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Nov. 11, 1997

Freshman Vannez Gooch Will Get a Chance at Starting Tailback

Vannez Gooch

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State (9-0) prepared for their final home game against Wake Forest (5-5) with a 21-period practice this afternoon. The team worked out in shells and concluded practice with conditioning.

"We look to be in about the same shape injury-wise as we were a week ago," said head coach Bobby Bowden. "We have some guys a little banged up, but that is usually the case after a big game."

The game will conclude Wake Forest's 1997 schedule, and a victory would give the Deamon Deacons the minimum six wins needed to be eligible for a bowl. FSU concludes its schedule November 22 at Florida.

"You get double jeopardy this week," said Bowden. "You are coming off a big game and you get another big game next week. Wake Forest has a lot of incentive to come in here and play great. They are a much better team than a year ago and got a lot of people back. Jim Caldwell has done a good job of bringing that program around."

Freshman Vannez Gooch will get the start at tailback this weekend. He will be the fourth player to start at that position this season.

"Gooch ran with the first team and he will start Saturday," said Bowden. "I am eager to see what he can do in a starting role. I feel very confident with him. The other backs will be ready to roll if he struggles, but he deserves the chance to start."

Saturday's game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium and will be carried by Jefferson-Pilot.

"I hope the crowd will turn out for this senior class' last home game," said Bowden. "They have done a great job of leading this team and I know they would appreciate it."

Injury Report: LB Bradley Jennings - fractured nose; DB Abdual Howard - dislocated finger (right hand).

The Seminoles will practice again tomorrow afternoon.

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