December 8, 2000 - by
Florida State Football Begins Preparations For National Championship Game

Dec. 8, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The defending national champion Florida State Seminoles returned to practice Friday in preparation for their title defense against the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the FedEx Orange Bowl. The Seminoles practiced in shorts for 12 periods Friday afternoon.
“We spent the day introducing the players to what we are doing again,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “We just worked on ourselves today and we didn’t begin to work on Oklahoma yet.”
Atrews Bell led the way for the offense Friday afternoon. Bell, a junior from Jacksonville, Fla., caught big passes during one-on-one and two-on-two drills and also pulled in a deep pass along the sideline from Jared Jones. Bell also had the catch of the afternoon when he snared a high pass in traffic across the middle of the field. Talman Gardener also made some big plays on the offensive side of the ball. Gardner hauled in a long TD during one-on-one drills and also ran under a deep ball from Jared Jones for a long completion during 11-on-11’s.
Darnell Dockett led the way defensively for the Seminoles Friday afternoon. Dockett collapsed the pocket and pressured Jones during 11-on-11 drills and also got into the offensive backfield during pass-rush drills. Stanford Samuels, Patrick Newton and Malcolm Tatum all broke up passes during one-on-one and two-on-two drills.
“The kids worked hard today,” said Bowden. “We’ll spend the next few days working around finals and keep getting back into the swing of things.”
Florida State will continue its Orange Bowl preparations Saturday at noon and then attend the annual football banquet at the Leon County Civic Center at 6:00 p.m. that evening. Team awards will be handed out at the annual banquet and the players and coaches will watch the Heisman Award ceremonies unfold as they see if teammate Chris Weinke wins FSU’s second Heisman Trophy.
“I am really looking forward to tomorrow night’s banquet,” said Bowden. “We moved it up to December so all of our graduating seniors would have a chance to participate. We’ll get a chance to watch the Heisman ceremony together and it looks like it will be a very close race.”

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