tampabay.com

Injuries thinning ranks on defense

By BRIAN LANDMAN and D.C. REEVES
Published September 10, 2006


TALLAHASSEE - Florida State's defensive line, especially inside, looks to be thinner than ever.

Starting tackle Paul Griffin injured his left knee on the opening series, was taken from the field on a cart and returned after halftime in street clothes and hobbling around on crutches.

Then sophomore Letroy Guion, a backup tackle, hurt his right foot late in the half.

Sophomore tackle Emmanuel Dunbar went out with a back injury in the third.

"That's three daggum defensive tackles," coach Bobby Bowden said. "Yeah, I'm concerned."

Don't forget, sophomore tackle Aaron Jones (right ankle) was out before the game.

"That's a little disheartening to see my guys go down," star junior tackle Andre Fluellen said. "But it makes me want to play even harder (for them)."

Sophomore linebacker Derek Nicholson went out after injuring his right ankle.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Troy senior receiver Toris Rutledge is FSU receiver Greg Carr's half brother, and he sure garnered some family bragging rights.

One of his team's captains, Rutledge came down with a 42-yard catch from a bit of Trojan trickery on the first drive: Receiver Gary Banks took an end around and threw the pass to Rutledge.

He finished with eight catches for 105 yards, both game-highs, and a touchdown.

"It's hard to root for him because we really don't want him to make plays, but at the same time, I'm glad for him to see that he is doing well," Carr said.

Carr had three catches for 27 yards and a touchdown.

PLAY OF THE DAY: FSU freshman tight end Brandon Warren had one of those plays sure to make the highlight shows.

Warren reached up with his right hand to grab a pass for 25 yards in the second quarter.

"I've caught balls like that in high school, but I never caught a ball like that in front of 80,000 people," he said.

"That was kind of crazy. I knew I couldn't jump up and catch it with both hands on it, so I tried to tip it down, and it stuck to my glove. I just pulled it down. It was crazy."

NOT SO CROWDED HOUSE: The announced attendance of 77,217 was the smallest home crowd since Louisiana Tech drew 72,702 for the 1999 season opener.

REMEMBER WHEN?: Freshman defensive end Everette Brown blocked a field goal in the opening quarter, the Seminoles' first since B.J. Ward did that in a resounding win at Notre Dame in 2003.

FAME GAME: FSU inducted five athletes into its Hall of Fame on Friday: receiver Rhett Dawson, a star in the early 1970s; All-America pitcher Jonathan Johnson, who was the No. 7 draft pick in 1995; Wanda Burns-Jackson, an All-America guard who was the NCAA Woman of Year while becoming FSU's first Prop 48 student-athlete to graduate; Skip Young, the first African-American baseball starter for FSU who was drafted by Boston; and long-distance running star Herb Wills.

And FSU inducted Billy Smith, who has served as the security for FSU's football coaches for more than four decades, as the Moore-Stone Award recipient.

SEE IT ONCE OR AGAIN: Sun Sports will broadcast the game at 7 tonight.