Sept. 30, 1997
SETTING THE SCENE: No. 4 Florida State welcomes the Miami Hurricanes to Tallahassee for the 41st meeting of the series. FSU’s defense is leading the nation in rushing defense (38.0 YPG), while the offense ranks fourth in the nation in passing offense (356.3 YDG).
THE OPPONENT: Miami (1-3) will be unranked for the second time in three years for the FSU game. The Hurricanes host West Virginia on Sept. 27th before travelling to Tallahassee next week. The ‘Canes are coming off a 21-17 road loss to conference foe Pittsburgh on Thursday, Sept. 18th. Miami averages 108.3 rushing yards per game and 342.3 total offense yards per contest, but is giving up 402.0 per game. Edgerrin James is the ‘Canes leading rusher with 81.5 yards per game, while freshman receiver Reggie Wayne has posted 76.3 receiving yards per game.
SERIES NOTES: Miami leads the series 23-17 in FSU’s longest series. FSU has won the last two tilts which is the first time since 1978 & 1979 that the Seminoles have won two straight in the series. Bobby Bowden is 9-14 vs. the Hurricanes in his career, including wins in three of the last four meetings. Miami is the only team to shut out the ‘Noles in the past 19 seasons, holding FSU scoreless in 1976 and 1988. There have been six one-point games in series history and 11 games have been decided by three points or less. Thirteen Seminoles hail from the city of Miami. Miami is one of six former national champions on Florida State’s 1997 schedule.
TELEVISION: ABC-Sports. Talent: Keith Jackson, Bob Griese, Lynn Swann.
RADIO: Seminole Sports Network. Talent: Gene Deckerhoff, Vic Prinzi.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Seminoles have not lost in Doak Campbell Stadium since the 17-16 “Wide Right I” loss to Miami in 1991. FSU is riding a 30-game (29-0-1) unbeaten streak in Doak Campbell Stadium since that game. The lone tie was the famous fourth quarter 31-31 comeback against Florida in 1994. Bobby Bowden has posted a 106-16-2 (86.3%) record in Doak Campbell.
ALWAYS A TOUGH GAME
While almost every other team in the nation can say the same for both FSU and Miami, the Hurricanes have been an awfully tough hurdle for the Seminoles. The Tribe enters the 1997 game undefeated for the eigth consecutive year. The ‘Canes have handed Bowden his first loss of the season at FSU eight times (1977-80-87-88-90-91-92-94) in his 22 years in Tallahassee.
A LOOK BACK
To put the impact of the FSU-Miami series into perspective, most look at the 1987 game which was Deion Sanders’ junior year. A total of 52 players who were listed on the roster in Miami’s 26-25 win that season went on to play in the NFL — 29 Hurricanes and 23 Seminoles.
Florida Sate offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Mark Richt played quarterback at Miami behind named Jim Kelly. In 1982, Richt started against the Tribe, completing 18-of-37 passes for 237 yards in a 24-7 loss to Florida State. In addition to Kelly, two other future NFL quarterbacks were on the Hurricanes’ roster — Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar.
WINNING ON THE GROUND
In the past nine meetings between FSU and Miami, the team that has totalled the most rushing yards has emerged victorious. The last time the losing team rushed for more yards than the winner was 1987. FSU out-gained Miami 225 to 52 on the ground that year, but lost 26-25 after an incomplete two-point conversion pass. Last year, the Seminoles rushed for 222 yards, including a 163-yard performance by Warrick Dunn. The ‘Canes were held to 42 yards on 41 carries by FSU’s No. 1 rushing defense.
A RECORD UP FOR GRABS
Biletnikoff Award candidate E.G. Green enters the Miami game looking to extend his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 31 games and break an FSU record. Including bowl games, Green has caught a pass in 30 consecutive games dating back to the 1994 Notre Dame game in Orlando. He tied Florida State record for consecutive games with a catch is 30 by Ron Sellers and Lawrence Dawsey against Clemson. Green is a two-time second team All-ACC selection and has led the team in receiving for two straight seasons.
AGAINST RANKED FOES
After wins over No. 23 Southern California and No. 15 Clemson, Florida State is 56-61-4 vs. AP Top 25 opponents. FSU is 22-5-1 vs. ranked teams in its last 28 such games.
AYE, AYE CAPTAIN
Coach Bowden named the game captains for the season at the Seminoles’ annual kickoff luncheon. Center Kevin Long will lead the offense, LB Daryl Bush will captain the defense and CB Shevin Smith is the special teams captain. At the end of the season, the team will vote on permanent captains.
WADSWORTH & THE LOMBARDI
Defensive end Andre Wadsworth has been named one of 12 Lombardi Award semifinalists. Wadsworth leads the ACC with six sacks and has recorded 20 tackles, including eight for a loss, this season. Four finalists for the award will be announced on Oct. 31st.
The Florida State Sports Information office will be compiling the NCAA Sacks Leaders list this season starting Sept. 30th. The SID office will post the list on the internet at www.seminoles.com/sacks. The list is also available on the ACC Faxback. Call 910/854-5859 from your fax machine and use document code #31056.
MAKING BIG PLAYS
After not forcing a single turnover against Maryland, Florida State forced three in the first half alone against Clemson. FSU forced four turnovers total, including three interceptions, in the game. The last time FSU had three interceptions in a game was last year’s 24-21 win over Florida.
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS “GREEN”ER
DEFENSE & SPECIAL TEAMS ALWAYS A KEY
The last five FSU-Miami games have featured a touchdown by the defense or special teams.
1996 FSU 34-16 Shevin Smith (FSU) 54-yard fumble recovery 1995 FSU 41-17 Trent Jones (UM) rec. blocked punt in endzone 1994 UM 34-20 Carlos Jones (UM) 16-yard interception return 1993 FSU 28-10 Devin Bush (FSU) 40-yard interception return 1992 UM 19-16 Tamarick Vanover (FSU) 94-yard kickoff return
FORMER WALK-ONS EARN THEIR KEEP
Once upon a time, defensive end Andre Wadsworth and rover safety Shevin Smith were walkons at Florida State. Now, the Miami natives are not only full-fledged starters, but candidates for national awards and recognition. Wadsworth, who leads FSU with six sacks after moving to end from the interior this season, is a Lombardi Award semifinalist and has been listed among the top picks for the NFL Draft after this season. Smith, a Jim Thorpe Award candidate, has 10 tackles, one interception and two pass break-ups on the season.
SENIOR QBS AGAINST MIAMI
The Seminoles’ senior quarterbacks have seen increasing success against Miami in the 1990s. Three of the last four FSU QBs have defeated the Hurricanes, including the last two. In 1995, Danny Kanell led the Tribe to a 41-17 win over Miami — FSU’s most lopsided win over the ‘Canes since a 38-3 victory in 1984.
Year Score Quarterback Comp-Att Yds TD INT 1995 FSU 41-17 Kanell 17-of-27 170 3 0 1993 FSU 28-10 Ward 21-of-31 256 1 0 1991 UM 17-16 Weldon 17-of-26 209 0 1 1990 FSU 24-10 Willis 7-of-20 129 0 1
BUSBY LOOKING FOR A 1,000
Senior quarterback Thad Busby has passed for 916 yards through three games and will be looking to hit the 1,000-yard mark against Miami. Last season, it took Busby six games to break 1,000 yards passing. Except for Danny Kanell’s junior season, Busby is the closest QB to 1000 passing yards in the last six seasons. Here’s a look at recent FSU QBs through three games:
Year QB Comp-Att Yds TD INT 1997 Busby 62-of-101 916 4 3 1996 Busby 35-of-60 391 4 5 1995 Kanell 62-of-86 755 11 2 1994 Kanell 80-of-120 946 6 4 1993 Ward 63-of-90 783 6 0 1992 Ward 53-of-102 802 9 9
WARRICK MAKES HIS MARK
Receiver Peter Warrick’s eight receptions for 249 yards against Clemson was his single-game career-high for receiving yards and marked his first 100-yard (and 200-yard) receiving game. His previous career best was 87 yards on four catches against Southern Miss last year. Warrick’s eight receptions were also a career best.
A LOOK AT FSU & THE ACC
FSU TOTAL OFFENSE VS. ACC OPPONENTS UM DU CU WFU UNC NCS GT UVA 1992 858 494 263 461 359 336 378 413 1993 526 628 634 647 489 553 582 560 1994 731 620 393 562 421 424 396 513 1995 616 797 455 748 377 745 415 546 1996 496 221 453 401 213 527 443 533 1997 559 AVG 631 552 440 564 372 517 443 513 FSU SCORING VS. ACC OPPONENTS UM DU CU WFU UNC NCS GT UVA 1992 69 48 24 35 36 34 29 13 1993 49 45 57 54 33 62 51 40 1994 52 59 17 56 31 34 41 41 1995 59 70 45 72 28 77 42 28 1996 48 44 34 44 13 51 49 31 1997 50 AVG 54.5 53.2 35.4 52.2 28.2 51.6 42.4 30.6
FSU POINTS ALLOWED VS. ACC OPPONENTS UM DU CU WFU UNC NCS GT UVA 1992 21 21 20 7 13 13 24 3 1993 20 7 0 0 7 3 0 14 1994 20 20 0 14 18 3 10 17 1995 17 26 26 13 12 17 10 33 1996 10 7 3 7 0 17 3 24 1997 7 AVG 15.8 16.2 9.8 8.2 10 10.6 9.4 18.2
ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
vs. Southern California
4 UT, 4 AT, 2 sacks, 1 TFL
6 UT, 4 AT, 2 TFL
Def. Backs &
vs. Southern California
12 UT, 6 AT, 1/2 sack
44 FG, 49 FG
9 of 10 kickoffs were touchbacks
FSU 14, SO. CALIFORNIA 7
9/6/97 — Dee Feaster rushed for 74 yards and a TD as FSU defeated No. 23 USC in Los Angeles. QB Thad Busby passed for 276 yards and the defense held the Trojans to 25 yards rushing in the contest. Feaster scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie and end an 80-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 46-yard E.G. Green reception.
FSU 50, MARYLAND 17
9/13/97 — E.G. Green caught six passes for 118 yards and two TDs as FSU downed ACC foe Maryland. The Seminole defense held the Terps to 105 yards total offense. Thad Busby completed a career-high 26 passes (34 att.) for 308 yards and two TDs in just one half of action.
FSU 35, CLEMSON 28
9/20/97 — Peter Warrick scored three TDs and racked up 372 all-purpose yards as FSU squeaked by Clemson, 35-28. Warrick caught a career-high eight passes for 249 yards and two TDs, including an 80-yard TD reception. He also returned a punt 90 yards for a score. Thad Busby passed for a career-high 332 yards. The Seminoles intercepted three passes and Sam Cowart recovered a fumble for a score.