CLEMSON - Florida State coach Bobby Bowden grew tired of looking across the field to the Clemson bench and seeing his son Tommy.
The so-called "Bowden Bowl" faded into history when Tommy Bowden stepped down as the Tigers coach midway through last season, but that doesn't mean the annual FSU-Clemson showdown isn't still something of a family affair for the elder Bowden.
An extended-family, that is.
Former FSU offensive coordinator Brad Scott is still a Tigers assistant and, this year, former FSU linebackers coach Kevin Steele (2003-06), is the Tigers defensive coordinator.
"When I went there to really the day I left, I really thought that may be it," Steele said of his coaching travels. "Little did I know."
Before going to FSU, Steele had just been fired as Baylor's coach and was entertaining several opportunities when he got a call from Bobby Bowden and FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.
"It felt like something that was pretty special, particularly having been at Nebraska with coach (Tom) Osborne and at Tennessee with coach (Johnny) Majors and to go to Florida State to be with coach Andrews and coach Bowden, it was just kind of the right fit. That's how it transpired. I had a blast. It was fun."
A big start. FSU scored 17 in the opening quarter, its biggest first-quarter outburst all season and the most since it put up 21 against Chattanooga in the second game of last season.
Ticket drive. FSU senior LB Dekoda Watson and senior CB Jamie Robinson, South Carolina natives, faced the task of rustling up extra tickets for family and friends. Both said they got about 18. (Redshirt freshman DT Everett Dawkins is the third South Carolina native on the travel roster; freshman S Justin Bright, who is redshirting, didn't make the trip.)
"It's my last year playing college football and my last time I'll be able to play at home," Robinson said before the game. "It's going to be special, real special."
More bang for the buck. FSU assistants James Coley and Odell Haggins took advantage of the trip here to take in a prep game on Friday involving Byrnes High, which features three heralded prospects, running back Marcus Lattimore and defensive ends Cody Miller and Brandon Willis.