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Oct. 15, 1997

Florida State Vs. Georgia Tech Game Notes

Saturday, October 18, 1997
3:30 p.m. * ABC Sports
Doak Campbell Stadium (80,000) * Tallahassee, FL

SETTING THE SCENE: No. 3 Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC) hosts No. 21/ 25 (AP/USA Today) Georgia Tech (4-1, 3-0 ACC) in a battle for first place in the ACC. The meeting is the Seminoles' third match-up with a ranked team this season. The Seminoles' boast the No. 1 defense in the nation, allowing just 198.4 yards per game. FSU is looking for their 14th straight ACC victory.

THE OPPONENT: After an opening week loss to Notre Dame, No. 21/25 Georgia Tech has won four consecutive games, including a 27-17 victory over NC State last weekend. Quarterback Joe Hamilton is responsible for 61 percent of the Yellow Jackets' offense as he is averaging 229.2 (180.2 pass/49 rush) yards of total offense per game. Receiver Harvey Middleton is Hamilton's favorite target with 4.6 catches per game with an average of 18.3 yards per reception. Tech enters the game ranked 54th in total offense, averaging 376.6 yards per game. The Yellow Jackets' defense is also ranked 54th, allowing 346.8 yards per game.

SERIES NOTES: The Seminoles have won five straight, but Georgia Tech leads the series 7-5-1. FSU is averaging 42.4 points per game in the last five meetings, while the Seminoles have held Tech to 10 points or less in the last four contests. Florida State has held Tech to 9.4 points per game since joining the ACC in 1992. This will be the third meeting in Tallahassee. FSU has won both games at Doak Campbell Stadium in 1993 and 1995. Tech assistant coach Eddie Wilson was an FSU assistant coach in 1975. Eight players on the FSU roster are Georgia natives, while 11 players on the Yellow Jackets' roster hail from the state of Florida.

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

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

NCAA Sack Leaders on the Web: www.seminoles.com/sacks. 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 every Tuesday by 5:00 p.m. The list is also available on the ACC Faxback on document #31056.

FOR THE RECORD
FLORIDA STATE

Coach Bobby Bowden
(Samford '53)
Overall Record
275-82-4/32nd Season
Record at FSU
202-50-4/22nd Season
Record vs. Ga. Tech
5-0

GEORGIA TECH
Coach George O'Leary
(New Hampshire '68)
Overall Record
15-15/3rd Season
Record at Ga. Tech
15-15/3rd Season
Record vs. FSU
0-2

A BIG ANNIVERSARY
The Seminoles will host Georgia Tech on the 50th anniversary of their very first football game in 1947. Florida State played its first game on October 18, 1947. It was a 14-6 loss to Stetson and the Seminoles finished their inaugural season 0-5. Ed Williamson was the coach of the team, that in 1947, had no stadium, no scholarships and no team name. Williamson was not paid to coach the 1947 squad.

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 31-game (30-0-1) 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 107-16-2 (86.4%) record in Doak Campbell.

WHO WILL SCORE FIRST?
Georgia Tech has put points on the scoreboard first in the last three games against the Tribe. The Yellow Jackets held 3-0 leads in 1996, '95 and '94 before FSU regained control of the contest. In each of those games, Florida State has responded with at least two unanswered touchdowns. Last year, LB Lamont Green took advantage of his first career start with a 56-yard TD interception return to put the Seminoles up 7-3.

PENALTIES SET A RECORD
After being flagged just four times against Miami, Florida State was penalized a school and ACC record 20 times against Duke. The Seminoles surpassed the FSU record of 18 vs. Duke in 1992 and Wake Forest in 1994. FSU tied the ACC record which is held by Duke vs. Clemson in 1969.

COWART HAS A NOSE FOR THE BALL
Butkus Award candidate Sam Cowart is known for making big plays and has two touchdowns on the season to show for it. Cowart recovered a fumble for 24 yards and a TD against Duke, while he dove on a loose ball in the endzone against Clemson for a score.

IN THE AIR
Senior quarterback Thad Busby is currently averaging 279.2 yards per game, which projected through 11 games, would be 3,071 passing yards this season. The current FSU season passing yardage record is 3,124 held by Peter Tom Willis set in 1989. Busby has had five consecutive 250+-yard passing games. The record for 200-yard passing games in a season is nine by Gary Huff ('72), Peter Tom Willis ('89) and Charlie Ward ('93). Huff has the record for consecutive 200-yard passing games with 11.

WARRICK PROVES HIS VALUE
As a redshirt freshman in 1996, Biletnikoff Award candidate Peter Warrick played in all 11 regular season games, recording 22 receptions for 467 yards, four touchdowns with a long of 59 yards. In just five games into the 1997 season, Warrick has made 26 catches for 544 yards, six touchdowns with a long of 80 yards. Warrick is on pace to go over 1,000 yards receiving this season. He is also averaging over 108.8 yards per game which ranks ninth in the nation and is second in the ACC with 154.6 all-purpose yards per game this season.

  • Of Warrick's seven (6 recep. & 1 punt return) total TDs on the year, six were on plays of over 20 yards and three were over 50 yards.

    FSU GETTING MORE PICKS
    The starting defensive secondary of Samari Rolle, Shevin Smith, Dexter Jackson and Tay Cody have already nabbed six interceptions in just five games. Last season's starting secondary only recorded two of the team's four picks following the first five games, both by Smith. Rolle, Smith and Cody each have two interceptions on the season.

    DYNASTY
    Florida State was officially named a college football dynasty by the NCAA in the organization's record book. The Seminoles are the only Division I school ever to win at least 10 games for 10 straight years. The Tribe has posted a 112-14-1 mark since 1987. Bobby Bowden has also led his teams to an NCAA record 10 straight Top Four finishes in the Associated Press poll.

    ON THE END
    Tight end Melvin Pearsall is already having a career season. His 15 catches for 151 yards is better than his 1995 and 1996 season totals and just two receptions short of his career-high 17 grabs in 1994. Pearsall's seven receptions against Maryland equalled his single-game all-time high of seven from 1994, also against the Terps. It also equalled his overall total of seven catches in 1995 and one shy of his overall total of eight catches from the 1996 season. His 65 yards receiving vs. the Terps was also his second-highest single game total, after the 90 yards he gained in the 1994 Maryland game. He needs just two touchdowns to tie Johnson's FSU all-time career record of 10 TD scores by a tight end.

    TD's in a career by a tight end (top 4):
    Lonnie Johnson  10
    Melvin Pearsall  8
    Kurt Unglaub     8
    Pat Carter       7

    PEARSALL COULD FIND IT IN THE ENDZONE
    TE Melvin Pearsall, who has seen an expanded role in this year's offense, started off strong in his first outing against Georgia Tech as a freshman (1994). Pearsall caught a pair of TD passes from Danny Kanell of five and eight yards in FSU's 41-10 victory in Atlanta.

    E.G. MAKES HISTORY
    Biletnikoff Award candidate E.G. Green set a new Florida State record as he extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 31 games against Miami. He increased the record to 32 games with a catch against Duke. Including bowl games, Green has caught a pass in 32 consecutive games dating back to the 1994 Notre Dame game in Orlando. Green is a two-time second team All-ACC selection and has led the team in receiving for two straight seasons.

    WHO MIGHT GET STAGE FRIGHT
    Florida State is accustomed to playing in front of the cameras of the major networks and has posted a 99-32-4 on television. The Seminoles are 42-15-2 when playing on ABC. The Tribe is 60-24-4 when playing on national television.

    BUSH & WADSWORTH SEEING YELLOW
    LB Daryl Bush and DE Andre Wadsworth have had career days against Georgia Tech over the past two seasons. Bush has totaled 33 tackles, one sack, one tackle-for-loss and one fumble recovery in the last two meetings while Wadsworth has tallied 21 tackles and two fumble recoveries.

    ACC DOMINANCE
    In five seasons of ACC play against Georgia Tech, the Seminoles have won by an average margin of 33 points (42.4 to 9.4). That includes a Charlie Ward-led come from behind win at Georgia Tech (29-24) in the initial meeting of 1992. The Yellow Jackets have scored only 23 points since that game over the past four seasons.

    IN THE RED ZONE
    Offense
    Opp         Drives  Result                                  Percent Inside 20
    USC          4      2 TD run, penalty  on FG attempt         50 
    Maryland     7      1 TD run, 4 TD pass, 1 FG, FG miss       86
    Clemson      3      2 FG, FG miss                            67
    Miami        8      4 TD run, 1 TD pass, 1 FG, FG miss, INT  75
    Duke         5      4 TD run, 1 FG                          100
    Total       27     11 TD run, 5 TD pass, 5 FG, 3 FG miss     78
    Defense
    Opp       Drives    Result                                  Percent Inside 20
    USC         1       1 TD run                                100
    Maryland    0       --- 									--
    Clemson     3       1 TD pass, 2 FG                         100
    Miami       1       INT 									  0
    Duke        3       1 TD run, 1 TD pass, 1 FG               100
    Total       8       2 TD run, 2 TD pass, 3 FG                88

    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 26 tackles, including nine for a loss, this season. Four finalists for the award will be announced on Oct. 31st.

    MAKING BIG PLAYS
    After not forcing a single turnover against Maryland, Florida State has forced eight in the last three games. The defense and special teams have scored three touchdowns in the last three games as well.

  • Sam Cowart's fumble recovery for a TD against the Tigers 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. Cowart followed it up with a 24-yard fumble return for a TD against Duke.
  • Tommy Polley's blocked punt against Duke allowed Derrick Gibson to recover the ball in the endzone for an FSU score.

    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 against Maryland.
  • Green tied Jessie Hester for fourth with 21 career touchdowns on the FSU career TD list with his score in the first half against Miami.

    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.

    1997 FLORIDA STATE FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
    DEFENSIVE LEADERS       GP SOLO  AST  TOT TFL-YDS   SCK-YDS  PBU   FC   FR
    Cowart, Sam              5   27   21   48   5- 16   1.0-  7    1    0    2
    Green, Lamont            5   17   20   37   2-  8   1.0-  7    0    0    0
    Jackson, Dexter          5   26   11   37   0-  0   0.0-  0    5    0    0
    Bush, Daryl              4   18   12   30   5- 17   2.0- 12    0    2    0
    Johnson, Jerry           5   15   14   29   6- 20   1.0-  3    0    2    0
    Smith, Larry             5   14   14   28   5- 26   2.0- 14    1    0    0
    Wadsworth, Andre         5   12   14   26   9- 59   6.0- 26    0    1    0
    Rolle, Samari            5   14    6   20   0-  0   0.0-  0    5    0    0
    Simon, Corey             4   10    9   19   3-  5   0.0-  0    1    0    0
    Bryant, Tony             5    7   12   19   5- 27   3.0- 21    0    1    0
    Smith, Shevin            5   11    8   19   0-  0   0.0-  0    3    0    0
    Rhodes, Bobby            5    8   10   18   3-  3   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Cody, Coronta            5   11    6   17   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Seymour, Roland          5    3   13   16   3-  9   2.0-  7    0    0    1
    Allen, Brian             5    6   10   16   1-  2   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Polley, Tommy            5   10    3   13   1-  7   1.0-  7    0    0    0
    Gibson, Derrick          5    9    4   13   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    McCorkel, Shawn          4    3    8   11   1- 12   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Rackley, Theon           5    5    6   11   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    1
    Humphrey, Deon           5    6    4   10   3- 25   1.0-  7    0    0    0
    Warren, David            4    3    6    9   1-  6   1.0-  6    0    0    0
    Dorsey, Char-ron         3    4    5    9   2-  5   1.0-  3    1    0    0
    Saunders, Troy           5    7    2    9   0-  0   0.0-  0    2    0    0
    Chaney, Jeff             5    6    1    7   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Rhodes, Billy            3    2    4    6   1-  9   1.0-  9    0    0    0
    Frier, Todd              5    5    1    6   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Reynolds, Jamal          3    1    4    5   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    0
    Tulloch, David           3    0    4    4   2-  3   1.0-  1    0    0    0
    Malone, Bryne            4    2    2    4   2- 15   1.0- 13    0    0    0
    Howard, Abdual           4    3    1    4   0-  0   0.0-  0    1    0    0
    Spires, Greg             2    2    1    3   2-  5   1.0-  3    0    0    0
    Stephens, Demetro        3    2    1    3   0-  0   0.0-  0    1    0    0
    Thomas, Clevan           4    1    0    1   0-  0   0.0-  0    0    0    0

    BALANCING IT OUT
    In Florida State's first three games, the offense was running the ball just 40 percent of the time. In an effort to let the running game gain more experience, the Seminoles have run the ball 54 percent of the time in the last two games. Overall, the Seminoles are running the ball on 46 percent of their plays, but have only accounted for 25 percent of total offensive yardage.

    PICKING UP THE PACE
    In the past four meetings vs. the Yellow Jackets, FSU has scored only seven points in the first quarter with Tech totaling nine. In the second quarter, the Seminoles have turned it around with 79 points in the last four games (an average of almost 20 points per second quarter) to Tech's seven (less than two points per second quarter).

    THE COMEBACK
    Seminole fans remember the 1992 Georgia Tech game as the birth of the "fast-break offense." Down 21-7 in the fourth quarter, the Seminoles began working from the shotgun without a huddle in desperation. QB Charlie Ward led the charge, accounting for 206 of FSU's 207 yards on three touchdown drives in the final quarter. The Seminoles pulled out a 29-24 victory in one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

    BOWDEN MOVES UP THE LIST
    Bobby Bowden moved into seventh place for career wins at a single school with 202 total after FSU's victory over Duke last Saturday. He also places fourth of all active head coaches with his 202 wins at one school. Bowden is 8-2-1 in head-to-head matchups against 200-win club coaches.

    All-time Coaches
    No. Coach, School                   Years           Wins
    1.  *Joe Paterno, Penn State        1966-present    294
    2.  *Tom Osborne, Nebraska          1973-present    247
    3.  Amos Alonzo Stagg, Chicago      1892-1932       244
    4.  Bear Bryant, Alabama            1958-82         232
    5.  *LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young  1972-present    231
    6.  Woody Hayes, Ohio State         1951-78         205
    7.  *Bobby Bowden, Florida State    1976-present    202
    8.  Vince Dooley, Georgia           1962-88         201
    * - active

    FORMER WALK-ONS EARN THEIR KEEP
    Once upon a time, defensive end Andre Wadsworth and rover safety Shevin Smith were walk-ons at Florida State. Now, the Miami natives are not only 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 15 tackles, two interceptions and three pass break-ups on the season.

    FSU CAREER TD CATCH LEADERS
    1.  Barry Smith (1970-72)       25
    2.  Andre Cooper (1993-96)      24  
    3.  Ron Sellers (1966-68)       23
    4.  E.G. GREEN (94- )           21
        Jessie Hester (1981-84)     21
    6.  Lawrence Dawsey (1987-90)   20
    FSU CAREER RECEPTIONS LEADERS
    1.  Ron Sellers (1966-68)       212
    2.  Kez McCorvey (1991-94)      189
    3.  Mike Shumann (1973-75,77)   134
    4.  Andre Cooper (1993-96)      132
    5.  E.G. GREEN (94- )           131
        Warrick Dunn (1993-96)      131
    7.  Rhett Dawson (1969-71)      128
        Lawrence Dawsey (1987-90)   128
    9.  Barry Smith (1970-72)       122
    FSU CAREER RECEIVING YARDAGE
    1.  Ron Sellers (66-68)         3598
    2.  Kez McCorvey (91-94)        2660
    3.  Barry Smith (70-72)         2392
    4.  Mike Shumman (73-75, 77)    2306
    5.  E.G. GREEN (94- )           2185
    6.  Lawrence Dawsey (87-90)     2129
    7.  Jessie Hester (81-84)       2100
    8.  Rhett Dawson (69-71)        1915
    100-YARD RECEIVING CLUB
        Player                  100-YD GMS
    1.  Ron Sellers                 19
    2.  Barry Smith                 11
    3.  Fred Biletnikoff            8
        Jesse Hester                8
        Lawrence Dawsey             8
    6.  E.G. Green                  7
        Andre Cooper                7
        Rhett Dawson                7
    9.  Jackie Flowers              6
        Kez McCorvey                6
    11. Hassan Jones                4
        Mike Shumann                4

    FLORIDA STATE & BOBBY BOWDEN'S UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS

  • FSU is the only team in the history of college football to finish among the Associated Press Top Four for 10 consecutive seasons.
  • Florida State also has the NCAA record for most consecutive bowl victories as the Seminoles won 11 straight from 1986 to 1996.
  • The Seminoles are the only team in the history of the game to post a 14-game bowl unbeaten streak.
  • Florida State has won five straight ACC Championships and has lost just once in 43 games against conference teams.
  • FSU has been the most successful college team during the 1990s, posting a 80-10-1 record (.885) during this decade.
  • Florida State players have won the Heisman, Thorpe (twice), Butkus (twice), O'Brien, Maxwell and Lombardi Awards.
  • Bobby Bowden is the only coach in college football history to post 10 straight 10-win seasons.
  • Over the last 10 years alone, Florida State has won the Orange (3), Fiesta (2), Sugar (2), Blockbuster (1) and Cotton Bowls (1).
    In The Ranks
    USA Today/ESPN          AP
    Top 25
    1.  Penn State           1
    2.  Nebraska             2
    3.  FLORIDA STATE        3
    4.  N. Carolina          4
    5.  Michigan             5
    6.  Florida              7
    7.  Auburn               6
    8.  Washington          10
    9.  Tennessee            9
    10. LSU                  8
    11. Michigan State      12
    12. Ohio State          11
    13. Washington State    13
    14. Texas A&M           14
    15. Iowa                15
    16. Oklahoma State      16
    17. Air Force           18
    18. UCLA                17
    19. Virginia Tech       22
    20. Kansas State        20
    21. Georgia             19
    22. West Virginia       23
    23. Stanford            25
    24. Wisconsin           24
    25. Georgia Tech        21
    1997 Schedule & Results
    Florida State (5-0)
    9/6     at USC          W, 14-7
    9/13    MARYLAND        W, 50-7
    9/20    at Clemson      W, 35-28
    10/4    MIAMI           W, 47-0
    10/11   at Duke         W, 51-27
    10/18   GA. TECH        3:30
    10/25   at Virginia     7 or 7:30
    11/1    NC STATE        3:30
    11/8    at N. Carolina  7:30
    11/15   WAKE FOREST     tba
    11/22   at Florida      3:30
    All times local to game site.
    GEORGIA TECH (4-1)
    9/6 at Notre Dame       L, 13-17 
    9/20    at W. Forest    W, 28-26
    9/27    CLEMSON         W, 23-20
    10/4    at Boston Coll. W, 42-13
    10/11   NC STATE        W, 27-17
    10/18   at Florida St.  3:30
    10/30   N. CAROLINA     8:00
    11/8    at Virginia     tba
    11/15   at Duke         tba
    11/22   MARYLAND        tba
    11/29   GEORGIA         1:00

    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 held off 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.

    FSU 47, MIAMI 0
    10/4/97 -- The Seminoles shutout Miami for the first time since 1964 with their largest margin of victory in the series. Thad Busby completed 20-of-31 passes for 230 yards and 2 TDs, while Travis Minor rushed for a pair of scores. The defense held Miami to a school-record -33 rushing yards.

    FSU 51, DUKE 27
    10/11/97 -- Thad Busby passed for a TD and ran for two as the Seminoles defeated Duke 51-27. Busby completed 15 of 32 passes for 250 yards. Sam Cowart recovered a fumble for a TD and Tommy Polley blocked a punt as Derrick Gibson recovered it for a score. Peter Warrick caught five passes for 134 yards and a 54-yard TD.

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