Grinding It Out

Florida State's three-headed tailback produced impressive results in last Saturday's double-overtime win over North Carolina State. <b>Leon Washington</b> had 121 yards on 17 carries, including the game-winning touchdown. Bullish <b>Greg Jones</b> had 81 yards on 17 carries, highlighted by a dash and tight-rope dance around left end for a score. And, of course, <b>Lorenzo Booker</b> had 72 yards on three carries, headlined by an electric 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Overall, FSU had 272 rushing yards on 433 attempts, this after gaining a season-low 17 yards on 11 carries in a disappointing defeat at Clemson a week earlier.

"We gave them a little look offensively -- it may have caused them some problems, I don't know -- but we were effective with it," FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden said Tuesday of his team's rushing effort against the Wolfpack.

"And then the backs ran. Made plays at times in when they were n one-on-one situations, the back would break a tackle or make a guy miss. It was that type of game. You line up in the running formation to try to get single coverage.

"That's what Chuck (Amato, N.C. State head coach) demands of his defense. That's what we needed to do. Had we not been able to run the ball it would have made a big difference. The backs produced and they had good blocking."

FSU, of course, will looking for offensive balance in its regular-season finale at Florida Nov. 29. The Seminoles are averaging 5.7 yards per play this season -- 3.9 yards per rush and 7.9 yards per pass completion.

Still, FSU's running game, which has eclipsed more than 100 yards just five times this season -- North Carolina (236), Maryland (196), Virginia (196), Wake Forest (138) and N.C. State -- may need to play a larger role against the Gators following the loss of leading receiver Craphonso Thorpe to a broken right leg.

While the unit's production has been inconsistent at times, FSU coach Bobby Bowden has been impressed by the approach of his tailbacks.

"They really have been (unselfish)," Bowden said.

"It's probably been good for Greg, rather than put him in there all season and say you didn't have a backup, and have him take all that pounding. I think it's given him a chance to get his knee healthy."


Offensive lineman Eric Broe says he needs another MRI on his injured knee. Broe hasn't played since making his first career-start against Duke Sept. 27.

"Had everything gone real well, I was trying to come back, perhaps for Florida," Broe told TheTerritory Tuesday.

"But I am still experiencing pain in my knee. We are going to try to wait it out, hopefully play the bowl game. But I need another MRI to check things out. The doctors are confident it's going to heal. I am anxious to get back here, I want to support my teammates and be with them.

"We had such a great win (over N.C. State), it's hard not to be out there and celebrate with them. But I have to be patient. It's something I can't rush. I want to be ready for next year. Plus, when I am older, I want to make sure I can walk alright."

Fellow offensive lineman Matt Heinz, meanwhile, continues to recover from back surgery. Heinz said he had an appointment with his physician today and was hopeful he could increase his workload. Heinz has not practiced.

Nole Digest Top Stories