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Florida State blows out Wisconsin in Champs Sports Bowl

Dec 28, 2008 - 2:16 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Florida State provided Bobby Bowden with another fond memory of an Orlando bowl game.

Christian Ponder threw two touchdown passes and the Seminoles scored on a pair of long fumble returns en route to a 42-13 thrashing of Wisconsin in Saturday's Champs Sports Bowl.

The blowout win came 31 years after Florida State's first bowl victory under Bowden, who guided the Seminoles to a lopsided victory over Texas Tech in the 1977 Tangerine Bowl in Orlando. It was the first of 30 bowl appearances for Bowden, who trails only Penn State's Joe Paterno for the all-time lead in wins at major college football programs.

The 79-year-old Bowden repeatedly has expressed his "fondness" for the city of Orlando, especially in regard to its bowl games. His affinity for the city is understandable, since the Seminoles are 7-0-2 in bowl games played here.

After getting off to a slow start in this one, Bowden and the Seminoles (9-4) coasted to an easy win in their FBS-record 27th consecutive postseason appearance. The 29-point margin of victory was the largest in Florida State school history.

"This feels good," said Bowden, whose 21 career bowl victories trail only Paterno's 23. "It's always good to end the season with a win because it gives us momentum heading into next year."

Florida State gained crucial momentum against the overmatched Badgers (7-6) with just seven seconds left in the first half when Ponder found Greg Carr for a 15-yard TD pass to make it 14-3.

The 6-6 Carr evaded a pair of defenders before making a spectacular one-handed grab and keeping his feet in bounds for the score.

Wisconsin clawed within 14-6 on Phillip Welch's 41-yard field goal early in the second half.

But it was all Florida State from there, as Antone Smith and Carlton Jones both scored rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to give the Seminoles a 28-6 cushion entering the fourth quarter.

"We didn't block them (in the first half)," Bowden said. "I was very disappointed. But at least in the second half our kids took the challenge, and we blocked them better."

The Seminoles essentially sealed the victory when defensive end Everette Brown sacked Wisconsin quarterback Dustin Sherer, who lost a fumble near midfield. The loose ball was recovered by linebacker Dekoda Watson, who rumbled for a 51-yard TD to make it 35-6.

Ponder capped his outing with a 10-yard scoring strike to tight end Caz Piurowski early in the fourth quarter. The redshirt freshman finished 18-of-31 for 199 yards.

Ponder's favorite target was Carr, who had eight catches for 78 yards. Florida State punter Graham Gano was named the game's MVP after averaging 48.2 yards on his five punts, including four that were downed inside Wisconsin's 20-yard line.

The lone bright spot for Wisconsin was running back P.J. Hill, who ran for 140 yards on just 15 carries.

The embarrassing loss concluded a disappointing regular season for the Badgers, who climbed into the top 10 in the national rankings at one point. Wisconsin managed 333 yards of total offense, much of which came after the contest already had been decided.

The Seminoles took the lead for good 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter when linebacker Derek Nicholson scored on a 75-yard fumble return to open the scoring.








  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN 0 3 3 7 13
    FLORIDA ST 0 14 14 14 42 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA ST - TD, DEREK NICHOLSON 76 YD FUMBLE
    RETURN (GRAHAM GANO KICK),
    2:24. FLORIDA ST 7-0
    WISCONSIN - FG, PHILIP WELCH 31 YD, 10:14.
    FL

    Dec 27 7:47 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD WISCONSIN
    ELIJAH THEUS 20 YD PASS FROM JOE SCHAFER
    (PHILIP WELCH KICK)
    WISCONSIN 13
    FLORIDA ST 42 4:06 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Wisconsin 13, Florida State 42  4th - 4:06Dec 27 7:40 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD FLORIDA ST
    CAZ PIUROWSKI 10 YD PASS FROM CHRISTIAN PONDER
    (GRAHAM GANO KICK)
    WISCONSIN 6
    FLORIDA ST 42 11:04 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 42  4th - 11:04Dec 27 7:24 PM
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    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 35  4th - 14:28Dec 27 7:15 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD FLORIDA ST
    DEKODA WATSON 51 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (GRAHAM GANO KICK)
    WISCONSIN 6
    FLORIDA ST 35 14:28 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 35  4th - 14:28Dec 27 7:14 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN 0 3 3 6
    FLORIDA ST 0 14 14 28 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA ST - TD, DEREK NICHOLSON 76 YD FUMBLE
    RETURN (GRAHAM GANO KICK),
    2:24. FLORIDA ST 7-0
    WISCONSIN - FG, PHILIP WELCH 31 YD, 1

    Dec 27 7:07 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD FLORIDA ST
    CARLTON JONES 14 YD RUN
    (GRAHAM GANO KICK)
    WISCONSIN 6
    FLORIDA ST 28 0:18 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 28  3rd - 0:18Dec 27 7:04 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD FLORIDA ST
    ANTONE SMITH 6 YD RUN
    (GRAHAM GANO KICK)
    WISCONSIN 6
    FLORIDA ST 21 4:11 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 21  3rd - 4:11Dec 27 6:48 PM
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    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 14  3rd - 12:01Dec 27 6:46 PM
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    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 14  3rd - 12:01Dec 27 6:43 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    FG WISCONSIN
    PHILIP WELCH 41 YD
    WISCONSIN 6
    FLORIDA ST 14 12:01 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Wisconsin 6, Florida State 14  3rd - 12:01Dec 27 6:28 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN 0 3 3
    FLORIDA ST 0 14 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA ST - TD, DEREK NICHOLSON 76 YD FUMBLE
    RETURN (GRAHAM GANO KICK),
    2:24. FLORIDA ST 7-0
    WISCONSIN - FG, PHILIP WELCH 31 YD, 10:14

    Dec 27 5:59 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD FLORIDA ST
    GREG CARR 15 YD PASS FROM CHRISTIAN PONDER
    (GRAHAM GANO KICK)
    WISCONSIN 3
    FLORIDA ST 14 0:07 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Wisconsin 3, Florida State 14  2nd - 0:07Dec 27 5:56 PM
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    Wisconsin 0, Florida State 7  2nd - 7:23Dec 27 5:37 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    FG WISCONSIN
    PHILIP WELCH 31 YD
    WISCONSIN 3
    FLORIDA ST 7 4:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Wisconsin 3, Florida State 7  2nd - 4:46Dec 27 5:37 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    TD FLORIDA ST
    DEREK NICHOLSON 76 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (GRAHAM GANO KICK)
    WISCONSIN 0
    FLORIDA ST 7 12:36 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Wisconsin 0, Florida State 7  2nd - 12:36Dec 27 5:21 PM


  • CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
    AT ORLANDO FL
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN 0 0
    FLORIDA ST 0 0 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 27 5:11 PM
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    Wisconsin vs. Florida StateDec 27 11:16 AM
  • 5
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    oliveoil5872 Added 5 roots

    Wisconsin vs. Florida StateDec 26 9:42 PM