Tuesday Football Notebook

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden welcomed back his top two offensive weapons this week. Leon Washington (separated shoulder) and Craphonso Thorpe (academic suspension) both practiced with the first-team the past two days and will start Thursday night against North Carolina State. The timing is right – the Wolfpack defense ranks second in the nation in total defense.

Washington racked up 689 rushing yards in seven games before injuring his shoulder while making a block Oct. 23 against Wake Forest. His averages of 98.4 yards per game and 6.9 per carry still rank best in the ACC.

"We could have played him against Duke," Bowden said. "He might have gotten hurt again. It might have been too early. In other words, it's going to better this week than it was last week."

Thorpe, meanwhile is second on the team with 31 catches for 361 yards.

POINTS AT A PREMIUM: This year's FSU-N.C. State match up likely won't resemble the 2003 shootout in which the teams combined for 918 yards, 94 points and 45 first downs in a game the Seminoles won 50-44 in double overtime.

N.C. State and FSU, in that order, boast the best two defenses in the league. The 'Pack's specialty is pass defense – they surrendering just 125 yards through the air per contest. FSU has been solid against the run all season, giving up just 66 yards a game and just three rushing touchdowns all season.

"That's something we pride ourselves on," linebacker Buster Davis said. "Stopping the run is our stop priority.

"WEED" IN THE LEAD: Freshman kicker Gary Cismesia – nicknamed "The Weed" – was named the ACC's Special Teams Player of the Week.

In his first start, the Bradenton native tied a school record with five field goals in FSU's 29-7 win over Duke. Cismesia was perfect on five field goal attempts and a pair of extra points against the Blue Devils.

OF NOTE: The ACC announced the Florida-Florida State game will start at 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 2 and be televised nationally on ESPN…Because of the short week, the Seminoles practiced Sunday night. They will practice again Tuesday and hold a short walk-thru Wednesday evening before departing for Raleigh.

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