There's a lot of similarities in tonight's inaugural Blockbuster Bowl between Florida State and Penn State.
The game features two junior quarterbacks, the nation's two winningest major college coaches, and two teams carrying 9-2 records."We've both gotten better and that's what we're supposed to do," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Thursday.
Coach Joe Paterno's seventh-ranked Penn State team brings the nation's longest winning streak, nine games, into the 8 p.m. EST kickoff while No.6 Florida State has won five straight games.
Both have prospered from the development of their quarterbacks.
Penn State's 6-foot-5, 225-pound Tony Sacca, completed 44 of 82 passes for 626 yards for five touchdowns and just two interceptions in the Lions' last three games.
Sacca had his biggest game in a 24-21 victory over Notre Dame, completing 20 of 34 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception.
"He's got a strong arm and you can't ever let up on his receivers," Bowden said. "He can get the ball to them."
Sacca threw for 1,866 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season and ranks fifth on the school's passing charts with 3,381 career yards.
Florida State's Casey Weldon didn't win a starting job until the Seminoles' seventh game, but his overall numbers exceed Sacca's despite 67 fewer passing attempts.
Weldon, ranked third nationally in passing efficiency, completing 61.5 percent of his passes for 1,600 yards and a dozen touchdowns with only four interceptions.
"We're going to have to play like we did against Florida," said Weldon, who passed for a career-high 325 yards in a 45-30 victory over the Gators. "We can't make a dumb mistake that will get us beat."
In his last three games, Weldon completed 41 of 67 passes for 794 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception. More importantly, the Seminoles went 5-0 with Weldon starting.