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Why FSU won // Why UF lost

Why FSU won

1. The Seminoles sacked Danny Wuerffel six times and pressured him just about every time he dropped back, drawing late-hit penalties twice and the subsequent ire of Steve Spurrier, who has accused FSU of dirty play. Although Wuerffel always got up, he never found a rhythm and never completed more than four straight. He finished just 23 of 48.

2. Befuddling a defense designed to stop him, tailback Warrick Dunn, who has had some of his best games against Florida, rushed 24 times for a career-best 185 yards. His final run was for a first down that allowed FSU to run out the clock. Dunn also caught a team-high four passes for 24 yards and completed a pass for 10 yards. Can you say, Dunn in?

3. Although zealously rushing the passer, the Seminoles still didn't allow UF's backs to rush by them for big gains. Elijah Williams, Fred Taylor and Terry Jackson combined for 106 yards on 20 carries and no touchdowns. They entered the game averaging a combined 148 yards. They also had scored 17 TDs.

4. Placekicker Scott Bentley and punter Sean Liss, who have enjoyed stellar seasons, looked like all-Americans compared with UF counterparts Bart Edmiston and Robby Stevenson. Bentley hit three PATs and his lone field goal, a 29-yarder, while Liss averaged 47.3 yards. Edmiston missed field goal attempts of 53 and 41 yards, and Stevenson, who had a punt blocked, ended up with a 29.3-yard average.

5. Often-criticized quarterback Thad Busby was true to form, avoiding the costly mistake and doing just enough to help his team win. He threw no interceptions and, with his team needing a big play on third and 6 midway through the final quarter, he found Peter Warrick over the middle for 29 yards. That helped set up FSU's clinching TD.


Why UF lost

1. The Gators' special teams were anything but. Sophomore punter Robby Stevenson had his first effort blocked to set up an easy Seminoles touchdown; and placekicker Bart Edmiston, though a supreme point-after man, missed on field-goal tries of 53 and 41 yards in game-tying situations.

2. Florida's defense did not make a key play. The Gators had no sacks and dropped what could have been as many as three interceptions. They did not contain Warrick Dunn. They did not stop Florida State from scoring on any of its four trips inside the red zone. Offense sells tickets, but ... .

3. Florida went too many times to its five-wide-receiver, no-back set in a game in which quarterback Danny Wuerffel barely had time to check his second receiver. Reidel Anthony, Ike Hilliard and Jacquez Green were good enough to beat the FSU secondary, but it didn't matter with Wuerffel on the turf.

4. One more time: Wuerffel had no time.

5. No one likes to make excuses, but a rash of injuries left the Gators at much less than full strength on both the offensive and defensive lines. As a result, the Gators did not come close to winning the all-important line of scrimmage on either side of the ball.