Not too much to say here. Nice to see the Huskers choke, of course. Had they not beaten Oklahoma, I suspect history would have played out much as it actually did. Still, good for Florida State, winning the MNC they were "supposed" to win in 1999.
No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (14-1) VS. No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-2)
FedEx Orange Bowl
Pro Player Stadium - Miami Gardens, Fla.
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2001 - 8 PM EST
Wind: NE 7 MPH
Final Score: Florida State 25, Nebraska 10
Player of the Game
Florida State RB Travis Minor
MIAMI (AP) - After being stymied twice in the Final Four, unable to even reach this game, Bobby Bowden finally got a measure of satisfaction Saturday as his Seminoles claimed their first Sears National Championship Trophy since 1993.
Florida State (15-1) defeated Nebraska (12-3) 25-10 in the Orange Bowl, in front of a throng of adoring fans at Pro Player Stadium, and it took a total team effort to win this game.
Leading his team, as he has done for the last three seasons, was Heisman QB Chris Weinke, who was 17-32 for 235 yards. His top two targets, Marvin Minnis (4 catches, 65 yards) and Ryan Sprague (4 catches, 61 yards), were irreplaceable. AFCA Player of the Game Travis Minor finished his career on a high note, rushing 23 times for 140 yards and a TD.
And none of it would have been possible without the game's high scorer, K Brett Cimorelli, who made kicks of 31, 23, 25, and 41 yards to account for 13 of the Seminoles' 25 points (1-2 PAT), although he did miss from 49 yards out. Hey, nobody's perfect.
Nebraska only wishes it had so many star performances. QB Eric Crouch was 6-13 for just 39 yards and an INT, while RB Dan Alexander carried the ball 21 times for just 94 yards. The Husker rushing game was outpaced by Florida State's, and the Seminoles' dominance in 1st downs was eerily similar to the final score: 25-12.
About the only thing that did go right was the performance of the "Blackshirts," who posted six sacks of Weinke, including two from Jeremy Slechta, but it wasn't enough to overcome their offensive ineptitude in this game.
Alexander did give Nebraska an early 7-0 lead with his 9-yard TD run in the 1st quarter, and then Cimorelli and Nebraska K Josh Brown traded FGs to make it 10-3 Nebraska. Florida State RB Jeff Chaney's (11 carries, 46 yards) 1-yard TD run with 6:51 left in the 2nd quarter drew the Seminoles within a point, but Cimorelli proved once again that he is not quite perfect, pushing the PAT attempt left.
He more than made up for it in the 2nd half, though. Two FGs in the 3rd quarter and another with 13:58 left in the game put his team ahead 18-10, and Minor's 31-yard TD run with 10:35 remaining sealed the game. Nebraska's offense, which had been decent in the first 30 minutes, went completely stagnant as the Florida State defense cranked up the pressure and the Florida State fans turned up the noise.
It was an all-too-familiar sight to Nebraska fans, who saw chances at several national championships slip through their team's fingers in the Orange Bowl in the past few decades. Meanwhile, Bowden is still the winningest coach in college football and second only to Kansas State coach Bill Snyder in winning percentage in the playoffs (8-2).
More importantly, he has another Waterford crystal football to put with the one his team earned eight years ago.
All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.
All bowl logos are courtesy of sportslogos.net, with some modification.
The 2001 FBS Playoff field will be unveiled Sunday at noon. There will be a slight change to the seeding process, which I will discuss further on Sunday. (Hey, would it really be an adequate substitute for the BCS if they didn't change the rules every few years?)
- SUNDAY: 2001 field announced
- MONDAY: First half of the 1st round games played (higher seed hosts)
- TUESDAY: Second half of the 1st round games played (higher seed hosts)
- WEDNESDAY: 2nd round games played (bowl sites)
- THURSDAY: Final Four (bowl sites)
- FRIDAY: National Championship
- SATURDAY: Stats and analysis