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Elder Bowden doesn't relish matchups vs. son

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden doesn't dread playing Clemson, but doesn't particularly enjoy the annual showdown against his son, Tommy.

"This is the hard part about being family," the elder Bowden said before the fourth "Bowden Bowl" on Thursday night. "No. 1, I know Tommy needs to win the game. At the same time, I know I need to win the game. That's the sad thing about it. One of us ain't going to win it."

Tommy said the regional and national media attention is a boon for Clemson.

"I tell my team that I wish it weren't a father-son issue," he said. "The extra publicity is good for the school."

NEVER ON THURSDAY (FOR NOW): The game fulfilled FSU's television obligation to play two home Thursday games in an eight-year period (1998-2005). The first was supposed to be Auburn in 1999, which would have been the first father-son coaching matchup in Division I-A history, but Terry Bowden left Auburn abruptly in 1998 and Auburn canceled.

A home-and-home series (1999 and 2000) against Auburn was scrapped and FSU scrambled to fill its schedule, resulting in a trip to Louisville last Thursday.

REMEMBER WHEN: FSU freshman Leon Washington's 97-yard touchdown return was the first kickoff for a score since Laveranues Coles had a 97-yarder against Duke in 1999. It was his last game before his dismissal from the team after an illegal shopping spree at a Tallahassee Dillard's.

BIG CHALLENGE: FSU junior tailback Greg Jones carries 248 pounds on his chiseled 6-foot-1 frame. According to listed weights that makes him heavier than all but five of Clemson's top 22 defensive players: defensive end Khaleed Vaughn (260 pounds) and defensive tackles Donnell Washington (315), Nick Eason (295), Eric Coleman (293) and Todd McClinton (295).

Jones had 97 first-half yards and two touchdowns.

BACK ON THE FIELD: FSU sophomore safety Claudius Osei, who began the season as a starter but strained an Achilles' tendon and missed much of the past three games, returned to the field.

"We can't wait until (the Oct. 12 game against) Miami and then throw him in there," Andrews said before the game. "He's done well in practice. He's responded well."

TOUGH BREAK: Clemson guard Nick Black broke his right leg midway through the second quarter. On the play, receiver Tony Elliott took a pitch on a reverse, faked a handoff and fired a pass to receiver J.J. McKelvey for 41 yards.

FIRST TEAM: Sophomore nose guard Travis Johnson made his first start of the season in place of junior Jeff Womble. Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said Womble hadn't been practicing like a first-teamer. Also, sophomore offensive tackle Ray Willis, a starter the first two games of the season but hobbled by an ankle injury, returned to the lineup.

IT ONLY GETS TOUGHER: FSU's next seven opponents have a combined record of 25-8, which includes a trio of undefeated teams -- No. 1 Miami (4-0), No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0) and No. 16 North Carolina State (6-0).

PLAY IT AGAIN: Sunshine Network will air a replay of the game at 7 p.m. Sunday and again at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

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