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Late hits are yesterday’s news after Florida wins Sugar Bowl

January 3, 1997

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ He dwelled on them all week, but once Florida beat Florida State 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl, coach Steve Spurrier did not have much to say about late hits.

``I really couldn’t say if there were any until I watch the film,″ Spurrier said. ``I don’t watch Danny Wuerffel, I’m looking downfield.″

Spurrier griped all week that Florida State was trying to knock Wuerffel out of the game in the Seminoles’ 24-21 victory last month. And he said too much of the hits came after the whistle.

Spurrier didn’t call them late hits Thursday night, but admitted that the Seminoles got after Wuerffel again. Wuerffel was sacked five times and knocked down many more.

``He didn’t get a chance to look and see if a lot of his passes were completed,″ Spurrier said.


WONDERFUL WUERFFEL: He won the Heisman and set 47 college records in his career at Florida. Danny Wuerffel has also thrown for over 10,000 yards and is the most efficient quarterback in NCAA Division I history.

Then on Thursday night in the Sugar Bowl, Wuerffel was wonderful. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 306 yards _ many of them thrown across his body or while he was being crumpled by a Florida State defensive player. And he threw three touchdowns and ran for another as Florida made its bid for the national title against Florida State.

Wuerffel, the first Heisman winner to be coached by a Heisman holder in Steve Spurrier, is also one of just six of the last 17 Heisman winners to win their bowl games.

So what’s all this talk that Wuerffel might not get a shot at the NFL? Downright crazy if you ask Spurrier.

``If one of those teams wants to win a Super Bowl, they ought to look at Danny Wuerffel,″ Spurrier said. ``He won a state championship (in high school) and, hopefully, a national championship. He can win the other one, too.″


BUG BITES: A bout with intestinal virus struck Florida State this week. About 10 players were affected, including kicker Scott Bentley. Earlier in the week, several players thought they had food poisoning, but later realized it was a virus when others also became ill. Linebacker Daryl Bush and defensive end Peter Boulware were given IVs before the game as they fought the bug.


SIBLING RIVALRY: Sisters Liz Lorie and Tina Lorie from Indiatlantic, Fla., went at it again Thursday night. Once again, they were on opposite sides of the issue, and when it was all over, Tina had the last laugh.

Liz, 21, is a cheerleader at Florida State, while Tina, 20, is a Florida cheerleader.

The sisters tried to avoid talking too much about the game during the week.

``We really try not to bring up the fact we’re playing each other for the national championship,″ Liz said.

A third Lorie sister, Monica, was a cheerleader at Alabama when the Crimson Tide won the national championship in 1992.


SUGAR RECORDS: The 52 points scored by Florida were the most ever in the Sugar Bowl, as was the 72 by both teams. The crowd of 78,344 was the largest Sugar Bowl crowd in the Superdome ever. The previous record was 78,124 in 1983 when Penn State and Georgia played. It was also the biggest crowd to ever watch a football game in the Superdome, which has hosted three Super Bowls.


BOWL BUCKS: The Sugar Bowl, sponsored by Nokia, carried the highest payout of the bowls this season at $8,736,000 per team.

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