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Ex-assistant impresses Bowden

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden praised his former assistant, Chuck Amato, for taking the first, big step toward building a winner at North Carolina State.

"The first thing you have to do is get their minds changed," Bowden said before Saturday's game. "When I first came to Florida State in 1976, our kids had gone 0-11, 1-10 and 3-8. They did not think they could win. I remember going through that my first year. I was thinking, "Man, we have good material here; we're going to win a bunch of games.' But we were losing late. Eventually, we started playing freshmen.

"The first change has to come in the mind. That looks like what Chuck has already done a great job of. It looks like his kids believe in him and are playing it the way they want it played."

Amato, who spent the spring and summer lamenting his lack of FSU-caliber talent, said the team's dramatic comeback wins against Arkansas State and Indiana in its first two games made that easier.

"We won two games early that did more for the program than anything, and (especially) how we won them, because we learned a lot about these players and they learned a lot of us, and now it's just starting to steamroll a little bit," he said. "Their attitude is totally changed. They still don't know how to take me, and maybe they never will."

FAMILIAR NAME: N.C. State sophomore defensive back Terence Holt kept the game scoreless by blocking a 31-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter. The name should sound familiar to FSU fans. Holt's big brother, Torry, was a star receiver who burned FSU for five touchdowns in a 1997 loss, then scored two touchdowns in the 1998 win.

TEST OF LOYALTY: Amato's daughter, Selena, a senior at FSU, had a seat in the N.C. State box ... as long as she cheered for her dad and not her school.

"The first time she roots for the other team, we've got a cop who's going to take her out and she'll have to listen to it on the radio out in the car," Amato said.

Selena has dated FSU starting center Jarad Moon for the past three years. She planned to wear red and white, the Wolfpack's colors, but accessorize with a button featuring Moon's picture.

"I guess I'll be kind of torn ... but I can't go against him," she said of her dad. "I'll be rooting for the Wolfpack and inside, I'll be rooting for Jarad to do well. I want Dad to give them a run for their money."

SEYMOUR WATCH: A frustrating senior season continues to get more so for defensive end Roland Seymour. After off-season knee surgery, the Lombardi Award semifinalist made his debut against Miami and played about half the game with no tackles. But his reconstructed right knee swelled up shortly afterward, and he has done little work since.

"It's still swollen and I'm just trying to let the irritation go down," he said, adding he hopes to return soon. "It doesn't matter who we play, I just want to play."

A FIRST: FSU beat its first ranked opponent this season. Of course, it has played two. It lost to then-No. 7 Miami on Oct. 7.

TEMPER, TEMPER: FSU sophomore defensive end Alonzo Jackson, who was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the final minute of the first half, was ejected.

SUNSHINE PRODUCTION: Sunshine Network will show its production of the game at 7 p.m. today and noon Monday.

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