Moving Forward

The Florida State Seminoles returned to practice Tuesday with good intentions -- putting the Miami defeat in the past. Up next for FSU is one of the nation's most storied programs in Notre Dame. The undefeated Fighting Irish also are one of the nation's top stories this season under first-year coach Tyrone Willingham. "We've got to correct our mistakes and move on to Notre Dame. We can't dwell on this loss," Kyler Hall said.

Nobody was perfect.

That was Florida State coach Bobby Bowden's message Tuesday to the Seminoles, who returned to practice with every intention of putting their 28-27 defeat at Miami behind them. The Seminoles squandered a 13-point advantage in the fourth quarter and Xavier Beitia was wide left on a 43-yard field goal on the game's final play for the victory.

"I told him (Beitia) in front of all the team that everybody made at least one error that would have won the game," said Bowden, whose team practiced indoors due to a day-long rain. "Just hang on to this pass, or block that punt, or do this. What he's going through, I've been through for 50 years. We all go through it, but that's his first experience with that."

The Seminoles (5-2), who are idle on Saturday, are at Doak Campbell Stadium against Notre Dame Oct. 26. Depending on how Notre Dame fares Saturday at Air Force, the Seminoles could face a top-5 team in two weeks. The Seminoles also have the Atlantic Coast Conference championship at stake. FSU closes with three of four league games on the road, including at undefeated N.C. State (7-0) on Nov. 23.

"We've just got to move on to Notre Dame," safety Kyler Hall said. "We've watched the game film. We've got to correct our mistakes and move on to Notre Dame. We can't dwell on this loss." Cornerback Rufus Brown agreed, saying, ""We've got to finish. We played a pretty good game. It just added up to some big plays, breakdowns that hurt us a lot. We've got to eliminate those if we want to keep playing well and win our games."

The Seminoles' offensive line dominated UM's talent-laden and deep defensive front. FSU's defense - save for some customary pass-defense breakdowns - played with resolve. And, of course, Greg Jones gained a career-high 189 yards on 31 carries, while backup running back Nick Maddox ran for another 74 yards.

"You talk about a force, he's been a force. Just a physical force out there," Bowden said. "I think we're using him in the right way right now. He gives the other team something to think about, and something for us to build around."

Of course, Bowden also is excited about facing off against the Irish, one of the nation's top stories under first-year coach Tyrone Willingham. The Seminoles, who travel to Notre Dame next season, lead the series 3-1. The two teams last played in the Orange Bowl in 1996, with the Danny Kanell-led Seminoles winning 31-26.

"We've played those people at their place and can't get them here," Bowden said of former regular-season opponents Ohio State and Nebraska. "Notre Dame did sign a contract, and they're coming here. We're going there next year. That's really good. They're really a great school."

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