Florida State (10-3, 7-1 ACC)

The Acc

September 03, 2004|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG | KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG,SUN STAFF

Florida State (10-3, 7-1 ACC)

Strengths: The Seminoles have talent to burn, especially on offense, and are again serious contenders for the national championship. Senior quarterback Chris Rix has been ripped plenty during his career, but he's going into his fourth year as the starter. If Craphonso Thorpe can recover from a broken leg, he's probably the best wide receiver in the ACC, and the Seminoles have two running backs in Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker who can fly.

Weaknesses: Florida State returns only four starters on defense, but its biggest hurdle may be its mental block against Miami. The Seminoles have lost to the Hurricanes five straight times, including twice last season.

Key game: at Miami, next Friday. Florida State will find out the first game of the season whether it's for real.

Extra point: If you don't include Hokies coach Frank Beamer (167 wins), Bobby Bowden has nearly as many victories (342) during his career as the other nine conference coaches have combined (346).

2004 SCHEDULE

9-10 at Miami 8

9-18 UAB 6:30

9-25 Clemson TBA

10-2 North Carolina TBA

10-9 at Syracuse TBA

10-16 Virginia TBA

10-23 at Wake Forest TBA

10-30 at Maryland TBA

11-6 Duke TBA

11-11 at N.C. State 7:30

11-20 Florida TBA

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