Florida State did more than begin its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Saturday night. It kicked off a daunting slate of 11 straight games without a bye week.
"You hope that all the hours in the weightroom this summer will pay off because we don't have another week to get a break for an ankle injury or a shoulder injury," said senior linebacker Brian Allen, who benefited from a week off after the opener to rehabilitate a sprained ankle. "You've got to be ready to go every week."
This year's unusual schedule sure had the Seminoles antsy to play Saturday.
"For us, you practice for three weeks and play the first game and then get a week off, so nobody really feels like we're in the groove yet, that we're in that game mode, that routine," senior quarterback Chris Weinke said before the Georgia Tech game.
"It feels like we haven't played a game yet. That's the tough thing. That's why you practice so hard, so you can play the game. But we've practiced for four weeks and only played one game, so we're excited about getting back into playing some football."
ADDING ON: Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary renewed a call for the Atlantic Coast Conference to expand during the league's teleconference last week.
"I think if you polled the coaches, you'd probably have a majority of coaches wanting to expand," he said. "I don't know what the reason is (for not expanding). I'm not involved in that. I just know that it would improve the power ranking of our league, plus it would give you an opportunity to divide your conference into two, a north and south, and create more excitement in the ACC with a championship game."
Two years ago, the ACC seemed poised to invite Miami, but no vote was taken when it became clear some support for expansion had eroded. Enough administrators didn't want to divide the revenue, and ACC men's basketball tickets, 10 ways.
BUTTER FINGERS: Before their two second-quarter fumbles ( one was lost, a drive-killing miscue by William McCray on the Georgia Tech 9), the Seminoles had not put the ball on the ground for three consecutive regular-season games (Maryland and Florida last year and BYU this season). FSU lost four fumbles all last year.
OLD FRIENDS: George Godsey and Will Glover were teammates for three years at Jesuit. Now the junior quarterback and sophomore flanker are together with the Yellow Jackets. Glover, a running back in high school, caught Godsey's first completion, an 8-yard pass for Tech's only first down on its first drive.
SEMINOLE DEBUTS: Senior offensive tackle Char-ron Dorsey, who figured to redshirt, made his first start with Brett Williams out nursing an ankle sprain. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jeff Womble from Dunwoody, Ga., made his first start in place of injured Chris Woods. The Seminoles' top four tackles are freshmen: Kevin Emanuel, Darnell Dockett, Travis Johnson and Womble.
FAME GAME: All-American linebackers Derrick Brooks and Marvin Jones, pitcher Paul Wilson, and former softball standout Susan Painter will be inducted Friday into the FSU Hall of Fame.
HERE'S THE KICKER: Could FSU's early kicking woes be solved?
Tough to tell, but redshirt sophomore Chance Gwaltney hit his first field-goal attempt, a 21-yarder, and three extra points. But in the third quarter, down 15-12 and on Tech's 26, Bowden elected to go for it on fourth and 5 rather than attempt to tie the score.
FSU failed to convert as a pass to Javon Walker fell incomplete. That was Weinke's first attempt of the season at scoring on the drive after FSU's opponent ties the score or takes the lead. In 1999, Weinke brought the Seminoles back to score on the ensuing drive 9-of-14 times in that situation.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: Sunshine Network will air its own produced telecast of the game at 7 p.m. today and again at noon Monday.
_ BRIAN LANDMAN, ERIC RANGUS