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Florida State report

Seminoles look for ways to negate Hokies' defense

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Monday January 03, 2000 11:03 PM

  Travis Minor FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt says tailback Travis Minor will be key to the Seminoles' success. Andy Lyons/Allsport

NEW ORLEANS (CNN/SI) -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden continued to be bothered with questions about curfew violations on the eve of the national championship game, but he is more concerned with Virginia Tech's pass rush.

The Hokies, who play FSU Tuesday night in the Sugar Bowl, had 58 sacks on the season for 449 yards in losses. FSU had just 32 for 191 yards in losses.

"Their pass rush is as good as anybody's I've ever seen," Bowden said.

Defensive end Corey Moore leads Virginia Tech with 17 sacks for minus 150 yards.

"Corey Moore's number one attribute is that he doesn't seem to get tired," FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt said. "He's relentless. You look at his ability to get off on the snap count. If he's gone and the offensive tackle is just getting out of his stance, it's going to be a sack. You may have to give the tackle some help with the tight end or you may have to alter your cadence to get him out of his rhythm."

FSU has also concentrated on the draw play during practices.

"We've got to have some success with that," Bowden said.

Therefore, tailback Travis Minor may have as important of a role as wide receiver Peter Warrick, who has grabbed most of the attention.

"Travis will be very important," Richt said. "If he has a big day running the football, we'll be in good shape. We'll probably be ahead for most of the game if that happens."

Florida State's pass rush will be without starting defensive end Roland Seymour for a series or two in the first quarter. Seymour will not start the game after missing curfew on New Year's Eve night. Bowden confirmed that fact Monday after two days of rumors to that effect. Yet, starting kicker Sebastian Janikowski will, even though he also missed curfew on New Year's Eve night. Notice something inconsistent?

Is Janikowski, the Seminole's consensus All-American, getting preferential treatment?

"Does it appear that he is getting preferential treatment?" Bowden said, repeating the question. "It does to me. We're playing under international rules."

Bowden made no bones about it. Janikowski, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound Polish-born extrovert, will kick off at least once Tuesday night -- either to begin the game or to begin the second half.

"Unless he has a heart attack, or unless I have one, Janikowski will kick off," Bowden said. "I do have a Warsaw Rule in place. That is if he's breathing and able, he will kick off."

One reason for the "Warsaw Rule" may be that Florida State lists no one as a backup kicker.

"I think we have a walk-on," Bowden said, "but I don't know."

Seymour is another story. There is plenty of depth at defensive end. Junior David Warren (6-5, 250) is expected to start in Seymour's place. Warren started four games this season and played in all 11, making 31 tackles including three behind the line. Seymour, who went to St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, started eight games and made 40 tackles with two sacks. He missed three games with a shoulder injury that is still bothering him. Seymour also has the flu.

Cornerback Reggie Durden will also not start because of a curfew violation on the same night.

"Reggie Durden will not start, but he didn't start anyway," Bowden said as laughter broke out. "Not starting is not the most significant punishment we gave them."

Bowden said all three players had to run and have been given earlier curfew hours.

"We took away their time, and it's working because they haven't missed curfew since," he said.

No FSU players will be allowed out of their hotel on Tuesday. The team will be in position meetings for most of the day.

"We have to kill a long day," Bowden said. "Most of the meetings will be just to break the monotony. It's hard because there'll be no games to watch. Our kids will just be hanging out."

Related information
Florida State tries to avoid trouble
Sugar Bowl to decide Seminoles' legacy
Warrick expects big plays in big game
No suspension for FSU's Janikowski
Virginia Tech safety Nick Sorensen says the Hokies' defense always comes out ready to make an impact. (95 K)
FSU quarterback Chris Weinke expects the Virginia Tech defense to make many big plays. (95 K)
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