Florida State Seminoles vs UM Canes-College Football's Greatest Rivalry-The Year was 1996

 5 Days, 21 Hours, and 1 Minute, before the University of Miami Cane Thugs start sucking  

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in our clean, fresh Tallahassee air.

There is a lot of smack talking (as well as smack) coming from scUM city.  And while some of this rhetoric is coming from the players, most of the scUMery and thugishness is coming from their fickle fans, the majority of whom have never stepped foot on a college campus. 

Here is an example of one of the comments I received that was posted as a rebuttal to one of the stories I wrote a couple of days ago in this series.

Nice job Crimnoles… shows what an education up there at Free Sneaker U can do for a Redenck Country Bumpkin. By the way, do you have any free sneakers to sell? How about any test answers to share? Any other FSU players arrested lately for assaulting the police up there in Southern Georgia a/k/a Deliverance Country? Are you still a girls’ college? If not, when did that change?

You guys are scared of the Canes because you know that the Canes have real talent now, and we are coming back strong … last year Miami had a bunch of high school age kids playing and ran out of gas after beating Virginia Tech and going 7-3, but this year with a new OC and more experience we have you shaking in your cowboy boots Jethro…and it is showing… Bobby is so old that he can’t remember where he is at, much less game plan for MIami… Bobby is game planning to play Michael Irvin and Vinny Testaverde….LMAO…. Come on Crimnoles, you and the Gaytors are kinfolk and end up marrying your sisters…and between you and the Gaytors, you jointly have the majority of trailer parks in Florida…oops, sorry, Southern Georgia for you Crimnoles… See you on Labor Day girls…. remember that there is no crying in football, so man up and shut up after we whip your butts on National TV…

The reader who wrote this only signed up for Tomahawk Nation to put me in my place, but was also kind enough to send me his picture.  He said that  the way he is dressed in this photo, is the very same outfit he always wears to the all UM games, just to show his loyalty to the program, and to proudly wear the UM colors.

Um_fan-player_headed_to_game_medium

I tried to explain to him that the picture on his T-Shirt was not that of Sebastian the Ibis, and that those were not UM's colors, but he would not listen to logic and called me a crimnole (?), which is one of the typical responses of the scUM faithful.

Anyhow, the last time we chatted we reveiwed the 1995 41-17 humiliation we gave our despicable amigos, how important it was that we win that game, and how great it was after the beat-down, watching 6 or 7 thugs trying to load themselves back into their Camaro to head back south to Little Havana, which is located right in the heart of scUM city. 

Before we get to the game in question, if you haven't had a chance to read this piece of work called Stuff Orange and Green People Like, I highly recommend you read it.  But after you read it, come back here right away because that is not a very Nole friendly site.

Today, our series continues with the game played on October 12, 1996. 

Our series continues today with the game played on October 12, 1996. 

Small_f1996_medium  Background: Top - Members of the 1947 team
Middle - Seminole greats: Ron Simmons, Fred Biletnikoff  Bottom - Ron Sellers, Charlie Ward
Foreground: Warrick Dunn, EG Green and Andre Cooper, Reinard Wilson
 

The previous season, 1995, FSU finished with an 10-2 record and a #4 ranking in the final Poll.  Aside from the spanking administered to UM, the Noles ended the season on a high note by beating Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.  However the two regular season losses to Virginia and UF locked FSU out of any possible NC contention.

In 1996, we needed this to be the year that we would go undefeated through all of our all of our regular season games, so there would be no doubt we would make it back to the NC game, and attempt to win our 2nd NC.

FSU started the season ranked in the #3 position, a spot they would alternate with #2 for most of season, that is until the end of the regular season.

Just as they had throughout the late 80's and all through the 90's, FSU's roster had the talent level every Div IA college envied.  By the end of the season, the following 4 FSU players received All-American recognition: they were Peter Boulware, Warrick Dunn, Walter Jones, and Reinard Wilson.

Thad Busby was our QB, and the oher offensive contributors included many of the returning players from 1995, such as Rock Preston, Dee Feaster, Khalid Abdullah, Pooh Bear Williams, E.G. Green, Peter Warrick, Andre Cooper, Wayne Messam, Tra Thomas, Kevin Long, Chad Bates, Todd Fordham and Marcus Long.

Other defensive contributors included Andre Wadsworth, Henri Crockett, Robert Hammond, Shevin Smith, James Colzie, Daryl Bush, Byron Capers, Sean Hamlet, Samari Rolle, Peter Boulware, Vernon Crawford, Julian Pittman, Lamont Green, and Connell Spain,

Our punter was Sean Liss, and our kicker was Scott Bentley.

Some of the incoming freshmen included Laveranues Coles, Tay Cody, Bill Gramatica, Snoop Minnis, Marcus Outzen, and  Tommy Polley among others. 

Even though we were the preseason #3 ranked team, once again Sports Illustrated dissed us and ranked us 8th in their preseason countdown. 

August 26, 1996

8. Florida State

Seminoles football has become as predictable and monotonous as the tomahawk chop. For nine consecutive years coach Bobby Bowden's teams have won at least 10 games and been ranked no lower than No. 4 in the final polls—both NCAA Division I-A records. In fact, Florida State fans are so accustomed to winning that when the Seminoles were upset by Virginia 33-28 last November, their first ACC loss since joining the league in 1991, all Tallahassee went into a frenzy of hand-wringing. What was wrong? Was Bowden slipping? "If we lose one game, we disappoint a lot of people," says junior quarterback Thad Busby. "That's not right, but we've put ourselves in that situation by having such great seasons and records."

Well, Seminoles fans, prepare yourselves for another great season and record. About the only real area of concern for Bowden is the offensive line, which lost three starters. But senior Todd Fordham, a 6'5", 300-pound tackle, and senior Chad Bates, a 6'3", 285-pound guard, should provide stability and leadership until the newcomers come around.

If the line jells, the Seminoles' offense, which led Division I-A last season with an average of 574.5 yards per game, will be its usual overpowering self. The running attack will showcase senior tailback Warrick Dunn, the 5'9", 185-pound slasher who averaged 7.5 yards per carry last fall (second in Division I-A) and became the first Seminoles runner to rush two seasons for at least 1,000 yards.

At quarterback Busby will be the fourth consecutive Florida State starter who didn't take over the job until his junior year (the others were Casey Weldon, Charlie Ward and Danny Kanell). When the 6'3", 215-pounder filled in for Kanell last season, he played well, completing 11 of 13 passes against Maryland and throwing for 156 yards against N.C. State. His primary receivers will be wideouts Andre Cooper, a senior, and E.G. Green, a junior. Last year they became the first pair of Seminoles to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Cooper also broke the school record for touchdown catches in a season.

Florida State's offense has been so potent over the years that the defense sometimes doesn't get the credit it deserves. For example, last season the Seminoles forced 34 turnovers. The line will be anchored by junior noseguard Andre Wadsworth, a former walk-on who led the team with 77 tackles in '95. The defensive ends are senior Reinard Wilson, who has 22 career sacks, just four short of the school record, and junior Peter Boulware, who led the ACC in sacks last fall with 10. The best linebacker is Daryl Bush, who was the only sophomore semifinalist for the Butkus Award last year. All four starters from the secondary return—Byron Capers, Sean Hamlet, Robert Hammond and Samari Rolle—and there are strong backups at every position.

Another 10-win season looks very possible, but the Seminoles are shooting even higher. Says Busby, "The only thing we haven't done since I've been here is have an undefeated season." Now that might impress people in Tallahassee.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008623/index.htm

 We started the regular season hosting Duke, and our defense held them to just 91 yards of total offense in 44-7 season opener.

Then we traveled to Raleigh to play NC State before an ESPN Thursday night national TV audience, we scored three touchdowns within a seven minute span of the first half and cruised to a 51-17 victory.  The FSU defense built on its impressive season opening performance by holding the Wolfpack to just 71 yards rushing and 196 total yards. The Noles recorded eight sacks.

After those two FSU routs, we climbed to second in the AP poll and once again used our defense and great special teams play to shutout 11th ranked North Carolina 13-0 in a steady rain in Tallahassee.  The third largest crowd in Doak history witnessed a classic defensive battle between the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 rated defenses. The top ranked Seminole defense limited the Tar Heels to just 187 yards of total offense, while Florida State's offense could muster just 213 yards. FSU's defense recorded eight quarterback sacks and forced three turnovers while its special teams blocked two punts and a field goal attempt.

Then Thad Busby passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs, as the #2 Noles continued its dominant efforts on defense and special teams in a 34-3 win over Clemson at Doak.  Busby completed 16 of 29 passes in leading the Noles to its best offensive performance of the season to date. E.G. Green was on the receiving end of two of Busby's touchdown throws, 37 and 60 yarders, and finished with five catches for 156 yards. Dee Feaster returned a punt for a 79 yard score, his second punt return for a TD this season. FSU's defense did not allow a touchdown for the second consecutive game and held Clemson to just 54 yards rushing.

 Finally, we headed down to play the Canes at the Orange Dump.

The #6 ranked thugs, with  their 11 game win streak built mostly by feasting on patsies, were crushed by our 3rd ranked Noles.  FSU ended a 12 year drought against Miami in the Orange Bowl and defeat the canes in Miami for the first time since 1984, as Warrick Dunn rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown to lead the Seminoles to a 34-16 win over UM.

A crowd of almost 76,000, half of who were Seminoles, witnessed the Seminole defense put together another big day by  forcing three turnovers and sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Clement eight times. Seminole defensive end Reinard Wilson had four sacks to become FSU's all-time leader with 29.

The Noles jumped out to a 17-0 1st quarter lead on 3 big plays, highlighted by a 54 fumble TD return by DB Shevin Smith, and a 80 yd TD sprint by Warrick Dunn. 

After holding the Hurricanes to a three and out series on the game's opening possession, the Florida State defense set up the contest's first points the next time Miami had the ball. FSU cornerback Troy Saunders picked off a Clement pass and returned it 25 yards to the Miami 25 yard line. Seven plays later, Scott Bentley connected on a career long 48 yard field goal to give Florida State a 3-0 lead.

The Seminole defense struck again on Miami's next possession. Linebacker Vernon Crawford's jarring tackle caused the UM player to fumble and safety Shevin Smith scooped it up and raced 54 yards for a touchdown to give FSU a 10-0 advantage.

The Tribe extended their lead to 17-0 on their next possession. Dunn darted up the middle on a draw, faked out both Hurricane safeties and outraced the rest of Miami's defenders to the endzone on a career long 80 yard touchdown run.

But then Miami got on the board on a 31 yard scoring pass. The extra point was WIDE RIGHT, making the score 17-6.

Florida State answered on the ensuing possession with a 13 play, 66 yard drive that culminated in Bentley's 32 yard field goal, which gave the Seminoles a 20-6 lead.

Miami answered with a long scoring drive of its own. Clement found Green for another TD pass, this time from five yards out, to cap an 11 play, 62 yard march. The 'Canes had cut the Seminoles' lead to just seven points with 2:29 left in the first half.

The thugs raised the hopes of their filthy fans on FSU's next possession on a rare fumble by Dunn to set up the UM offense at the FSU nine yard line. The Florida State defense made a stand and held Miami to a 26 yard field goal, cutting the Tribe's lead to 20-16, but giving the thug faithful reason to trash talk all through the halftime.

But Miami's momentum was short lived as the Seminoles put together a drive that would prove one of the most important of the entire season. The Seminoles took the second half kickoff and marched 75 yards in 10 plays with Rock Preston scoring from four yards out to give our Noles a 27-16 lead and allowed FSU to regain control of the game.

Thad Busby capped the scoring with a quarterback sneak from a yard out with 1:23 to play in the game to provide the final margin of 34-16.

Florida State's defense dominated the second half, limiting the Hurricanes to just 92 yards, 42 of which were rushing, and we pounded the cane QB with 6 sacks.

Busby became the first Seminole first year starting quarterback to beat the Hurricanes since Peter Tom Willis led the Tribe to a 24-10 win over Miami in Tallahassee in 1989.

Here is a Sports Illustrated recount of  the game, and then some. 

October 21, 1996

Razing Canes

Led by two seniors who have faced far tougher tests than a football game, Florida State stuffed Miami

A strange sound grew from the well of the Orange Bowl as the clock slowly died. It started in the field-level seats behind the Florida State bench and climbed through the upper deck. The noise was unmistakably the Seminoles' war chant, the same droning cry adopted by fans of the Atlanta Braves long after it was created in Tallahassee. "A sweet sound, a good sound; here we are eight hours away from Tallahassee, and you feel right at home," Florida State senior defensive end Peter Boulware said later in the locker room. In Miami the chant is blasphemy, and early last Saturday evening it was a gloating insult as well.

The Orange Bowl is made only of aging concrete and steel, and is slowly deteriorating. The Miami Dolphins are long gone to Pro Player Stadium (né Joe Robbie Stadium), and the Orange Bowl game will follow this January. Yet whatever vestige remained of the freewheeling Miami Hurricanes dynasty that won four national championships between 1983 and '91 had lived in the Orange Bowl, especially on the Saturdays when Florida State came to play. Five times since '84 the Seminoles had come to Miami; five times they had lost. In daylight, in arc light, by wide right and wide margins, they always lost. Now as Florida State senior defensive end Reinard Wilson nailed Miami junior quarterback Ryan Clement on the last play of the game, even that small slice of Orange Bowl glory became history.

Flush with a 34-16 victory that pushed their record to 5-0, Florida State players danced in the center of the field. Some tore up slabs of sod for transport north, others sought out old friends from the enemy side, because the Seminoles versus the Hurricanes is most of all a neighborhood fight.

Clement passed through the celebration on his way to the Hurricanes' locker room, black grease smeared on his cheeks, tears welling in his eyes. A year ago he had made his first college start in an embarrassing 41-17 loss in Tallahassee. "I felt I had the weight of the world on my shoulders," he recalled during the week leading up to this year's game. He was certain the result would be different this time. Clement had quelled his awe for Florida State's defenders by reducing them to numbers instead of names. "That's all they are—number 58, number 55, number 85," he said.

Those numbers dropped the earth on Clement on Saturday, sacking him six times and decking him many others. They made him pay for nearly every one of his 20 completions, which served to keep Miami (4-1) within reach at 20-16 at the half and 27-16 deep into the fourth quarter. "Tough guy," Wilson said after the game. "We hit him a lot." Clement rubbed his rib cage with his right hand as he shuffled into the tunnel leading to the dressing room.

Across the field Florida State coach Bobby Bowden ran excitedly toward his own locker room. Lord, how he has been cursed by Miami, four times missing a chance to coach the Seminoles in national championship games because of losses to the Hurricanes—three of which came at the Orange Bowl. (In 1991, after the first of the two losses in which a game-winning field goal attempt would sail wide right in the final minute, Bowden said his epitaph should read, "He played Miami." On Saturday he said, "I might not die at all now.") He had told his players to approach the game like this: "Don't matter if Miami runs out through smoke, don't matter what color uniforms the Hurricanes wear or what happened here in the past. Block and tackle is all. Throw and catch." In short, never mind the ghosts. After the game Bowden stood in a small room off the visitors' dressing room, pleasantly disheveled. "I didn't want to let the stadium beat us," he said.

The Orange Bowl would not beat this Florida State team. It would not unhinge Seminoles junior quarterback Thad Busby, who had heard so much about the ill fates of first-time starters in this game: He threw for 125 yards and never made the crucial mistake that could have given Miami breath. "Everything I heard all week was negative, negative, negative," said Busby afterward. He's a 6'3", 220-pound former Parade All-America (aren't they all at Florida State?) who waited three years for Charlie Ward, the 1993 Heisman Trophy winner, and then Danny Kanell to finish their Seminoles hitches before getting his chance.

Nor would the Orange Bowl keep Florida State junior linebacker Daryl Bush on the bench, even after a vicious first-quarter collision reopened a twice-stitched gash on the bridge of his nose and may have left him with a slight concussion. "I'll probably need plastic surgery on this thing," Bush said after the game, fingering two wide strips of tape covering the gore, "but there was an urgency to get back on the field. This was Miami." No surprise here. Bush is an Academic All-America with a 3.85 GPA in his major, business, who writes poetry in his spare time, but he's also known to his teammates by an assortment of nicknames—Death Row, Psycho and Butkus—all of which honor his on-field madness. His return after missing 32 plays helped the Seminoles hold the Hurricanes to 42 yards on the ground.

Most of all the Orange Bowl would not bother one little man and one big man, two seniors who were the soul of this victory. Warrick Dunn, Florida State's 5'9", 185-pound tailback, and Wilson, its 6'2", 255-pound pass-rush specialist, have weathered much sterner tests than a football stadium can administer. On Saturday, Dunn rushed for 163 yards on 22 carries, including an 80-yard first-quarter touchdown run that was the longest of his Seminoles career. Wilson sacked Clement four times and terrorized him all afternoon, bull-rushing and skirting a succession of Miami blockers with an arresting combination of strength and speed. They have little in common, these two, save for an abiding maturity and the central roles they played in Saturday's victory.

The story has been told often about Dunn's mother, Betty Dunn Smothers, a Baton Rouge policewoman who was moonlighting as a security guard when she was shot and killed during a robbery attempt. About how his mother's death left Warrick, then a high school senior, the de facto father to his five younger siblings. About how he calls home every day to make sure things are running smoothly. But even after the story has been milked, the life goes on. Dunn has played four brilliant years for Florida State, during which time the Seminoles have gone 37-4-1, and he has rushed for more than 3,000 yards, caught passes for more than 1,000 yards and scored 40 touchdowns. Yet he remains one of the most underappreciated players in the country.

He also remains a father to his three brothers (Derrick, 19, who attends McNeese State; Bricson, 15; and Travis, 14) and two sisters (Summer, 18, a freshman at Southern, and Samantha, 13). It has become almost axiomatic that major college football players remain in training year-round. Schools brag about the number of guys who stay for the summer, lifting and running and such. Florida State had a huge contingent last summer, but Dunn was not among the group. After winning All-America honors as the third leg on the Seminoles' 4x100-meter relay team, he went home to Baton Rouge to help his 59-year-old grandmother, Willie Wheeler, raise not only the five siblings but also the two cousins who have since joined them. "I never thought about staying at school," Dunn says. "This is my role in life. I believe the other guys on the team understand, but it doesn't matter. I do what I have to do for my family."

Dunn lives alone in a Tallahassee apartment, and the isolation of his college life was deepened in late August when Chuck Tanner, an elderly Tallahassee resident who had befriended Dunn and Ward three years ago, died of a heart attack. "Mr. T was the closest thing I ever had to a father," says Dunn, who is still only 21 yet is much more a parent than a child. Tanner gave him rare moments to find his youth, and Dunn, leaning forward on a wooden bench in the dressing room, spoke softly about his friend on Saturday evening. "People don't think I need to talk to somebody like that, but I really enjoyed it."

At that moment Bowden happened past in a frenzied rush. "There's my baby," he shouted at Dunn, rubbing his hand on the top of Dunn's head. "Good job, buddy. Good job." Dunn tried not to smile, eventually failing.

No more than 30 feet from Dunn, against the opposite wall, sat Wilson. There was no lack of fatherly guidance in his life, except that James Bernard (Charley Horse) Wilson taught life's lessons in a way that turned a boy into a hard man-child and, eventually, into a fearsome athlete. It was love of the variety that is taught in rural Florida, or rural anywhere.

James, 47, was raised on the same 55-acre farm eight miles outside Lake City, Fla., on which he and his wife, Patricia, would later raise Reinard and his 17-year-old sister, Kandi. James tells of having been a high school football star who hit opponents with such force that they would eventually leave the game with Charley horse, hence his nickname.

Father and son share a foundation in manual work, a form of cross-training that won't soon be advertised in sneaker commercials. When Reinard was 10, James started a land-clearing business, using a bulldozer, a front-end loader and a dump truck to flatten large parcels of land for farming or development. He started the business because, having watched Reinard help harvest tobacco on a neighbor's farm, he knew he would have an able righthand man. "When he was 11 he could handle all the equipment, come in right behind me and help with the work," says James. In fact, when Reinard left for college, James folded the business, wanting for help. He now operates a bulldozer for somebody else's company.

In the autumns of Reinard's adolescence his days went like this: farm chores before dawn, school, football practice, land clearing until dark. In the summers he worked all day. "I imagine that type of work makes you a better football player," he says.

Animals were a part of his life. He once caught a three-foot baby alligator and brought it home to live in the family farm's pond. Patricia, a sensible woman, ordered the creature removed, so Reinard marched out to the pond that very night, hauled the alligator out of the water and returned it to the swamp.

In the summer before his freshman year at Florida State, Reinard was helping his father inject calves with worm medicine when one of the critters broke loose and ran into the same pond. Undaunted, Reinard waded into the water and bulldogged the 350-pound animal back to shore. "Reinard split open his lip pretty good," James says, "but I wasn't worried about Reinard. I was worried he'd hurt my calf."

However, if there is a central tale to Reinard's upbringing, it is this: When he was 10, he stayed past dark—past his curfew—at a cousin's house. When Reinard called home asking for a ride, James told him, "Walk home. Next time you'll leave before dark." So Reinard walked three miles through swampy woods, finally emerging on State Highway 41, where his father sat in a pickup, lights on, waiting. "Never did call again," says Reinard.

The sky above the Orange Bowl has opened, rain coming in sheets from the night clouds. At the end of the narrow tunnel that leads from the stadium to the parking lot, three buses sit idling, awaiting the Seminoles. Dunn is nearly the last, shuffling aboard. Wilson follows, stopping to shake hands with his father—the two old earthmovers—and to embrace his mother. The Seminoles' season is full of promise, and soon they'll begin to catch whiffs of Nov. 30 and a Tallahassee showdown with the Florida Gators, currently ranked No. 1 in the land. It's safe to dream of a national title.

The last to exit is Bowden, hustling down the narrow corridor alongside Florida state trooper Major Billy Smith, his personal escort. Bobby's wife, Ann, jumps from behind a metal barrier and hugs him so hard that the blood leaves her hands. Bobby hugs her back and then jumps into one of four Highway Patrol cars for the 20-minute ride to the Miami airport. Lights begin flashing, sirens briefly pierce the night, as the cars roll away. The buses follow, leaving behind the Orange Bowl. Girders, grass and paint. Nothing more.

From:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008912/1/index.htm

  

OK, now  moving on through the rest of the regular season.

Thad Busby threw for 316 yards and Warrick Dunn rushed for 131 in leading the #2 FSU to a 31-24 Homecoming win over #13 Virginia in Doak. when the second largest crowd in FSU history (80,237) turned out to watch the Seminoles avenge their only loss ever in the ACC, which the Cavaliers handed them last year in Charlottesville.  Virginia proved its No. 13 ranking was no fluke as the Cavs went into the locker room with a 17-14 lead at the half. Florida State took control of the game with three unanswered scores in the second half and then held off a late UVA charge.

Next up, FSU used big plays by its offense, defense and special teams to fuel a 28 point second quarter and an eventual 49-3 win over Georgia Tech in front of an ESPN national television audience.

Then the Noles started redshirt freshman Dan Kendra at quarterback and he responded by throwing for 281 yards and three touchdowns in leading FSU to a 44-7 "road" win over Wake Forest at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The win gave the Seminoles a share of their fifth straight ACC title.  Kendra, who started in place of an injured Thad Busby, out with a fractured left wrist, completed 20-of-39 passes and led Florida State to touchdowns on four of its first five possessions. The Seminole defense continued to smother opposing offenses allowing Wake Forest just 186 yards of total offense, which included just 60 on the ground.

Then back to Tally where Warrick Dunn was brilliant in accounting for 204 yards of total offense and three touchdowns to lead the Noles to a 54-14 win over No. 25 Southern Mississippi in Doak.  Dunn's three scores moved him ahead of Greg Allen to become Florida State's all time touchdown leader with 47 over his career. Dunn rushed for 67 yards on 11 carries and caught five Thad Busby passes for 137 yards in the Nole's ninth win of the year.

Then we traveled to South Broward for the ACC Championship tiebreaker against Maryland.   Warrick Dunn became Florida State's all time leading rusher as the Seminoles downed Maryland 48-10 at Pro Player Stadium. Dunn surpassed Greg Allen's 1981-84 mark of 3,769 and finished the game with 109 yards on 16 carries.

Now Everything is all set for the showdown against the #1 Gators at Doak, for the right to play for the NC.  Click below to read SI's preview of the game. 

No. 1 Vs. No. 2

The dream showdown between unbeaten Florida and undefeated Florida State will turn on five key factors

History's 30th meeting of the top 2 teams, but only the fourth time in college football history that two undefeated teams met in the regular season finale, had Warrick Dunn saving his best for last in leading the second ranked Seminoles to a 24-21 win over top ranked Florida.

With the wind gusting at over 20 mph, FSU used a career high 185 yards rushing by Dunn and a brilliant defense, which registered six quarterback sacks with our massive pass rushing, to run our record to a perfect 11-0 and cash in a ticket to the Sugar Bowl and the national championship game.

DE Peter Boulware blocked a 1st quarter punt, and Shevin Smith (10 tackles and Int) recovered at the 2 yard line.  FB Pooh Bear Williams quickly scored his first of 2 TD's for a 10-0 Nole lead. 

WR Peter Warrick's 38 yard catch set up TE Melvin Pearsall's short TD catch, and then FSU led 17-0 in the first quarter. 

Then with the Gaturd's obnoxious and arrogant coach begging the ref's for penalties, it started raining flags on the Noles, and suddenly the Turds scored on 2 TD passes. 

After a defensive struggle for much of the third quarter and after FU missed a FG, the Noles went up 24-14 when the Pooh twisted his way in and broke the plane of the goal line. 

FU scored another TD with 1:19 remaining, but the Noles sealed the game by recovering the ensuing on-side kick.

That following Monday, FSU became the new #1 and had finished the regular season undefeated.  Click below to read SI's version of the events, which came from the issue with the cover shown at the start of this story.

How Sweet It Is

Florida State earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl and a shot at its second national title in four years by knocking off No. 1 Florida

After this great win and our first ever undefeated season, we sat back and waited to find out who would be our opponent in the NC game in the Sugar Bowl.  As it turns out, we would soon find out that we were going to have a rematch with UF for the National Championship.

In the weeks leading up to the NC game,

Steve Spurier, Florida's  gifted  (scumbag) coach, took up an intriguing bit of gamemanship prior to the Sugar Bowl.  In the late November loss to Florida State, Gator quarterback Wuerffel had spent a lot of plays under a pile of hard-charging Seminole pass rushers.  Seeking to gain even a split second more passing time for Wuerffel, the recent Heisman Trophy winner, Spurrier(assclown) launched a consistent barrage of complaints against FSU for late hits and dirty tactics.  Whether Spurrier(fartface) believed the "Dirty Football" image or not, he was hoping to get the Sugar Bowl referee to pay more attention to possible roughing-the-passer fouls and, even better, to force the Seminole defense to ease up slightly for fear of getting flagged.  Spurrier (scumbo's) media strategy worked. 

Excerpt from the book;

50 Years of College Football: A Modern History of America's Most Colorful Sport

 By Bob Boyles, Paul Guido

*Note-Words appearing in parenthesis are this authors (mine) embellishments.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - A month after Florida State defeated Florida 24-21 in the regular season finale in Tallahassee, Danny Wuerffel lead the Gators to a 52-20 victory in what turned out to be a Sugar Bowl rematch for the national title. FSU, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation, ended the season ranked No. 3 in both polls extending its NCAA record to 10 straight years of finishing in the Top Four of the AP poll.

   FSU RECORD  11- 1
   AGAINST ACC     8- 0
   AGAINST TOP 25  5- 1
   FINAL  AP  -  3
   FINAL CNN  -  3

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