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Carter makes special impact

The cornerback, eager to make plays even when quarterbacks don't throw his way, scores twice for FSU on special teams.

By D.C. REEVES
Published September 17, 2006


TALLAHASSEE - Cornerback Tony Carter was anxious in the days leading up to the Clemson game.

Quarterbacks have stayed away from Carter's side of the field this season and the lack of game action has kept Carter guessing when the ball might come his way.

Then Carter forgot about the anxiety on defense by finding the ball on special teams.

Carter picked up a pair of blocked kicks and returned them to the end zone, scoring eight points during FSU's 27-20 loss to the Tigers on Saturday night at Doak Campbell Stadium.

After Clemson broke the scoreless tie with 3:24 remaining in the first quarter, linebacker Lawrence Timmons blocked kicker Jad Dean's extra point attempt and the ball bounced into Carter's hands. He outran the kick team and scored a two-point defensive PAT, making it 6-2. It was the first defensive PAT in school history.

The ball found Carter once more late in the second quarter when cornerback Patrick Robinson blocked Dean's field goal try. Once again, Carter scooped the ball off a bounce and scampered 69 yards for the touchdown, becoming the first opponent to return a blocked field goal for a touchdown in Clemson history.

The miscues became Clemson's second and third consecutive blocked kick attempt; the Tigers lost to Boston College 34-33 last week with the difference coming on a blocked extra point in double overtime.

After the second block, Clemson chose not to kick extra points and took its chances with two-point conversions. It converted one of two attempts.

"We did something similar to what Boston College did, and we had a couple of big plays off of that," said Carter, a sophomore who had not scored a touchdown in his FSU career entering Saturday.

"But (the loss) came at a bad time. A conference game ... we win this game we would be 3-0."

On defense, however, Carter received more attention than he bargained for, namely being beaten by Clemson standout Chansi Stuckey for a two-point conversion late in the first half. Stuckey finished with three catches, 34 yards and a touchdown.

"It came to me a couple of times," Carter said. "I guess I got my wish."