Winslow Keeping Low-Profile

The last time the University of Miami was getting ready to play Florida State Kellen Winslow didn't exactly hold anything back. Several days before the game last October the Hurricanes junior tight end declared that nobody on the Seminoles defense could cover him one-on-one, including Florida State strong-side linebacker Michael Boulware.

But Winslow has refrained from making any outlandish comments this time around as he prepares for what possibly is his final game as a collegiate. Winslow, the 2003 John Mackey Award winner as the premier tight end in the country, didn't say anything to send reporters scurrying for their notepads. Instead he talked about sometimes being misunderstood- a by-product of being the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr.

"It's just I think sometimes I'm the son of a father," said Winslow. "I have a lot to live up to. There are cameras on me all the time. Everybody is watching you. They just think I'm an out-of-control guy on the field, and sometimes the refs look at me a little extra than they do other players. That's what Kellen Winslow Jr. goes through. They look at you under the microscope."

Winslow was penalized for throwing his helmet during Miami's 10-6 loss to Tennessee. After the game Winslow complained about the officials and compared himself to a soldier during a long tirade in the locker room. The incident was replayed continuously on national outlets everywhere.

"I really got tired of seeing my face on TV. It was everywhere," said Winslow. "I'm 20 years old. You guys know me. I'm a kind kid - a good kid."

The 6-5, 250-pounder was also benched for the start of the Syracuse game for what UM coach said was 'extracurricular activity' on the field. But despite his troubles Winslow finished the regular-season with 55 receptions for 557 yards and a touchdown. Among the highlights: A game-saving catch against West Virginia late in the fourth quarter and seven receptions for 106 yards in Miami's 22-14 victory over Florida State in October. Now after making 114 catches for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons Winslow is expected to announce he leave for the NFL after the Orange Bowl game.

"I think I'm ready," said Winslow. "I'll see you guys after the game."

DEALING WITH CRITICISM

Despite becoming Division I-A's all-time winningest coach with 342 victories earlier this season and guiding the Seminoles to a second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championship, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden was had to deal with criticism for his coaching and handling of the program in recent years. Before winning 10 regular-season games this season, the Seminoles posted records of 9-5 in 2002 and 8-4 in 2001, marking the first time since 1986 that FSU had lost more than two games in the same season.

The Seminoles had to deal with plenty of off-the-field incidents last year as well, including the dismissal of quarterback Adrian McPherson for his involvement in a gambling scandal, the suspension of Chris Rix for the Sugar Bowl after missing a final exam and Darnell Dockett's suspension for a mall incident in Tallahassee. On top of having his coaching ability questioned by the fans and media, Bowden also had to hear that he was losing control of the program and should step aside.

"Well that I guess that goes with the territory. When you get my age if you don't win then age is what people always go back to," said Bowden, 74. "But that's just part of this job. If you win national championships then they're going to love you, but if you don't they're going to come out of the woodworks."

INJURY UPDATE

UM junior center Joel Rodriguez, who is still recovering from a broken left leg, remains doubtful for the game, while Bowden said that starting junior defensive end Eric Moore (sprained ankle), defensive back Leroy Smith (sprained ankle) and Bryant McFadden (groin) would probably be gametime decisions. Moore, who according to Bowden hasn't practiced since Monday, finished tied for third in the Atlantic Coast Conference with eight sacks.

All-American offensive lineman Alex Barron and safety B. J. Ward will not start the game for the Seminoles because they have missed a handful of excused practices. Freshman Mario Henderson will replace Barron and sophomore Pat Watkins will be in Wards' spot. Bowden said that the moves were not made as punishment towards Barron and Ward.

"We've got a whole line of injuries to ankles, but other than that we're prepared as good as we could be prepared," said Bowden

The Seminoles, 14-4 in their last 18 bowl games, have the fifth winningest bowl team in NCAA history with an overall mark of 18-11-2 (.613). Miami is 16-13 (.552). Florida State has scored in 197 consecutive games dating back to the 1988 season opener. Who shutout FSU? Miami 31-0 in the Orange Bowl. Miami is 5-1 all-time in bowl games against the ACC. Despite being home the Hurricanes will be the visiting team and wear white jerseys. Florida State is the home team by virtue of a higher BCS ranking over Miami (No. 7 to No. 9).

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