Big Night for Young WR's

Florida State's wide receivers broke school records against the Citadel. Coaches had planned to open the offense and work their young receivers into the mix. Saturday night the new receiving crew passed the test.

This is what offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden wanted.

Passes were crisp. Quarterbacks found their marks. Experienced players were getting receptions, so he could test some of his young corps, something that Bowden held off from doing against Miami.

Florida State's passing game was both effective and varied. Receivers Chris Davis (125), De'Cody Fagg (113), and Greg Carr (104) all finished in triple digits. In the Seminoles' known school history it is believed that has never happened.

"We did want to find out if we could pass," head coach Bobby Bowden said.

Freshmen Rod Owens delivered FSU its first score through the air this season.

On first-and-goal from the five-yard line, Owens came across the end zone, tripping as he ran and loosing his balance. He recovered as the ball was released, and hauled in the touchdown pass to tie the game at 10 a piece.

"When I got up, I knew that nobody was going to cover me," said Owens, who finished with two receptions for 28 yards. "I still ran the route. I just had to go over the guy."

Although he didn't start, Carr excelled in the second-half.

Carr, known for his impressive stature, fought harassing defenders and made improbable catches. His longest of the night (54 yards) came in tight coverage along the sideline. On all three of his receptions, pass interference penalties were waved.

"Coach says I should feel like nobody could stop me because (of my height)," said the 6'6" Carr.

In the third quarter, Carr caught a 40-yard pass from Weatherford that further spaced the Seminoles lead to 41-10.

Later in that period, reserve quarterback Xavier Lee lofted a touch-pass to Carr for a 10-yard touchdown.

Florida State's most experienced receiver Willie Reid was just a spectator. Injured during a punt return against Miami, Reid stayed on the sideline to rest his bum knee. It's uncertain when he will return, and if he'll be ready for next Saturday's road match at Boston College. But a capable rotation of receivers, still being broken in, has started to fill his absence.

Five underclassman recorded receptions against the Citadel. Seven saw playing time.

"They wanted to see how the passing game was going to look, so coach had a game plan to come out and spread the field," Fagg said.

Jeff Bowden had something like this in mind for the Hurricanes. When the offense couldn't click, plans changed.

In the practices following the game on Labor Day, Bowden said the young receivers should've been more involved in the season opener. It was the Seminoles stagnant offense that put Bowden in a bind. If they couldn't get the ball in the hands of Reid or Davis, then Bowden wasn't going to look any deeper in the depth chart.

But Saturday night, veterans got chances. New guys did too. And Florida State's receivers set records.


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