For Pete's sake
Time to applaud Warrick for keeping focus on the field
Posted: Wednesday January 05, 2000 11:59 AM
NEW ORLEANS -- Redemption was all but guaranteed and as Florida State wideout Peter Warrick attempted to soak everything in during the final moments of the Seminoles 46-29 victory in the Sugar Bowl all he could hear were Virginia Tech fans chanting at him.
There was 1:12 left on the clock when Hokie fans in the south end zone began yelling, "Warrick sucks, Warrick sucks!" The best player in college football then turned around to the crowd directly behind him and matter-of-factly shrugged his shoulders.
Give Warrick credit from turning a crucial mistake, which ultimately cost him the Heisman Trophy, into a positive. Warrick was the best player on the field on Monday night, catching six passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns and scoring on a 59-yard punt return in leading Florida State to its second national championship of the decade.
"You never learn about a person's character until they are faced with adversity," said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. "If this never happened we'd never would have found out what tremendous character Pete us. I'm glad y'all found out. I wouldn't recommend him doing it the way he did, but I think Pete's shown everybody that he's learned from his mistake."
Warrick's indiscretions cost him all the personal accolades but he finally accomplished what he set out to do this season. "It's been a tough, emotional year," Warrick said. "I tried to put a lot of things behind me and I had a chance to go out a winner. Last year, I had a bitter taste in my mouth when the season ended and I didn't want to go out like that again. I came back for two reasons: to win a national championship and to graduate. I've accomplish both of those goals now and that feels great."
| QUOTE OF THE DAY |
| "See you, buddy." |
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden's closing remarks to President Bill Clinton after speaking with him following the game.
In the past year, Peter Warrick has grown up a great deal. He made a stupid mistake when he illegally obtained a ridiculous discount on some clothing and the public quickly chided him for doing something foolish. Now, that Waririck has paid his practice and showed that he's grown up, let's applaud him with the same vigor.
The nose knows
Seminoles senior nose guard Corey Simon simply wouldn't let his teammates give up. Just when it look like Virginia Tech looked like it had got the best of the vaunted Florida State defense, taking a 29-28 lead in the third quarter, Simon inspired his peers to step up.
"You could see it in his eyes how much he wanted this game," said FSU linebacker Brian Allen. "On the sideline he would get in people's faces and tell them they weren't doing their jobs. He said the offense was carrying us and it was time for the defense to do our part. We just followed his lead."
The gutsy call of the game goes to Bowden and Seminoles offensive coordinator Mark Richt. Early in the fourth quarter with Florida State trailing 29-28, the Seminoles faced a fourth-and-one from their own 46.
Bowden sent in backup quarterback Marcus (the Rooster) Outzen, who usually handles all quarterback sneaks. But instead of Outzen pushing forward, Travis Minor went around the right end for 16 yards. A late hit penalty on the Hokies made it a 31-yard gain.
You've got to feel for Outzen, who many of the Seminoles faithful blamed for last year's loss to Tennessee. Afterward, the Rooster was all smiles after his moment in the sun.
"Hey, at I made the play," said Outzen with a big bigger than the Superdome.
With its second national championship of the '90s, Florida State has posed an interesting question: Are the Seminoles the team of the decade? It's tempting to say they are, but the facts say otherwise.
While 13 straight Top 4 finishes and 13 consecutive years with 10 or more wins is unmatched, the fact is the Seminoles won two national titles. Nebraska won three championships and could have very easily won two more. End of argument.
Let's get the hype started right now: Michael Vick for Heisman in 2000. Virginia Tech's redshirt freshman quarterback was sensational in Monday's national championship game and he's only going to get better next year.
Vick has the rare blend of speed (4.3 in the 40), tremendous arm strength (he can easily throw the ball 70 yards) and terrific mobility. Look for Vick to have an even better year next season and look for the Hokies to show that they aren't a one year wonder.
For most of the season Bobby kept an empty picture frame on his desk He was saving it for a team picture but Bowden vowed not to put one in until he had an undefeated team to showcase.
"I got the idea from former Florida State coach Bill Peterson," said Bowden. "The frame was getting lonely on my desk. [Athletic director] Dave Hart gave me a picture of this year's team a couple of weeks ago and now I can put it in that frame."
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