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Flexible Maddox gets first TD

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State sophomore Nick Maddox just wanted to contribute. That's why the highly touted tailback offered to move to receiver this season.

Maddox had two catches for 63 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown, the first of his career, from backup quarterback Marcus Outzen midway through the fourth quarter.

"It was like heaven," he said. "The first touchdown is something you never forget. I still remember my first touchdown in high school and I'll remember my first touchdown in college for the rest of my life."

Maddox's first prep touchdown came as a freshman while he was playing, coincidentally, as a receiver. He caught a pass in the right corner of the end zone for Kannapolis (N.C.) from A.L. Brown against rival East Rowan. Saturday against North Carolina, a team he spurned to sign with FSU, he ran a fade to the right corner on fourth and 3.

"I'm glad the coaches had faith in me," he said. "All I needed was an opportunity to make something happen. ... I like Carolina, but I guess it was a little sweeter."

GLIMPSE AT THE FUTURE: True freshman Greg Jones, a tall and powerful tailback at 6-1 and 215 pounds, had his first collegiate carry in the third quarter. He gained 5 yards and followed that with a 14-yard romp. He finished with 35 yards on eight carries and one touchdown.

Coach Bobby Bowden had hoped to use him in the first two games, but FSU struggled to put those games away.

"It felt great to run the ball a little bit," Jones said, adding he has learned from seniors Travis Minor and Jeff Chaney. "I just tried to go into the game and do my thing."

HOME COOKING: The Seminoles have won 11 straight home openers, dating to a loss to Clemson on Sept. 9, 1989.

CHART CLIMBING: Senior quarterback Chris Weinke's four touchdown passes gives him 54 in his career, moving him past Gary Huff (52) into second place in school history. Danny Kanell leads with 57.

DEFENSE EQUALS OFFENSE: With safety Chris Hope's 12-yard fumble return for a touchdown, the FSU defense has scored in every game this season. It recorded safeties against Brigham Young and Georgia Tech.

RARE OCCURRENCE: When the Tar Heels scored a touchdown in the first quarter, it marked the first time the FSU defense had allowed a first-quarter point since Oct. 16, 1999, against Wake Forest, a span of six games. FSU hadn't allowed a first-quarter touchdown since Oct. 9, 1999, against Miami.

BEST IN DECADES: Weinke is 24-1 as a starter, the best winning percentage (.960) by a Division I-A quarterback in nearly three decades. Weinke's alone in fifth, breaking a tie with former Miami star Steve Walsh (23-1, .958), who preceded Weinke at Cretin-Derham (Minn.) High School.

FIRST TIME: Senior cornerback Clevan Thomas saw his first career duty as a punt returner, taking back two for 27 yards and calling for a fair catch on a third.

ONE FOR THE AGES: At halftime, FSU received a painting depicting Peter Warrick's breathtaking 20-yard touchdown run on a reverse in last season's opener against Louisiana Tech. Warrick changed directions three times and bobbled the ball in midair before trotting into the end zone. A replica will be displayed at the College Football Hall of Fame.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Sunshine Network will broadcast its produced replay of the game at 7 tonight and noon Monday.

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