Work In Progress

It was modest at best, but Florida State's rushing effort against Syracuse was encouraging to Leon Washington.

"We had little bits of daylight here and there today," he said following FSU's 38-14 victory. "It's starting to open up a little bit now that our passing game is starting to catch up with the running game.

"People are eventually going to have to cover those guys tighter."

Another pass-first approach from the Seminoles rendered just nine carries for Washington, who complemented 38 rushing yards with a 16-yard reception.

Backfield mate Lorenzo Booker rushed five times for 35 yards and totaled 78 receiving yards on three screens, most of which came on an electric 71-yard touchdown reception to open the fourth quarter.

"However we can make a play, we'll make it," Booker said. "It doesn't matter if they are handing the ball to us or throwing it. All we want to do is make a contribution and there are a lot ways to do that."

Redshirt freshmen quarterbacks Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee turned in their most complete performances of the season, totaling 396 yards through the air.

Contrast that 116 yards on the ground, an improvement from FSU's 13-yard output against Boston College but still a far cry from performances past.

"We're getting there," Washington said. "We understand the situation we're working with here and the main thing we want to get is wins. We're confident in what we're doing and we know that good things are going to happen if we keep working at it."

The deck, teammates say, is beginning to unstack itself. The offensive line and backfield are becoming more and more comfortable with OL coach Mark McHale's zone blocking schemes. Game-by-game improvement of Weatherford and Lee are forcing opposing defenses to lend more credence to FSU's passing attack.

"This is a new offense and we're working out the kinks," center David Castillo said. "Each game, were getting better with our communication, our techniques and our assignments. One game everything is going to click and it'll be scary."

In the meantime, Booker and Washington aren't letting their selfless, team-first mentality effect confidence.

"Leon and I are usually going to play a big part in a win," Booker said. "We know that we going to be relied upon and we're always going to be ready."


Nole Digest Top Stories