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FSU safety, Clemson receiver relish shot to face off

By BRIAN LANDMAN and D.C. REEVES
Published September 17, 2006


TALLAHASSEE - Florida State safety Roger Williams and Clemson receiver Chansi Stuckey are far from strangers. They grew up together and played together at Northside High in Warner Robins, Ga.

"I'm happy right now because I get a chance to hit him," Williams joked before Saturday's game. "In high school, I never had a chance. I played on the defensive side of the ball, but he played quarterback. By the time I was ready to hit him, (the coaches) were ready to blow the whistle."

Stuckey contemplated signing with FSU out of high school in 2002, a year before Williams would end up there; he was close friends with another Warner Robins receiver who was in Tallahassee, Willie Reid.

"I was pretty close, but Clemson felt a little different for me," he said.

Oh, what might have been. Stuckey, who had 11 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns in last year's 35-14 win against the Seminoles, entered Saturday's showdown as the ACC's top receiver. He was averaging eight catches for 95 yards.

"I like going against my old teammates," Williams said.

Maybe not. Late in the first half, Stuckey got by Williams for a 19-yard touchdown, then beat him for a two-point conversion.

BACK AS A STARTER: FSU guard Cory Niblock, who suffered a season-ending left knee injury on the final play of last year's Clemson game, made his first start of the season at right guard. He started the team's first 10 games at left tackle last year.

JUGGLING LINE: After losing three defensive tackles against Troy last weekend, the Seminoles shuffled the linemen they did have to get their most experienced players on the field, at least at the start. Junior left end Alex Boston moved to tackle, junior tackle Andre Fluellen moved to nose guard and right end Darrell Burston moved to the opposite side.

FAMILIAR AND FAMILIAL FACE: Former FSU running back Davy Ford, who works in the real estate industry in Atlanta, was in town for the game to watch the Seminoles as well as Clemson freshman Jacoby Ford, his younger brother.

"I'm going to check him out," the older sibling said.

Jacoby, who set a Clemson record with a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown in the opener, had his team's first big play Saturday, taking an end-around 38 yards to set up a touchdown.

FURTHER REVIEW: Tommy Bowden used the new replay rule to challenge a call, that a punt had hit Florida State freshman linebacker Marcus Ball's heel and his Tigers recovered it.

The call was reversed, but Clemson didn't capitalize on it.

DID YOU KNOW?: Clemson freshman tailback C.J. Spiller, a former Union County standout who got away from Florida and FSU, wears No. 28 in honor of his idol, former FSU star tailback Warrick Dunn.

BIG CHECK: The Orange Bowl Foundation presented a $50,000 check to FSU president T.K. Wetherell for the ACC scholarship fund before Saturday's game. The Orange Bowl has a new deal to take the ACC champion if that team isn't in the Bowl Championship Series national title game.