Bowden Still Trying To Gauge Team's Strengths
Sep. 19, 1996
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ As far as Bobby Bowden is concerned, there's no mercury in the barometer.
Alumni, fans and media members have been pestering the Florida State coach for his opinion on just how good the Seminoles of 1996 will or can be, but Bowden has been frustrated by a rather slow start to his team's September schedule.
While some schools have played three games and a majority have played two, the third-ranked Seminoles are 1-0 and have had to wait 11 days before playing the Wolfpack tonight.
``I think we're going to have to get past the Miami game before we can tell, because our schedule kind of just works up to that,'' Bowden said of his team's Oct. 12 date with the 10th-ranked Hurricanes.
``We saw some things (in the Duke win) on our offense that we feel like we need to do more of this and less of that. On defense, we look at it and say, `I wonder if it's real.'''
Bowden said he and his staff have tinkered with the team's offense since a 44-7 win over Duke on Sept. 7 in which the Seminoles gained an uncharacteristically low 221 yards and averaged 3.8 yards a play.
``We need to try (the offense) again against another football team and see if we're on the right road,'' he said.
Bowden hopes to see improvement tonight from quarterback Thad Busby, who threw for only 75 yards against the Blue Devils.
``I want to see good decisions by Thad and good throws,'' Bowden said. ``To me, (quarterbacks) remind me of baseball pitchers. They throw a no-hitter one day and the next day can't even hit the corner of the plate.''
While Bowden may want Busby to throw more, the Wolfpack has been dreadful against the run recently.
``If I'm looking at our film, they are going to come in here and say, `They can't stop the run. We're going to give it to Warrick (Dunn) and we're going to get a 21-0 lead and then we're going to open it up,''' N.C. State coach Mike O'Cain said.
After thinking a bit, O'Cain then said he really didn't know what to expect from the Seminoles on offense, considering they have so many weapons.
``Florida State is a team that sometimes looks like they are just practicing different offenses,'' said O'Cain. ``They come in and say, `This week we're going to work on our running game because we've got a big game coming up.' It makes you feel like the devil but there's nothing you can do about it except go out and win.''
The Wolfpack (0-1) hasn't been competitive against the Seminoles since a 34-13 loss in Raleigh in 1992, coach Dick Sheridan's last season at N.C. State. N.C. State has been outscored by the Seminoles 173-23 in the last three Atlantic Coast Conference meetings.
N.C. State has also turned the ball over 17 times in the last three games against the Seminoles, including six lost fumbles in an embarrassing 77-17 loss last season in Tallahassee, Fla. The loss was the most lopsided in ACC history.
``I can see a difference in maturity, but I don't see a difference in their heart and in their fight,'' Bowden said when asked about the Wolfpack's talent level compared to four seasons ago.