Dec. 28, 2008
Seminole Quick Hits
* With Saturday’s victory over Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl…
– Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden earned his 21st bowl victory.
– Bowden improved to 21-10-1 in 32 bowl appearances
– Bowden improved his all-time bowl winning percentage to .672
– Florida State improved to 23-15-2 in 40 all-time bowl appearances
* Jamie Robinson recorded his second forced fumble of the season knocking the ball loose from Wisconsin’s P.J. Hill in the third quarter. Derek Nicholson was there for the recovery his third of the season.
* Toddrick Verdell tallied a career-high 8.5 tackles in Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl. Verdell’s previous high of eight came against Western Carolina in the first game of the season. Verdell was also credited with a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.
* The last time Florida State took a lead into the half in a bowl game was during the 2004 season. The Seminoles led 13-12 at the half against West Virginia on their way to a 30-18 victory over the Mountaineers in the 2005 Gator Bowl. On Saturday, Florida State defeated Wisconsin 42-13.
Graham Gano became the first kicker and second specialist in the history of the Champs Sports Bowl to win the game’s MVP award. Gano finished the game with six points going a perfect 6-for-6 in extra point attempts. The senior kicker also tallied five punts for an average of 48.2 yards per punt. He dropped four punts inside 10 and one went for a game-long 58 yards. Graham entered Saturday’s game with four of his 17 punts inside the 20.
Bowl Game Attendance
For the fourth time in the last five years, Florida State has helped set a new attendance record at a bowl game. In Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl game against Wisconsin, the announced attendance was 52,692, the largest ever in Champs Sports Bowl history. It is the second largest crowd in the history of the bowl which dates to the 1990 Blockbuster Bowl at Dolphins Stadium, formerly known as Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Fla. That game drew 74,021 fans to see a match-up between Florida State and Penn State, a game won by the Seminoles 24-17.
Defense Scores Twice
The Seminoles registered their second defensive touchdown on Saturday following Dekoda Watson’s 51-yard fumble return in the third quarter. Everette Brown forced the fumble after sacking Wisconsin quarterback Dustin Sherer. The forced fumble was his fourth of the season to lead all Seminole players. The touchdown by Watson was his first of the season and second of his career. The junior linebacker scored his first career touchdown on a 40-yard interception return in the third quarter against Virginia Tech in 2007. The first defensive touchdown on Saturday came courtesy of Derek Nicholson who broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter returning a Wisconsin fumble 75 yards for the first touchdown of the Champs Sports Bowl.
The last time Florida State registered two defensive touchdowns in a game was September 27, 2003 in a 56-7 win over Duke in Durham. A.J. Nicholson scored on a three-yard fumble return and Antonio Cromartie scored on a 71-yard interception return.
Neefy Moffett tied a career-high with three tackles for loss against Wisconsin in Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl. Moffett’s previous high for tackles for loss came against Wake Forest in 2007. Moffett finished the game with three tackles increasing his season total to 19. This year 11 of his 19 tackles were recorded as tackles for loss. The senior defensive tackle has notched 24.5 career tackles for loss.
Antone Continues To Score
Senior tailback Antone Smith recorded a six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for his first touchdown of the game. It marked Smith’s 26 career rushing touchdown and 15th rushing touchdown of the season moving him into a tie for third at Florida State with Dayne Williams who tallied 15 touchdowns on the ground for the Seminoles in 1987. On the score, Smith increased his season touchdown total to 16 tying him with Warrick Dunn, who tallied 13 rushing and three receiving in 1995, for touchdowns in a season. With 39 yards in Saturday’s game, Smith moved ahead of Mark Lyles to finish his career in eighth place all-time for career rushing yards with 2255.
Career Day For Jones
Freshman tailback Carlton Jones registered his first collegiate touchdown in the third quarter of Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl. Jones tallied the fourth Seminole touchdown of the game scoring from 14 yards out. The Tampa, Fla., native finished the game with four rushes for a career-high 55 yards. He also set a career-high for the longest rush for scrimmage scampering 31 yards on a third down and two from the Wisconsin 45. His four carries tied a career-high previously set against Maryland in 2008. Jones entered Saturday’s game with seven rushing attempts for 44 yards.
Brown Adds To Career Sack Total
With a third quarter sack in Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl, Everette Brown pushed his season sack total to 13.5 while increasing his career sack total to 23. On the single-season charts, Brown moved into a tie for third at FSU with Reinard Wilson (1996). For his career, Brown, moved into a tie for fifth place at FSU with Andre Wadsworth (94-97) and Alonso Jackson (99-02).
Carr Ties Career-High For Receptions
Senior wide out Greg Carr tied a career-high with eight receptions in Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl, a record he set in 2007 against Wake Forest. Carr finished the game with a game-high 78 receiving yards and a touchdown.
All-Time Kickoff Return Leader
With 71 kickoff return yards in the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl, Michael Ray Garvin became the all-time leader in career kickoff return yards at FSU with 1,721. The previous record holder was Keith Ross (1985-88) with 1,703 career kickoff return yards. Garvin also tied Ross for the school record in career kickoff returns with 73. The senior also set the school record for return average in a season with 30.09 yards per kick return.
Touchdown For Caz
Junior tight end Caz Piurowski caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Christian Ponder for his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter. Piurowski finished the game with two receptions for 32 yards.