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September 10, 2005

Noles crush The Citadel with second half onslaught

Game Stats

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Just five days after the nerve-wracking 10-7 victory over Miami, the Seminole football team was back in action against a much different opponent, The Citadel.

Even with a huge disparity in talent level, the game was just as close in the first half as the previous matchup with the Hurricanes. Despite FSU out-gaining the Bulldogs 267 to 36 yards over the first two quarters, the 'Noles held just a three-point lead, and were lucky to be ahead at all.

Florida State drove the length of the field on the first offensive possession but Drew Weatherford, who got his second start of the season, fumbled on a first and goal play from the 7-yard line after a tackle by Joshua Lawson. It didn't get better for most of the first half - FSU committed four turnovers resulting in 10 points for The Citadel.

With Tribe clinging to a 3-3 tie with just a little over two minutes left in the half, Weatherford botched an option attempt and cornerback Vince Hill picked up the loose ball and ran it back for 70 yards to give The Citadel an improbable 10-3 advantage late in the first half before 79,152 stunned fans at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"We didn't show up to play was the biggest thing," Weatherford said of the first half problems on offense. "Coming off of a game like Miami there were such high emotions and things like that. It's hard to get up again - I don't think people got up and were ready to play."

With FSU down a touchdown late in the second quarter, the flood gates opened. Over the next 7:51 the Seminole offense racked up 31 unanswered points.

On the next series, Weatherford directed FSU to a touchdown on a 9-play, 71-yard drive that concluded with a 5-yard strike to freshman Rod Owens. On the scoring drive, the Land O'Lakes signal-caller completed 7-of-9 for 71 yards.

The 'Noles added a 46-yard field goal following a fumble by The Citadel to close out the half and give FSU a 13-10 advantage going into the locker room.

"They beat us for 28 minutes, but we played as good as we could play the rest of the game," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "The only way for them to beat us was for us to put the ball down and that's what we did."

Defensively in the first half, all 10 points scored by The Citadel came directly off turnovers. Mickey Andrews' troops held the Bulldog offense to 36 yards, which included 16 yards rushing.

The scoring in the third quarter continued at a furious pace. Running backs Leon Washington, Lorenzo Booker and Antone Smith ran for touchdowns on FSU's first three drives of the third quarter. The next two drives belonged to Greg Carr. The freshman wide receiver caught touchdown passes from both Weatherford and Xavier Lee of 40 yards and 10 yards, respectively.

The scoring continued in the fourth quarter before the dogs were called off. FSU finished with a lopsided 62-10 victory.

After a slow start, both freshman quarterbacks finished strong combining for 485 total passing yards. Weatherford got the bulk of the snaps through the first three quarters and in all likelihood he will get the start next Saturday at Boston College.

"I was sure pleased with the way (Xavier) Lee finished up, but I think Drew (Weatherford) is a little bit ahead," Bowden said. "I don't know whether it will stay that way, but that's how it is for now."

Junior Chris Davis led all receivers with 125 yards on nine catches, and De'Cody Fagg was right behind with 113 yards on seven catches. But freshman Greg Carr, FSU's third receiver to eclipse the century mark in receiving yards, led the scoring with two touchdowns. This was only the second time in school history that three receivers reached the 100-yard mark in one game.

For all intents and purposes, the defense pitched a shutout with all 10 points coming off turnovers. The Citadel was held to 91 total offensive yards and averaged only 1.5 yards per play.

With the victory, FSU moves to 2-0 on the season and will travel to Boston College this Saturday for its first road game of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN.



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