Prepared To Run

Following a strong performance against UAB, Florida State running back <b>Leon Washington</b> looks to continue the momentum against Clemson, Saturday. Last year, the Tigers subdued the Noles running game, limiting them to 11 yards on 17 carries. Clemson has struggled against the run so far this season, but Washington is prepared for a team that he knows has talent.

Last year when Florida State and Clemson tangled in the fifth-annual Bowden Bowl, the Seminoles' running game sputtered a little at first. There were none of the sparks or explosions occasionally seen in the FSU backfield, which featured a tandem that referred to itself as "Thunder and Lightning."

That night, it turned out to be a dud.

In total, the ‘Noles moved the ball 11 yards on 17 attempts, their lowest mark in the 2003 season.

"They did do a pretty good job of forcing us out of our game last year. We got into that again with Miami," said RB Lorenzo Booker.

Miami held Florida State to 57 yards, between the combined effort of RB Leon Washington and Booker. The Seminoles rebounded against UAB, recording 251 yards on the ground with Washington leading the way with 104 yards. The improvement between UM and UAB was the second biggest jump in rushing yards since Washington came to the program two years ago.

The largest came after Clemson, in 2003.

"I think the biggest thing with Clemson last year was they intimidated us," Booker said. "They were at home and that is one of the loudest stadiums in the country. They are pretty much the same guys that they were last year. It's going to be like the same game as last year but we are going to see who shows up ready to play. Last year it was them, this year hopefully it's going to be us."

The ground attack is an area that FSU hopes to continue to improve on and one that Washington feels will be vital to their success this season.

Clemson's rush defense is the lowest in the ACC through their first three games of the season, giving up 230 yards per game on the ground. But Washington has played against Clemson in the past and knows the talent will be there, regardless of what the numbers show.

"This Clemson team has better athletes than UAB. When it comes to down to it in college football these days, a bunch of schools have the same amount of talent," Washington said.

MLB Leroy Hill leads the way for Clemson's linebacker core with 29 tackles. Additionally, Smith's seven tackles for loss rank him 11th in Division I-A, enough to catch Washington's attention.

"I study linebackers and the way they go to the ball. They got some young guys up front and their secondary is pretty good," Washington said.


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