Florida State In Unfamiliar Role vs. Miami

On Saturday, the Seminoles will be in a role they rarely find themselves in-underdog. Despite being at home, the Seminoles are 7-point underdogs to Miami.

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden thinks the Seminoles will respond well even being an a unfamiliar spot. Bowden likes being the underdog.

"All things considered I like going into a game as the underdog," said Bowden. "You always like to be the better team and be favored, but as a coach being an underdog is better. Although some coaches don't agree, you can use that as an advantage."

Bowden doesn't remember the last time the Seminoles were underdogs in a game, although the supposed favored team doesn't always walk away with a win.

"I think the second time we played Florida in 1996, I think they were favored," Bowden said. "I'm sitting there thinking we beat them already and are undefeated. Why should they be favored over us if we just beat'em? But you' all know what happended. So I could be wrong."

The last time Florida State was a home underdog was in 1996 when the Gators came to Doak Campbell Stadium as a 2 1/2 point favorite. Florida was ranked No. 1, but lost to the second-ranked Seminoles 24-21. Both same teams played later that season in the Sugar Bowl with Florida winning 52-20.


Miami fullback Najeh Davenport, who came out of the Troy State game with a hamstring injury, said he first strained the hamstring during practice last week. Davenport is likely to play against the Seminoles.


The National Championship trophy will be on display during the game. making its fifth stop on its season-long tour of premier college football games. The trophy will be presented to the winner of the national championship game Jan. 3rd at the Rose Bowl.


The series between both schools has done a role reversal over the last 10 years. From 1991-94, the Seminoles went 1-3 against the Hurricanes. Since 1995, Florida State is 5-1 against Miami and has won by an average of 18 points. The Seminoles last five victories were by at least 10 or more points.


Besides Ken Dorsey last season and Chris Weinke in 1998, starting quarterbacks haven't fared too well in the UM-FSU series. First-year starters in the series are a combined 4-9 since 1989. The Seminoles last two first-year starters in the series (Weinke and Thad Busby) have earned wins. Craig Erickson was the only Miami first-year starter to lead the Hurricanes to a victory, back in 1990.


In the last eight Miami-Florida State games the team that has scored first has come out on top. The team that has scored first has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. The exception? 1992 when the Seminoles scored first, but lost 19-16.


Since 1988, the squad with the most rushing yards has won the contest 11 of 12 times. The Seminoles had an all-time high of 273 rushing yards in a 41-17 victory in 1995. Miami had 334 rushing yards in a 31-22 trimph over FSU in 1990.


The Seminoles currently hold the mark with 14 consecutive 10-win seasons from 1987-2000. Miami had eight (1985-92) and Florida put together six (1993-98).


The Seminoles have won 37 straight contests at Doak Campbell since 1992.....FSU receiver Atrews Bell has a catch in 17 straight games including last year's Orange Bowl ..........Linebacker Bradley Jennings has recorded a tackle in at least 37 consecutive games. The last time Jennings did not record a tackle was on Oct. 3, 1998 against Maryland. Jennings did not play in the game...........Bowden is fourth all-time among Division I coaches with 317 career victories. Bowden is behind Joe Paterno (322).


Anytime FSU-UM play it is a reunion of sorts for most of the participants. Saturday will be no different. There will be plenty of players on the field that went to high school in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area.

For FSU: LB Allen Augustin (Miami Senior), LB Cornelius Collier (Miami Palmetto), DB Travis Smith (Miami Palmetto), LB Bradley Jennings (Miami Palmetto), O. J. Jackson (Miami Carol City), LB Willie Jones (Miami Southridge), DB Stanford Samuels (Miami Carol City), LB Jerel Hudson (South Dade), RB Ryan Reynolds (St. Thomas Aquinas), RB Lemar Parrish (North Miami Beach), LB Ray Piqion (Miami Beach), DB Malcolm Tatum (Miami Beach), C Antione Mirambeau (Miami Beach).

For UM: RB Willis McGahee (Miami Central), Najeh Davenport (Miami Central), WR Andre Johnson (Miami Senior), WR Ethenic Sands (Miami Carol City), S Jermell Weaver (Miami Northwestern), S Sean Taylor (Miami Gulliver), RB Frank Gore (Coral Gables), LB Jon Vilma (Coral Gables), OL Vernon Carey (Miami Northwestern), Joel Rodriguez (Miami Pace), Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami Columbus), DT Vince Wolfork (Miami Edison), DT William Joseph (Miami Edison), DB Antrel Rolle (South Dade).

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