Work in Sports
Weinke overcomes miscue to guide Seminoles
Posted: Sunday November 21, 1999 11:07 AM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- At 27, Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke has been through a lot. But he had never faced anything like this.
The Swamp was rocking. Bennie Alexander's 43-yard interception return for a touchdown lifted Florida to a 16-13 third-quarter lead over the top-ranked Seminoles.
Maturity? Experience? Weinke, in his first game against the rival Gators, was now forced to display it.
"If I didn't rebound, then I knew we were going to be in for a long night," Weinke said. "I knew that I needed to bounce back from that. At no time did I let it bother me and not think we couldn't come back."
Curiously, it was that interception that seemed to wake the Seminoles out of their doldrums. They had gone five straight possessions without producing any points.
After the pick, it didn't take long for the senior quarterback to lead them back.
A pass to Robert Morgan for 11. Another to Ron Dugans for 9. Then to Peter Warrick for 4. Methodically, the Seminoles quieted the exuberant Florida crowd.
Weinke completed all five passes on the drive after the pick, taking the Seminoles down the field in 2:40 for Sebastian Janikowski's tying 54-yard field goal.
The Seminoles never trailed again.
"I don't know if it was a bad decision or a bad pass that gave them six points," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "But he did what he's done all year. He followed it up with a field goal and a touchdown."
How good has Florida State been this season after opponents have tied the score or taken the lead?
Alexander's defensive score marked the 13th time the 'Noles have trailed or been tied. On its ensuing possessions, Florida State has answered with points eight times -- none bigger than Saturday.
On those 13 possessions, Weinke was 36-of-47 for 403 yards with four touchdowns passes.
But this 5-for-5 drive went a long way to sending Weinke to New Orleans -- and possibly into Seminole lore -- after the 30-23 victory.
"Anytime you come down to the Swamp, that's what you're judged on," Weinke said. "And this is what I'll be judged on. We had an interception returned for a touchdown. I could have laid down. I didn't."