In 3 days, 7 hours, and 30 minutes the University of Miami Cane THUGS will come onto Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, where right there in front of approximately 75,000 pairs of eyes, they will proceed to blow themselves
(courtesy of gonzonole-many many thanks for coming thru at the last minute)
right out of the stadium by not EXECUTING, not playing with INTENSITY, and making the mental mistakes that will cause them to lose their POISE (3 shots for everyone courtesy of MattD). I expect a scene very similar to the one from 1997, the one that we reviewed during the last installment in this series. Although given our lack of depth on defense, I would not be surprised if they do avoid the shutout this Labor Day. (47-3 sound OK?)
Today, we will revisit the game played on October 10, 1998 in the rapidly deteriorating Orange Dump, where you dare not sit under the overhang for fear that the urine and feces infested water that overflowed from the upper deck toilets would drip on your head and infect you with the E-Coli bacteria. This was the only stadium in the country where it was recommended you wear a poncho under the overhang, in over 90 degree temperature, and with beautiful sunny skies. But I digress.
During this series, I believe I have been fair and balanced (exactly like Fox News) in expressing my thoughts and opinions about the meaning of this rivalry, and how highly I think of our despicable amigos from Little Havana (located in the heart of beautiful scUM city), while at the same time maintaining my journalistic integrity. I have done my very best to try to show both sides of the story. In previous installments of this series, I have reprinted a 14 year olds first encounter with the scUM thugs while visiting his brother at FSU during the FSU/UM game weekend (courtesy of The K-Man). I have reprinted a eloquently worded rebuttal to one of my stories that was so graciously sent to me by a concerned UM fan. And today I would like to reprint a personal anecdote that was posted to one of my recent installments by world famous raconteur and Tomahawk Nation member in good standing, TRMNole.
I’m sitting here thinking, I believe ‘96 was my last trip to the Orange Dump. That doesn’t seem right, but I mean, it’s not like one enjoys road trips to Miami or Gainesville. (Maybe some of you do – God bless you.) To me, you put in your time at those stadiums when you’re young, and yeah, I’m pretty sure by ‘96, I’d had enough of the OB – plus I’d finally gotten a win. Anyway, Cane fan story: My buddy and I were juniors at FSU at this point in our lives, and we decided to take a "kid brother" of ours from back home with us to the game, really cool kid we’d always known and grown own up with who was a sophomore in high school at that point and obviously was set for the weekend of his young life, right? Well anyway, we warned him ahead of time about the experience that was awaiting him. And he was great, well-behaved, etc., no problem. Well, we get inside the stadium, where one would think he’d be half-way safe, and we’re walking around the floor of the dump when these two obnoxious Cane fans, as if they had deliberately sought out a young enough Nole fan that couldn’t fight back, ganged up on him and started chest-bumping him with their orange-and-green painted bodies, RUINING his brand new garnet Nike football jersey. A 16-year-old kid taking in his first road game who was behaving well and not messing with anybody. The jackasses were twice our size and ran off before we could do anything and so we were left to convince him not to sweat it, the paint will come out, we’ll get a new jersey, etc. – anyway, long story short, there has never been a more satisfying stadium exit than drowning out
the city of Miamithe cesspool that surrounds the crater where that dump used to stand with the loudest, longest, and most spirited warchant I’ve ever been a part of. And by the way, the paint came out and dude had the weekend of his life. My car? Oh yeah, it was keyed like nobody’s business.
I would like to thank TRMNole for sharing his wonderful experience south of the border with us.
Prior to last years win, the Noles had not won more than 2 games in a row ('78 and '79) during the Bowden era. As a matter of fact, the canes held the advantage throughout the series since 1976 by winning 13 out of the 22 games played. Of course a few of these games were last minute losses due to less than stellar FSU kicking, and a couple were lost on missed conversion attempts, so we can exclude those because they don't really count in the equation anyway.
During this same time period, UM had managed to win 4 games in a row between 1985 and 1988, but now it seemed like the pendulum had started swinging our way. We needed to make it 4 in a row for the good guys to take control of this series once and for all, and to even up the record of consecutive wins by either team at 4 each.
However UM had other plans. They were hell bent on revenge for the mental, physical, and emotional pounding delivered by our Noles the previous year (47-0), and for their misguided notion that we tried to embarrass and humiliate them further in 1997, when we sent back out our 1st string defense late in the 4th quarter to prevent them from scoring, and to preserve our shutout. How irrational is that train of thought? It is just wrong. Not the NOLES against the thugs. NEVER! How dare they make that accusation. The nerve.
WRONG YEAR I KNOW, BUT STILL COOL, AND THE VIDEO VAULT IS RUNNING DRY. HELP!
The 1998 season started with the Noles being ranked #2 in both of the preseason polls. For both of the past 2 years we had fallen short of perfection and the NC by just one game. This year our expectations were nothing short of the delivering our 2nd NC back to Tallahassee, but we knew the road would go through Little Havana (located in the heart of beautiful scUM city).
On our roster, we had a new QB, a sophomore youngster from Minnesota named Chris Weinke. In the backfield was Travis Minor, Jeff Chaney, Dee Feaster, and Billy Rhodes. The receivers included Peter Warrick, Ron Dugans, Lavernaues Coles, Snoop Minnis, and Nick Franklin and Patrick Hughes were the TE's. On the line leading the way and protecting our QB was Jason Whitaker, Eric Thomas, Tarlos Thomas, Clay Ingraham, Jerry Carmichael, and Justin Amman.
The defense was anchored by Corey Simon, Lamont Green, Dexter Jackson, Jerry Johnson, Tommy Polley, Brian Allen, Roland Seymour, Sean Key, Demetro Stephens, Tony Bryant, Mario Edwards,Tay Cody, Bobby Rhodes,Chris Hope, and Reggie Durden.
Our kicker was Sebastian Janikowski and our punter was Keith Cottrell.
2 Florida State
In 26-year-old sophomore Chris Weinke, the Seminoles have the oldest starting quarterback in school history. And they still dare anyone in the nation to try to beat them
When Florida state coach Bobby Bowden isn't reading his playbook, he's usually losing himself in a book about World War II. Though he's partial to Patton and Rommel, generals who didn't hesitate to go for it on fourth down, Bowden recently read a biography of Field Marshal Montgomery, the British commander who wouldn't proceed until everything was just so. "They all hated Monty," Bowden says, referring to the other Allied brass hats. "I just figured I would see why."
With the team Bowden has this fall, the last guy he needs to bone up on is Monty. If Bowden were to wait for this team to be ready, the Seminoles wouldn't play until late October. "I'd rather have talent and inexperience than experience and no talent," Bowden says. "I'll take my chances with talent."
The talent that he'll be taking the most chances on is sophomore quarterback Chris Weinke, who became the starter this spring after Dan Kendra, heir apparent to the graduated Thad Busby, tore the ACL in his right knee. Weinke, who spent six years playing first base in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, turned 26 in July, an age more typical of graduate assistant coaches and BYU postmission tackles. He is physically and literally a man among boys: When fifth-year linebacker Lamont Green sacked Weinke (6'5", 225 pounds) from the blind side during spring practice, it was Green (6'3", 230) who came away with the bloody nose.
Weinke's size and strength—and smarts—should help compensate for his lack of experience. "There are no throws that will put a burden on Chris's arm," offensive coordinator Mark Richt says. "Part of his game will be to get us out of bad looks [formations] into good looks at the line, and from good looks into great looks. Whereas Kendra used his athletic ability to make big plays happen, Chris is a student of the game. He prepares like no other quarterback I've had."
Weinke has been such a take-charge guy that he persuaded enough teammates to participate in voluntary workouts this summer that the Seminoles frequently ran 11-on-11. By the end of July the offensive players had learned the code names and the hand signals for their plays, something that usually doesn't happen until well into two-a-days. "I'm older than these guys," says Weinke. "If I'm yelling down their throats, they don't want to hear it. But I want them to know I'm willing to lead, willing to say something when things aren't going right."
Bowden plans to right a running game that finished 94th in rushing (112.1 yards per game, only 3.6 per carry) last season. Until this year he had held out against the trend toward big linemen. In the Seminoles' national championship season of 1993, the offensive line averaged 6'4", 272 pounds. This season the numbers are 6'6", 305. "We still try to recruit good feet," Bowden says, referring to quickness, not anatomy. "We just weren't a very physical team up front last year."
There's a proven tailback in sophomore Travis Minor, who rushed for more than 100 yards against the two toughest defenses he faced—North Carolina's and Florida's. There's also fifth-year senior fullback Lamarr Glenn, who will get a chance to add to his 19 career carries. His main duty, however, will be to open holes for Minor. In other words, Florida State has enough running game to return occasionally to the old-fashioned I formation with a tight end and two wideouts, a convention that last season's inexperience didn't allow. "It don't matter what you do if you can't make third-and-short," Bowden says. "Wishbone, shotgun, whatever. After that, if you can't play defense, you can't win."
While defensive end Tony Bryant will attempt to extend to six years the Seminoles' streak of having an All-America at his position, the anchor of the line will be tackle Jerry Johnson, a 6'2", 280-pound junior. He tried to break the school bench-pressing record this summer but maxed out at 535 pounds, 15 short of former offensive tackle Tra Thomas's mark. Despite the loss of two starters, there's a wealth of talent in the secondary, thanks to the reinstatement of junior corner Mario Edwards and junior safety Sean Key, both of whom missed all of last season. Edwards was suspended by a university judiciary committee last fall for slapping a female acquaintance. Key was suspended by Bowden after being charged with aggravated assault, stemming from a fight with another student. (Key pleaded no contest and served a short jail term.)
Though their schedule is typically difficult, the Seminoles will play what appear to be their toughest games at the end of the season. That will give Weinke and the other inexperienced players time to get their footing. "If this team can put it together, we're going to be pretty good," Bowden says. "We got players as good as anybody in the country. We get most of them back next year." Montgomery never planned that far ahead.
Top: Peter Warrick
Bottom: Dexter Jackson, Tony Bryant, Lamont Green
Our #2 Noles started the season in the Kickoff Classic against #14 Texas A&M. Travis Minor rushed for 146 yards and 26 year old Chris Weinke threw for 207 yards in his first start to lead the Noles to a 23-14 season opening win. Minor carried the ball a school record 34 times against the Aggies for a 4.3 yard average. Weinke completed 21 of his 36 pass attempts including a nine yard touchdown pass to Peter Warrick. The Seminole defense was outstanding throughout the game limiting the Aggies to just 33 yards rushing and 133 yards of total offense.
He's Got That Old Feeling
As 26-year-old rookie quarterback Chris Weinke worked out the kinks, Florida State's defense subdued Texas A&M
In his previous life Chris Weinke would have slumped in a backseat and quietly endured the bus ride from the stadium. It was after midnight, and he had played a decent game on Monday—not great, not bad, nothing to keep him awake. In his former career this would have been another day of running in place, of playing the sport for only one person—himself—and wondering if he would ever get off these darn buses and into the big time.
In this life the bus ride was part of the fun, and no one cared that he had been mediocre on the field. His team, Florida State, had won 23-14 over Texas A&M in the Kickoff Classic, and nothing else mattered. So does it make sense now? When Weinke (pronounced WINK-ee) gave up a six-year career in minor league baseball two years ago to chase a dream in college football, some people thought he was crazy. But at Giants Stadium on Monday night, the reasons for his unusual career decision were on display.
While his much-anticipated debut at quarterback was less than spectacular (21 for 36, for 207 yards and one TD), one thing was clear: He may be 26 years old, but as a quarterback, he has some growing up to do—and the Seminoles are just the team to allow him to do it. "Obviously, I didn't have a great performance, but we still won the game," said Weinke. "I didn't want to do too many things, and with the athletes I have around me, I didn't have to."
With Weinke showing the rust from not having started a game in nine years, his teammates picked up the slack. Sophomore tailback Travis Minor carried the ball 34 times, for 146 yards, and junior wide receiver Peter Warrick made nine catches, for 106 yards. The Florida State defense held A&M to 133 yards, including a mere 20 in the second half. Weinke may not be ready, but he may not have to be. Once again the Seminoles have the type of athletes who make their opponents look like they're running in oatmeal. You need some time, old man? Take all you need.
On the first play from scrimmage Weinke completed a 30-yard pass, his first as a starting quarterback for the Seminoles. He was relieved to finally put up some numbers because the words were starting to grow mold. "I know it's an interesting story, but I've told it a million times," he said on Sunday. "It's getting old." Not that there's anything wrong with old. Weinke is so old his teammates call him Old Man or Gramps. He's older than the DH or Monica Lewinsky. He's older than 10 projected starting NFL quarterbacks, including one of his predecessors at Florida State, Danny Kanell, who's in his third season with the New York Giants.
A quick review: Weinke spent four days at Florida State in August 1990 before signing a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and banking a $375,000 bonus. Before Weinke left school, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden told the kid he would save him a scholarship in case he changed his mind. Bowden kept his word, although Weinke was no longer a kid when he reappeared in Tallahassee in '97. "He played six years of pro ball," says Bowden. "So what if it wasn't football? It still was pro sports."
To Weinke, it still wasn't Florida State football. A first baseman, he made it as far as Triple A in the Blue Jays' system—his batting average as a pro was .248—but he never lost the desire to step up to the line of scrimmage and feel like he was standing at the center of the sports universe. "I liked baseball, but football gets in your blood," he says. "It's much more intense, more exciting. No matter where I was playing baseball, I'd get up on Saturday and watch all the preview shows. Then I'd come back after my game to my apartment or hotel room and watch all the wrap-up shows."
Weinke twice appeared in a mop-up role for Florida State last season and was expected to spend another year as an understudy, until Dan Kendra tore the ACL in his right knee in the spring game. He gave himself a grade of C for his debut performance but awarded himself an A-plus for leadership. With the Seminoles leading 10-7 with less than a minute left in the first half, Weinke rolled right and looked downfield, unaware of rushing Aggie linebacker Christian Rodriguez, who drilled him and forced the fumble. Cornerback Jay Brooks scooped up the ball and returned it 21 yards for the TD that gave A&M a 14-10 lead at the half. "When things got tough, I didn't get down," said Weinke. "We were losing at the half, and no one expected that. We never quit. We went back out and won."
Bowden says Weinke is "wiser than any quarterback we've ever had," and apparently that wisdom extends to the way in which he invested his baseball bonus, in real estate and stocks, among other things. He has none of the money worries that plague most sophomores. He's investing wisely still: To help 6'8", 300-pound offensive tackle Ross Brannon stay beefed up, Weinke filled Brannon's freezer with a dozen steaks. He took his wide receivers to dinner at the restaurant of their choice. " Red Lobster," he says, rolling his eyes. "Hey, it was their idea. Don't blame me."
"Wink Dog's old, and he's got more money than any of us," Minor says, "but he acts like everyone else, goofs around, has a good time and plays hard. I think we're going to grow together this season."
Growing is fine, but at Florida State it usually coincides with winning. The Seminoles are on a remarkable streak of 11 straight top four finishes, and here's more bad news for their 1998 opponents: Bowden says that this year the Seminoles have "more speed than any other team we've had." They need more speed like Mark McGwire needs a One-A-Day.
Strangely, the quarterback who may have played the pivotal role in Monday night's matchup wasn't even at the Meadowlands. He was in Indianapolis preparing for his NFL debut this Sunday with the Colts. While Peyton Manning is well known as the guy whose presence persuaded Branndon Stewart, the Aggies' starting quarterback, to transfer to Texas A&M from Tennessee, he also helped convince Weinke to return to campus life before it was too late. "I met him one day in Knoxville in 1995," says Weinke. "I was in Double A, and he came to one of our games. He told me he was loving life in college, that I'd be crazy if I didn't give it a shot. And he was right. Nothing compares to playing quarterback in a big college-football game. Nothing."
The following week the wheels came off the season in only the 2nd game of the year. Chris Weinke hit wide receiver Peter Warrick with a 74 yard touchdown bomb on FSU's first play from scrimmage, but it would be the only scoring for the Seminoles all day as FSU lost to an ACC foe for only the second time ever with a 24-7 thumping by the Wolfpack. Weinke suffered a school record six interceptions in the game and finished with just nine completions in 32 attempts for 243 yards. Travis Minor just missed a 100 yard effort on the ground for the Seminoles with 99 yards on 18 carries. This loss left FSU 47-2 against the ACC since joining the league in 1992. The loss dropped the Noles to #11 in the polls.
Despite the disappointment of losing, this loss came early enough in the season where we could try to make up ground and attempt to work ourselves back in NC contention. Fortunately, Duke was coming to Tally and they would run into the #11 FSU buzzsaw. Chris Weinke threw for three touchdowns and the Florida State defense limited Duke to just 165 total yards as the Noles opened their home campaign with a 62-13 rout of the Blue Devils.
Illness in the ACC
Football is often described as warfare. What Duke conducted against Florida State on Sept. 19 amounted to germ warfare. A gastrointestinal virus, which began to show up among Blue Devils players during pregame warmups, knocked the starting defensive line out of the game in the second quarter and over the next few days affected 35 Duke players and coaches. By the Monday after the game, Seminoles quarterback Chris Weinke, 11 Florida State offensive linemen and one defensive player were sick as well. "Their quarterback must have got it from them; he didn't get it from us," said Duke coach Fred Goldsmith, referring to the Blue Devils' inability to lay a hand on Weinke in a 62-13 loss. So many players on both sides were affected that neither the Blue Devils nor the Seminoles held practice early last week. Florida State all but quarantined its stricken players; Weinke was banned from quarterback meetings for fear he would infect his backups. (However, Weinke and his teammates were back in fine fettle by last Saturday, for the Seminoles' victory over USC.)
The following week, #10 FSU's Travis Minor went down with an ankle injury against #18 Southern California and Jeff Chaney came off the bench to rush for 89 yards and a touchdown and our defense limited USC to just 23 yards while beating the Trojans 30-10 at Doak.
Then the Noles traveled to College Park where Sophomore Jeff Chaney, filling in for an injured Travis Minor at tailback, rushed for a career high 133 yards on 30 carries while Sebastian Janikowski tied an FSU record with five field goals as the #9 Seminoles defeated Maryland 24-10.
NOW WE HEAD DOWN TO THE ORANGE DUMP TO FACE MIAMI.
#8 Florida State won its fourth straight game against Miami and its second in a row in the Orange Bowl, thanks to the play of Chris Weinke and Peter Warrick.
Junior wide receiver Peter Warrick caught seven passes for 190 yards and Chris Weinke completed 17 of 32 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns in a convincing 26-14 victory over Miami. Weinke's scoring tosses were the first touchdown passes by an FSU quarterback in the Orange Bowl against UM since Brad Johnson threw one in 1990.
The Seminole defense totaled seven sacks, including six of Hurricane starter Scott Covington, while holding Miami to a total of just 69 rushing yards. In the second half, Miami tried mixing things up by switching quarterbacks, but the move proved ineffective as Kenny Kelly had the same problems moving the ball that Scott Covington did.
The Seminoles opened the scoring with 6:27 left in the first quarter when Warrick out jumped a Miami defender for a spectacular catch and a 62 yard touchdown. The Hurricanes tied the game late in the first quarter on a nine yard pass on fourth down from Covington to tight end Daniel Franks.
FSU rebounded to take the lead before the half when Weinke found sophomore Marvin Minnis in the endzone from 23 yards out. It was Minnis' first touchdown of the season and gave the Seminoles a 14-7 halftime lead.
After a defensive stop to start the third quarter FSU drove the ball 37 yards on seven plays to setup a 27 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski, giving the Seminoles a 17-7 advantage.
FSU scored another touchdown in the third quarter on a William McCray three yard plunge. The defense added a safety on a Roland Seymour sack of Kelly for a 26-14 victory.
The Seminole's offense racked up 411 yards of total offense, while Weinke recorded his first career 300 yard passing game. Running back Jeff Chaney subbed for an injured Travis Minor and finished with 71 yards on 22 carries. This win was FSU's fourth straight over the Hurricanes and now we had tied them with each of us having a 4 game streaks since Bowden became coach.
FLORIDA STATE 26, MIAMI 14
1st 7- 0 Peter Warrick, 62, pass from Chris Weinke (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 6:27 7- 7 Opp, 9, pass (kick), 3:54 2nd 14- 7 Snoop Minnis, 23, pass from Chris Weinke (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 3:00 3rd 17- 7 Sebastian Janikowski, 27, field goal, 10:31 24- 7 William McCray, 3, run (Sebastian Janikowski, kick), 7:45 4th 24-14 Opp, 52, pass (kick), 3:08 26-14 Roland Seymour, safety, 1:18
FSU OPP First downs 17 18 Rushes-yards 36- 95 39- 69 Passing 316 240 Att-Comp-Int 32-17-0 37-18-1 Total Yards 68-411 76-309 Punt Returns 1-7 5-50 Kickoff Returns 1-9 1-39 Interception Ret. 1-3 0-0 Fumble Returns 0-0 2-0 Punts 8-42.9 10-39.6 Sacks By-Yds 7-46 1-1 Fumbles-Lost 3-2 3-0 Penalties-Yds 11-95 12-91 3rd Down Conversions 5-16 2-15 4th Down Conversions 0-0 1-3 Time of Posession 27:40 32:20 Attendance 63,617 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing Jeff Chaney 22- 71 Raymont Skaggs 3- 17 Travis Minor 4- 10 William McCray 2- 3 Lamarr Glenn 1- 2 Chris Weinke 4- -8 Receiving Peter Warrick 7- 190 Snoop Minnis 4- 70 Ron Dugans 2- 28 Atrews Bell 1- 10 Laveranues Coles 1- 10 Nick Franklin 1- 9 Travis Minor 1- -1 Passing Chris Weinke 32-17-0-316 Punt Return Peter Warrick 1- 7 Kickoff Return Laveranues Coles 1- 9 Punting Keith Cottrell 8- 343 |---------Tackles---------| |---Sacks---| |---Pass Def---| |-Fumbles-| Blkd DEFENSIVE STATISTICS UT AT Total ForLoss No - Yards Int-Yds BrUp QBH Rcv-Yds FF Kick Saf ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bobby Rhodes 4 3 7 1.0- 9.0 1.0- 9.0 . . . . . . . Sean Key 3 2 5 . . . . . . . . . Deon Humphrey 2 3 5 . . . . . . . . . Brian Allen 1 4 5 1.0- 6.0 1.0- 6.0 . . . . . . . Jamal Reynolds 3 1 4 1.0- 5.0 1.0- 5.0 . . . . . . . Shawn McCorkel 3 1 4 . . . . . . . . . Mario Edwards 3 1 4 . . . 1 . . . . . Chris Hope 3 1 4 . . . . . . . . . Tommy Polley 3 . 3 . . 1- 3 . . . . . . Roland Seymour 3 . 3 3.0- 17.0 2.0- 14.0 . . . . 1 . 1 Theon Rackley 2 1 3 . . . . . . 1 . . Tony Bryant 2 1 3 2.0- 12.0 2.0- 12.0 . . . . . . . Tay Cody 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . . Jared Jones 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . . Billy Rhodes 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . . David Warren 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . Jerry Johnson 1 . 1 1.0- 3.0 . . . . . . . . Demetro Stephens 1 . 1 1.0- 2.0 . . . . . . . . Troy Saunders 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . Bradley Jennings . 1 1 . . . . . . . . . Derrick Gibson . 1 1 . . . . . . . . . Larry Smith . . . . . . 1 . . . . .
The next week #6 FSU put together their most impressive team performance with a 48-0 home shutout of Clemson, outgaining the Tigers 455 to 129 in total yardage and recording 28 first downs to the Tigers' five. Weinke finished the day with his second career 300 yard game, going 18 of 35 for 302 yards and four touchdowns. With the 48-0 final, Clemson has been held without a touchdown in their last four visits to Doak.
Then it's off to Atlanta where Peter Warrick scored three touchdowns and #6 FSU's defense dominated #20 Georgia Tech in a pivotal ACC game by a final score of 34-7.
Next up North Carolina came to Doak and Weinke passed for a career high 338 yards and two touchdowns as he led the Seminoles to a 39-13 victory. Travis Minor made his first start since the USC game due to an ankle injury and rushed for 76 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Weinke completed 15 of 27 pass attempts without an interception and increased his FSU record of consecutive pass attempts without an interception to 202. Linebacker Tommy Polley led the Seminoles with 10 tackles, including two for loss, while defensive tackle Corey Simon contributed 1.5 sacks and a tackle for loss to the #5 FSU defensive effort.
Then #12 Virginia came calling and #6 FSU was forced to use second string QB Marcus Outzen the entire second half and he pulled off a stunning 45-14 win over Virginia in Doak. Weinke left the game in the second quarter after a sack herniated a disc which knocked him out for the season. FSU's lead was only 21-14 at the half, but the defense held Virginia scoreless and the `Noles outscored the Cavs 24-0 in the second half.
The following week Outzen started at quarterback for the first time at Wake Forest and led the Noles to a 24-7 win over a determined Demon Deacon team that clinched a share of a seventh straight ACC title for the #5 Noles.
Finally the 4 ranked GaTurds came to Tally and watched as Peter Warrick caught one touchdown pass and threw for another, and Florida State's defense did not allow Florida to convert a single third down all game as the fifth ranked Seminoles defeated the Turds 23-12. The victory extended FSU's home unbeaten streak to 40 games and kept UF coach Steve Spurrier winless at FSU for his coaching career.
In his biggest test Marcus Outzen stumped Florida State's archrival
Marcus Outzen arrived on the Florida State campus in 1996 as an option quarterback, which is something like going to Casablanca for the waters. Outzen wasn't misinformed about the type of offense the Seminoles run; he just didn't care. He grew up a rabid Florida State fan in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Back home in a drawer are pictures of Marcus as a 10-year-old and as a 12-year-old with Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden. A year ago, had Outzen been any lower on the depth chart, he would have been playing intramurals. He spent most of this season mopping up behind Chris Weinke. Last Saturday, in his second start after a neck injury ended Weinke's season, all Outzen did was lead the Seminoles to a 23-12 victory over archrival Florida.
A redshirt sophomore, Outzen completed 13 of 22 passes for 167 yards and his first career touchdown. He ran twice for first downs on quarterback draws in the fourth quarter. He had three fumbles, including one in his own end zone that turned into a Gators safety. "I came to games here as a kid and watched the quarterbacks," Outzen said after Saturday's game. "I watched [Casey] Weldon, I watched [Charlie] Ward. I'm numb right now."
The steady breeze that blew through Doak Campbell Stadium may have been sighs of relief from Seminoles fans. Their attempts last week to buck up Outzen made the bright-red crew cut that had earned him the nickname Rooster all but stand on edge. "Everybody says, 'You can do it,' " Outzen said after last Thursday's practice. "I know they mean well. But when you hear it a hundred times a day, it gets repetitious. I know I can do it. You hear it so many times you wonder if they're so sure."
Bowden and quarterbacks coach Mark Richt handled Outzen gently. Every Friday, Richt gives his quarterbacks a written exam. Last week, he didn't bother to collect the answers. "I didn't care," Richt said. "I didn't want to do anything that would clutter his head." After the game the test answers sat on the floor of Outzen's locker. "I'm going to keep it," he said.
Outzen's success validated the hunch Bowden had when he signed him out of Fort Walton Beach High. Like Danny Wuerffel in 1991, Outzen had taken the Vikings to the Class 5A championship. "In Florida mat's pretty big," Bowden says. "He wasn't a high recruit. We just liked him. We felt he would be a backup quarterback, an athlete."
He's likely to return to his backup role next year, when Weinke is expected to be healthy again. In the meantime Outzen and the rest of the fourth-ranked, 11-1 Seminoles wait and hope to play for the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl. As Outzen sat at his locker and peeled off his uniform after last Saturday's game, wide receiver Peter Warrick ambled by. "Good game, Rooster," said Warrick, who not only caught eight passes for 119 yards and a touchdown but also threw a 46-yard TD to Ron Dugans that put the Seminoles up by eight.
"Hey," Outzen said, as giddy as a 10-year-old who had just had his picture taken with Bobby Bowden, "I got my first TD."
"It's been a pleasure," Warrick said.
"It ain't over," Outzen replied.
AFTER LOSING THE SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON, THE NOLES MANAGED TO WORK THEMSELVES RIGHT BACK INTO THE NC BATTLE. THEY WERE INVITED TO PLAY TENNESSEE FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN TEMPE AT THE FIESTA BOWL ON JANUARY 4TH, 1999.
However #1 Tennessee had one more big play in them than #2 Florida State and the Seminoles could not convert on two comeback opportunities in the last four minutes as the Volunteers defeated FSU 23-16 to win the 1998 national championship.
Overall Home Away Neutral
FSU RECORD IS 11- 2 6-0 4-1 1-1
AGAINST ACC 7- 1 4-0 3-1 0-0
AGAINST TOP 25 5- 1 3-0 1-0 1-1
FINAL AP - 3
FINAL USA - 3
WELL MAYBE NEXT TIME.
Finally, while the clubbing of baby seals is a subject we have repeatedly declined discussing here at TN on many occasions, and while there is so much wrong with this picture that I do not know where to start, and while we would like to avoid a confrontation with P.E.T.A. due to the negative media attention that they like to encourage, and due to the graphic nature of this photo "Parental Discretion is Advised", in keeping with our fair and balanced principles, we are required to by law to print this work of art by our own DocHoliday2. Please pay close attention to the details the artist so painstakingly incorporated in the artwork.
HELP! WE ARE RUNING OUT OF TIME.
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 ‘98 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.
Also if you have any personal anecdotes or have any encounters with "those kinds of people" that would like to share with us, please leave a comment, or drop me a email, and it will be considered for publication.