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Bowden: Franks can lead Duke to elite

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 22, 2002

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has praised the job Duke coach Carl Franks, the former Florida assistant, has done ... under the circumstances.

"I'm a big history buff and I've followed football since the '30s and I can remember the days when Duke University was the top in the nation," Bowden said. "Therefore, it makes me think they can still do it. But it always has to start at the top and I'm not talking about the top of the coaching staff; I'm talking about the school has to be willing to make the commitment."

Duke may not yet relax its admission standards for football, but the school that has had one winning season since Steve Spurrier left in 1989 has taken a big step with the completion of a $20-million, 70,000-square foot home for the program.

The official dedication comes Oct. 4.

"It is a tremendously giant leap for us," Franks said. "Facilities wasn't something that was a great concern here at Duke for many, many years. Certainly, I can understand it. Facilities don't always make the difference in winning or losing games, but they make a difference in showing a commitment to your football program or any other program you have.

"We're in a better environment, our kids feel good about themselves. They feel good about the commitment to the football team from the university, they feel good about the commitment from the former players because former players gave 75 percent of the money to build this place. It's a mind-set and perception and it's huge in recruiting. That's where you can see facilities win or lose football games because those recruits come in and they see the importance of football at Duke University."

FIRST START: Freshman fullback Torrance Washington made his first start, replacing injured B.J. Dean. Linebacker Kendyll Pope was the last true freshman to start for the Seminoles when he filled in for Tommy Polley during the 2000 opener. Washington scored a touchdown late in the first half.

RUSH TO JUDGMENT?: The Blue Devils ran for 104 yards in the first half, 95 by junior fullback Alex Wade. They're the first team this season to outrush FSU in the opening half (the Seminoles had 84).

PRO HOPES: FSU senior guard Milford Brown, ruled ineligible by the NCAA before the opener, will work out for NFL teams Tuesday in Tallahassee, three days before the league's supplemental draft. Brown has drawn interest from Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, New England and the Bucs.

The NFL will conduct a lottery to determine the order. A team that picks a player in the supplemental draft must forfeit a pick in the corresponding round of April's draft. If Brown isn't picked, he becomes a free agent.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: If you did not dole out the money to watch live on pay-per-view, Sunshine Network will broadcast the game at 7 tonight and 12:30 p.m. Monday.

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