gator bowl

Gator Bowl: West Virginia vs. Florida State

Friday, January 1, 2010

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Jacksonville, Fla.

Records: Mountaineers 9-3; Seminoles 6-6.

TV: WUSA (Channel 9), WJZ (Channel 13).

Outlook: The last thing the Seminoles want is to send Coach Bobby Bowden into retirement with a loss, and a losing record. But it will take more than overwhelming sentiments -- hundreds of former players will be there to send Bowden off, as will tens of thousands of FSU fans -- for the Seminoles to find a way to get past the Mountaineers, who have lost to Bowden in both previous meetings, both of which came in the Gator Bowl. West Virginia is bidding for its fourth 10-win season in the past five years, plus a fifth straight postseason victory.

Over the past three years, West Virginia is 12-2 when Noel Devine rushes for at least 100 yards, 16-1 when he runs for a touchdown and 12-8 when he doesn't score. That might be bad news for a Florida State defense that ranked 108th in division I-A this season in rushing defense, giving up a staggering 203.9 yards per game this season.

Greg Reid, Florida State's best freshman, has 945 yards returning punts and kickoffs this season. Opponents are catching on, because Reid has gotten the chance to return just three punts since Oct. 31.

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