Now that top-ranked Florida State has arrived in Miami to prepare for the Orange Bowl, coach Bobby Bowden knows he can count on the undivided attention of his quarterback and offensive coordinator.

December has been a whirlwind for quarterback Charlie Ward and offensive coordinator Brad Scott. Ward graduated and won the Heisman Trophy; Scott accepted an offer to become head coach at South Carolina.But Bowden expects both to be at their best on New Year's night against second-ranked Nebraska.

"When Brad got the job, I said, `If you don't think you're going to have time to get involved in this thing, let me know so I can start making some adjustments. But I'd a lot rather have you here than anybody else I can think of.' He wanted that, too."

Ward missed two practices in Tallahassee because of ceremonies for the Heisman and graduation.

"They're good distractions," Bowden said. "Those are nice problems to have. And all that time he's going through that graduation and accepting the Heisman, he's wanting to be back on that field with his buddies."

The Seminoles have yet to finish No. 1 despite an NCAA record eight consecutive bowl victories. Because of their past success on New Year's Day, Bowden planned few alterations in his approach or the team's routine after arriving in Miami on Sunday.

"The only change is that mentally the players are a little more conscious of what this game means," he said. "We have an opportunity we have not had before. It's a case of, `Now you've got it. What are you going to do about it?' "

The game also means a potential national title for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers, who have been in Miami since last Wednesday, worked out for two hours Sunday morning in windy, 55-degree weather.

"It might be warmer up in Lincoln today," Osborne said. "It was a little chilly at the start of practice."

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Osborne, who has brought Nebraska to the Orange Bowl eight times, realizes Miami's normally balmy December weather likely will return later this week.

"I guess ideally from Nebraska's standpoint, you'd rather have it hot and humid now and then maybe cool off a little toward the weekend, and it may be the other way around," Osborne said. "But I think our players are in pretty good shape. I don't think conditioning will be a big problem."

Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts, the Butkus Award winner, participated in contact drills - his most physical workout since dislocating his elbow in the final regular-season game against Oklahoma.

"I felt OK," Alberts said. "I did everything. I hit people. I even got down in a three-point stance."

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