Same bowl game, two paths to get there

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006

Emerald Bowl, San Francisco, Cal.

Florida St. (6-6) vs. UCLA (7-5) – 8 p.m. ESPN

On the surface, going on these schools’ records, where they finished in their conferences and what each of these teams looked like for most of the season, this seems to be an even game.

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Even the odds makers consider it a good match-up.

The big difference though here is motivation.

UCLA is coming off one of the best victories in recent history; certainly the best in the tenure of head coach Karl Dorrell.

UCLA ended a seven-game losing streak to USC and played the ultimate spoiler to USC’s title game spot.

What was the most stunning was how UCLA’s defense dominated USC’s offense in the 13-9 win.

Last time FSU ended a season with a losing record was 30 years ago, in Bobby Bowden’s first season as head coach.

This match-up doesn’t look good and it could be really ugly if the same UCLA defense shows up.

FSU couldn’t score against any team this year with a good-to-great defense; Wake Forest, Miami, Clemson, BC, Florida.

The one question for Dorrell is at quarterback.

Does he start Ben Olson, who started the season and whom Dorrell said would’ve started the USC game had he been healthy?

Or does he start Pat Cowan who started the last seven games?

Line – UCLA by 3.5

My pick – UCLA, 27-7