Bombs Away

Chris Rix threw two long touchdown passes to Craphonso Thorpe, and Xavier Beitia kicked four field goals as No. 10 FSU routed Colorado 47-7 Saturday. While the Seminoles couldn't get their running game untracked for the second straight week, Rix passed for a career-high 394 yards in three quarters. Thorpe, the ACC 100- and 200-meter champion, caught scoring passes of 66 and 37 yards and finished with 205 yards on eight catches. "We are not ready for prime time," Buffs coach Gary Barnett said.

Craphonso Thorpe looked to redeem himself Saturday.

Thorpe, considered Florida State's top breakaway receiver, broke down against Georgia Tech last weekend as he dropped three passes and lost a fumble. Seminole coaches voiced their disappointment and a determined Thorpe responded with a solid practice week.

Thorpe didn't miss a step against Colorado, enjoying a career effort and helping the Seminoles to an easy 47-7 victory before 83,295 delighted fans at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Thorpe teamed with fellow receiver P.K. Sam for an explosive one-two punch against the Buffs' soft coverage. The pair combined on 18 receptions for 324 of the Seminoles' 458 passing yards and two touchdowns.

While Sam finished with a game-high 10 catches for 119 yards, Thorpe made the bigger splash. The junior had eight receptions for 205 yards, both career highs, with scores of 37 and 66 yards from quarterback Chris Rix.

Of course, Thorpe knew he had to produce, or else.

"We got on him so bad this week, he had to perform," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "I think Jeff (Bowden, offensive coordinator) got in his…whatever. He got on him a lot about dropping passes."

Thorpe instead dropped a bomb on the Buffs, recording his first career 100-yard receiving game by halftime and becoming the team's first player since Peter Warrick in 1997 against Clemson to eclipse the 200-yard receiving mark.

What a difference a week makes.

Despite his team-high four receptions in last Saturday's 14-13 win over Georgia Tech, Thorpe struggled and coaches hinted a possible lineup change.

"The thought of just sitting me down on the bench period, that just kind of sparks a fire in you," said Thorpe, whose previous career highs were 83 yards on seven catches at North Carolina in the season opener.

"Not that the fire wasn't still lit before but sometimes you don't have a good game. It's not like you plan for it. You just have to be able to bounce back from it. We focused on watching the ball all the way in. Sometimes we start early and sometimes we start late as an offense.

"We still haven't played a full four quarters but when we do, we could be something special."

Thorpe, a local star from nearby Lincoln High School, is considered a special receiver due to his athleticism and speed - he's the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference sprint champion in the 100 and 200 meters.

His 37-yard score handed FSU a 7-0 first-quarter lead and his career-long 66-yard touchdown on a slant in the third quarter helped end the drama at 26-7.

The Buffs have experienced serious problems in pass coverage this season. They entered ranked 105 nationally in pass defense, surrendering 284.7 yards per game. Colorado State (339 yards) and Washington State (310) each eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark against them.

Colorado flooded the box with seven or more players, daring the Seminoles to throw. And throw they did. Rix recorded a career-high 30 completions on a career-tying 39 attempts for a career-high 394 yard.

FSU finished with just 93 rushing yards and 24 attempts.

"It seems like teams have been ganging up on us on the run and with how patched up or offensive line is, it has been throw, throw, throw," Bowden said. "I am tired of us trying to run the ball with seven, eight and nine guys in the box. Hopefully, by completing some long passes, people will respect that and we can get some room to run."

Sam also added to the aereial fun, finishing with career highs in catches and yards as Rix relied heavily on the shotgun and no-huddle offense.

"We saw tape on them Monday and we knew we were going to pass a lot," Sam said.

"They're playing 10 to 15 yards off and inside. When they were sitting on the corner route, Thorpe went by them and that was all she wrote. Many started doubting (us), but we showed them what we got."

Colorado coach Gary Barnett is certainly a believer.

"We are not ready for prime time," Barnett said.

"That was an ass-whoopin. We played a half and that was it. We couldn't hold up. We weren't disciplined enough. We didn't tackle well enough and we just didn't play very good football. You can't play a team like this and play the way we did and expect to hold up. Yes, they were a hell of a lot more talented than we were today, absolutely. And they played harder."


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