DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- The matchup sure looked like a mismatch, and
Greg Carr took advantage of it.
The fabulous freshman wide receiver from Florida State beat
Duke's top cornerback to catch three touchdown passes, and Drew
Weatherford and Xavier Lee combined to throw for 376 yards to help
the 11th-ranked Seminoles bounce back from their first loss of the
season with a 55-24 victory over the Blue Devils on Saturday.
"I didn't honestly think that I would have three touchdowns
this entire season, much less in one game," Carr said. "I knew my
chances would come, but I didn't think they would come this
In fact, all of his TDs came on virtually the same play, where
he used his 6-foot-6 frame simply to jump over 5-11 John Talley.
Those offset Talley's league-leading fifth interception in the
final seconds of the first half.
"We just felt like we had to go out and make plays when we had
the chance," Carr said.
Third-string tailback Antone Smith ran for two more scores for
the Seminoles (6-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who still
struggled to generate a running game against outmanned Duke (1-7,
0-5). Smith was the leading rusher with 76 yards, and 45 of those
came on a spectacular run early in the fourth quarter with the
outcome no longer in doubt.
On fourth-and-2, Smith broke five tackles near the line of
scrimmage -- including a couple deep in his own backfield -- then
dove through another at the goal line.
"That just came from nowhere," Smith said.
Weatherford and Lee more than made up for the lack of success on
the ground. Combined, they were 34-for-49 against the fourth-best
pass defense in the ACC to help Florida State improve to 14-0 in
However, this game was much more competitive than any of the
others, even while the Seminoles scored at least 45 points for the
fifth consecutive trip to Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke amassed 195
yards rushing and was within 24-14 midway through the third quarter
following Justin Boyle's 1-yard touchdown plunge.
That score came after Ronnie Drummer sprinted 55 yards on a
reverse to set up first-and-goal, the third game in a row he's had
a run of at least 50 yards.
Florida State regained control by going 78 yards to extend the
lead, with Smith running around the left end untouched to make it
31-14. Weatherford was 3-for-3 on the drive.
"We knew they weren't going to give up," Weatherford said.
"Unfortunately, they're in that situation a lot. We knew we needed
to put a bunch of points on the board."
Perhaps Duke's final chance came on the ensuing possession, when
coach Ted Roof called for a fake punt from his own 27-yard line.
Punter Chris Sprague was stopped for a 2-yard loss, and on the next
play, Lee lobbed a perfect pass over cornerback John Talley that
Carr caught in the corner of the end zone.
"The reason for that was we were struggling a little bit on
defense," Roof said. "I didn't make a very good decision to help
our football team there, but I was trying to make an aggressive
decision. We didn't make it."
Carr now has caught eight TD passes this season, easily the best
in the ACC. And he did it all without rubbing it in Talley's face
with a little trash talk.
"I really didn't say anything, the play says it all," he said
with a smile. "I don't feel I have to say anything after the
referee raises his arms."
Weatherford finished 24-for-32 for 276 yards, while Lee was
10-for-17 for 100 to help the Seminoles pile up 539 yards of total
"Every time Duke would grab the momentum, we would grab it
right back with our offense," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden
The Blue Devils already had clinched their 11th consecutive
losing season, but their inspired effort included several stellar
performances by underclassmen. Freshman Requan Boyette rushed for
123 yards and a touchdown, and Drummer, a sophomore, ran for 77
yards on only two carries and added 60-yard kickoff return.
Joe Surgan, another first-year player, kicked a career-long
47-yard field goal.
"Against Florida State, you either raise the bar or drop it,"
Boyette said. "Unfortunately, we didn't beat them, but we played a
marvelous game, which gives us a lot of confidence for next week."