November 12, 1999 - by
Florida State Closes Out Near Perfect Decade On Home Field

Nov. 12, 1999


Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Top-ranked Florida State closes out a near perfect
decade on its home field Saturday when it plays host to banged-up Maryland.

The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have never lost to
Maryland and are about as sound physically and emotionally as they’ve been all

“We’re plenty well prepared for the game,” coach Bobby Bowden said. “It’s
a matter of going out there and executing.”

Bowden’s teams are 106-13-1 this decade and 56-1-1 at home where they
haven’t lost since a 17-16 defeat to Miami eight years ago. The home field
unbeaten string stands at 45 games and the Seminoles have won 28 straight since
a 31-31 tie with Florida in 1994.

No ACC team has won a league game at Florida State, which can reach the
10-victory plateau for an unprecedented 13th consecutive year while Maryland
(5-4, 2-4) needs a victory Saturday or in the season finale against Virginia to
pin down its first winning record in four seasons.

Bowden isn’t worried that an open date last weekend will slow the Seminoles.

“We’ve covered stuff over and over and over,” he said. “We should know
what we’re doing.”

Closing out the year with victories over Maryland and next weekend at No. 4
Florida would catapult the Seminoles into the national title game for the third
time in four years.

“If we don’t get this one, next week means nothing,” Bowden said.

At the same time, Bowden hopes he doesn’t have to show too much against
Maryland, which is likely to see a lot of passes from quarterback Chris Weinke.

Several of Weinke’s targets – Peter Warrick, Ron Dugans and Germaine
Stringer – are making their final home appearance along with nearly a score of
other seniors, including All-American tackle Corey Simon and his running mate
Jerry Johnson.

Although he missed two games last month because of legal problems, Warrick
is on the verge of surpassing several school and ACC receiving records. He
needs 87 receiving yards Saturday to become the league’s career leader.

Johnson and Simon, meanwhile, are closing in on Ron Simmons’ career record
for tackles for loss.

Maryland would like nothing better than to ruin the day Florida State fans
honor another group of seniors that has sustained the school’s football

“There is something special about playing the number one team in the
country,” Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden said. “This is a chance for us to
get better.”

Late-season injuries complicate the Terrapins’ bid for their first victory
against the Seminoles.

Freshman quarterback Latrez Harrison has appeared in eight of Maryland’s
games, but has thrown just 13 passes. Starter Calvin McCall was knocked out
with a knee injury in last week’s loss to North Carolina State.

“I can’t imagine a true freshman having a more challenging first game,”
Vanderlinden said. “Hopefully this experience will be good for both him and
the team.”

Related Articles