Still a huge game

The local newspapers are not to pleased with the play-calling on offense (and they're letting everybody know about it). The team's defensive coordinator agrees with those that say his defense isn't very good. There are still in-house discussions being had about what happened in Louisville. And some receivers have gone as far as signaling out the guy responsible for getting them the ball as the culprit.

This can't be happening at Florida State, right?

So is as the world turns in Tallahassee where despite a rebound-victory over Clemson and son Tommy last week, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden and his coaching staff have four days before taking on the No. 1 University of Miami Hurricanes (5-0) at the Orange Bowl, Saturday.

The No. 11 Seminoles (5-1) righted the ship against Clemson for the moment with a 48-31 victory. But not all is well with the Seminoles. Florida State has struggled mightingly on defense trying to avoid the big play and stopping the run. The Seminoles, who have given up 57 points in the last two games, will arrive at the OB ranked 59th in the nation in total defense, allowing 364 yards a game.

But UM head coach Larry Coker doesn't want to hear how the Seminoles are down in the dumps. Coker, who has guided the Hurricanes to a nation's best 27-game winning streak, knows what his team is in for against the Seminoles and promises that UM won't overlook anybody.

"We better not be because Florida State will come in here and knock us off," Coker said. "They're probably not playing their best right now, but with all the talent they have it would be silly to think it's not going to be a ballgame."

Coker compared the Seminoles' current state to that of the Hurricanes after losing the second game of the 2000 season at Washington. After the game, Coker, Miami's offensive coordinator at the time, and starting quarterback Ken Dorsey, then a sophomore, were the subject of criticism from the locals. Since that overcast day in Seattle, the Hurricanes haven't lost a game and added a fifth national championship.

"I can't remember anybody that wanted us around after the Washington game," Coker. "Then we beat Florida State and Ken is a Heisman front-runner. It's something we can't let happen to us."

The Seminoles main threat on offense has been tailback Greg Jones, who is averaging 106 rushing yards a game. But Coker remains weary of sophomore quarterback Chris Rix and the Florida State passing game.

Despite the Florida State passing offense ranking 57th in the nation with 226 yards a contest, Coker still shivers at the thought of the Hurricanes secondary facing Rix in a game of such magnitude. With the continued pressure that the Miami defensive line has applied on opposing quarterbacks this season, Coker still doesn't know what to expect from the defensive backfield. He is convinced the Seminoles will test that.

"I think it is a major concern. I don't see a lot of people taking shots, and I think you'll see that with Florida State," said Coker. "That's always been a Bobby Bowden trait, he's going to take his shots down the field. Its not so much Chris Rix throwing the ball they also have some big receivers. They've got Bolden, they've got Gardner. Those guys aren't small players." Coker also came to the defense of Florida State's much-maligned unit.

We'll they're putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback and the front is doing very good," said Coker. "I guess the secondary has been kind of their Achilles heal so far. Their secondary has had some breakdowns. But I know this- they've always been able to put pressure with their front people."

Coker isn't taking the Seminoles lightly. "They pose plenty of problems for us," said Coker.

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