College Football: Miami curse still haunts Bowden

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Not much has changed over the years in the Florida State-Miami series. It’s usually a tightly contested game and most of the time Miami wins.
It happened again just before midnight Monday when the Hurricanes stopped Florida State on Miami’s 2-yard line the last three plays to claim a 38-34 victory in a game coach Bobby Bowden called one of the three greatest he’s been involved with in six decades of coaching ó all losses.
“It was a typical Miami-Florida State football game,” Bowden said Tuesday. “They don’t come easy. That’s the way we’ve always played Miami.”
Miami’s victory in the season opener for both schools propelled them from unranked to No. 20 in The Associated Press’ weekly Top 25 poll while the Seminoles, who came into the game at No. 18, fell out.
Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder played the game of his career in a losing effort, his final throw an knee-high bullet that sophomore Jarmon Fortson couldn’t safely scoop as he knelt to the ground.
“It was a poor throw,” said Ponder, who passed for a career-best 294 yards and a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score. “It was low.”
Miami has been Bowden’s tormentor. No opponent has given him more grief during his celebrated 34-year run at Florida State. He has said on occasion that a mention of the rivalry could make its way to his tombstone someday.
Bowden is 14-21 against Miami and 368-101 against the rest of the world. Three of the losses to the Hurricanes were by a single point, at least three more resulted from missed field goals in the waning seconds and Miami victories in 1987, 1991 and 1992 denied Florida State possible national championships.
Bowden said the 26-25 loss to Miami in 1987 and the 31-24 loss at Notre Dame in 1993 were comparable to Monday’s thriller.
“Games that one play decided,” he said. “This thing went that way. We needed a great play … and didn’t get one.”
Bowden said he wouldn’t be surprised if some lineup changes were made after coaches finished up grading the Miami game film.
Bowden is glad he’s got a game right away.
“That’s the good thing about playing four days later,” Bowden said. “What you’d hate to do it lose that game and have an open date. Golly, you’d have 10 days to worry about it.”