NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Andre Woodson threw four TD passes
against a depleted Florida State defense and Kentucky won its
second straight Music City Bowl, beating the Seminoles 35-28 on
Monday for Bobby Bowden's first bowl loss in December.
Kentucky hadn't ended back-to-back seasons with bowl wins since
1951-52 under Bear Bryant, but the Wildcats pulled off the feat in
Nashville one year after surprising Clemson, coached by Bowden's
As for the elder Bowden, who has led the Seminoles to 26
straight bowls and two national titles, his December bowl record
finally has its first blemish at 7-1-1. Bowden is major college
football's winningest coach with 373 victories - one ahead of Penn
State's Joe Paterno.
Florida State was playing three dozen players short due to
injuries and suspensions stemming from an academic cheating
Woodson capitalized on the missing depth and finished the season
with 40 touchdown passes, breaking Tim Couch's school-record 37 set
in 1998. It was the 19th consecutive game with at least 200 passing
yards and a scoring pass for Woodson, a senior who figures to be
among the first quarterbacks taken in the NFL draft.
The Wildcats took the lead for good midway through the third
quarter on Woodson's 2-yard slant to Rafael Little, who ran for a
season-high 152 yards on 28 carries. It was the 13th 100-yard
rushing game for the senior running back, tying him for second on
Kentucky's career list.
Antone Smith had a career-high 156 rushing yards for the
Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford pulled the Seminoles
to 28-21 with 8 minutes left on a 1-yard bootleg run - his first
career game with two rushing TDs. Weatherford completed 22 of 48
passes for a TD and two interceptions.
Woodson immediately answered, dumping off a short pass that
Steve Johnson took for 38 yards for his second TD reception.
Johnson led all receivers with 126 yards.
Weatherford would add a TD pass to Greg Carr with just over 2
minutes remaining, and Florida State got the ball back at the
1-minute mark behind by one score.
Linebacker Micah Johnson appeared to come up with a game-icing
interception, but a fumble gave the Seminoles another chance.
Weatherford's last-second pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
Kentucky improved to 4-1-1 against the Seminoles in their first
matchup since 1965. It was the first meeting ever between Bowden
and Brooks, friends for nearly three decades.
The score was 14-all after a first half in which Bowden and
others on the Florida State sideline gave the officials an earful
after two close calls.
The Seminoles disputed an offensive pass interference call on
Carr that negated a touchdown. Gary Cismesia wound up missing a
field goal - he didn't make any in the game and finished the season
with 27, tied with Sebastian Janikowski for the Atlantic Coast
Florida State got the ball right back after Carr's mistake,
recovering a second fumble by Little. Kentucky ended that
possession with a goal-line stand, but the Seminoles' Tony Carter
picked off Woodson's next pass and returned it 24 yards to tie the
Kentucky appeared to pull ahead at the end of the half on a
field goal by Lones Seiber, but Florida State was called for
personal foul on the play. Brooks decided to try for the TD rather
than keep the points, and Seiber eventually missed from 39 yards.
Kentucky scored first, taking advantage of a blocked punt.
Woodson soon connected with a wide-open Jacob Tamme from 14 yards out.
The next time Kentucky had the ball, Little fumbled just short
of the goal line. Carter grabbed the loose ball and ran 51 yards,
stopped only after colliding with teammate Andre Fluellen.
Weatherford, not known for dashing speed, scampered 27 yards on
Florida State's first play of the next drive and later ran it in
from 6 yards out to make it 7-all.