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Florida State national championship years: 1999

The 1999 Florida State Seminoles national championship season:

Game 1, Aug. 28, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee:


In Florida State's 41st straight home win, Anquan Boldin, a freshman who had been a standout quarterback and defensive back in high school, gave fans a preview of his greatness that was to come in later seasons. Boldin, who signed with FSU as a quarterback, was shifted to receiver shortly after fall practice began and made the transition look easy. The Pahokee native caught two touchdown passes in his first game in helping the No. 1-ranked Seminoles shake off a sluggish start before 72,702. Louisiana Tech was a late replacement for Auburn, which paid FSU $500,000 to get out of playing the mighty 'Noles. The teams were tied 7-all late in the first half when FSU quarterback Chris Weinke handed off to receiver Peter Warrick, who had passed up a chance to leave school early for the NFL. Warrick ran 20 yards for a breathtaking score and FSU was off to the races. Weinke, playing with a titanium plate, four screws and cable wire in his neck because of an injury sustained the previous season, completed 20 of 32 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns.

Game 2, Sept. 11, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee:


In a memorable offensive showdown, Weinke outdueled Georgia Tech QB Joe Hamilton as the 'Noles beat the 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets in a thriller. Hamilton's 22-yard touchdown pass to Kelly Campbell with 1:35 left helped Georgia Tech close to within six, but the Seminoles were able to run out the clock to win their Atlantic Coast Conference opener — after Travis Minor smothered an onside-kick attempt. In one entertaining sequence, the teams scored touchdowns on seven straight series, combining for five of them in the second quarter. "I don't want to play one more second of that game," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "I never thought I would see the day that an offense would score that many points on us. I think Tech had a chance to win up to the very end." Warrick caught a touchdown pass, ran for another score and finished with 167 yards. Afterward, the New York Times proclaimed him the front-runner in the race for the Heisman Trophy.

Game 3, Sept. 18, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee:


Embarrassed by its effort against Georgia Tech a week earlier, the FSU defense felt it had something to prove. That was bad news for overmatched N.C. State, which was ranked 20th. On a day when Weinke wasn't at his best the FSU defense bottled up the Wolfpack, forced six turnovers and scored two touchdowns before a crowd of 80,040. Weinke was just 23 of 39 for 229 yards and threw two interceptions, one on a Hail Mary on the final play of the first half. He also failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 13 starts. FSU broke a 3-3 tie early in the second quarter when fullback Dan Kendra plowed into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1, and the rout was on as the defense took over. "We entered the year and everybody recognized us as a team of potential," Bowden said. "But we still have not played up to our potential … and yet, maybe we're creeping up on it. I thought we got close today defensively."

Game 4, Sept. 25, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.:


In a rout from the start, FSU rolled before a crowd of 60,000. The Seminoles scored four touchdowns in the first quarter en route to a 28-0 lead. The final result could have been worse. FSU played 70 of the 75 players who made the trip to Chapel Hill, including 52 in the first quarter, which might explain why the 'Noles scored only 14 points in the final three quarters. Warrick continued to shine, catching four passes for 103 yards and returning a punt 75 yards for six. FSU's defense was again on, this time forcing four turnovers. "As I look over the first four games, I guess what encourages me was how carelessly we won the first three games," Bowden said. "Against North Carolina, we went out in the first quarter and we executed in all facets of the game. The perplexing thing is why it shut off."

Game 5, Oct. 2, Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville:


A week after scoring 28 points at North Carolina in the first quarter, the top-ranked Seminoles rolled to a 44-0 halftime lead on the way to a 51-23 victory over the winless Blue Devils. FSU scored on all eight of its first-half possessions as Bowden picked up his 297th career victory. Duke received $800,000 to move its home game to Jacksonville, where a crowd of 37,310 showed up to watch the rout. Weinke didn't play in the third quarter, but returned after backups Marcus Outzen and Jared Jones were ineffective. Weinke (19-of-27 for 290 yards), upon returning, immediately hooked up with receiver Ron Dugans on an 84-yard touchdown play to give FSU a 51-13 lead.

Game 6, Oct. 9, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee:


After a week of turmoil, the Seminoles took out their frustrations on rival Miami. Warrick, the Heisman Trophy hopeful, watched the game from the sideline after being suspended because he and a teammate were arrested in connection with a scheme to underpay for clothes at a Tallahassee Dillard's. The 'Noles didn't need him. Weinke connected with 11 receivers for 332 yards and two touchdowns as No. 1 FSU overcame a sloppy first half for a victory over the No. 19 Hurricanes. In doing so, the Seminoles won their 27th in a row at Doak Campbell Stadium and gave Bowden career win No. 298. Miami scored all its points in a 21-21 first half, with Tampa Catholic alumnus Kenny Kelly throwing TD passes of 8 yards to Reggie Wayne, and 80 and 14 yards to Santana Moss. The Hurricanes finished with 448 yards, but were held to 166 in the second half. With the Seminoles leading 24-21 after Sebastian Janikowski's 38-yard field goal midway through the third quarter, Weinke led them on a 97-yard drive that culminated with Travis Minor's 2-yard touchdown run with 9:55 left in the game. "I don't want to talk about Peter at all," Weinke said afterward. "This football team showed up and played and won. They got the job done."

Game 7, Oct. 16, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee:


Before 78,105 on FSU's homecoming, the 'Noles won with defense, particularly up front. FSU, led by players such as defensive end Roland Seymour, controlled the line of scrimmage and limited Wake Forest to 11 first downs and 178 yards. Wake Forest entered the game ranked 18th nationally in rushing at 201.2 yards a game, but was held to 42. "They came right at us, but we held them off pretty well, I thought," Seymour said. The FSU offense wasn't sharp, but Weinke passed for a career-high 354 yards, completing 19 of 36 passes to top his 338-yard effort in 1998 against North Carolina. With FSU leading 23-3 early in the fourth, Boldin lined up at quarterback and ran up the middle for a 2-yard score. The win was the 299th of Bowden's career.

Game 8 Oct. 23, Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.:


Career win No. 300 was extra special for Bowden. And a little painful. That's because it came against his son, Tommy, in the first father-son coaching matchup in the history of Division I-A football. Trailing 17-14 after a Janikowski 39-yard field goal with 5:26 left, Tommy Bowden called a wide receiver reverse pass that got Clemson to the FSU 44. The Tigers later reached the 25, but Tony Lazzara's 41-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Seminoles cornerback Tay Cody. "I was fortunate enough to get a hand on the ball," Cody said. "Our season depended on it." Warrick had another huge night, catching 11 passes for 121 yards. Trailing 14-6, FSU put together a 10-play, 68-yard touchdown drive to end the third quarter. Minor scored from a yard out to make it 14-12. On the conversion, Weinke hit Kendra with a pass for the 14-14 tie. "It was one of those games when you feel like you're losing, you're losing, you're going to get beat," Bobby Bowden said. "Then you win it all of a sudden and you don't know how."

Game 9, Oct. 30, Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.


It was a win, but it certainly wasn't pretty. In fact, at times, it was the opposite. But in the end, FSU overcame three Weinke interceptions to win before 47,900. The 'Noles actually trailed at the half, 10-7. "I really put a lot of pressure on that football team," Weinke said. "We gave them confidence in the first half. Without me giving them the ball three extra times, we dominate the whole football game. We stopped ourselves. They didn't stop us." Nothing stopped FSU in the second half. By game's end, Weinke had completed 24 of 35 pass attempts for 297 yards and three touchdowns. In the process, he set a 'Noles record for 200-yard passing games with his 18th, breaking the mark of Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward.

Game 10, Nov. 13, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee:


Before 80,340, the 'Noles routed the Terps as Weinke threw six touchdown passes — three to Warrick. With the win, FSU reached 10 victories for the 13th consecutive season and capped a perfect 8-0 ACC record. "This is what we needed," Bowden said. "I'd have been pretty disappointed if we hadn't played good." Maryland never had a chance, largely because it committed five turnovers and had two punts blocked. Warrick caught nine passes for 134 yards and became the ACC's career leader with 3,427 receiving yards.

Game 11, Nov. 20, Florida Field, Gainesville:


To drain "the Swamp" and earn a spot in New Orleans for the national title game, FSU rode the leg of Janikowski and the punt-blocking skills of Tommy Polley. "Those two guys controlled this game," Florida State linebacker Brian Allen said. "Sebastian made sure we got points and Tommy turned us around right when we needed it." The Polish-born kicker nailed three field goals, including a 54-yarder that tied the score in the second half. Polley blocked a punt attempt from Alan Rhine that the 'Noles recovered at the Florida 21. Five plays later, tailback Jeff Chaney scored to give FSU a 23-16 lead. Weinke finished 24 of 36 for 263 yards, which included a 27-yard scoring pass to Marvin Minnis late in the fourth to make it 30-16. Florida outgained FSU 442 yards to 346, but coach Steve Spurrier's QB rotation of Doug Johnson and Jesse Palmer couldn't get it done. The Gators had first-and-goal — once on the 1 — twice in the second half, but scored only three points. FSU intercepted Johnson inside the 5 to thwart one Florida drive.

Game 12, Jan. 4, 2000, Superdome, New Orleans:


The No. 1-ranked Seminoles capped the only perfect season in school history with a convincing victory over the Michael Vick-led Hokies. The incomparable Warrick, to nobody's surprise, was the star. He caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Weinke in the first quarter, returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and made a spectacular grab on a 43-yard pass from Weinke to make it 46-29 with 7:42 left in the game. Warrick's punt return came against a special teams unit that had allowed just nine returns for 36 yards the entire season. FSU led 39-29 midway through the fourth quarter when Cody and Chaney stopped the Hokies short of a first down on a fake punt. In the moments that followed, FSU fans, outnumbered by the Hokies in the largest football crowd in Superdome history (79,280), began chanting "Pe-ter War-rick." In the huddle, Warrick asked his teammates a question. "Do you want me to finish them off?"' Warrick said. On the next play, he did. Weinke fired a long pass down the left side of the field for Warrick, who shook off a defender for the backbreaking score. "We had to make a decision to win the game right here or sit on the ball," Bowden said. Virginia Tech entered the game ranked second in the country, and had built a reputation as having the best special teams unit around. But it was FSU that dominated that department, not only returning a blocked punt for a TD but stopping a fake field-goal attempt. Michael Vick, then a redshirt freshman, carried 23 times for 97 yards and completed 15 of 29 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown. Weinke, FSU's 27-year-old junior QB, was 20 of 34 for 329 yards and four TDs. Warrick, however, was named the game's Most Valuable Player after catching six passes for 163 yards and adding a two-point conversion reception to set a Sugar Bowl scoring record.

Florida State national championship years: 1999 11/30/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2009 8:08pm]
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