Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seminoles Go Back to Work

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seminoles Go Back to Work

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- It's been nearly three weeks since Florida State put up the pads following its season-ending 30-7 triumph over Florida. It will be nearly another month before the Seminoles meet unbeaten Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3, ending a 46-day layoff with a chance to defend their national championship.

While the players have used the down time to catch up on academics and mend aching bodies, the hard-earned break ends this afternoon as the Seminoles return to the practice field.

Quarterback Chris Weinke who will miss FSU's first two practices as he travels to New York for tomorrow's Heisman Trophy Award presentation, hasn't let the idle time prevent him from getting ready for the game.

While many of the players watched last Saturday's Big 12 Championship game just to find out who they would meet in the Orange Bowl, Weinke viewed the game with a more critical eye.

"I was watching from a different perspective," Weinke said. "I was watching in terms of Oklahoma's defense. The good thing is I got a look at what they offer. . . . Now we know who we're going to play. The wait is over."

FSU's coaching staff didn't wait to begin bowl preparation. In addition to recruiting trips, they spent time sequestered in their third-floor Moore Athletic Center offices poring over game film; specifically the four games with Florida from 1996-98, when Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was the Gators' defensive coordinator.

Prior to Tuesday's arrival of Oklahoma game film -- the two schools agreed to exchange all 12 games -- it served as the best possible refresher course.

Bobby Bowden's FSU teams were 2-2 against the Gators when Stoops was directing the UF defense, including Florida's 52-20 win in the Sugar Bowl that clinched the 1996 national championship.

Both coaches agree that their previous meetings will aid in the preparation for the first meeting between the Sooners and Seminoles since the 1981 Orange Bowl.

"Bob has left a big imprint on football in this area in just the three years he was there," Bowden said. …

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