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Maddox ably takes over as lead rusher

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 3, 2002

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Junior tailback Greg Jones, the workhorse of the Florida State offense, sprained his right knee early in the third and did not return.

Jones tried to cut back on a run up the middle, but his knee buckled. He is scheduled to have a MRI on Monday. In his absence, speedy senior running back Nick Maddox rushed 19 times for a career-high 122 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown in the final minutes to seal the 34-21 win against Wake Forest.

"I need Greg; I need him here and I hope he gets better for Georgia Tech," said Maddox, who was named a captain Saturday. "I feed off of him and I think he feeds off of me. I think we make a terrific team. What's lightning without thunder?"

Jones, bidding to become the Seminoles' first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn gained 1,180 in 1996, finished with 82 yards on eight carries and has 918 for the season. .

MORE INJURIES: FSU senior offensive guard Montrae Holland suffered a high right ankle sprain late in the third and could not return. He said he should know more about his status for Georgia Tech by Wednesday. Senior receiver Talman Gardner sprained his left ankle, but said he should be okay.

MARKET CORNERED?: FSU was short at one of its most troublesome spots, cornerback. Starter Stanford Samuels violated an unspecified team rule and remained in Tallahassee for a one-game suspension, and seldom-used senior backup Malcolm Tatum apparently quit the team. He walked out of practice and missed the past two days. Leroy Smith started for Samuels.

"I knew my time would come around sooner or later," Smith said. "I just kept working hard."

MORE GOINGS: Senior backup tight end O.J. Jackson, like Tatum, did not make the trip and apparently quit the team. He had zero catches and played mostly on special teams.

CAREER FIRST: FSU sophomore receiver Dominic Robinson, a converted cornerback, had his first career receptions (four for 51 yards) in the first half.

FOUR THE HARD WAY: Safety B.J. Ward blocked a first-quarter, 38-yard field goal attempt, giving him four blocks this season. Ward said he thinks his play might have affected Wake Forest kicker Matt Wisnosky, who followed with misses from 32 and 41 yards.

"I think he was trying to kick away from me," he said. "If he would have kicked it straight after that (first one), I think I would have blocked all of them."

THREE MAKES A TREND: Adrian McPherson became the third FSU quarterback in the past seven years to make his first start against Wake Forest. Dan Kendra lived up to prep accolades with a stellar performance against the Demon Deacons in a 44-7 win in 1996, then, in 1998, Marcus Outzen replaced injured Chris Weinke and struggled to lead FSU to a 24-7 win. He rebounded the next week with help from Peter Warrick to beat Florida.

'NOLE HOMECOMING: Freshman linebacker A.J. Nicholson, who entered with 10 tackles and a sack, played high school ball at Winston-Salem's Mt. Tabor.

LOCAL CONNECTION: Wake Forest has 11 Floridians on its roster, including four from the Bay area, punter Chris Rolle (Tampa Hillsborough), linebacker Trevor Harris (Shorecrest Prep), receiver Chris Davis (Gibbs) and quarterback Vince Chillura (Berkeley Prep).

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