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From the 8/7/02 Macon Telegraph:

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">FLORIDA STATE
Seminoles looking for lots of payback in '02

By Joseph Person
Telegraph Staff Writer

The ACC awoke its slumbering giant last season, only this giant has speed, strength, depth and a "dadgum"-spouting coach not accustomed to losing.

By most schools' standards, Florida State had a successful 2001, going 8-4, finishing second in the conference and knocking off Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. But Florida State is not any school.

Plagued by injuries and inexperience, the Seminoles had their worst season in 14 years, the first time since 1986 that they'd failed to win 10 games and finish in the top four nationally.

But those injured players are now healed, the young players aren't so young anymore, and - worst of all for ACC foes - the 'Noles aren't in a very good mood.

"It lights a fire inside of you," said defensive end Alonzo Jackson, a senior from Americus. "That's all it did."

Added sophomore quarterback Chris Rix: "I'm on a mission to redeem that last year and lead Florida State back to the promised land. That's where we belong."

Rix, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder from Santa Margarita, Calif., accounted for 3,123 yards in total offense last year, more than any freshman in ACC history. He led the conference in passing efficiency and was eighth in the country. But he threw seven interceptions in the four losses, including four in a 49-27 loss to Miami.

Rix didn't get much help. The normally stout 'Noles' defense gave up 356 yards and 26 points a game, finishing in the middle of the ACC pack in both categories. But forced to follow 2000 Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke at the marquee position at one of the nation's premiere programs, Rix felt he failed to deliver for coach Bobby Bowden.

"My goal was to get Coach Bowden in the Rose Bowl last year. It was the only bowl he hadn't been to," Rix said of the host bowl for last year's national championship game. "I felt like I let him down, let my teammates down and the coaches and fans."

Rix will have more ammunition at his disposal with the return of receivers Anquan Boldin and Robert Morgan. Both missed all of last season with knee injuries after combining for 60 catches and nine touchdowns in 2000.

All told, Florida State returns 17 starters, leading many observers to predict that the window of opportunity for other ACC schools has already closed.

"Now we've got the experience and that talent," Jackson said. "You put that experience on top of the talent, you've got some stuff on your hands."

The 72-year-old Bowden also seems re-energized following last year's stumble. He's bringing back an old FSU tradition by leading his team onto the field at home games through a set of new H-style goalposts.

Bowden also has adopted the motto, "Let's Roll!" which is what Todd Beamer yelled before he and other passengers stormed the hijackers on United Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field. It was the only one of four hijacked planes on Sept. 11 that did not reach its intended target.

Bowden begins this season with 323 victories, tied with the late Bear Bryant for second place all-time among Division I-A coaches, just four behind Penn State's Joe Paterno. A victory over Iowa State on Aug. 24 in Kansas City - the first of 13 regular-season games for FSU - would move Bowden into second place by himself.

Neither Paterno nor Bowden seems to be in any hurry to retire. In fact, Bowden lost 20 pounds during the offseason and says he feels as good as ever.

"There's no timetable (for retirement) right now. I don't consider it because it never pops into my mind," Bowden said. "Here I am 72, I can't believe it myself. I'd rather do this 'till I die. I hope I die on a football field."

But don't be too quick to bury the Seminoles, who look to be alive and kicking once again.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Will the 'Noles "be back" this season? This question should be the most interesting to answer as the season goes on...
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> The normally stout 'Noles' defense gave up 356 yards and 26 points a game </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I think we kinda helped kill their average on that one.... <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" />

-JD
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by JD Heel:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> The normally stout 'Noles' defense gave up 356 yards and 26 points a game </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I think we kinda helped kill their average on that one.... <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" />

-JD</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> WOW, you didn't post the score <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="rolleyes.gif" />

~NOLEY~ <img border="0" alt="[Wavy Guy]" title="" src="graemlins/wave.gif" />
I think you've posted the score more than I have, actually....

-JD
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