Letter-writing is a dead art, and Bobby Bowden just made it a little deader. A few days after his top-ranked Florida State team pummeled Duke 70-26 on Sept. 2, he dashed off a letter of apology for running up the score to angry Blue Devil coach Fred Goldsmith. Apparently the missive wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Last Saturday the Seminoles steamrollered North Carolina State 77-17, gaining an astounding 745 total yards. Quarterback Danny Kanell, who was pulled early in the third quarter, was 28 of 32 for 310 yards and five touchdowns while tailback Warrick Dunn rushed nine times for 101 yards and a score, and caught five passes, two for TDs.
Wolfpack captain Steve Keim, who called a team meeting earlier in the week to encourage positive thinking, said, "I kept looking up at the scoreboard and hoping they wouldn't get 100."
Although Florida State's point total on Saturday was a school record, Bowden wasn't quite as unkind to the Wolfpack as he had been to Duke. Against the Blue Devils he put his starters back on the field in the fourth quarter and let Dunn throw a pass with a 54-19 lead. After Goldsmith complained about the way the Seminoles poured it on, Bowden wrote the letter, in which he said, "I don't want to be known as a guy who does that."
That missive was out of character for Bowden. Did he write to East Carolina's Ed Emory after a 63-7 nailbiter in 1980? To Tulsa's Don Morton after a 76-14 squirmer in '85? To Western Michigan's Al Molde after a 58-0 thriller in '91? No way.
Take a letter:
Dear Gene McDowell, Your Division I-AA Central Florida team plays Florida State on Saturday in Tallahassee. Beware!