3:30 PM ET, September 23, 2006
Doak Campbell Stadium, TALLAHASSEE, FL
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State's offense looked good in a rout of winless Rice. It didn't impress Bobby Bowden much.
"It's not like it was Notre Dame out there," the Seminoles coach said. "They did what you hoped they would do."
It was more -- a lot more -- than the offense had done so far in the season.
Antone Smith ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns and Lorenzo Booker added 115 yards and a score as the 18th-ranked Seminoles defeated Rice 55-7 Saturday before one of its smallest home crowds in years.
Bowden also followed up on a promise earlier in the week to get his big-play receiver Greg Carr involved.
Carr, who was not thrown to during limited action in Florida State's 27-20 loss to Clemson a week ago, caught five passes for 107 yards and helped spring two other long gains with downfield blocks.
"I just have to take advantage of the opportunity," said Carr, who led the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005 with nine TD catches. Carr's playing time was curtailed last week while he worked his way out of the coaches' doghouse for what they claimed was casual practice habits.
"I'm continually getting better and showing Coach that I'm going to continue to work hard and do the things that he asks of me," Carr said.
"When he's in the game he's going to make plays," Lee said.
Rice coach Todd Graham knew he couldn't adequately cover the rangy Seminoles receiver.
"That's a tough matchup," Graham conceded. "I can understand getting beat by a guy who is a really good athlete."
Florida State scored earlier in the half on short runs by Joe Surratt and Smith and a pair of field goals by Gary Cismesia, including a 53-yarder.
The Seminoles (3-1) rolled up 280 yards offense by the half, exceeding their average from the first three games and ran for 287 of its 500 total yards, nearly doubling the 148 yards it had totaled coming into the game.
Smith said he hoped the performance would slow down the criticism of the offense, coached by Bowden's youngest son, Jeff.
"We still haven't seen our best," he said. "We're like 85 percent."
Rice (0-4) tied the game briefly, 7-7 midway through the first quarter, when Jarett Dillard ran past Florida State's secondary to haul in a 32-yard scoring pass from Joel Armstrong. It was the sixth straight game Dillard has caught a TD pass.
Quinton Smith ran for 104 yards on 16 tries and Dillard caught seven passes for 113 yards for the Owls, who were beaten 52-7 by Texas last week and have now lost 20 of their last 21 games, leaving Graham still looking for his first victory in his new job.
Graham believed Texas had the better offense and Florida State a better defense.
Bowden, meanwhile, improved his 41-year career mark to 362-108-4, the most victories in major college history and six ahead of Penn State's Joe Paterno.
Weatherford completed eight of 12 passes for 102 yards and Lee was 5-for-11 for 111 yards.
"We both bring different things to the table," Weatherford said. "I guess teams now will have to prepare for both of us. It's always good to have a defense have to worry about two different types of quarterbacks."
Lee was tickled to just have played a bit.
"You can go home and smile and talk to my family about the game," Lee said. "Everyone wants to play and everyone wants to be a part of the team and if you're not playing it feels like you're not part of the team."
Cismesia also had a 32-yard field goal that was set up by a 54-yard interception return by freshman linebacker Marcus Ball, who was carted off in the second half with an injury to his left knee.
Florida State's 82,000-seat stadium was about a third empty with the Seminoles coming off last week's loss to Clemson and playing their third straight home game. There were approximately 10,000 empty seats on Nov. 14, 1992 when Florida State routed Tulane 70-7, school officials said.
The empty seats notwithstanding, Bowden said the victory was important to his struggling club.
"We got what we needed," Bowden said. "A big win."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Antone Smith rushed for 4 yards to score with 4 minutes remaining in the first quarter, which sparked a 48-0 Florida State run.
Gameball goes to... Smith rushed for 134 yards on 10 carries for two touchdowns. Greg Carr caught five passes for 110 yards and two TDs as well.
Stat of the game... 499: 499 yards of total offense. seven TDs. 55 points. Think the Seminoles would have liked to see these numbers against Clemson last week?
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-13||4-10|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-0|
|TD||11:27||JOE SURRATT 1 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:56||JARETT DILLARD 32 YD PASS FROM JOEL ARMSTRONG (CLARK FANGMEIER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 65 yards.
|TD||4:35||ANTONE SMITH 3 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 72 yards.
|FG||11:21||GARY CISMESIA 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 0 yards.
|FG||7:46||GARY CISMESIA 53 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 16 yards.
|TD||4:03||GREG CARR 18 YD PASS FROM DREW WEATHERFORD (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 51 yards.
|TD||12:20||JOE SURRATT 2 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 38 yards.
|TD||8:41||LORENZO BOOKER 7 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||13:23||ANTONE SMITH 25 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 56 yards.
|TD||4:33||GREG CARR 57 YD PASS FROM XAVIER LEE (CAZ PIUROWSKI 2PT RUSH)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yards.