Television replays showed that LSU quarterback Jesse Daigle was out of bounds. They also showed that FSU linebacker Kirk Carruthers would have had a hard time backing off. Still, it was the last play of a 42-3 FSU rout, and Carruthers, a first-stringer, was going up against LSU's third-string quarterback. Carruthers' hit resulted in a roughing penalty and a bench-clearing brawl at the end of the game.
"I felt it was a great hit," Carruthers said. "There was no way to pull off. I would never intentionally hit anybody out of bounds. They were just frustrated and wanted to take it out on somebody. We won the game, we won the fight and we're proud."
Said FSU linebacker Marvin Jones: "They just don't have any class. I knew that coming into the game. I was in the middle of the field, three guys jumped on me. I took care of them. Then one guy tried to take my helmet off. Someone hit me from behind."
Jones had a cut from the fight along his right eye that needed several stitches.
"I was too far away to know what happened," said LSU coach Mike Archer. "I'll have to look at the films. That's not what the game's about. If our players were involved in starting it, I apologize in advance."
Bowden: Late pass an error
In the hysteria after the game, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said he apologized to LSU coach Archer for backup quarterback Kenny Felder throwing late in the game. Felder threw a pass that was intercepted, but the play was supposed to be a run. Bowden said Felder misunderstood the call.
"We signaled in 92 and the quarterback thought we said 82, and that's a pass," Bowden said. "I told Mike I'm sure it looked like we were trying to run up the score _ which we usually do _ but weren't at that time."
Fiesta Bowl officials absent
Seven bowls were represented at the game: Tampa's Hall of Fame Bowl, Orange, Cotton, Citrus, Gator, Blockbuster and Peach. Curiously absent was the Fiesta Bowl, which scouted FSU's game last week against Auburn. FSU has played in the Fiesta two of the last three years.
Odds and ends
Flanker Lawrence Dawsey noe has caught a pass in 28 consecutive games dating to FSU's victory over Clemson in 1988. He had two more Saturday for 21 yards, bringing his season totals to 43 catches and 526 yards. FSU leads its series with LSU 6-2. FSU is 8-1 against SEC teams since 1987.
Aches and pains
FSU offensive tackle Kevin Mancini left the game with an ankle injury. Cornerback Corey Fuller did not play because of a sprained ankle. But ailing Seminoles John Nance (pulled hamstring), Todd McIntosh (bruised shoulder) and Deondri Clark (pulled hamstring) did see action. There were 24 different FSU players used on defense.
FSU plays at South Carolina in a 12:10 p.m. game next Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks lost 38-29 at North Carolina State on Saturday.