Aug. 29, 1997
Seminoles Tune Up for USC with Final Scrimmage
TALLAHASSEE, FL -- The No. 3 Florida State Seminoles held their final scrimmage before their opening game with No. 22 Southern California on Sept. 6th.
"We had a good scrimmage," commented head coach Bobby Bowden. "We held some fifth-year seniors out, but we accomplished what we needed to. The game was much tighter than I anticipated. Usually, when you have a scrimmage that is the best against the rest, it isn't really close."
The game was scoreless until kicker Bill Gramatica hit a 22-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.
Starters QB Thad Busby, MLB Daryl Bush, OLB Sam Cowart, TB Dee Feaster, TE Melvin Pearsall, OT Tra Thomas, C Kevin Long and WR E.G. Green were held out of the scrimmage.
"We felt like those fifth-year guys couldn't get any better," said Bowden. "We didn't think it would be worth the chance of injuries. The other guys needed the work. This makes you realize how important those veterans are. Now, we just have to stay healthy. All hitting will be contolled from now until game time."
Backup quarterback Dan Kendra completed 12 of 18 passes for 190 yards and a 65-yard touchdown to Peter Warrick. Kendra was also intercepted once by freshman Clevan Thomas. Warrick caught five passes for 140 yards.
The second half was played against the scout squad. Third-string quarterback Chris Weinke completed two 23-yard scores to Ron Dugans and Laveranues Coles in the second half.
Weinke was 6-of-18 for 124 yards with one interception and two touchdowns. Dugans finished the game with eight catches for 64 yards, while Coles caught two passes for 67 yards.
"We have to get the ball to the receivers," said Bowden. "They are the game-breakers."
On the ground, freshman tailback Davy Ford led the Seminoles as he ran for 70 yards on 10 carries. Freshman Travis Minor carried 12 times for 26 yards, while Vannez Gooch had eight yards on five carries.
"We had Dee Feaster out," said Bowden. "He'll line up number one if he can stay healthy. He could have played today if he had to."
Defensively, linebacker Brian Allen led the squad with 10 tackles. Linebacker Tommy Polley added seven tackles and defensive end David Warren had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. Defensive end Jamal Reynolds and safety Shawn McCorkel each had six tackles.
"The guy I kept seeing out there was Tommy Polley," said Bowden. "He was a guy who caught your eye. Sometimes in a scrimmage like this you see someone you might have overlooked otherwise."
Keith Cottrell punted four times for 170 yards, while Bill Gramatica was 4-for-141. Gramatica made two of three field goal attempts with a 42-yard as his longest. Sebastian Janikowski missed a 52 and 44-yarder.