Still Smiling

It was not the start <b>Dominic Robinson</b> had envisioned for himself. Limited action and zero catches in FSU's season-opener at North Carolina last Saturday. He also had problems fielding his one punt return. With Robinson, however, it's not about individual statistics. No sir. The personable Robinson couldn't stop smiling Tuesday when talking about the Seminoles' impressive offensive effort against the Tar Heels. And, yes, a lighter Robinson says he's nearly back to full strength.

It was not the start Dominic Robinson had envisioned for himself.

Limited action and zero catches in Florida State's season-opener at North Carolina last Saturday. He also had problems fielding his one punt return.

With Robinson, however, it's not about individual statistics. No sir.

The personable Robinson couldn't stop smiling Tuesday when talking about the Seminoles' impressive offensive effort against the Tar Heels. Chris Rix passed for 232 yards and tailback Lorenzo Booker ran for 87 yards as FSU amassed 553 yards of total offense.

The total was only one yard short of matching FSU's season-high of 554 yards last season against Virginia. The Seminoles gained more than 500 yards of total offense only three times last year.

Of course, FSU (1-0) is looking to build on that momentum in Saturday's season-opener against the Maryland Terrapins (1-0) in a key Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

"I wasn't frustrated at all," Robinson said.

"We had 500-some yards of offense. It would have been nice to get a catch. You think you've been working all summer, and the spring that I had, you think, ‘Okay, for sure I am going to have four catches in that first game.' (laughing). But I didn't and I wasn't disappointed in that.

"You will have games when all the reads are going to you and sometimes they aren't. In this game, it just so happened they didn't go my way. But I wasn't frustrated. It was just nice…I love to play the game so much. It felt great to be out there."

Indeed.

Robinson says he finally feels at full strength following a preseason-long battle with a hamstring strain. In fact, he told TheTerritory he weighs less than 200 pounds for the first time at FSU. He also believes he has regained his quickness as well.

"I feel great. I didn't have any pain today (Tuesday) at all," Robinson said. "I didn't feel any strain. I had been feeling a sharp pain when I change direction. I am feeling strong out of my cut again.

"Because I didn't get as many reps (Saturday), it was kind of rest day for me. Sunday was an off day and Monday was a light day, so I was able to get a lot of strength and conditioning on it. I feel great. I feel like my quickness is back. I feel like I am in the best shape that I've been in for awhile, under 200 for the first time since I've been here (smiling)."

Robinson remains listed third on the depth chart at flanker behind Craphonso Thorpe and Chris Davis. Each enjoyed a breakout game against the Tar Heels.

Thorpe caught a career-high seven passes for a career-high 83 yards, leading the team in both categories. Thorpe tied his previous career-high with five catches in the first half and hauled in two additional passes during the second half. Davis, a redshirt freshman coming off reconstructive knee surgery, made a favorable splash with four catches and a 38-yard punt return.

FSU's receivers are expected to play a big role against the Terps. The secondary was shaky in Maryland's season-opening loss to Northern Illinois, allowing wide receiver P.J. Fleck 13 receptions for 116 yards, and giving up the game-winning score on a 20-yard pass in overtime.

Robinson, meanwhile, plans to keep working hard. There's no way to erase that smile either.

"You know me -- I am out here having fun," Robinson said. "It felt great to get that first game. Now we just need to keep working and improving."

First Timers on the Stat Sheet at UNC

Freshman running back Lorenzo Booker gained a team-high 87 yards on 11 rushing attempts and caught four passes for 45 yards in the first appearance of his career;

…Sophomore fullback James Coleman gained two yards on one rushing attempts and caught one pass for five yards. Coleman, who earned a scholarship prior to the 2003 season, played in eight games but recorded no statistics as a walk-one member of the team in 2002;

…Freshman quarterback Wyatt Sexton completed two of three passes for 47 yards and had one rushing attempt in the first game of his career;

…Freshman wide receiver Chris Davis caught four passes for 39 yards and his first touchdown in his first career game. He was the Seminoles' third leading receiver against North Carolina. Davis also returned the first punt of his career for 38 yards against the Tar Heels, the longest punt return for a Seminole since Peter Warrick in 1999;

…Freshman wide receiver Lorne Same caught one pass for 45 yards (from Wyatt Sexton) in his first career game. Sam spent the spring of 2003 practicing as a quarterback;

…Sophomore Pat Watkins recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter of Florida State's victory over North Carolina;

…True freshman Ernie Sims recorded a forced fumble in his first career game in the fourth quarter at UNC.


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