 2000 to move into a tie for second on the consecutive win list. The senior is currently seventh all-time with a career winning percentage of .955. Weinke could become the winningest (%) QB in college football in almost 30 years with a 3-0 start to the 2000 season (Steve Walsh of Miami was 23-1 from 1987-88). The complete charts are located on the right hand column of this page.


Florida State currently owns the nation’s longest home unbeaten streak (46 games) and the country’s longest home winning streak (29 games). Miami, ranked No. 2 at the time, was the last team to win at Doak Campbell Stadium as the Hurricanes defeated top-ranked FSU, 17-16, on Nov. 16, 1991. Seminole placekicker Gerry Thomas’ 34-yard field goal with less than 30 seconds to play sailed wide right, allowing the ‘Canes to win that game. FSU’s 28-point fourth quarter rally to tie Florida in 1994 continued the home unbeaten streak.


Coach Bowden named the 2000 captains at the annual kickoff luncheon – QB Chris Weinke (offense), LB Brian Allen (defense) and LB Jean Jeune (special teams). Permanent captains are voted on by the team at the end of the season.


It seems every year, FSU strength coach Dave Van Halanger is able to improve on what is labeled the strongest team in school history. The 2000 Seminoles continue that tradition with a record 11 players bench pressing 500 pounds or more. OG Montrae Holland recorded the top bench press at 555 pounds. OG Justin Amman, OL Donald Heaven, C Antoine Mirambeau, LB Brian Allen, DE Jamal Reynolds, OT Todd Williams, TE Carver Donaldson, FB Chad Maeder, TE Nick Franklin and OT Brett Williams were the other 10 to reach the 500-lb. plateau. 38 ‘Noles benched at least 400 pounds.


Chris Weinke, the first three-year starter in the Bowden era, needs just 707 yards to pass Gary Huff as FSU’s all-time leader in passing yardage. Weinke trails Danny Kanell by 11 for the career touchdown passes record. Weinke already owns the school record with 21, 200-yard passing games. The only game he did not thrown for 200 yards was in the 1998 Virginia game, when he played a half before suffering a season ending neck injury.


Florida State dominating success on the football field during the decade of the 1990’s is well documented (109-13-1, .890 winning percentage, two national championships). The Seminoles current crop of redshirt seniors (players in their fifth year in the program) have helped Florida State win 45 of its 49 games played (.918 winning percentage) since the beginning of the 1996 season. In addition, the Seminoles fourth-year players (true seniors and redshirt juniors) have won 34 of 37 (.919 winning percentage), the third year-players (true juniors and redshirt sophomore) have won 23 of 25 games (.920 winning percentage) while the second-year players (true sophomore and redshirt freshmen) are a perfect 12-0 (1.000 winning percentage).

Current Seminoles Record By Class

Class (Yrs. in program) Record Pct.
5th Year Players 45-4 .918
4th Year Players 34-3 .919
3rd Year Players 23-2 .920
2nd Year Players 12-0 1.000


When Virginia Tech scored to take a 29-28 lead in the Sugar Bowl, it marked the 14th time during the 1999 season that an opponent had tied or taken the lead on the Seminoles. On the ensuing FSU possessions, Chris Weinke has led the Tribe to a score nine times (seven TDs, two FGs). In the go-ahead drive against Virginia Tech, Weinke went 6-for-7 for 58 yards and a TD (and a two-point conversion pass) to give FSU the lead for good at 36-29. For the year on those 14 possessions, Weinke was 42-of-54 (77.8%) for 461 yards and five touchdowns.


The Seminoles have been ranked in every AP poll since the fifth week of the 1989 season spanning 183 consecutive polls. Of the last 154 polls (11/12/90), the Seminoles have been out of the AP Top 10 just twice. Additionally, Florida State has been at No. 1 for a total of 57 weeks.


The Seminoles have ranked among the nation’s top 10 in total defense in six of the last nine years, including a No. 1 national ranking in 1998. FSU has been in the nation’s top 10 in rushing defense in eight of the last nine years (No. 1 in 1996, 1997, No. 2 in 1998 & No. 10 in 1999). In pass efficiency, the Tribe ranked first nationally in 1998 and has been among the 10 best in five of the last seven years. FSU has also ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense in five of the last seven seasons.


Florida State’s season opener versus Brigham Young marks the earliest opening date in school history. The Seminoles have played five games previously during the month of August with its earliest opening day coming on the 28th of the month in both 1993 and 1999 (the national championship years). Florida State averages 10.3 victories a season when it plays its season opener in August.


Florida State’s game against Brigham Young marks the third-consecutive season the Seminoles have played a game during the month of August. The Seminoles defeated Texas A&M, 41-7, in the 1998 Kickoff Classic (East Rutherford, N.J.) and opened their 1999 regular season with a 41-7 victory over Louisiana Tech (Tallahassee, Fla.). Florida State is 6-0 and averages 35.0 points scored per game in games played during the month of August in the history of the program.


FSU head coach Bobby Bowden is Florida State’s all-time winningest coach in terms of overall wins (231) and winning percentage (.809). In addition, Bowden is the Seminoles’ all-time winningest coach in season openers with 21 victories and an .875 winning percentage. He has guide Florida State to 10 consecutive season opening wins including a victory over Brigham Young in the 1991 season opener.


Florida State is the only team in the ACC to have at least one member of the offensive line earn All-ACC first-team honors in each of the last eight years. Senior offensive tackle Tarlos Thomas and offensive guard Jason Whitaker (exhausted eligibility following the 1999 season) were All-ACC first-team selections last season. The Seminoles have won six outright ACC titles and shared two more during that period.


Tailback Travis Minor is one of 35 preseason candidates for the 2000 Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s top college running back. Minor joins fellow ACC backs Lamont Jordan (Maryland) and Ray Robinson (NC State) on the list.


After blocking just one kick in 1998, FSU blocked a total of seven last year. Linebacker Tommy Polley led the way with blocks in three of the Seminoles’ biggest games. Polley blocked a field goal against Miami and punts that led to scores against Florida and Virginia Tech. Cornerback Tay Cody sealed FSU’s 17-14 win over Clemson when he partially blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt with less than two minutes left in the game. Against Virginia, noseguard Corey Simon blocked a punt in one of the best all-around games of his career. David Warren and Malcolm Tatum got into the action as each blocked a punt vs. Maryland. FSU has blocked 72 punts in the Bowden era (since 1976) and 20 in the 1990s.


Peter Warrick had several plays in 1999 that would be worthy of play of the year consideration. One in particular earned national recognition as the Compaq College Football Play of the Year. Warrick’s 20-yard TD run on a reverse, on which he changed direction several times and bobbled the ball once, against Louisiana Tech in last year’s season opener was named the winner. A 20’x30′ painting of the play will be displaced at the NCAA College Football Hall of Fame and an additional painting will be displayed at FSU. Ricky Williams was named the 1998 winner with his record breaking run against Texas A&M.

Butkus Award Candidate Brian Allen

…Has started 37 consecutive games (three full regular seasons and three bowl games) and recorded 184 total tackles (61.3 tackles per season). He has played in every game for the Seminoles during the last three years and has helped FSU to a 34-3 record (.919 winning percentage) during that time,

…Ranked second on the team and third in the ACC with a career-high five sacks as a junior. He trailed only Clemson’s Keith Adams and teammate Jamal Reynolds in the sack category as he earned All-ACC second team honors.


Florida State has won 21 consecutive regular season games entering the season opener. The Seminoles’ last regular season loss was at North Carolina State on Sept. 12th in 1998. The 21-game regular season run ties for the longest in school history. FSU won 21 in a row during the regular season from the start of the 1996 campaign to the final game of the 1997 season.


…Allowed a total of only 34 points (2.8 points per quarter) in the first quarter of their 12 games during the 1999 season. Louisiana Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Virginia, Maryland and Florida were all held scoreless during the first 15 minutes. Miami scored 14 points in the first quarter during the Seminoles’ 31-21 victory on Oct. 9,

…Has at least one interception in 19 of its last 26 games over the course of the last two seasons,

…Forced 21 opponent fumbles in 12 games during the 1999 season,

…Allowed an ACC-low 17.0 first downs per game during the 1999 season,

…Allowed opponents to convert on an ACC-low 28.3 percent on third downs during the 1999 season.


…Ranked fourth in the nation in scoring offense (37.5 points per game) and 12th in the nation in total offense (427.5 yards per game) despite ranking last in the ACC in time of possession margin (-3.02 minutes per game),

…Scored 18 touchdowns on plays of 25 or more yards during the 1999 season,

…Has scored at least seven points in 146 consecutive games and have not been shutout since Sept. 3, 1988. The Seminoles have failed to reach double-figure scoring only three times since the beginning of the 1988 season and are averaging 37.6 points scored per game during the span,

…Has averaged 46 touchdowns (4.0 touchdowns per game) during the last two regular seasons with senior Chris Weinke as the starting quarterback,

…Has outscored its opponents by better than a 2:1 margin (9,749 points-4,813 points) in 288 games and 24 years during the Bobby Bowden era.


The Seminoles have been tough on Associated Press Top 25 teams since joining the ACC in 1992. Over that span, FSU is 37-8-1 against ranked foes. Against ACC teams that are ranked, Florida State has posted a 20-1 mark with the only loss coming at No. 24 Virginia, 33-28, in 1995. The Seminoles have won 17 of their last 18 regular season games against ranked teams.


Florida State led the nation in 1999 with 22 interceptions. Eleven different Seminoles recorded interceptions last year with safeties Chris Hope and Derrick Gibson leading the way with four each. Three players returned them for touchdowns – Sean Key, Abdual Howard and Theon Rackley. The 1999 defense came up three interceptions shy of the school record for interceptions (25).


The Seminole passing attack was impressive in the three preseason scrimmages. In the final scrimmage, the FSU team comprised of mainly first and second team players defeated the BYU scout team 30-0 in just over a quarter of play (13 probable starters sat out as the final scrimmage as a precaution). In scrimmage No. 1, Chris Weinke hit Marvin Minnis for a 75-yard TD on the first play of the day. Weinke finished 9-of-12 for 193 yards and three touchdowns while Minnis led all receivers with 96 yards on two catches. In the second scrimmage, Coach Bowden complemented the offensive line for giving Weinke and Marcus Outzen time to find open receivers. Weinke went nine-of-14 for 157 yards and two TDs while Outzen completed seven-of-15 for 142 yards. Minnis again led all receivers with 137 yards on five catches and a pair of scores. Another bright spot was the kicking game as Brett Cimorelli and Matt Munyon each went two-for-two on field goal attempts. Outzen worked with the No. 1 offense in the third scrimmage and went 10-for-13 for 156 yards and three TDs.

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