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Sept. 30, 1997

FSU Prepares for Hurricanes

SETTING THE SCENE: No. 4 Florida State welcomes the Miami Hurricanes to Tallahassee for the 41st meeting of the series. FSU's defense is leading the nation in rushing defense (38.0 YPG), while the offense ranks fourth in the nation in passing offense (356.3 YDG).

THE OPPONENT: Miami (1-3) will be unranked for the second time in three years for the FSU game. The Hurricanes host West Virginia on Sept. 27th before travelling to Tallahassee next week. The 'Canes are coming off a 21-17 road loss to conference foe Pittsburgh on Thursday, Sept. 18th. Miami averages 108.3 rushing yards per game and 342.3 total offense yards per contest, but is giving up 402.0 per game. Edgerrin James is the 'Canes leading rusher with 81.5 yards per game, while freshman receiver Reggie Wayne has posted 76.3 receiving yards per game.

SERIES NOTES: Miami leads the series 23-17 in FSU's longest series. FSU has won the last two tilts which is the first time since 1978 & 1979 that the Seminoles have won two straight in the series. Bobby Bowden is 9-14 vs. the Hurricanes in his career, including wins in three of the last four meetings. Miami is the only team to shut out the 'Noles in the past 19 seasons, holding FSU scoreless in 1976 and 1988. There have been six one-point games in series history and 11 games have been decided by three points or less. Thirteen Seminoles hail from the city of Miami. Miami is one of six former national champions on Florida State's 1997 schedule.

TELEVISION: ABC-Sports. Talent: Keith Jackson, Bob Griese, Lynn Swann.

RADIO: Seminole Sports Network. Talent: Gene Deckerhoff, Vic Prinzi.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Seminoles have not lost in Doak Campbell Stadium since the 17-16 "Wide Right I" loss to Miami in 1991. FSU is riding a 30-game (29-0-1) unbeaten streak in Doak Campbell Stadium since that game. The lone tie was the famous fourth quarter 31-31 comeback against Florida in 1994. Bobby Bowden has posted a 106-16-2 (86.3%) record in Doak Campbell.

ALWAYS A TOUGH GAME
While almost every other team in the nation can say the same for both FSU and Miami, the Hurricanes have been an awfully tough hurdle for the Seminoles. The Tribe enters the 1997 game undefeated for the eigth consecutive year. The 'Canes have handed Bowden his first loss of the season at FSU eight times (1977-80-87-88-90-91-92-94) in his 22 years in Tallahassee.

A LOOK BACK
To put the impact of the FSU-Miami series into perspective, most look at the 1987 game which was Deion Sanders' junior year. A total of 52 players who were listed on the roster in Miami's 26-25 win that season went on to play in the NFL -- 29 Hurricanes and 23 Seminoles.

HURRICANES CONNECTION
Florida Sate offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Mark Richt played quarterback at Miami behind named Jim Kelly. In 1982, Richt started against the Tribe, completing 18-of-37 passes for 237 yards in a 24-7 loss to Florida State. In addition to Kelly, two other future NFL quarterbacks were on the Hurricanes' roster -- Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar.

WINNING ON THE GROUND
In the past nine meetings between FSU and Miami, the team that has totalled the most rushing yards has emerged victorious. The last time the losing team rushed for more yards than the winner was 1987. FSU out-gained Miami 225 to 52 on the ground that year, but lost 26-25 after an incomplete two-point conversion pass. Last year, the Seminoles rushed for 222 yards, including a 163-yard performance by Warrick Dunn. The 'Canes were held to 42 yards on 41 carries by FSU's No. 1 rushing defense.

A RECORD UP FOR GRABS
Biletnikoff Award candidate E.G. Green enters the Miami game looking to extend his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 31 games and break an FSU record. Including bowl games, Green has caught a pass in 30 consecutive games dating back to the 1994 Notre Dame game in Orlando. He tied Florida State record for consecutive games with a catch is 30 by Ron Sellers and Lawrence Dawsey against Clemson. Green is a two-time second team All-ACC selection and has led the team in receiving for two straight seasons.

AGAINST RANKED FOES
After wins over No. 23 Southern California and No. 15 Clemson, Florida State is 56-61-4 vs. AP Top 25 opponents. FSU is 22-5-1 vs. ranked teams in its last 28 such games.

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN
Coach Bowden named the game captains for the season at the Seminoles' annual kickoff luncheon. Center Kevin Long will lead the offense, LB Daryl Bush will captain the defense and CB Shevin Smith is the special teams captain. At the end of the season, the team will vote on permanent captains.

WADSWORTH & THE LOMBARDI
Defensive end Andre Wadsworth has been named one of 12 Lombardi Award semifinalists. Wadsworth leads the ACC with six sacks and has recorded 20 tackles, including eight for a loss, this season. Four finalists for the award will be announced on Oct. 31st.

SACK LEADERS
The Florida State Sports Information office will be compiling the NCAA Sacks Leaders list this season starting Sept. 30th. The SID office will post the list on the internet at www.seminoles.com/sacks. The list is also available on the ACC Faxback. Call 910/854-5859 from your fax machine and use document code #31056.

MAKING BIG PLAYS
After not forcing a single turnover against Maryland, Florida State forced three in the first half alone against Clemson. FSU forced four turnovers total, including three interceptions, in the game. The last time FSU had three interceptions in a game was last year's 24-21 win over Florida.

  • Daryl Bush's interception in the first half and Tay Cody's at the end of the game were the first of their careers.
  • Sam Cowart's fumble recovery for a TD was his first score of his career. It was also the first time a Seminole has recovered a fumble for a score since Shevin Smith returned a fumble 54 yards yards to the endzone against Miami in 1996.
  • Shevin Smith's interception in the second quarter was the sixth of his career.

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS "GREEN"ER

  • Biletnikoff Award candidate E.G. Green became the seventh player in FSU history to collect 2,000 receiving yards in his career with 118 yards on six catches in the first half of the Maryland game.
  • Green also tied Lawrence Dawsey for fifth with 20 career touchdowns on the FSU career TD list with his second score in the first half against the Terps.

KICKING IT

  • Sebastian Janikowski's 49-yard field goal in the second quarter against Maryland tied former FSU kicker Scott Bentley's career-long field goal. Bentley's 49-yarder came against Maryland last season. Both are the longest since Derek Schmidt booted a 53-yarder against Florida in the 1987 season. Schmidt was inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame this year.
  • Janikowski also booted nine of 10 kickoffs into the endzone against Maryland and 15 of 20 on the season.

DEFENSE & SPECIAL TEAMS ALWAYS A KEY The last five FSU-Miami games have featured a touchdown by the defense or special teams.

1996   FSU 34-16   Shevin Smith (FSU)  54-yard fumble recovery
1995    FSU 41-17   Trent Jones (UM) rec. blocked punt in endzone
1994    UM 34-20    Carlos Jones (UM) 16-yard interception return
1993    FSU 28-10   Devin Bush (FSU) 40-yard interception return
1992    UM 19-16    Tamarick Vanover (FSU) 94-yard kickoff return

FORMER WALK-ONS EARN THEIR KEEP
Once upon a time, defensive end Andre Wadsworth and rover safety Shevin Smith were walkons at Florida State. Now, the Miami natives are not only full-fledged starters, but candidates for national awards and recognition. Wadsworth, who leads FSU with six sacks after moving to end from the interior this season, is a Lombardi Award semifinalist and has been listed among the top picks for the NFL Draft after this season. Smith, a Jim Thorpe Award candidate, has 10 tackles, one interception and two pass break-ups on the season.

SENIOR QBS AGAINST MIAMI
The Seminoles' senior quarterbacks have seen increasing success against Miami in the 1990s. Three of the last four FSU QBs have defeated the Hurricanes, including the last two. In 1995, Danny Kanell led the Tribe to a 41-17 win over Miami -- FSU's most lopsided win over the 'Canes since a 38-3 victory in 1984.

Year   Score       Quarterback Comp-Att    Yds TD  INT
1995    FSU 41-17   Kanell      17-of-27    170 3   0
1993    FSU 28-10   Ward        21-of-31    256 1   0
1991    UM 17-16    Weldon      17-of-26    209 0   1
1990    FSU 24-10   Willis      7-of-20     129 0   1

BUSBY LOOKING FOR A 1,000
Senior quarterback Thad Busby has passed for 916 yards through three games and will be looking to hit the 1,000-yard mark against Miami. Last season, it took Busby six games to break 1,000 yards passing. Except for Danny Kanell's junior season, Busby is the closest QB to 1000 passing yards in the last six seasons. Here's a look at recent FSU QBs through three games:

Year   QB      Comp-Att    Yds TD  INT
1997    Busby   62-of-101   916 4   3
1996    Busby   35-of-60    391 4   5
1995    Kanell  62-of-86    755 11  2
1994    Kanell  80-of-120   946 6   4
1993    Ward    63-of-90    783 6   0
1992    Ward    53-of-102   802 9   9

WARRICK MAKES HIS MARK
Receiver Peter Warrick's eight receptions for 249 yards against Clemson was his single-game career-high for receiving yards and marked his first 100-yard (and 200-yard) receiving game. His previous career best was 87 yards on four catches against Southern Miss last year. Warrick's eight receptions were also a career best.

  • The last time an FSU receiver had more than 200 yards receiving was Kez McCorvey (207 yds) against Duke in 1994. Warrick is only the third player in FSU history to go over 200 yards receiving in a single game. McCorvey did it once and Ron Sellers did it five times.
  • Warrick's 90-yard punt return for a TD against the Tigers was the second longest punt return in FSU history. Phil Abraira took one 92 yards against N.C. State in 1969 (for a TD). It was FSU's first punt return TD since Dee Feaster took one 79 yards for a score against Clemson in 1996.
  • Warrick's 372 all-purpose yards against Clemson was the second best single-game total in ACC history. Wake Forest's John Leach holds the record at 411 vs. Maryland in 1993. Warrick's performance also ties Houston's Chuck Weatherspoon (1990) for 23rd on the NCAA single-game all-purpose yards list. Greg Allen holds the FSU record for all-purpose yards in a single game with 417 against Western Carolina in 1981.
A LOOK AT FSU & THE ACC
FSU TOTAL OFFENSE VS. ACC OPPONENTS
        UM  DU  CU  WFU UNC NCS GT  UVA
1992    858 494 263 461 359 336 378 413
1993    526 628 634 647 489 553 582 560
1994    731 620 393 562 421 424 396 513
1995    616 797 455 748 377 745 415 546
1996    496 221 453 401 213 527 443 533
1997    559
AVG     631 552 440 564 372 517 443 513
FSU SCORING VS. ACC OPPONENTS
        UM      DU      CU      WFU     UNC     NCS     GT      UVA
1992    69      48      24      35      36      34      29      13
1993    49      45      57      54      33      62      51      40
1994    52      59      17      56      31      34      41      41
1995    59      70      45      72      28      77      42      28
1996    48      44      34      44      13      51      49      31
1997    50
AVG     54.5    53.2    35.4    52.2    28.2    51.6    42.4    30.6
FSU POINTS ALLOWED VS. ACC OPPONENTS
        UM      DU      CU      WFU     UNC     NCS     GT      UVA
1992    21      21      20      7       13      13      24      3
1993    20      7       0       0       7       3       0       14
1994    20      20      0       14      18      3       10      17
1995    17      26      26      13      12      17      10      33
1996    10      7       3       7       0       17      3       24
1997    7
AVG     15.8    16.2    9.8     8.2     10      10.6    9.4     18.2

  • FSU has scored 1,795 points off of ACC opponents since joining in 1992. That's an average of 43.7 points per game. Since 1992, FSU's defense has given up a total of 507 points, for an average of 12.3 points per game -- a 31.4 point differential.

  • FSU has kept 16 ACC opponents in single-digit scoring since 1992. Not including last week's 50-7 win over Maryland, FSU averages three league opponents per season that do not reach double-digit scoring.

  • Last time FSU held a league opponent to at least 105 yards total offense was 1996 season opener against Duke, 91 yards.

    ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
    Defensive Linemen
    Andre Wadsworth
    vs. Southern California
    4 UT, 4 AT, 2 sacks, 1 TFL

    Bobby Rhodes
    vs. Maryland
    6 UT, 4 AT, 2 TFL

    Daryl Bush
    vs. Clemson

    Def. Backs &
    Outside Linebackers
    Sam Cowart
    vs. Southern California
    12 UT, 6 AT, 1/2 sack

    Rookie
    Sebastian Janikowski
    vs. Maryland
    44 FG, 49 FG
    9 of 10 kickoffs were touchbacks

    SEMINOLES WEEK-BY-WEEK REVIEW

    FSU 14, SO. CALIFORNIA 7
    9/6/97 -- Dee Feaster rushed for 74 yards and a TD as FSU defeated No. 23 USC in Los Angeles. QB Thad Busby passed for 276 yards and the defense held the Trojans to 25 yards rushing in the contest. Feaster scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie and end an 80-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 46-yard E.G. Green reception.

    FSU 50, MARYLAND 17
    9/13/97 -- E.G. Green caught six passes for 118 yards and two TDs as FSU downed ACC foe Maryland. The Seminole defense held the Terps to 105 yards total offense. Thad Busby completed a career-high 26 passes (34 att.) for 308 yards and two TDs in just one half of action.

    FSU 35, CLEMSON 28
    9/20/97 -- Peter Warrick scored three TDs and racked up 372 all-purpose yards as FSU squeaked by Clemson, 35-28. Warrick caught a career-high eight passes for 249 yards and two TDs, including an 80-yard TD reception. He also returned a punt 90 yards for a score. Thad Busby passed for a career-high 332 yards. The Seminoles intercepted three passes and Sam Cowart recovered a fumble for a score.

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