Sunday With Leon

Leon Washington rushed for a career-high 164 yards and scored twice in the second half, and Florida State survived a major scare, rallying past Syracuse 17-13 on Saturday night. It was the third game against a ranked team for Syracuse (3-3), and unlike the previous two -- a 51-0 loss at No. 9 Purdue and a 31-10 loss at No. 10 Virginia -- the Orange made it difficult for the Seminoles and quarterback Wyatt Sexton, who was making his first road start. Leon chatted with TheTerritory on Sunday.

Leon Washington chatted with TheTerritory and others on Sunday afternoon. Florida State survived a majaor scare the night before at Syracuse.

"That's the main thing...we came out getting delay of games, walking to the huddle, walking to the line. We basically gave Syracuse, in that first half, a chance to adjust to our formations. In the second half we came out and sped things up a little bit. Got to the line with time left on the clock and we really didn't give them time to adjust. I think that's the biggest thing that was happening in the first half. In the first half, we were breaking runs here and there."

We understand coach Bowden got a little intense at halftime. Did that take you by surprise?

"I think it was a good thing because coach Bowden has been doing this for so long and he sees so many things happen. He came in and did the right thing, jumping on guys, 'Hey, we need to step it up. We are playing too sluggish.' It's a tendency for a team like us looking forward to Virginia. We are huge favorites. It's a natural tendency for teams to kind of lay off. But, we got the win and in the second half we came and dominated on both sides of the ball."

How did Wyatt Sexton hold up during his first road game?

"He had a pretty good (game). He had a few errors but, for the most part, it didn't cost us the game. Our defense really kept us in there. In our passing, he kind of missed throws a little bit. But, like I said before, if we can run the ball like we did last night and how we've been doing the last couple of weeks, we won't lose a game."

How was Wyatt in the huddle, especially after that first interception?

"It really wasn't any different. People make mistakes. They had good coverage all game, sitting guys back in a zone. I don't think they really blitzed the whole game. They were really zoning us a lot and it was difficult to read. So we had to start going to corner routes to get into the zone. Sycrause, they did a good job of coaching. They had their guys ready, they were pumped up. I remember watching film of the Miami game last year and how they played Miami real well, also. We knew it was going to be a close game but we didn't expect it to be that close. But their coach did a good job preparing those guys."

Why was your tempo slow last night?

"I don't know why. I couldn't explain that. As a whole entire offense, we didn't have a sense of urgency in the first half. We felt like we would just come out and dominate these guys after watching film. It didn't happen that way. The second half, we woke up. We came in and Coach Dickey and Coach Bowden gave us a blasting in the locker room at halftime and told us to step it up. So, we came out in the second half and did. But that can't happen against Virginia, a team like that which has a pretty good offense. A offense that's better than Syracuse so we can't expect to put up 17 points and expect our defense to hold up every time."

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