Aug. 26, 2000
By Steve Mraz
JACKSONVILLE, FLa. – If Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke didn’t have the tools to make a successful bid for the Heisman Trophy in 1999, it appears as if he’s rounding out his game to make a strong run in 2000.
The 28-year-old signal caller threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns as the No. 2 ranked Seminoles downed Brigham Young 29-3 in Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium. Completing a career high of 32 passes on 50 attempts, Weinke received Most Valuable Player honors in the Pigskin Classic.
Weinke’s night also included a career-long 21-yard run in the second quarter. His previous personal best was an eight-yard rush.
On the Noles first offensive play from scrimmage, Weinke went deep for wideout Marvin Minnis down the Florida State sideline but the pass fell out of bounds.
Just six plays later, Weinke showed his improved mobility (he shed 15 pounds in the off-season) when he scrambled toward the BYU sideline and connected with Javon Walker on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Walker managed to sneak his left foot into the back of the endzone before his right landed out of bounds.
“I was happy with the receivers. I think they did a good job. They came up with some big plays,” Weinke said. “Hopefully, they’ll continue to do that but there’s parts of our game that we all need to work on.”
With 3:01 left in the first quarter, the six-foot-five, 230-pound QB found receiver Atrews Bell in the right flat of the endzone from three yards out for the second touchdown toss of the night.
Minnis made what was probably the most spectacular grab of the night at the 8:51 mark in the fourth quarter. The receiver reached over the back of BYU corner Isiah Joiner to pick up 34 yards and put the Seminoles on the Cougar nine yard line. Joiner interfered on the play, but FSU declined the penalty.
Weinke shared the wealth in the game, hitting eight different receivers on the night. He also moved ahead of Thad Busby and into third place on FSU’s all-time passing yardage list during the contest. He now has 5,990 career yards in the air.
“We did make some good plays and that’s the bottom line. We won the game,” Weinke said. “But again, we’ve got a lot of room to improve. We’ll get better after we watch the film.”