Home > Football > Seminoles Honor Bowden, Upset WVU to Win Gator Bowl

Seminoles Honor Bowden, Upset WVU to Win Gator Bowl

The Florida State Seminoles weren’t supposed to be playing on New Year’s Day, but Bobby Bowden’s retirement increased the hype for their bowl game and the Seminoles definitely delivered by defeating WVU 33-21. Florida State’s defense, which had been virtually absent all season, showed up against the Mountaineers, as they were able to stop West Virginia’s quarterback Geno Smith when it counted.

When Christian Ponder was at the helm, the FSU offense was spectacular. Since his injury, which required him to miss the final 3 games of the regular season as well as the Gator Bowl, their offense has sputtered. E.J. Manuel, however, showed his potential as he was 17/24 for 189 yards. FSU running back Jermaine Thomas also played well, as he ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Before the start of the game, a massive tribute was held for longtime FSU and former WVU coach Bobby Bowden who today coached his final game. Thousands of people lined the path as Bowden and his wife entered the stadium. Bowden was even able to take the spear from Chief Osceola and slammed it into turf during what was one of many pregame festivities involving Bowden. Several of his former players, including Deion Sanders and Chris Weinke met Bowden greeted Bowden in the locker room. Bowden, who served as the grand marshal of Thursday’s Gator Bowl Parade, was also given a car courtesy of the Gator Bowl.

The biggest honor of all for Bowden, however, was likely watching his team defeat the favored Mountaineers. The Seminoles wanted to be able to get the victory so that they could carry Bowden and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews off of the field. As the seconds ticked off of the clock, Bowden ran down the field and threw his hat into the stands before gathering with his former players.

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