Aug. 28, 1999
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida State’s Peter Warrick came back to college
for his final season with a purpose: He wants a national championship on his
resume when he turns pro.
Warrick’s slithering 20-yard touchdown run late in the first half broke a
7-7 tie as the top-ranked Seminoles overcame a sluggish start to take a 41-7
victory Saturday over Louisiana Tech.
“Warrick’s run was unbelievable,” Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell said.
“When you play against people like that, that’s what they do. They make huge
plays for their team.”
Warrick, who also caught nine passes for 121 yards, took a handoff from
quarterback Chris Weinke and ran laterally across the field – reversing
direction twice to elude several Bulldogs defenders – before racing upfield to
the end zone to give the Seminoles a 14-7 lead 39 seconds before halftime.
“I thought we had him tackled 15 times,” said Bicknell, who was making his
debut as a college coach. “I said, `OK, he’s down’ and the next thing I know
he keeps going. That was frustrating.”
“It happened so fast,” Warrick said. “When I ran to the left and came
back to the right and I saw the middle, I said, `Oh, yeah, this is going to be
Earlier in the same possession, Warrick ran 21 yards on a third-down reverse
to keep the scoring drive alive.
“A lot of guys were looking up to me so I just wanted to step up and make a
play,” said Warrick, who spurned sure millions and the NFL this year to play
his senior season.
Weinke, making his first appearance since a four-hour operation on his spine
last November, was 20-of-32 for 242 yards and threw two touchdown passes to
freshman Anquan Boldin on plays covering 4 and 29 yards.
“I didn’t think Chris’ injury would bother him, but I’m glad he got in
there and was fine,” Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. “I was more
concerned about him being rusty and he might have been.”
Sparked by Warrick’s touchdown, Florida State blew the game open in the
“We needed that. We needed someone to spark the offense,” Weinke said.
“Coach Bowden said before the game that great players make great plays.”
William McCray scored on a 1-yard run and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a
49-yard field goal in addition to Boldin’s second TD catch as Florida State
took a 31-7 lead.
Louisiana Tech tied the game 7-7 midway through the second quarter when
quarterback Tim Rattay arched a 13-yard scoring pass to John Simon.
Rattay, the nation’s leading passer a year ago, completed 28 of 48 passes
for 240 yards, but suffered two interceptions.
Florida State’s defense, ranked first nationally a year ago, allowed 269
yards, but only 80 in the second half.
Linebacker Theon Rackley picked off Rattay’s pass and ran 10 yards for a
touchdown early in the final period, boosting Florida State’s lead to 38-7.
“You make little mistakes against them and they are going to turn them into
big plays,” Rattay said.
Janikowski added a 23-yard field goal to complete the scoring as Florida
State extended its home unbeaten streak to 41 games. The Seminoles’ last loss
in Tallahassee was a 17-16 defeat to Miami in 1991.
Warrick’s go-ahead touchdown came after Louisiana Tech, threatening to take
the lead, instead turned the ball over. Tech’s Sean Canagelosi fumbled when hit
at the Florida State 5 by Clevan Thomas, and Sean Key recovered for the
“The guy made a big hit, those things happen,” Rattay said.
“They had the momentum when we got the key fumble recovery,” Bowden said.
“When Peter made the run … it took it away from them.”
Louisiana Tech had gotten the ball when Bobby Gray picked off Weinke’s pass
from the end zone to avoid being sacked for a safety. Weinke had thrown 237
consecutive passes without an interception, eclipsing the Atlantic Coast
Conference mark of 231 straight by Virginia’s Matt Blundin.
Louisiana Tech was a last-minute substitute on the Florida State schedule
for Auburn, which paid $500,000 to buy out of a two-year, home-and-home deal
with the powerful Seminoles.