Florida State coach Bobby Bowden didn't make a big to-do about it, but he thought his Seminoles should have had another chance to pull off a dramatic win against Miami on Monday night.
"We thought we had a second left on the clock," he said. "When that ball hit the ground, we thought we had a second on the clock."
But the officials said otherwise so when WR Jarmon Fortson couldn't hang on to a low liner from QB Christian Ponder in the end zone, the game was over and the Hurricanes had escaped with a 38-34 win.
"I don't know what television shows," Bowden said Tuesday.
For the record, the ACC replay crew reviewed the game clock and the play; the ESPN clock wasn't quite in synch with the game clock and time had expired, the league said. But the final play wasn't the only chance Bowden said FSU had. Consider these:
- Leading 23-17 and driving, Ponder was sacked and lost the ball. The Hurricanes answered with a touchdown drive to take a 24-23 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"That probably was the one that hurt the most," Bowden said.
- After DE Markus White returned an interception for a touchdown to give FSU a 29-24 lead, the PAT team ran onto the field. Oops. FSU wanted to go for two and had to call a timeout.
"Boy we could have used that timeout (later)," Bowden said.
- On Miami's next possession, senior CB Patrick Robinson missed a tackle on WR Leonard Hankerson on third and 15; Hankerson gained 16. Moments later, senior LB Dekoda Watson had a chance to force a punt, but he failed to sack QB Jacory Harris, who hit WR Travis Benjamin for 20 yards and a first down. UM went on to score a touchdown to tie it at 31.
"First ball game, we look at it, we see mistake after mistake after mistake," Bowden said. "I guess that's one reason you hate to open up with a good opponent."
RATINGS GAMES: If anyone was wondering why the ACC and ESPN would work so hard to have Florida State and Miami play on Labor Day night, consider this number: a 5.6 overnight rating, ESPN's best overnight rating for the first weekend of college football. Oklahoma-BYU drew a 3.1 overnight, and Ohio State-Navy a 3.0 overnight.
FRESH FACES: DB Greg Reid, PK Dustin Hopkins, DT Jacobbi McDaniel, DE Brandon Jenkins, RB Chris Thompson, RB Lonnie Pryor, DB Jajuan Harley and WR Willie Hausted, all true freshmen, played in the game.
Of that group, Reid was the biggest contributor. He had an interception, forced an interception (White's) and returned three kickoffs for 100 yards.
"It was all right, but I could have done a lot better," he said.
Said Bowden of Reid: "One thing I know is that No. 5 (Reid) needs to be in the game more."
INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore TB Jermaine Thomas bruised a right leg that limited his time. His backup, sophomore Ty Jones (Middleton), rushed for a game-high 59 yards on 14 carries.
Brian Landman can be reachedat email@example.com or (813) 226-3347.