This season Jordan started six games, Woodham four. But going into the Florida game, the starting role had switched between them four times. "Anytime I thought the situation was fixing to crystallize, it didn't," Bowden says.
The friction that one might expect would exist between two such talented players battling for one position seems to be missing. Woodham and Jordan belong to the same fraternity. And though you might watch TV with someone you dislike, you wouldn't spend an afternoon duck hunting with, him in a tiny boat. That is what Woodham and Jordan did two days before the Florida game. "We don't even talk about it, it's so ridiculous," Woodham says. "Heck, I want us to be friends for a long, long time. Why spoil it over this when we're only going to be here one more year?"
Woodham and Jordan both grew up in Tallahassee and starred at Leon High, a post pattern away from State's campus. As a senior Woodham set a national record by passing for 3,560 yards. The next year Jordan broke it with 4,098. Before that, they played together on the Lafayette Juniors in the Tallahassee Recreation Department league. Woodham, who is a year older, got to play quarterback because of his advanced age.
Woodham also started Saturday against Florida. On the first play from scrimmage, Gator Terry Williams fumbled, the Seminoles' Mark Macek recovered on the Florida six, and Fullback Mark Lyles drove up the middle on the next play for a touchdown. Soon thereafter, following State's recovery of a fumbled punt at the Gator 22, Woodham drilled a 19-yard pass to Kurt Unglaub. Two plays later Lyles dived over from the one, making it 14-0. Woodham quickly increased the Seminoles' lead to 21 points by lofting a strike on a post pattern to Sam Piatt from 40 yards out. A romp, it seemed.
Jordan entered the game in the second period, but the quarter belonged to Florida as the Gators ran up 33 plays to State's six and scored their 21 points on drives of 63, 22 and 74 yards. So Woodham went the rest of the way. In the third quarter he guided the Seminoles on a masterful 13-play, 71-yard scoring march, during which he was five for five on short passes. When the Seminoles got two sacks to halt an ensuing Florida drive, State had effectively clinched the game, although Woodham added to his credits with a one-yard scoring sneak in the fourth quarter.
"Did Georgia Tech win, anybody hear?" Bowden asked as soon as the game ended, meaning that he felt the Peach Bowl had erred when it selected the Rambling Wrecks over the Seminoles. But he was reasonably happy. There are only five seniors on Bowden's squad, and just four of them played against Florida. Another big year coming up.
After the game Woodham was sitting at his locker, surrounded by reporters. Thigh to thigh with Woodham was Jordan. "I think we're just super," Jordan said.