The fifth-year guys knew what this game meant. They had been
recruited to play for the Seminoles in the winter of 1992-93, in
the wake of Wide Right II, back when Florida State versus Miami
was the top rivalry in college football and the Hurricanes owned
The older Florida State players understood that Miami not long
ago served as a yardstick for the Seminoles' program. The
Hurricanes beat Florida State five out of six times from 1987 to
'92, including twice when last-minute field goal attempts
drifted wide right. They repeatedly ruined Seminoles coach Bobby
Bowden's national championship dreams. Even when Florida State
did beat Miami, in 1989, the Hurricanes won the national
It didn't matter that Florida State had won three of four
meetings with Miami since 1993, or that these Hurricanes showed
up in Tallahassee last Saturday with a 1-3 record. "The last
couple of weeks, I was rooting for them," Florida State middle
linebacker Daryl Bush, one of the Seminoles' fifth-year seniors,
said after the game. "I wanted them to come in here undefeated.
I wanted it to be a big game for reasons other than us saying it
was a big game."
October 12, 1997
So the Seminoles prepared to play a vintage Miami team.
They got Maryland.
"I think the Hurricanes are a little bit better than Maryland,"
said Bush, who recognizes play action quicker than he does
sarcasm, "but that's sort of what happened."
Just as Florida State had trampled the Terrapins 50-7 three
weeks earlier, it destroyed Miami, 47-0, handing the Hurricanes
their worst loss since 1944. Miami finished with minus-33 yards
rushing and 131 yards total offense, and it avoided committing
seven turnovers only by falling on all four of its fumbles. The
Hurricanes didn't push inside the Florida State 30 until the
final three minutes of the game. Miami coach Butch Davis called
it "about as poor a performance as you can collectively have."
He got no argument from the Seminoles' elders. Proud as the
fifth-year players were of their first shutout of the season,
they appeared almost dumbfounded by the performance of the
visitors. Take Florida State linebacker Sam Cowart, whose
first-quarter hit on Miami quarterback Ryan Clement left Clement
lying on the Doak Campbell Stadium turf for about a minute and
set the tone for the afternoon. Though he returned to action
later in the game, Clement never again set his feet firmly, and
he completed only 5 of 14 passes for 52 yards. "They weren't
fighting," Cowart said. "They just quit. They came out and
fought for a little while, and then they just lay down. They
"They didn't have that nasty edge," said Seminoles defensive end
Andre Wadsworth, who starred at Miami's Florida Christian High.
"That spitting, eye-poking, ankle-twisting, earhole-digging
Ah, those were the days. Last Friday, Bowden sat behind his
desk, chewed on a cigar and fretted. He refused to believe what
his eyes had seen of the Hurricanes on tape. He refused to take
Miami lightly even though the team has been ravaged over the
last two seasons by the loss of 24 football scholarships due to
NCAA sanctions. "They've beaten us so much," Bowden said,
ignoring Miami's September losses to Pitt, 21-17, and West
Virginia, 28-17. "Most of these kids were raised on wide right.
They've heard it all their lives. To the players and coaches,
it's still Miami week."
Two weeks before the game Bobby's son Jeff, the Seminoles' wide
receivers coach, double-checked with the Florida State ticket
office to see where the Miami fans would sit in Doak Campbell.
He wanted to make sure that if the game went into overtime, the
Seminoles would be driving toward the end away from the
Hurricanes fans. The younger Bowden didn't know at the time that
Miami would return 2,600 of its allotted 10,000 tickets. "You
didn't see a lot of beat miami signs in town," Bobby added. In
fact none of the game-week trash talk that had been an integral
part of this rivalry surfaced. What could anyone really say?
The silence extended to the crowd of 80,165, which seemed
largely bored for the first three quarters as Florida State
rolled up a 30-0 advantage. Yet some 60,000 stayed to the end,
digesting the enormousness of what the Seminoles had done to
their onetime tormentors. When Scott Covington, Miami's backup
quarterback, moved the Hurricanes to the Florida State 10-yard
line late in the game, Seminoles defensive coordinator Mickey
Andrews put his first unit back on the field to preserve the
shutout. The fans stood and roared. "Then," Wadsworth said, "it
sounded like a Miami game."
Two plays later senior cornerback Samari Rolle, who played at
Miami Beach High, made a diving interception for Florida State.
"That number 11," Cowart said of Covington, "he was like, I
can't wait for the bus to ride up and get me out of here."
THE DIESEL DERAILED
LSU coach Gerry DiNardo had his tailback dilemma solved in the
worst possible way at Vanderbilt. On a sweep left in the second
quarter, starting running back Cecil (the Diesel) Collins
planted his right foot on the artificial turf, was hit and bent
backward, and suffered a broken right fibula and a severely
sprained right ankle. Though the Tigers' doctors estimated the
recovery period for the broken bone would be six to eight weeks,
they said the ankle may need more time. In other words the
Diesel, who has rushed for 596 yards and three touchdowns, won't
be back on track before a bowl game.
Fortunately for Louisiana State, Kevin Faulk, the 1996 All-SEC
tailback, showed against the Commodores that he has recovered
fully from the pulled hamstring that dogged him throughout
September--and that had given Collins his shot in the first
place. Filling in for his fill-in, Faulk rushed for 135 yards in
a 7-6 win over Vanderbilt, which entered the game, allowing an
average of just 85.8 yards rushing.
Mississippi has faced three of the best college quarterbacks in
the country: Central Florida junior Daunte Culpepper, Auburn
senior Dameyune Craig and Tennessee senior Peyton Manning, who
led the Vols to a 31-17 victory over the Rebels last Saturday.
Here's how Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville sizes up the three.
--Culpepper (17-42, 196 yards, three touchdowns, one
interception, in a 24-23 loss to Ole Miss on Aug. 30): "A
mixture. He can run and throw but doesn't have Peyton's arm."
--Craig (19-29, 245 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions in a
19-9 Auburn win on Sept. 13): "He's got more mobility than the
other two. A good arm, but not as consistently accurate as
--Manning (25-44, 324 yards, two touchdowns, one interception):
"Peyton is somewhat mobile and has the best arm. He's the most
consistent of the three and has the quickest release."
So, given the choice, Tuberville would take Manning? Not
necessarily. "I think for the long range, Peyton would be your
guy," Tuberville says. "But to go out and win one game, you take
a Dameyune Craig, who can give you a big play running or
TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY AT BYU
No one expected Terrence Harvey to earn his associate's degree
in time to play cornerback at Brigham Young this season--no one,
that is, except Harvey, who in two months completed 18 credits
at two California junior colleges to become eligible on Sept.
20. One week later he was starting in the Cougars' secondary,
which had been depleted by injuries and the three-game
suspension of All-WAC cornerback Omarr Morgan. "The kid was
relentless," BYU safeties coach Barry Lamb says of Harvey. "He
wanted this very, very badly. He busted his tail to get here,
and he made it."
Harvey came to BYU because his best friend, Tony Fields, played
cornerback for the Cougars. The two had teamed up at Green
Valley High in Henderson, Nev., and as junior college players at
Victor Valley College in San Bernardino, Calif. On Sept. 27,
they played together in BYU's 19-16 overtime victory at SMU.
Harvey started and had five tackles.
Two days later Harvey and teammate Roderick Foreman caught a
ride with Fields on their way from Springville, Utah, to Provo.
When another driver attempted to merge onto I-15, Fields, who
was reportedly going 90 mph, swerved into the middle lane and
lost control of his sports utility vehicle, which rolled several
times. Harvey, riding without a seat belt, was thrown out a
window. He died later that night.
Shortly before his death the 20-year-old Harvey had handed in a
paper for a religion class in which he wrote, "I want to be a
good example, a light for others to follow." Brigham Young coach
LaVell Edwards read the passage to the Cougars at a memorial
service last Thursday. After BYU defeated cross-state rival Utah
State 42-35 last Friday night, Edwards led a contingent of
players and coaches to Las Vegas for the funeral of Harvey, who
was buried in his Cougars uniform.
One likely component in the "super alliance," set to begin next
season, is that none of the four major bowls will be played on
New Year's Eve. The attendance and television ratings of the
1995 Sugar Bowl and the '96 Orange Bowl suffered from being
played on Dec. 31. In the next contract, which will run from the
1998 to the 2001 season, two bowls will be played on Jan. 1 and
one on Jan. 2; the top game will be played on Jan. 3....
Beginning this week the Football Writers Association of America
will sponsor a team rating system that gives equal weight to the
Sagarin computer ranking, which is based heavily on strength of
schedule; the AP media poll; and the USA Today/ESPN coaches'
poll. That doesn't bode well for Penn State, whose opposition
has been no opposition so far. In the meantime the latest New
York Times computer ranking, which also is largely based on
strength of schedule, has neither Florida (ranked third) nor the
Nittany Lions (ranked 17th) on top. Ohio State, which has beaten
five teams with a combined 16-6 record, is No. 1.... Quinton
Spotwood set a Syracuse record by returning a punt for a
touchdown for the third time this season. Spotwood went 80 yards
on the return and also had a 94-yard touchdown catch in a 56-0
rout of East Carolina. Spotwood has five touchdowns this season,
none shorter than 67 yards.... Before last Saturday, when was
the last time Alabama, Miami and Notre Dame lost in the same
week? Mid-September. O.K., how about this? Alabama, Miami and
Notre Dame have won 14 of the last 36 Associated Press national
championships. The last time none of the three appeared in an AP
poll was Jan. 2, 1983.... Five players in college football
history have run 99 yards for a touchdown. Two have done it for
Kansas: Gale Sayers in 1963 and Eric Vann in the Jayhawks' 20-17
win last Saturday over Oklahoma.
1. MATT DAVENPORT For the second straight week the Wisconsin
junior made a game-winning field goal in the final minute of
regulation. He hit a 48-yarder with six seconds left to lift the
visiting Badgers past Northwestern 26-25.
2. JIM DONNAN To motivate his players for the game ahead, the
Georgia coach drove a steamroller onto the practice field last
Thursday. Message received. The Bulldogs paved over Mississippi
3. ANDY KATZENMOYER After getting off to a slow start this
season, Ohio State's much-heralded linebacker snapped out of his
slump in a big way against Iowa, with nine tackles, an
interception and a cameo at fullback, in which he threw a
crunching block that led to the Buckeyes' first touchdown.
1. VANDERBILT'S COACHES A Commodores TD with 12 seconds left cut
LSU's lead to 7-6, whereupon coaches planned to go for a
two-point conversion. But confusion on the sideline led to
consecutive delay-of-game penalties, forcing Vanderbilt to try a
30-yard PAT kick. The Tigers' Kenny Mixon blocked the attempt.
2. TEXAS TECH A school audit found that the academic-progress
certification of 76 Red Raiders athletes--including 46 football
players--had been botched, unwittingly causing them to compete
ineligibly. Sounds like school administrators are a quart low on
academic progress themselves.
3. RICK NEUHEISEL Last week the the coach of Colorado, now 2-2,
received his Buff Club questions in writing, answering only the
nice ones. --I.M.
--OHIO STATE (5-0) AT PENN STATE (4-0)
If time has dimmed the Nittany Lions' embarrassment at having
been thrashed 38-7 by the Buckeyes last season, the memories
will now return. Penn State wideout Joe Jurevicius, held in
check by Shawn Springs in 1996, seeks redemption against
cornerback Antoine Winfield. Shutting down Jurevicius and
tailback Curtis Enis, while also shutting out 96,000 fans, is
too much to ask of Ohio State.
--FLORIDA (5-0) AT LSU (4-1)
Coach Gerry DiNardo's rebuilding job has yet to restore the
intimidation visiting teams once felt when playing at Tiger
Stadium. The Gators will lengthen their SEC winning streak to
26, one short of the record.
--GEORGIA (4-0) AT TENNESSEE (3-1)
Thanks in part to a tough defense--the Bulldogs held Mississippi
State to 55 yards rushing last week--Georgia is off to its best
start since the Hush-ull era. The Dawgs' D will be sorely tested
because the Vols have found a runner: Jamal Lewis rushed for 155
yards against Ole Miss last Saturday. If Lewis gets rolling,
Peyton Manning will be unstoppable. If Lewis is stuffed, Manning
will still find a way.
--COLORADO (2-2) AT OKLAHOMA STATE (5-0)
The Buffaloes offense is ill, and the Cowboys, fourth nationally
in scoring defense, aren't the cure. Colorado quarterback John
Hessler hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since the opener, and
tailback Herchell Troutman doesn't pronounce his name--or run
the ball--as Hush-ull did. Get to know tailback Nathan Simmons,
defensive back R.W. McQuarters and the rest of the Cowboys.
They'll be around.
--OKLAHOMA (2-3) AT TEXAS (2-2)
Oops, wrong decade. --I.M.
Check out more college football news from Ivan Maisel at