Florida State defeated Western Michigan Saturday after adding a new element this week to an offensive playbook fans and critics have long called predictable and "vanilla."
But when tailback Antone Smith, making the first start of his career, went down with a dislocated elbow on the second offensive play of the game, FSU fans never even got to see it.
The idea was to give Smith, who critics have said deserves the majority of carries, the first start of his career. Senior Lorenzo Booker, who had started every game of the season prior to Saturday, would be used more as a slot receiver.
The two would still maintain the every-other-series rotation that they had all year, but Booker was to be given more touches overall -- something Booker said he was encouraged about and was prepared for.
"This week -- maybe half the practice -- I was rotating back and forth, which is what I have been wanting to do for a while now," Booker said. "It gave us a chance to kind of be in the backfield at the same time. That's a plus because there's so many things you can do."
Coach Bobby Bowden said that Smith will likely be out the remainder of the season meaning Booker will be asked, as he did against the Broncos, to carry the load in the Seminoles' final two games.
He was able to have arguably his best game as a rusher this year, finishing the contest with 96 yards on 21 carries.
But it's his ability as a pass-catcher that has benefited the Seminoles the most this season and may be his future at the next level. He caught three passes for 39 yards against Western Michigan making him the team's third leading receiver this season.
"I want to show my versatility," Booker said.
Without the services of Smith, FSU may still look to get Booker involved in the passing game against Florida this week.
On the team's last drive, true freshman tailback Marcus Sims lined up in the backfield while Booker manned the slot. He caught a pass from Xavier Lee that would have likely been a first down but was called back on a holding penalty.
"I would love to be in the slot," Booker said, "but really it's going to depend on whether or not the coaches feel like they can trust (Sims or redshirt sophomore Jamaal Edwards) in such a big game with little experience."
Booker's new role scratched w/ Smith injury
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