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Florida State Seminoles vs UM Canes-College Football's Greatest Rivalry-The Year was 1997

Authors note: This installment was supposed to be published Wednesday, but due to software issues, it was deleted. I have recreated it as well as I could but without formatting capabilities and in a shortened version due to the time restraints. My apologies.


4 Days, 2 Hours, and 11 Minutes, before the University of Miami Cane Thugs start sucking



in our clean and fresh Tallahassee air.

There is a lot of smack talking 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.

The last time we spoke we recalled the October 12,1996. 34-16 spanking we gave our despicable amigos. Let 
me tell you what an awesome sight it was watching my Noles digging up the field after the game, to finally bring back a piece of sod from the Orange Dump in Little Havana, which is located right in the heart of scUM city, to bury in Tallahassee. While this was a great sight to watch, for some reason that I never did quite understand, I am pretty sure it was never officially buried in the SOD cemetery. But none of that matters, because the 12 year winless drought in the Orange Dump was finally over, the players were enjoying ripping up and bringing back a piece of the turf, and we fans that were there watching all of this, were simply delirious.

Here is a quick recap of that 1996 victory, which was our 2nd in a row against the canes, and the first time since 1978 and 1979 that we were able to take 2 in a row.

The sixth-ranked Hurricanes fell to the third-ranked Seminoles in the Orange Dump for the first time since 1984. FSU raced to a 17-0 lead on a Scott Bentley field goal, Shevin Smith's fumble return for a touchdown, and Warrick Dunn's 80-yard touchdown run. Miami responded with a 31-yard touchdown pass. FSU came back with another Bentley field goal, but Miami then scored on a five-yard TD pass and a 26-yard FG to make the halftime score 20-16 FSU. The canes would get no closer as the Seminoles took the 2nd half kickoff 75 yards and Rock Preston scored, and finally Thad Busby snuck in to secure the victory.

That season, for the first time in FSU history, the Noles were undefeated during the regular season, only to have our dreams crushed in the National Championship game at the Sugar Bowl by the limp lizards.

In 1997, our goal was once again to go undefeated through our regular season games, and this time bring the crystal trophy back to Tallahassee. We had been so close the past few seasons since our first NC of 1993. We needed to prove that '93 was no fluke and that we could (and would) win our 2nd NC. Anything less would be a disappointment for the Seminole Nation. We also knew that later in the season, the scUM would be visiting Doak with revenge on their minds. We really wanted needed to take back control of this seriesand win 3 in a row for the first time in the Bowden era.

FSU Anthem - Warchant Rap


FSU Anthem - Warchant Rap (via bigfiki)

Before I start talking about the 1997 season I would like to share some personal thoughts.

Very often major events happen during our lifetime that stick with you for the rest of your life. Many times some of those events are so important in the course of history, that people may sometimes ask,

DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE WHEN.....(something important)....HAPPENED?

The game played on October 4, 1997 was one of those special events in my life. I will always remember every detail of that magnificent day.

I realize that I have probably been boring many of the newer generation Noles with all of the history from this rivalry, much of which occurred before your time.

I realize that for most of you, this 1997 game probably also occurred before you even knew what a Seminole was, and probably around a time in your life that you did not care about college football, because you were probably too involved with what was going on in your elementary or junior high school.

For those readers, I just ask that you patiently wait a little longer as we work our way towards the present, where some of these great wins in this rivalry may have some significance to YOU. They will be coming.

Lastly to those same readers I just want to say that this was one of the greatest days in this rivalry, and probably one of the top 5 after the National Championships of course, in FSU football history.

For those others like myself who still have not quite started suffering from dementia, if you are interested in sharing with the rest of us, we would love to hear,

A) Do you remember where you were for this epic FSU game?

2) Did this game have any significance to you?

D) Are there are any fond memories of this game or of that season that you would care to share?

A_andycrosland97_mediumMiami is buried by the Florida State rush during the Noles' 47-0 rout in 1997.

OK, let's start the 1997 FSU football season.

OK, let's start the 1997 FSU football season.

Daryl Bush, Kevin Long and EG Green Small_f1997_medium


FSU started the 1997 season ranked #5 position in both preseason polls.

Once again, just as had been the case for the past 15 years, the FSU roster had the talent that any collegecoach would have loved to have. By the end of the season, the following 11 FSU players received All-American recognition: they were Ross Brannon, Daryl Bush, Tay Cody, Sam Cowart, E.G. Green, Donald Heaven, Sebastian Janikowski, Kevin Long, Samari Rolle, Tra Thomas, and Andre Wadsworth.

With the exception of Thad Busby, who was backed up by Dan Kendra, we were a very young offense. Some of the other offensive contributors included true freshman Travis Minor, Davy Ford, Dee Feaster, Khalid Abdullah, Vaneez Gooch, Peter Warrick, Laveraneus Coles, Melvin Pearsall, Damian Harrell, Germaine Stringer, Snoop Minnis, Ron Dugans, Jason Whittaker, Jeremy Brett, and Larry Smith.

Our defense was a little more experienced, and included Robert Hammond, Shevin Smith, Julian Pittman, Dexter Jackson, Lamont Green, Tony Bryant, Jerry Johnson, Larry Smith, Corey Simon, and Greg Spires.

Our punter was Keith Cottrel, and our kicker was true freshman Sebastian Janikowski, who beat out Bill Gramitica.

Some of the incoming freshmen included Tony Bryant, Ronald Boldin, Jeff Chaney, Keith Cottrell, Stacy Davis, Carver Donaldson, Davy Ford, Derrick Gibson, Janikowski, Bradley Jennings, William McCray, Travis Minor, Jamal Reynolds. Clevan Thomas, David Warren, and the old man himself, Chris Weinke, among others.

Even though we were the preseason #5 team in both polls, once again Sports Illustrated ranked us a little lower at #6 in their preseason countdown.

From SI's August 25, 1997 Issue.

6. Florida State

"There's something old-fashioned about this Seminoles team, and it's not a coach who says goldarnit. In an era when the NFL has made the fifth-year senior All-America as much of a campus relic as the typewriter (kids, ask your parents), Florida State has several candidates: linebackers Daryl Bush and Sam Cowart, defensive end Andre Wadsworth, wide receiver E.G. Green and quarterback Thad Busby. They are among the 10 remaining players from the Seminoles' recruiting class of 1993, which has already sent Warrick Dunn and Peter Boulware to the NFL. These veterans can pass along the legend of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Charlie Ward. They can show the underclassmen-especially coach Bobby Bowden's crop of aspiring freshmen-their championship rings.

"In '93 we played 11 freshmen, and that was very out of line for us," Bowden says. "Of course, that was the year we won the national championship."

The trip down memory lane is relevant this fall because Florida State lacks experience, especially in the backfield, where Dunn took care of his academics (he graduated) and academics took care of his backup, junior Rock Preston (he's ineligible and not enrolled at Florida State). "I don't think we have to have 11 freshmen," says Bowden. "If four or five help, that ought to do it."

If Dunn-sized (5'9", 182 pounds) junior tailback Dee Feaster doesn't make the job his, don't be surprised to see true freshman Travis Minor. Like Dunn, Minor came out of Baton Rouge Catholic, where he rushed for 2,649 yards and 33 touchdowns last season while wearing number 28 to honor Dunn. To get away from the considerable shadow of Dunn, who scored 10 touchdowns as a Seminoles freshman in 1993, Minor (6'1", 190 pounds) will wear number 23 at Florida State.

Minor isn't the only one who has changed his number. Cowart, who was the Seminoles' leading tackier in 1995 but sat out last season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, has switched from number 56 to number 1. "My goal is to be the Number 1 linebacker in the country, the Number 1 player in the country and hopefully on the Number 1 team in the nation," he says.

Florida State faces an uphill climb in its quest to earn another national title. Fifth-year senior Kevin Long returns at center, where he will be the dean of a line that will likely include two redshirt freshmen. This summer Long, an elementary-education major, arranged for the line to work as a unit on its blocking technique and discovered that tutoring freshmen can be remarkably similar to teaching grammar school. "You learn to have patience," he says. "With young kids, you have to repeat something over and over. Eventually, with the young linemen, they'll remember: Stay low. Stay low. You want them to get so used to it they get out of bed low."

All of Florida State got out of bed low for a while after January's Sugar Bowl loss to Florida. And Bowden's disappointment only grew when several players couldn't stay out of trouble with the law. The coach dismissed senior safety Robert Hammond and junior linebacker Hank Grant from the team earlier this month. If he keeps that up, the Seminoles may need 11 freshmen after all."



From SI's September 08, 1997 Issue

Rah-rah Guy

"This time of year is distracting for me because it's the start of the college football season, which means I'll be spending my Saturday afternoons thinking almost as much about my Florida State Seminoles as my chipping and putting. Although I'm originally from Rochester, N.Y., and live outside Chicago, I graduated from Florida State in 1980 and have been bleeding garnet and gold ever since.

There are quite a few college football fanatics on Tour. A lot of the guys went to big-time football schools, like Florida, Ohio State and Texas, so there's always a lot of talk in the clubhouse. Mike Hulbert is such a Syracuse fan that he ran off after practice on Saturday at the Milwaukee Open to get to a restaurant where he could watch the Orangemen play North Carolina State. Syracuse lost 32-31 in overtime, which means he'll get some razzing from the guys at the next tournament. Then there's Dudley Hart, who might be the world's biggest Florida Gators fan. The week after Florida State beat Florida 24-21 last fall in Tallahassee he didn't really want to see me, but he was feeling much better after the Gators won the rematch 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl in January to clinch the national championship. I attended that game and have to admit they really kicked our butts. I don't think there was any question they were the best team in the country.

I'm an especially big fan of Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden. I played nine holes with him back in the mid-'80s at a memorial tournament for Dick Howser, a former baseball coach at Florida State, and found that in addition to being a great coach, he's a funny guy. I've played with a lot of people from the entertainment industry, like Bill Murray and Joe Pesci, but playing with Coach Bowden was a big thrill. Since then, he has given me sideline passes for some games.

I'm anxious to see how the 'Noles fare this year. The schedule is tough, with games against USC, Miami, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, but they'll be up to the challenge. I think they're better than sixth, which is what SI picked them. No way is Penn State No. 1. I bet the national championship is decided on Nov. 22 when Florida State plays at Florida. I'm going to go out on a limb and pick the 'Noles 31-28 over the Gators. Although I'm going to be coming back from an appearance in Japan and won't be able to attend the game, I'll find a television set somewhere to watch it. When the Seminoles win, Dudley's never going to hear the end of it. Sluman will skip I he Canadian Open to see FSU play at USC."


It is now time to kick-off the 1997 FSU football season.

The fifth ranked Seminoles opened the season far away from home, traveling to No. 23 USC for a nationally televised game against the Trojans and brought a very young squad across country as 41 of the 80 players who traveled had never played in a college game.

FSU's defense smothered the vaunted USC running game limiting the Trojans to just 25 rushing yards, but it took a heroic 97 yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter to give the Seminoles a 14-7 win.

Florida State's only first half touchdown was setup, fittingly, by the defense which sacked USC's first time starting quarterback and forced a fumble at the Trojan 41. Four plays later the ball rested at the USC one and Dan Kendra, who replaced Thad Busby at quarterback for the Noles near the goal line, dove over for the score with 7:42 left in the first quarter.

USC's only touchdown of the night came in the second quarter after FSU mishandled a punt snap and had it blocked at their own 30. Fox drove USC to the two yard line and on fourth and goal, their qb ran it in to knot the score at seven.

Florida State's game winning drive started on its own three with 13:28 left. After two straight incompletions, Busby connected on five of six passes to drive the Seminoles to the USC three. Dee Feaster raced around right end for the score and the 14-7 win.

Busby was 19 of 39 for 276 yards but no touchdowns. The Seminoles managed just 89 yards rushing led by Feaster with 74 yards on 16 carries. USC had just 184 yards of total offense.


The following week Thad Busby threw for over 300 yards and FSU's defense allowed Maryland just 105 total yards as the Seminoles opened their home season with a 50-7 rout of ACC rival Maryland. Busby, who only played the first half, completed 26 of 34 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns in leading Florida State to a 30-7 lead at halftime. Busby hooked up with E.G. Green on a pair of first half TD throws and kickers Bill Gramatica and Sebastian Janikowski combined for three field goals to build the big lead.

Dan Kendra replaced Busby at the helm in the third quarter and completed 6 of 8 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

He also ran for 18 yards on four carries. He was replaced by freshman Chris Weinke in the fourth quarter. Weinke connected on 5 of 10 with a touchdown in his first action as a Seminole.

Florida State's defense played brilliantly again despite the absence of senior linebacker Daryl Bush, who missed the game with an injured ankle. The Tribe defenders limited the Terrapins to just 48 yards on the ground and 57 through the air. True freshman Davy Ford lead FSU with 44 yards on five carries.


The Nole's then traveled to So. Carolina where sophomore wide receiver Peter Warrick was a one man wrecking crew against #16 Clemson with two touchdown receptions and a 90 yard punt return for a score as the Seminoles outlasted a determined Clemson team 35-28. Warrick finished with eight receptions for 249 yards, the third best single game receiving total in school history, but the 28 points Clemson scored were the second most by an ACC opponent against Florida State in the Seminoles' six years in the league.

Busby was 17 of 28 for 332 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Seminoles, who managed just 31 rushing yards. However, FSU's defense was just as stiff against Clemson holding the Tigers to 41 rushing yards. Clemson quarterbacks combined for 285 passing yards on 20 of 40 passing but suffered three interceptions.

The win was Bowden's 200th at Florida State.






"They weren't fighting," Cowart said. "They just quit. They came out and fought for a little while, and then they just lay down. They gave up."

"They didn't have that nasty edge," said Seminoles defensive end Andre Wadsworth, who starred at Miami's Florida Christian High. "That spitting, eye-poking, ankle-twisting, earhole-digging something."


October 4, 1997 No. 4 Florida State vs Miami at Doak Campbell Stadium

Florida State overpowered Miami from the start to hand the canes their worst defeat since 1927. It wasn't just the offense that was effective for the Noles as they piled up 422 yards, but the defense was equally impressive. The 'Noles D limited the canes to 131 yards of total offense and -33 yards rushing.

The offense used a balanced attack and big plays to blow away the Hurricanes 47-0. This great victory was the most lopsided win ever for FSU over the Canes.

Thad Busby led the FSU offensive charge completing 20 of 31 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game midway through the third quarter. Dan Kendra came in to lead the Seminoles to their final 18 points completing 2 of 6 passes for 18 yards.

Dee Feaster got the Seminoles on the scoreboard with 4:22 left in the first quarter with a two yard scoring run that finished an impressive 11 play, 68 yard drive. E.G. Green put the Tribe up 13-0 when he collected a 5 yard Busby pass. The short 7 yard drive was set up when the scUM punter bobbled the snap and the FSU special teams swallowed him up at the seven yard line.

FSU mounted another long drive in the second quarter covering 75 yards on eight plays with Peter Warrick leaping for a 37 yard Busby pass in the endzone. Sebastian Janikowski gave the Tribe a 23-0 lead with a 45 yard field goal just before the half.

Travis Minor scored from five yards out in the third quarter and one yard away in the fourth to boost FSU's lead to 37-0. Janikowski's 37 yard field goal and a one yard plunge by Lamarr Glenn with 6:20 left provided the final margin.

Warrick's 60 yards on four catches led a balanced FSU receiving corps which saw eight different players make at least one catch. Davy Ford led all FSU rushers with 69 yards on 14 carries. FSU's defense chased Miami starting quarterback Ryan Clement after he completed just 5 of 14 passes for 52 yards, then held his replacement to just 9 of 17 through the air.



From Sports Illustrated

Blown-out Hurricanes

"The fifth-year guys knew what this game meant. They had been recruited to play for the Seminoles in the winter of 1992-93, in the wake of Wide Right II, back when Florida State versus Miami was the top rivalry in college football and the Hurricanes owned the Seminoles.

The older Florida State players understood that Miami not long ago served as a yardstick for the Seminoles' program. The Hurricanes beat Florida State five out of six times from 1987 to '92, including twice when last-minute field goal attempts drifted wide right. They repeatedly ruined Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden's national championship dreams. Even when Florida State did beat Miami, in 1989, the Hurricanes won the national championship.

It didn't matter that Florida State had won three of four meetings with Miami since 1993, or that these Hurricanes showed up in Tallahassee last Saturday with a 1-3 record. "The last couple of weeks, I was rooting for them," Florida State middle linebacker Daryl Bush, one of the Seminoles' fifth-year seniors, said after the game. "I wanted them to come in here undefeated. I wanted it to be a big game for reasons other than us saying it was a big game."

So the Seminoles prepared to play a vintage Miami team.

They got Maryland.

"I think the Hurricanes are a little bit better than Maryland," said Bush, who recognizes play action quicker than he does sarcasm, "but that's sort of what happened."

Just as Florida State had trampled the Terrapins 50-7 three weeks earlier, it destroyed Miami, 47-0, handing the Hurricanes their worst loss since 1944. Miami finished with minus-33 yards rushing and 131 yards total offense, and it avoided committing seven turnovers only by falling on all four of its fumbles. The Hurricanes didn't push inside the Florida State 30 until the final three minutes of the game. Miami coach Butch Davis called it "about as poor a performance as you can collectively have."

He got no argument from the Seminoles' elders. Proud as the fifth-year players were of their first shutout of the season, they appeared almost dumbfounded by the performance of the visitors. Take Florida State linebacker Sam Cowart, whose first-quarter hit on Miami quarterback Ryan Clement left Clement lying on the Doak Campbell Stadium turf for about a minute and set the tone for the afternoon. Though he returned to action later in the game, Clement never again set his feet firmly, and he completed only 5 of 14 passes for 52 yards. "They weren't fighting," Cowart said. "They just quit. They came out and fought for a little while, and then they just lay down. They gave up."

"They didn't have that nasty edge," said Seminoles defensive end Andre Wadsworth, who starred at Miami's Florida Christian High. "That spitting, eye-poking, ankle-twisting, earhole-digging something."

Ah, those were the days. Last Friday, Bowden sat behind his desk, chewed on a cigar and fretted. He refused to believe what his eyes had seen of the Hurricanes on tape. He refused to take Miami lightly even though the team has been ravaged over the last two seasons by the loss of 24 football scholarships due to NCAA sanctions. "They've beaten us so much," Bowden said, ignoring Miami's September losses to Pitt, 21-17, and West Virginia, 28-17. "Most of these kids were raised on wide right. They've heard it all their lives. To the players and coaches, it's still Miami week."

Two weeks before the game Bobby's son Jeff, the Seminoles' wide receivers coach, double-checked with the Florida State ticket office to see where the Miami fans would sit in Doak Campbell. He wanted to make sure that if the game went into overtime, the Seminoles would be driving toward the end away from the Hurricanes fans. The younger Bowden didn't know at the time that Miami would return 2,600 of its allotted 10,000 tickets. "You didn't see a lot of BEAT MIAMI signs in town," Bobby added. In fact none of the game-week trash talk that had been an integral part of this rivalry surfaced. What could anyone really say?

The silence extended to the crowd of 80,165, which seemed largely bored for the first three quarters as Florida State rolled up a 30-0 advantage. Yet some 60,000 stayed to the end, digesting the enormousness of what the Seminoles had done to their onetime tormentors. When Scott Covington, Miami's backup quarterback, moved the Hurricanes to the Florida State 10-yard line late in the game, Seminoles defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews put his first unit back on the field to preserve the shutout. The fans stood and roared. "Then" Wadsworth said, "it sounded like a Miami game."

Two plays later senior cornerback Samari Rolle, who played at Miami Beach High, made a diving interception for Florida State. "That number 11," Cowart said of Covington, "he was like, I can't wait for the bus to ride up and get me out of here." "


  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
1st   7- 0  Dee Feaster, 2, run (Bill Gramatica, kick), 4:22 
     13- 0  E.G. Green, 5, pass from Thad Busby (Bill Gramatica, kick failed), 1:52 
2nd  20- 0  Peter Warrick, 37, pass from Thad Busby (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 7:32 
     20- 0  Sebastian Janikowski, 48, field goal failed, 4:13 
     23- 0  Sebastian Janikowski, 45, field goal, 0:02 
3rd  30- 0  Travis Minor, 5, run (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 4:45 
     30- 0  Sebastian Janikowski, 38, field goal failed, 0:31 
4th  37- 0  Travis Minor, 1, run (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 14:12
     40- 0  Sebastian Janikowski, 37, field goal, 9:15 
     47- 0  Lamarr Glenn, 3, run (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 6:20 

FSU OPP First downs 21 8 Rushes-yards 45-174 27--33 Passing 248 164 Att-Comp-Int 37-22-1 31-14-3 Total Yards 82-422 58-131 Punt Returns 3-47 2-21 Kickoff Returns 1-7 6-89 Interception Ret. 3-35 1-13 Fumble Returns 0-0 0-0 Punts 2-38.0 8-37.9 Sacks By-Yds 2-12 3-23 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-0 Penalties-Yds 4-35 5-32 3rd Down Conversions 10-17 4-17 4th Down Conversions 0-0 0-1 Time of Posession 34:57 25:03 Attendance 80,165 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing Davy Ford 14- 69 Dan Kendra 3- 36 Dee Feaster 7- 29 Travis Minor 9- 23 Lamarr Glenn 2- 17 Vannez Gooch 2- 2 Laveranues Coles 1- -2 Thad Busby 4- -7 Receiving Peter Warrick 4- 60 E.G. Green 4- 46 Laveranues Coles 3- 39 Damian Harrell 3- 26 Melvin Pearsall 3- 26 Snoop Minnis 1- 23 Davy Ford 3- 17 William McCray 1- 11 Passing Thad Busby 31-20-1-230 Dan Kendra 6- 2-0- 18 Punt Return Peter Warrick 1- 40 Dee Feaster 2- 7 Kickoff Return Germaine Stringer 1- 7 Punting Keith Cottrell 2- 76 |---------Tackles---------| |---Sacks---| |---Pass Def---| |-Fumbles-| Blkd DEFENSIVE STATISTICS UT AT Total ForLoss No - Yards Int-Yds BrUp QBH Rcv-Yds FF Kick Saf ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam Cowart 3 4 7 1.0- 2.0 . . 1 . . . . . Daryl Bush 1 6 7 . . . . . . 1 . . Andre Wadsworth 4 2 6 1.0- 23.0 . . . . . . . . Lamont Green 1 5 6 0.5- 3.0 0.5- 3.0 . . . . . . . Shevin Smith 1 4 5 1.0- 2.0 . 1- 32 1 . . . . . Dexter Jackson 1 4 5 . . . . . . . . . Tommy Polley . 4 4 . . . . . . . . . Samari Rolle 2 1 3 . . 2- 3 1 . . . . . Theon Rackley 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . . Todd Frier 2 1 3 . . . . . . . . . Abdual Howard 2 1 3 . . . . . . . . . Shawn McCorkel 1 2 3 0.5- 12.0 . . . . . . . . Derrick Gibson 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . . Jeff Chaney . 3 3 . . . . . . . . . Troy Saunders 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . . Tay Cody . 2 2 . . . . . . . . . David Warren . 2 2 . . . . . . . . . Deon Humphrey 1 1 2 0.5- 12.0 . . . . . . . . Char-ron Dorsey . 2 2 0.5- 3.0 0.5- 3.0 . . . . . . . Tony Bryant 1 . 1 1.0- 5.0 . . . . . . . . Jerry Johnson 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . Larry Smith 1 . 1 1.0- 9.0 1.0- 9.0 . . . . . . . Corey Simon . 1 1 . . . 1 . . . . . Bobby Rhodes 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . Laveranues Coles . 1 1 . . . . . . . . . Brian Allen . 1 1 . . . . . . . . .




There would be no Miami hangover the following week as the 4th ranked Noles traveled to Duke for the first time since 1993 and left with a closer than expected 51-27 win over the Blue Devils.

Four different Seminoles scored with quarterback Thad Busby rushing for a pair of the TDs.

Busby completed 15 of 32 passes for 250 yards and one touchdown. Nine different Seminoles ran the football, led by Davy Ford who had 58 yards on 11 carries. Travis Minor had 46 yards on 10 carries. Peter Warrick led all Seminole receivers with five catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.

Our defense got into the scoring act in the second half when Tony Bryant's sack sent the ball spinning and Sam Cowart picked it up and raced 24 yards for the touchdown. The defense scored again on the next possession when true freshman Derrick Gibson carried a blocked punt over from the one yard line for a 48-14 FSU edge.


The next week FSU's defense recorded its second shutout of the season and quarterback Thad Busby threw for 399 yards to lead the Seminoles to a 38-0 win over visiting #21 Georgia Tech.

The Seminole defense regained its form after giving up 27 points to Duke the previous week, holding the Yellow Jackets to just 144 yards of total offense. Busby, on the other hand, connected on 30 of 47 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns. Senior E.G. Green led the receivers with six catches for 166 yards and a touchdown.

FSU sacked Georgia Tech quarterbacks five times and limited GT qb to just 9 of 18 passing for 83 yards and an interception. The Yellow Jackets managed just 53 yards rushing.


Now revenge was on our mind's as the third ranked Noles traveled to Virginia for the first time since losing their only ACC game ever to the Cavaliers in 1995 and posted a 47-21 win before a national TV audience. FSU's offense had started slowly all year but exploded for three touchdowns over the first five plays giving the Seminoles a 21-0 cushion early.

True freshman tailback Travis Minor got his first career start and, on FSU's first play, raced 87 yards for a touchdown just 24 seconds into the game. On the next possession, Thad Busby lofted a 30 yard pass to Peter Warrick who out jumped a Cavalier defender for a touchdown and a 14-0 advantage after just four offensive plays. The Seminole defense forced another three and out by the UVA offense and on the next play, Busby hit E.G. Green on a slant route that the senior took 74 yards for a touchdown. The scoreboard read 21-0 FSU with 8:44 left in the first quarter.

Minor also started hot again in the second half, taking a Busby screen pass 42 yards to paydirt.

Minor rushed for 155 yards on 17 carries to lead the FSU running game. Busby completed 18 of 39 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns. The FSU defense held Virginia to minus nine yards rushing and recorded nine sacks, including three by defensive end Andre Wadsworth.


Next the third ranked Noles hosted NC State for Homecoming and it looked like the Seminoles would roll to their eighth straight win, but the Wolfpack would not quit and managed to score more points than any ACC team had on FSU.

With a huge matchup with North Carolina just a week away, the Seminoles raced to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter, but had to battle the rest of the way for a scary 48-35 win.

Busby completed 26 of 36 passes for a career high 463 yards and five touchdowns. Green had a career game, covering 184 yards with eight catches and scoring three touchdowns. However, the Seminole defense gave up 267 passing yards, and allowed their first 100 yard rusher of the year.


Now ranked #2, the Noles rolled into Chapel Hill to take on the #5 ranked North Carolina in what was billed as the biggest game in the history of the ACC. With an ESPN audience watching in, the Seminoles dismantled the Tar Heels with nine quarterback sacks and a 20-3 win that assured FSU of a share of its sixth straight ACC crown.

The Seminoles attempted just four passes in the second half leaning on the running of true freshman Travis Minor, who finished with a game high 128 yards on 30 carries. The Tribe's only second half scoring came on a 40 yard Janikowski field goal. North Carolina ruined FSU's hopes of a shutout with a 46 yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

FSU's defense held North Carolina to minus 28 yards rushing for the game and allowed the Tar Heel offense just 101 yards on the night. Busby completed 14 of 30 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Starting defensive ends Andre Wadsworth and Greg Spires totaled seven quarterback sacks between them with three and four, respectively.


Another Run-The 1997 heirs to the Florida State dynasty trampled previously undefeated North Carolina and took aim at a second national title in five years

Any fears that Florida State might suffer a letdown after an emotional win over North Carolina were put to rest with a 28 point first quarter effort as the Seminoles won their 10th game of the season, 58-7 over Wake Forest.

After a three yard Thad Busby to Peter Warrick scoring strike pushed the lead to 45-0, Janikowski lined up to attempt a school record field goal. His 56 yarder is now the longest in FSU history and the fourth longest in college football since the use of a kicking tee was disallowed.

Busby, who left the game after one play in the third quarter, completed 27 of 35 passes for 390 yards and four touchdowns. Green finished with a game high 120 yards on seven receptions for two touchdowns and was one of 12 Seminoles to catch at least one pass. The Seminole defense held Wake to minus one yard rushing on the day.


#10 Florida scored with 1:50 left and held on to defeat #1 Florida State 32-29 in the final regular season game and eliminate the Noles from NC contention.

Florida State appeared to be on its way to its second straight perfect season when Sebastian Janikowski drilled a 20 yard field goal, his third on the day, to give the Seminoles a 29-25 lead with 2:38 left to play. However, the Turd quarterback threw a 63 yard bomb on the very next play to put Florida in position to go for the win. Two plays later, Fred Taylor ran in from the one yard line, his fourth touchdown of the game, and gave UF the final 32-29 margin.

Thad Busby completed 23 of 39 passes for 219 yards and one touchdown. Minor gained 142 yards on 21 carries, but Florida's Taylor gained more yards (162) on the ground than anyone had all year on FSU's defense.




01/01/1998, Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, La

Florida State's pass-catch combination of Thad Busby to E.G. Green proved too much for Ohio State as the Seminoles defeated the Buckeyes 31-14 in the Nokia Sugar Bowl.

Green, who was named the MVP of the Sugar Bowl following the game, gained 176 yards on seven catches with one touchdown. Busby completed 22 of 33 passes for 334 yards and one TD.

The Seminole defense also starred in the game, holding Ohio State to just one touchdown, which came late in the fourth quarter.

OSU actually led early in the game capitalizing on an interception of Busby in its own endzone. The Buckeyes drove to the FSU 23, but the Nole defense held and forced OSU to kick a 40 yard field goal.

FSU then took the lead for good with 21 unanswered points which gave them 21-3 lead at halftime. Green's 27 yard touchdown reception capped a six play, 79 yard scoring drive that followed OSU's field goal. The Seminoles made it 14-3 when Busby kept the ball and ran nine yards up the middle with 3:25 left in the second quarter. Freshman fullback William McCray dove in from a yard out with just 10 seconds left for the 21-3 halftime margin.

Ohio State came out in the second half determined to establish a running game and scored five points in the third quarter with a 34 yard field goal and a safety when Busby stepped out of the endzone while dropping back to pass.

FSU extended its lead to 24-8 just four seconds into the fourth quarter on a 35 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. OSU managed a 50 yard bomb for a TD with 8:57 left in the game, but the Seminoles pushed the final margin to 31-14 when McCray took his second touchdown in from the one.

The Noles defense held Ohio State to 118 rushing yards on 44 carries and pressured OSU's two quarterback system into a 16 of 36 passing night that included three interceptions and just 207 yards.

The win was FSU's 11th in its last 12 bowl games and vaulted the Tribe to a third place ranking in both polls. The ranking kept alive the Seminoles' record of 11 straight seasons with a finish of fourth or better in the Associated Press poll.



Overall   Home    Away   Neutral
FSU RECORD IS   11- 1     5-0     5-1     1-0
AGAINST ACC      8- 0     4-0     4-0     0-0
AGAINST TOP 25   5- 1     1-0     3-1     1-0

FINAL  AP -  3

During the season, this article about Sebastian Janikowski appeared in Sports Illustrated. There is some entertaining reading here for you pleasure.




If anyone has any photo’s, video’s, or any other artwork the is UM related, I could really use it to post in the upcoming stories about this rivalry. We have just concluded the ‘97 season and are working our way towards the present. Any links, photo’s, youtubes, or photo shopped pictures you think might be appropriate, or even inappropriate for that matter, can be emailed to Frank at

or by clicking on the envelope next to my name at the bottom of this page. Hopefully we will get some great scUM Thug related images to share with the rest of the class. Thank you.