Two FSU receivers silence their critics

By JAMEY GIVENS, Times Correspondent
Published September 30, 2007

JACKSONVILLE - They had heard enough.

Florida State didn't have playmakers, they needed new blood on offense, and De'Cody Fagg and Greg Carr weren't the answer at wide receiver.

Well, maybe they are. Carr had 107 yards on five catches and Fagg caught two touchdowns, silencing their critics.

"We hear a lot of criticism," Carr said. "But at the same time, that can't dictate how we work. We have to be dependable and go out and execute and do things that our team needs us to do."

The two did just that, making plays in big spots and giving the Seminoles a threat through the passing game that they had lacked throughout the first three games.

When Alabama cut the Seminole lead in half at 14-7 with 5:04 left in the game, Fagg turned an 8-yard out into a 70-yard touchdown. He stiff-armed an Alabama corner and then outran the rest of the Alabama secondary. The touchdown proved to be the winner.

"I wasn't going to let them catch me," Fagg said. "I was going to score no matter what."

Fagg's performance in the first three games - several drops and only seven catches - had caused offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher to consider playing some of his younger receivers.

"I knew he had ability," Fisher said. "We knew we needed to get some other guys some reps, but we didn't want to go completely away. I couldn't be happier for someone tonight."

Fagg admitted to struggling with confidence after starting the season off poorly, but this game reminded him of his capabilities. His touchdown answered not only Alabama's score but the questions about his ability that had began to arise in his mind.

"It brought a light back into me," he said. "It shows me that I'm capable of doing it. I just had to concentrate and settle down."

Carr, who was the offensive captain for the game, had a 58-yard catch early in the third quarter and a 28-yarder on the Seminoles' first scoring drive. Xavier Lee found Fagg six plays later in the end zone for Florida State's first touchdown.

With Carr and Fagg forcing Alabama to respect the outside, it opened up the field for the rest of the Seminole offense.

"When they play (well), it is super," Fisher said. "Fagg and Carr made plays, and that opened it up so the other guys can make plays."