Sugar Bowl notebook

December 30, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS — Heisman winner Torretta getting special attention

NEW ORLEANS -- Winning the Heisman Trophy has brought Miami quarterback Gino Torretta all kinds of attention, some of it unwanted.

"Even when I go home to California, people recognize me," said Torretta. "When I go out, even if it's one person who recognizes me, they tell the others. I've pretty much stayed in my hotel room instead of going out this week. It's something I'll have to live with the rest of my life."

And then there are Alabama defensive ends John Copeland and Eric Curry. They want to get Torretta's attention, too.

They feel Torretta is the key to Miami's passing game, and if they stop him, they improve the Crimson Tide's chances of winning.

"We've been able to get to quarterbacks all year, and I think we can get to Torretta," said Copeland, who has 10 1/2 sacks this season. "He is a great quarterback. We are going to come after him with all we've got. It is an added incentive knowing he has won the Heisman."

Curry's words were stronger.

"I don't think it is going to be difficult to get to him," said Curry, who also has 10 1/2 sacks. "I'll put fear in him. It's extra motivation for any player to play against a Heisman Trophy winner."

Torretta wasn't intimidated.

"Curry is more of a speed guy and Copeland is more a power guy up the middle," said Torretta, who passed for 3,060 yards this season. "But I don't fear anybody on the football field. I've been hit as hard as anybody and gotten up more times than not. They are human and they have been blocked before, believe it or not. We'll just have to wait and see Friday night."

One who got away


Miami punter/place-kicker Dane Prewitt, from Birmingham, Ala., is one of the few major-college players to slip out of his home state without signing with the Crimson Tide or Auburn.

Prewitt converted on 38 of 40 extra-point tries and made 13 of 21 field-goal attempts.

"I was recruited by Alabama as a junior and visited the next year," said Prewitt. "I grew up an Auburn fan, but it was a case of neither school offering me a scholarship. My goal was to go to college on a football scholarship, and once Miami made the offer, it was hard to turn down."

No parties

Alabama wide receiver David Palmer has missed three games this season because of two alcohol-related arrests. He says he has yet to be out on party haven Bourbon Street.

"I'll be in every night," said Palmer. "I don't party at all."

For the most part, there hasn't been much partying.

"We want to keep our legs fresh," said Toby Shields, Alabama's center. "I think players from both teams know what's at stake."

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