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FSU game by game

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 25, 2000


FSU SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

Saturday vs. BYU in Jacksonville: The Seminoles open a week earlier than most teams, for the third straight year. This time in the Pigskin Classic in Seminole-crazed Jacksonville, making this essentially another home game. FSU might need that edge if linebacker Tommy Polley and/or defensive end Roland Seymour aren't ready after off-season knee surgery.

Sept. 9 at Georgia Tech: If Yellow Jackets quarterback Joe Hamilton were still around, this might be the toughest Atlantic Coast Conference game on the schedule. He isn't. And this won't be. Unlike last year's 41-35 dogfight, this one just figures to be a dog.

Sept. 16 vs. North Carolina: The Tar Heels should show a bit more offensive creativity with new coordinator Mike O'Cain, the last ACC coach to beat FSU. But the Heels don't have a receiver of the ilk of former Wolfpack All-American Torry Holt to bedevil the Seminoles.

Sept. 23 vs. Louisville: Like the Georgia Tech game, this one might have been interesting if quarterback Chris Redman were around. He's not and this one isn't in the Cards.

Sept. 28 at Maryland: LaMont Jordan is one of the nation's top tailbacks, if not the best. He ran for 169 yards in last year's meeting, a 49-10 FSU win. The Terps figure to be improved but not enough to pull an upset unless FSU is looking ahead.

Oct. 7 at Miami: The Seminoles have beaten their archrivals five straight times, but the Hurricanes appear to be back from NCAA sanctions and are a viable contender to win the national title again. As it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s, this might be the biggest hurdle for both teams.

Oct. 14 vs. Duke: The Blue Devils return just three defensive starters from a team that limped to a 3-8 record, which included a 51-23 loss to FSU in Jacksonville that wasn't as close as the score indicated. FSU led 44-0 at the half. Hey. The Duke basketball team will be good.

Oct. 21 vs. Virginia: FSU's first ACC loss came to Virginia in 1995 and no one has forgotten that in Tallahassee. The Cavaliers will be coming to town off a bye week, a big advantage to rest up and prepare, but this isn't as star-studded a group as 1995's team.

Oct. 28 at North Carolina State: New Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato might just put in for a little vacation. Sure, he would love to see his former players and co-workers, he's just not eager to see them on the field lined up against his guys.

Nov. 4 vs. Clemson: Last year, the FSU-Clemson game was one for the ages. It was the first father-son coaching matchup in major college football history and Papa Bowden was going for win No. 300. It also marked the return of Peter Warrick. This time, the only subplot is the game might be for the ACC title and an automatic Bowl Championship Series spot. No wonder Tommy has tried to spike his dad's oatmeal.

Nov. 11 at Wake Forest: Let's see. The Demon Deacons return just five starters and are facing a mammoth rebuilding job. Even if the Seminoles are looking ahead a week, this one looks like a rout.

Nov. 18 vs. Florida: In the last five regular-season meetings, one or both of the teams has entered the game with a shot at the national title. Like this rivalry, college football's fiercest of late, needed more spice. Emeril doesn't kick up a dish as much.

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