News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida on January 2, 1993 · Page 19
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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida · Page 19

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Fort Myers, Florida
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Saturday, January 2, 1993
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Page 19
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Briefs, Scorecard 2C NHL......;....... 3C Pro football 3C College basketball 3C College football 4-9C Classified 9-12C NEWS-PRESS SCORELINE Call 3325600 or 1-800-848-0515 Touch tone only NEWS-PRESS SPORTS EDITOR: SAM COOK 335-0357, Monday-Friday 1-9 p.m. SATURDAY, JANUARY 2, 1993 PD) COMMENTARY JERRY LANGDON Southeastern lays firm claim to No. 1 league ALABAMA'S dominating Sugar Bowl victory over Miami for the national championship took the long-suffering Southeastern Conference front and center in collegiate football. It brought the SEC mark to 5-0 following solid wins earlier by Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. And Mississippi State can make it six-for-six tonight with a win over North Carolina in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The win by the Crimson Tide, and expected No. 1 confirmation from USA TODAYCNN (coaches) and Associated Press (writers) polls today, brings the crown to an SEC team for the first time since Georgia in 1980. Other bowl highlights: Florida State kept the longest unbeaten streak in collegiate bowl history alive, downing Nebraska 27-1 4 in the Orange Bowl, to make it 1 1 wins and one tie in 12 consecutive years. There are some who feel the Seminoles now are the best team in the country, but they lost 1 9-1 6 early in the season at Miami, thwarting their chances for a national title as they finished in the Top 5 for the sixth straight year. COLLEGE FOOTBALL Pac-10 bowl-game flop The Pacific-10 widely was reported at midseason as college football's best. No longer. Washington? No. The Huskies collapsed late in the season, and lost in the Rose Bowl to Michigan. They allowed 80 points their last two games. Arizona, Southern California and Oregon all lost bowl games as well. Only Stanford, in a 24-3 rout of Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl, and Washington State, in a 31-28 shootout over Utah in the Copper Bowl, won for the Pacific 10. The Big Eight continued to struggle as Nebraska lost its sixth straight bowl game by an aggregate of 189-83 by bowing to Florida State, while Colorado went to 1-9 in its last 1 0 bowls by dropping a 26-22 decision to Syracuse, 26-22, in the Fiesta Bowl. Texas A&M again let down the Southwest Conference, being outclassed by Notre Dame 28-3. The Aggies had complained that they wanted to meet Florida State. It was the fifth straight Cotton Bowl loss for the SWC, and the third consecutive game its representative failed to score a touchdown. The Big 1 0 got some solace from Michigan winning the Rose Bowl, for the conference's third win in a dozen tries, but what about the Florida Citrus Bowl and the Holiday Bowl where Ohio State and Illinois lost? And next year's new member, Penn State, took a 2 1-point licking in the Blockbuster Bowl. The Western Athletic Conference went 2-3, but the victories by Hawaii over Illinois and Fresno State over Southern California more than offset the losses, and made the W AC one of the big bowl winners. There may be no need for the Las Vegas Bowl, the Aloha Bowl, the Copper Bowl, and the Independence Bowl, but where else would there be exciting games with scores of 35-34, 23-20, 31-28 and 39-35? USC's Smith had it coming Hard to find much sympathy for Larry Smith, fired as coach of Southern California, after his Trojans were mauled by Fresno State 24-7 in the Freedom Bowl. The primary job of a coach is to get his team ready to play regardless of the opposition. USC was not prepared. Boston College is not ready to play with the big boys, as shown by its loss to Tennessee in the Florida Citrus Bowl. The Eagles were losing 34-7 in the closing minutes before scoring a couple meaningless touchdowns. In November they were buried, 54-7, at Notre Dame. Delightful for Bill Dooley at Wake Forest and Grant Teaf f at Baylor to go out as coaches with wins in the Independence and John Hancock Bowls, respectively. Arizona started poorly in 1 992 with a loss to Washington State and a tie against Oregon State, and finished slowly, bowing to Southern California, Arizona State and Baylor. But the Wildcats always will have the glorious midseason stretch to remember, starting with the 8-7 loss at Miami, following by a string of impressive conquests: 23-3 over UCLA, 2 1 -6 at Stanford, 24-1 7 at California, 30-0 over New Mexico State and 1 6-3 over Washington. Florida not only missed being picked for the Florida Citrus Bowl despite a win over Georgia and finishing as Southeastern Conference runner-up, most of its 27-10 win over North Carolina State in the Gator Bowl was in the fog and hard to see. As if many fans watched anyway on New Year's Eve. Penn State finished its final season as an independent, completing a major collapse by losing to Stanford. The Nittany Lions were 5-0 before losing a hard-fought 1 7-1 4 decision to Miami, and never recovered, winding up 7-5. Jerry Langdon is managing editor of sports for Gannett News Service. Hail of Fame Bowl Citrus Bowl Fiesta Bowl Orange Bowl Tennessee 38 Georgia 21 Syracuse 26 Florida State 27 Boston College 23 Ohio State 14 Colorado 22 Nebraska 14 Cotton Bowl Blockbuster Bowl Rose Bowl Sugar Bowl Notre Dame 28 Stanford 24 Michigan 38 Alabama 34 Texas A&M 3 Penn State 3 Washington 31 Miami 13 GATOR GROWL The Florida Gators had a rebuilding year in 1992, still going 9-4. In the future, nine wins may be a weak season 9C ft a UUL n n rtiiuu Av W y W ." my v '5 Alabama's No. 1 34-13 ByMIKELOPRESTI Gannett News Service NEW ORLEANS Somewhere today, the Bear is smiling. Alabama is back on top. The No. 2 Crimson Tide, unleashing a two-pronged attack of defense and the running game, overwhelmed top-ranked Miami 34-13 on Friday night POLLS I The Alabama Crimson Tide will be No. 1 in the final USA TODAYCNN poll, with the Florida State Seminoles second and the Miami Hurricanes No. 3. The complete USA TODAYCNN poll, as well as the Associated Press rankings, are due to be announced today. The Associated Press TAKEDOWN: Alabama's Derrick Lassie is tackled by Miami safety Casey Greer during the Sugar Bowl. in the Sugar Bowl, giving this storied program its 12th national championship and first since the glory days of Paul "Bear" Bryant. "Roll, Tide, roll!" the majority of the Superdome thundered. Roll the 13-0 Tide did, crushing the Hurricanes' 29-game winning streak, shattering their mystique, and making Heisman winner Gino Torretta's final college game a three-interception disaster. "They kept saying we were underdogs, I kept saying I didn't think we were," Alabama coach Gene Stal-lings said. "You're only an underdog if you think you're an underdog. "Our expectations are to play for and win the national championship every year," Miami coach Dennis Erickson said. "We played for it, but we didn't win it. Second, third, fourth and fifth don't do you any good in this business." "I've been dreaming of this for four years," happy defender George Teague said. "We knew we could do it," receiver David Palmer said. "The trash talk is over, thank you." Derrick Lassie's 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns earned him the game's Most Valuable Player award. "Derrick had that look in his eye all week," Stallings said. "Miami said a one-dimensional (running) team couldn't beat them," Lassie said. "The offensive line took that as a challenge. The offensive line was humongous, so it made my See MIAMI 7C Torretta's finale forgettable 7C Crimson Tide defense dominant 7C to oDos sDosh Oiraog Nebraska offers little resistance to FSU 27-14 By BRIAN WHITE News-Press staff writer MIAMI No surprises here in The Other Game, where business as usual found a New Years Day filled with Seminole success and Cornhusker futility. Florida State put its usual strong finish to a season Friday night, whipping Nebraska 27-14 in the Orange Bowl while much of the nation tuned into the Sugar Bowl. The rain-drenched victory assured the No. 3 Seminoles (11-1) a top-four ranking for the sixth consecutive season and gave them an NCAA-record eight straight bowl victories. Nebraska played a familiar role as bowl-game victim, dropping its sixth consecutive postseason game and its ninth in 12 years. The llth-ranked Cornhuskers (9-3), who vowed during the week preceding the game e woctoiry to counter critics predicting an FSU romp, fell behind 20-0 in the second quarter and were unable to rally. Almost everything went right as FSU took over the game early. Nebraska's power i running game was no match for the quicker Seminoles, and Coach Bobby Bowden mixed the razzle-dazzle of his "Fast Break" shotgun offense with a strong ground game to keep Nebraska's defenders off balance. 1 1 '" 1 I V " i L JACKSON Even kicker Dan Mow- rey was perfect in a stadium that brought him night mares and cost his team a shot at the national championship. It was here that Mowrey's errant field goal try gave Miami a 19-16 victory over FSU Oct. 3. After that heartbreaking day, FSU went on a dominating seven-game winning streak that ended with its first Orange Bowl win in three tries. See ORANGE 6C B Ward survives big hits 6C . . .... ,.x .... . .. , I kf" - - i , . , , rz The Associated Press SURROUNDED: Nebraska's Calvin Jones is corralled by Corey Sawyer (8), Marvin Jones and Dan Footman (58) on Friday in the Orange Bowl. iodskins S6k mor BStrod!om maolc By The Associated Press The Washington Redskins will be starting this year's playoffs where they finished last year's playoffs: back in the Metrodome. The defending Super Bowl champions play the Minnesota Vikings today in the first of four-wild card games this weekend. Kansas City is at San Diego later in the afternoon, while Houston plays at Buffalo on Sunday and Philadelphia is at New Orleans. Washington will be seeking to recreate the sparkle of its 37-24 victory over Buffalo in the 1992 Super Bowl. "Last year, we had kind of a magic-carpet ride. Everything went easy for us," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. "We got off to a real good start, we had very few injuries and we were playing a a high level." Washington was 14-2 in the 1991 regular season, but slumped to 9-7 this season. Mark Rypien, the Super Bowl MVP, has thrown 17 interceptions and just 1 3 touchdowns. "This year, we got off to a poor start and it carried over," Gibbs said. "We haven't made plays like we did and we've had a tremendous number of injuries." Washington beat the Vikings 1 5-1 3 on Oct. 25 as Chip Lohmiller kicked five field goals. It was the Redskins' sixth straight victory over Minnesota (11-5) since a 1 980 loss. "I could give a hoot," Vikings quarterback Sean Salisbury said. Most of San Diego's players will be making their first postseason appearances when the Chargers (11-5) play the Chiefs (10-6). San Diego quarterback Stan Humphries was in the Super Bowl last year, sitting inactive on Washington's bench. The Chargers acquired him on Aug. 13, five days after John Friesz hurt his left knee. Although Humphries dislocated his non-throwing left shoulder last weekend, he probably will play. "We've gotten this far and I'm ready to free-wheel it, and let's go with it," Humphries said. "There's no use in holding back now." No players remain from San Diego's last playoff appearance in 1982. Kansas City, in the playoffs for the third straight year, beat the Chargers twice this season: 24-10 and 16-14. "Irrespective of the Chargers' relative inexperience in that regard, for every team in the playoffs, the first game in my mind is the most difficult one," Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimersaid. Game previews 3C TV: Redskins-Vikings, 12:30 p.m., ABC; Chiefs-Chargers, 4 p.m., ABC t r 1

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