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Receiver gets his chance, makes play

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 10, 2002

ATLANTA -- Before Saturday's game, Florida State offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jeff Bowden said it was time for speedy sophomore Craphonso Thorpe to step up.

Thorpe had been slowed for most of the season by an injured left big toe and had two catches for 31 yards in the Seminoles' past five games.

"Coach told me, 'You might only have one chance to make a play, just make sure you make it,"' Thorpe said.

He did. He ran by cornerback Marvious Hester and under a perfect throw from Adrian McPherson for a 72-yard touchdown that gave FSU a 14-13 lead midway through the second quarter. He finished with two catches for a career-best 75 yards.

It was the longest offensive play of the season for the Seminoles and the longest offensive touchdown since Chris Rix hit Javon Walker for a 77-yarder against Virginia Tech in last season's Gator Bowl victory.

"He is fast, and he's got big-play capability," Bowden said. "That was nothing but a go route, but it was a huge play for us. It was our biggest play."

"I just thank God that he gave me the strength to play through the pain in my toe. It's still hurting a bit," Thorpe said.

"But (McPherson) threw it out there, and he gave me a chance to make a play. Coach has been waiting for me and P.K. (Sam) to step up. We don't get many chances, and when we do, we have to make the most of them."

BACK TO BACK: FSU senior tailback Nick Maddox had his first 100-yard game of the season last week at Wake Forest (122 on 19 carries) when he took over for the injured Greg Jones. Saturday, he gained 122 yards on 22 carries. WELCOME BACK: FSU sophomore defensive end Eric Moore, who had an appendectomy the day of the Miami game (Oct.12), returned. Although he has lost weight, he made two tackles. "It felt pretty good to get back in the swing of things," he said. "I got a little winded, but I pushed through it."

LOCKER ROOM PROBLEM: During the first half, someone broke into FSU's locker room and stole wallets, cell phones and other personal items from several stalls. FSU did not reveal the value of the loss, and Georgia Tech campus police are investigating.

COLOR COORDINATED: FSU wore its all-garnet uniforms and is 9-0 in them, including 6-0 against Georgia Tech. A HOMECOMING: Fourteen Seminoles, including defensive end Alonzo Jackson, receiver Robert Morgan, tailback Willie Reid, defensive tackle Jeff Womble and punter Chance Gwaltney, are from Georgia. Jackson rustled up 26 tickets for his family.

BOWL TIE-IN: The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year award, named after the longtime Georgia Tech coach for whom the Yellow Jackets' stadium is named, will be presented at halftime of the Dec.31 Peach Bowl.

"We're pleased to be associated with Coach Dodd and what he stood for," Peach Bowl president Gary Stokan said Saturday in announcing the agreement.

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY: Georgia Tech marked the 50th anniversary of its first female students with a halftime ceremony recognizing some of its first female graduates.

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