Run-game Questions? Smith Has the Answer

It's the pressing question that continues to define the Seminoles. What is wrong with the running game? Well, sophomore tailback Antone Smith says he knows the solution that inquiry.

Make no mistake about it, 23 yards rushing per game is not going to cut it for the Florida State Seminoles football team. But two contests into the season, that's where the Tribe finds itself. And for as many different opinions there are who to blame there are equally as many ideas on how to fix the offensive imbalance.

But take it from someone who is as close to the issue as one can be. There is one way to fix the running woes. And it comes down to the amount of opportunities.

"I don't think there's a problem with it. I just think that we aren't running the ball enough, that's all," sophomore tailback Antone Smith told when asked about the run-game issues. (The coaches) are giving it up at the beginning. We've just got to pound it."

He added: "(Monday) looking at the Chargers game that showed what you can do if you just pound it and pound it and then LT (LaDanian Tomlinson) finally broke one for like 40 yards down the sideline. That's what we've got to do and hopefully this week we can do that."

The Pahokee native is referring to the recurring theme through the first two games of the year.

After first-half struggles to gain positive yardage on the ground, the offense has taken to the air. Statistically combing both the game against Miami and the contest versus Troy, Smith and fellow tailback Lorenzo Booker have rushed just 25 times.

Quarterback Drew Weatherford, on the other hand, has thrown the ball 75 times.

"We aren't going to break a big run every time. Of course we know that," Smith told "We've got to get the one-, two-, three-, and four-yard gains then hopefully get a big one. But it's not going to come the first time. It's not going to come every time you get the ball. We've got to focus on that and hopefully we can improve on that."

Another interesting factor to the Seminoles rushing attack is the rotation of both Smith and starter Lorenzo Booker.

After a freshman campaign in which he was only given mop-up duty, Smith is carrying the ball an equal amount of time as Booker – just as it used to be when Leon Washington was a Seminole.

The rotation, which occurs every offensive series no matter what the situation or scenario, is scheme some critics creates rhythm problems for the tailbacks. But Smith says that's not part of the current problems.

"It is kind of tough sometimes but you do what you have to," Smith told "I think we are making it work. We are measuring the carries and everything and keeping track of how many plays we are in there. It's working okay."

Despite the discrepancy of passes to rushes, both Smith and Booker are being utilized out of the backfield. The two tailbacks have a combined 15 catches for 128 yards this season.

"You've gotta be a pass-blocker, a catcher, and a runner at the same time," Smith said. "You've got to be good all three of those things to play at this level. I just try to do that every game. If all I do is catch passes and we win that's fine."

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