Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Stay in Step Weinke Helps FSU Remain Unbeaten

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Stay in Step Weinke Helps FSU Remain Unbeaten

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- No Peter Warrick? No problem.

Refusing to have its national championship drive short-circuited in the absence of college football's most electrifying player, No. 1 Florida State dismissed its arch-rival and a myriad of questions with a finely executed 31-21 victory yesterday over No. 19 Miami.

"We did what we needed to do with the people we had," FSU senior receiver Ron Dugans said. "You work with what you've got, and that's what we did. That's all you can do."

And the Seminoles (6-0) had more than enough to give Florida State coach Bobby Bowden his 298th career victory, in front of an anxious Doak Campbell Stadium crowd of 80,976.

Quarterback Chris Weinke was nearly brilliant and FSU's defense responded from a first-half flogging to pitch a second-half shutout against the Hurricanes (2-3), who suffered their third consecutive loss this season and their fifth at the hands of the Seminoles.

"[Weinke] made plays today that I didn't think he could make," Bowden said. "Scrambling like he did and running for first downs. I felt like Weinke felt he had to step forward and take it on."

He did, providing leadership and poise at the end of a tumultous week capped by the arrest of Warrick and Laveranues Coles for grand theft.

The junior quarterback passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns, and got ample assistance from tailback Travis Minor (146) and a group of receivers who were bent on proving they could excel in Warrick's absence.

"I really don't want to talk about Peter," Weinke said. "That's over and done with. We're talking about this football team that got the job done."

Asked what he learned most about his teammates, Weinke didn't hesitate:

"Character, a whole lot of character. We came together like I thought we would, like we talked about doing it all week. . . . Just look at our defense. They gave up 21 points in the first half and they don't give up a point in the second half. That's the definition of serious character right there. …

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