Bowden coaching 500th collegiate game Saturday Print
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Friday, 26 September 2008 11:50
NCAAF Headline News

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -After four decades and 499 games on the sidelines, Florida State's Bobby Bowden finds some things stay the same. Especially when it comes to correcting mistakes.
Bowden, who will be lining up for the 500th time in a college contest Saturday when the Seminoles play Colorado in Jacksonville, was busy this week trying to fix the ``what went wrongs'' in a 12-3 loss to Wake Forest last weekend.
Saturday's game against unbeaten Colorado (3-0) is all about correcting as many of the errors as possible, the 78-year-old coach said.
``We've spent all of our time this week working on correcting mistakes,'' Bowden said. ``Penalties, missed assignments, interceptions and fumbles. That's our big emphasis this week.''
eminoles (2-1) were flagged a dozen times for 139 yards that kept their two sophomore quarterbacks pinned down in bad field position most of the game.
And Bowden knows they can't afford a repeat of last week's turnover and penalty-filled performance that led to his club being denied a touchdown for the second straight time at home against Wake Forest.
``If we execute like we did last week, it'll be bad for us,'' Bowden said. ``Our success the remainder of the year will be based on how successful we are at correcting those mistakes.''
Bowden's 375-120-4 record includes a pair of wins over Colorado and indicates he's been largely successful in getting things straight in the past. The Seminoles won last year's game at Colorado, 16-6.
The Buffaloes come into Saturday's contest with wins against West Virginia, intrastate rival Colorado State and Eastern Washington; Florida State is looking for its first Bowl Subdivision win after starting the season with easy wins against lower division Chattanooga and Western Carolina.
Starting quarterback Christian Ponder concedes the Seminoles need a win to regain confidence that they're able to play with the big boys ``and not let one game affect the next.''
a fumble and Parker was flagged for a personal foul that wiped out promising field position on the opening drive of the second half in the Wake Forest debacle.
Ponder will make his fourth career start Saturday with Richardson again in the wings and three-year starter Drew Weatherford helping signal in plays.
``Anytime you break in a new quarterback or quarterbacks there's going to be some issues there,'' said Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, whose son Cody quarterbacks the Buffaloes.
``We just have to be prepared to play all three,'' Colorado safety Ryan Walters said.
Weatherford, Bowden said this week, was not an option against Wake Forest despite the struggles of his two sophomore quarterbacks.
``After the ballgame we considered everything,'' Bowden said. ``We felt like it was best to go back just like we are and (try to) play the game without penalties.''
Florida State's coaches were so wrapped up in getting Parker back from a two-game suspension that resulted from a guilty plea to misdemeanor weapons and drug charges that they forgot about freshman tailback Jermaine Thomas, who averaged 6.9 yards a carry on 18 tries in wins over Chattanooga and Western Carolina.
est to finish their careers as the winningest coach in major college football.
And while the Seminoles (2-1) are technically playing on a neutral site, it's a short 160-mile jaunt down I-10 to the stadium once known as the Gator Bowl and now home to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bowden has lost just once there in nine previous tries and he is getting back several top defenders and starting tight end Caz Piurowski who are coming off four-game suspensions for an academic cheating scandal in 2007.
Linebacker Dekoda Watson and cornerback Patrick Robinson and three veteran defensive tackles return from suspension to bolster the defense.
``For the first time, we'll be at full strength,'' said Bowden, who has won the 100th, 200th and 400th games of his career, losing the 300th to Miami in 1992.
He joins Amos Alonzo Stagg and Paterno on Saturday as just the third major college coach to reach 500.
``Hopefully we can wreck the party for him,'' Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins said.
And possibly, a season as well.
 

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