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How Sweet It Is
Tim Layden
December 09, 1996
Florida State earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl and a shot at its second national title in four years by knocking off No. 1 Florida
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December 09, 1996

How Sweet It Is

Florida State earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl and a shot at its second national title in four years by knocking off No. 1 Florida

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The failure will fall at Spurrier's feet. He is 2-5-1 against Florida State, and he exited last Saturday by tossing a chunk of the blame at Wuerffel. "Danny left on some bad protections," he said, referring to Wuerffel's failure to audible correctly against several of Florida State's blitzes. It was an unseemly criticism of a player who had performed bravely under enormous pressure. After all, it is Spurrier's system that is given credit for Wuerffel's many NCAA and SEC passing records. And it was Spurrier who in the second half abandoned the shuffle passes, quick screens and draws that had worked effectively early in the game. Justly, it is Spurrier who must defend a program that owns Tennessee and Georgia but can't beat the Seminoles consistently or win a national title. He left Tallahassee not quite as wise and not quite as young as when the day began.

Bowden, on the other hand, followed his cordon of grandchildren to a red Ford Explorer, shaking hands along the way with the easy grace of a politician and posing for pictures, including one with a Tallahassee couple and their infant son. Seventeen-year-old Beau Bowden opened the door for his grandfather, who slipped into the driver's seat and rolled into the warm evening, reborn.

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