3:30 PM ET, October 22, 2005
Wallace Wade Stadium, DURHAM, NC
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- The matchup sure looked like a mismatch, and Greg Carr took advantage of it.
The fabulous freshman wide receiver from Florida State beat Duke's top cornerback to catch three touchdown passes, and Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee combined to throw for 376 yards to help the 11th-ranked Seminoles bounce back from their first loss of the season with a 55-24 victory over the Blue Devils on Saturday.
"I didn't honestly think that I would have three touchdowns this entire season, much less in one game," Carr said. "I knew my chances would come, but I didn't think they would come this early."
In fact, all of his TDs came on virtually the same play, where he used his 6-foot-6 frame simply to jump over 5-11 John Talley. Those offset Talley's league-leading fifth interception in the final seconds of the first half.
"We just felt like we had to go out and make plays when we had the chance," Carr said.
Third-string tailback Antone Smith ran for two more scores for the Seminoles (6-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who still struggled to generate a running game against outmanned Duke (1-7, 0-5). Smith was the leading rusher with 76 yards, and 45 of those came on a spectacular run early in the fourth quarter with the outcome no longer in doubt.
On fourth-and-2, Smith broke five tackles near the line of scrimmage -- including a couple deep in his own backfield -- then dove through another at the goal line.
"That just came from nowhere," Smith said.
Weatherford and Lee more than made up for the lack of success on the ground. Combined, they were 34-for-49 against the fourth-best pass defense in the ACC to help Florida State improve to 14-0 in the series.
However, this game was much more competitive than any of the others, even while the Seminoles scored at least 45 points for the fifth consecutive trip to Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke amassed 195 yards rushing and was within 24-14 midway through the third quarter following Justin Boyle's 1-yard touchdown plunge.
That score came after Ronnie Drummer sprinted 55 yards on a reverse to set up first-and-goal, the third game in a row he's had a run of at least 50 yards.
Florida State regained control by going 78 yards to extend the lead, with Smith running around the left end untouched to make it 31-14. Weatherford was 3-for-3 on the drive.
"We knew they weren't going to give up," Weatherford said. "Unfortunately, they're in that situation a lot. We knew we needed to put a bunch of points on the board."
Perhaps Duke's final chance came on the ensuing possession, when coach Ted Roof called for a fake punt from his own 27-yard line. Punter Chris Sprague was stopped for a 2-yard loss, and on the next play, Lee lobbed a perfect pass over cornerback John Talley that Carr caught in the corner of the end zone.
"The reason for that was we were struggling a little bit on defense," Roof said. "I didn't make a very good decision to help our football team there, but I was trying to make an aggressive decision. We didn't make it."
Carr now has caught eight TD passes this season, easily the best in the ACC. And he did it all without rubbing it in Talley's face with a little trash talk.
"I really didn't say anything, the play says it all," he said with a smile. "I don't feel I have to say anything after the referee raises his arms."
Weatherford finished 24-for-32 for 276 yards, while Lee was 10-for-17 for 100 to help the Seminoles pile up 539 yards of total offense.
"Every time Duke would grab the momentum, we would grab it right back with our offense," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said.
The Blue Devils already had clinched their 11th consecutive losing season, but their inspired effort included several stellar performances by underclassmen. Freshman Requan Boyette rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown, and Drummer, a sophomore, ran for 77 yards on only two carries and added 60-yard kickoff return.
Joe Surgan, another first-year player, kicked a career-long 47-yard field goal.
"Against Florida State, you either raise the bar or drop it," Boyette said. "Unfortunately, we didn't beat them, but we played a marvelous game, which gives us a lot of confidence for next week."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... an angry FSU team showed up still smarting from last week's loss to Virginia.
Gameball goes to... Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee, who combined to throw for 376 yards and four TDs for the 'Noles.
Stat of the game... 14-0: The Seminoles have never lost to the Blue Devils.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-13||1-10|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||1-3|
|TD||4:47||CHRIS DAVIS 23 YD PASS FROM DREW WEATHERFORD (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 16 plays, 93 yards.
|TD||3:44||GREG CARR 12 YD PASS FROM DREW WEATHERFORD (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 17 yards.
|TD||6:32||JUSTIN BOYLE 1 YD RUN (JOE SURGAN KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 49 yards.
|TD||2:17||LORENZO BOOKER 1 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||9:54||GARY CISMESIA 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||7:07||JUSTIN BOYLE 1 YD RUN (JOE SURGAN KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||3:10||ANTONE SMITH 1 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yards.
|TD||2:17||GREG CARR 25 YD PASS FROM XAVIER LEE (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 25 yards.
|FG||13:18||GARY CISMESIA 49 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -5 yards.
|TD||13:01||REQUAN BOYETTE 78 YD RUN (JOE SURGAN KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 78 yards.
|TD||10:20||ANTONE SMITH 45 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 82 yards.
|FG||8:32||JOE SURGAN 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 4 yards.
|TD||5:20||GREG CARR 12 YD PASS FROM XAVIER LEE (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 66 yards.