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Running game still running in place

Bobby Bowden isn't happy as the rushing attack improves, but still gains 2.1 yards per carry.

By ALEX ABRAMS

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 10, 2000


ATLANTA -- Two weeks of practice might not have been enough for a Florida State running game that averaged 1.6 yards per carry against Brigham Young in the opener.

The Seminole ground attack rebounded somewhat from its lackluster performance Aug. 26 to put up 95 yards against Georgia Tech during Saturday's 26-21 win. The output was an improvement from the 57 yards on 36 carries FSU managed against BYU.

Still, coach Bobby Bowden was not pleased with his team's 2.1-yard average for the game.

"I thought our pass protection was great, but I am still disappointed that we could not get our running game going again," Bowden said.

Still, there was progress. At halftime, FSU's 65 rushing yards had surpassed the team's output during the BYU game.

Senior Travis Minor made his presence known Saturday as he led the team in both rushing and receiving yards. The Baton Rouge, La., native, who has been underused during his four years as the team's starter, finished with 130 yards of total offense.

"We just had to find a way to win," Minor said. "A couple of time, we might have made a couple of good runs. But there are a lot of runs we really didn't think we were capable of."

Minor, who gained 41 yards on 16 carries, did most of his damage as quarterback Chris Weinke's favorite target. The tailback, with his receiver-like 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame, led the team with seven receptions for 89 yards.

"(Weinke) simply had to sit back and fire, and the kids had to make catches and they did," Bowden said. "The kids kept making the catches, and we were able to win."

Fullback William McCray also contributed to the Seminole ground attack, bulldozing his way to 23 yards on seven carries, including a 1-yard touchdown that sealed the win for FSU.

The steady play of team's three running backs allowed the FSU offense to open up its passing game and take the pressure off of Weinke's arm. Weinke, who was forced to throw a career-high 50 passes against BYU, attempted 38 passes Saturday.

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