Back To Work

Rested and refreshed, the Florida State Seminoles returned to the practice fields to begin preparations for the Gator Bowl Jan. 1 against West Virginia. For the Seminoles it's only the second time in 13 seasons they won't be in of what are now BCS bowls - the Sugar, Orange or Fiesta. West Virginia also has its own reason to be disappointed. A month ago, the Mountaineers were sitting at 8-1 and looking at a 10-1 season, a Big East title and a probable berth in the Fiesta Bowl.

Now is time to work off the rust.

Florida State returned to the practice fields on Saturday afternoon to begin preparations for West Virginia in the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl.

The Seminoles are looking to end the season on a positive note.

FSU hasn't dropped its final two games to end the season since it lost three straight in 1981. The Seminoles finished 6-5 and did not qualify for a bowl game.

In fact, FSU is trying to avoid a first under coach Bobby Bowden since he arrived in 1976.

The Seminoles have never lost their regular-season finale and the ensuing bowl game to end the season.

FSU avoided the scenario eight different times in 28 years under Bowden, including 1984 when the Seminoles fell to Florida 27-17 and then tied Georgia 17-17 in the Citrus Bowl.

West Virginia has its own reason to be disappointed about ending its season in Jacksonville.

A month ago, the Mountaineers were sitting at 8-1 (the loss to Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech) and looking at a 10-1 season, a Big East title and a probable berth in the Fiesta Bowl.

But then came a home loss to Boston College and the regular-season ending loss to Pittsburgh. A win in either game would have sent West Virginia to the Fiesta, where they most likely would have faced undefeated Utah.

For at least one Seminole, however, the bowl game offers an intriguing matchup. It will pit the Henshaw brothers against each other -- Matt for FSU and Mike Henshaw, a safety, for West Virginia.

"I am extremely excited to possibly play against Mike," Matt Henshaw said.

"The greatest thing for me is that this is his last game of his football career. I not only get to see it, I get to be there and watch him play first hand, which will be the first game that I ever got to watch of his. It will also be his last so it's really special to me."

The two siblings were teammates in high school.

"It was rough playing with him because I felt like he never had a bad game and I was always pressuring myself to live up to the way he played," Matt said.

"It was fun playing with him because he demanded a lot out of me. He demanded a lot out of me and he never had a bad game in high school and that would really tick me off because I would maybe have a bad game and he would ask me why I let us lose. It was tough playing for him but I enjoyed it too."


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