Smith smothers Smoot's trash talk and Vikings

By Times Staff
Published October 31, 2005

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Fred Smoot opened warmups by trash-talking to receiver Steve Smith.

The Panthers knew then and there that Smith would make him pay.

Smith humiliated Smoot and Minnesota for a franchise-record 201 yards and a touchdown as Carolina kept the Vikings winless on the road.

Smith beat Smoot often, then took a shot at Minnesota by pretending to row a boat after a big catch - a reference to the Vikings' infamous boat cruise.

"Whatchamacallit was talking to me in the pregame," Smith said of Smoot. "When somebody is banging on your door, I am not going to hide in the corner ... I am going to open it."

Stephen Davis ran for two touchdowns and Jake Delhomme threw for 341 yards and three scores for Carolina.

Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper (sprained right knee) left in the first quarter. Coach Mike Tice said Culpepper might miss the rest of the season. Behind backup and ex-Buc Brad Johnson, the Vikings had three first downs and 76 total yards.

Smoot committed four of Minnesota's 10 penalties - including a holding call in the fourth quarter that negated a fumble recovery. He later left with a right shoulder sprain and declined to speak to reporters.

NOTABLE: Minnesota is 9-32 away from the Metrodome since October 2000. "We get outside and we act like we've never been outside in our whole lives," Tice said.