December 13, 2002 - by
FSU Football Wraps Up Finals And Shifts Focus To Sugar Bowl

Dec. 13, 2002

Tallahassee, FL –
With finals now in the past, the 16th-ranked Florida State football team (9-4) returned to the practice field as they turn their attention to the Nokia Sugar Bowl and the Georgia Bulldogs (12-1). The team practiced in shorts for 12 periods and as soon as the final horn blew, the questions about former FSU offensive coordinator and current Georgia head coach Mark Richt began.

Richt, head coach Bobby Bowden’s long-time assistant, had worked at FSU for 15 seasons before accepting the Georgia job just before the Seminoles battled Oklahoma for the 2000 National Championship. This is the first time the two will face off against one another as head coaches but in 1978 Richt did throw a TD pass against FSU in a game the Seminoles went on to win 31-21.

“I tried to recruit him (Richt) out of high school, said Bowden. “We sat in my old office together. He ended up at the University of Miami but I stayed in touch with him and when a position came open, we were able to bring him here.”

The Bulldogs come into the January 1st game ranked third in the BCS and fourth in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the AP Poll. Richt is 20-5 in two seasons, which is the most wins ever by a Georgia coach in his first two seasons on the job. He also led UGA to its first SEC title since 1982 this year.

“As a coach, I think he (Richt) is a little more restrained than I am, I know he’s not as animated as me,” said Bowden. “Mark is very quiet and very astute at what he does. He is really done a good job of pulling that team together and he has a great staff. They are very well coached.”

In other news, FSU Director of Sports Medicine Randy Oravetz has ruled Antoine Mirambeau out for the 2003 Nokia Sugar Bowl and will continue to monitor the progress of Nick Maddox and Montrae Holland leading up to the New Year’s Day game.

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