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Minor keeps up run of success vs. Cavs

With a 67-yard run, the back's three longest all are against Virginia. He and his coaches are at a loss to explain it.

By ALEX ABRAMS

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt cannot explain why running back Travis Minor performs so well against Virginia.

Neither can Minor.

Yet for the fourth straight year, the Baton Rouge, La., native slashed through the Cavaliers defense, amassing 89 yards on nine carries through three quarters of Saturday's 37-3 win.

"When they (coaches) go to you, you've got to come up big," Minor said. "All the running backs feel like that every week. You've got to have that feeling that we're going to make something happen."

In the first quarter, Minor recorded the second-longest run of his career when he darted through a hole for 67 yards. The run led to an FSU field goal and a 10-0 lead.

"We caught them in a three-deep zone, and when he bounced out there, the safeties went deep and he made the first guy miss," Richt said. "It worked out for us."

Minor's career high of 87 yards came on his first carry as a starter in 1997 against none other than Virginia. Including a 66-yard touchdown last season, his three longest carries all have come against the Cavaliers.

Minor, who tends to struggle against ACC opponents, has consistently run successfully against a Virginia defense that focuses on stopping the pass. In his four games against the Cavaliers, the senior has gained 465 yards on 73 carries for 6.4 yards per rush.

Still, Minor shrugged after the game when asked if he knew why he plays well against Virginia.

"I did all right," he said.

With FSU leading 37-3 early in the fourth quarter, coach Bobby Bowden decided to rest his starting running back. Minor left 11 yards short of his third 100-yard game of the season.

Bowden also could not explain Minor's performances against Virginia.

"It's amazing," Bowden said. "He had that great run today. I wish he would have put it through the end zone just for his sake."

Minor's season high was a 40-yard run Sept. 23 against Louisville. He also had three catches for 20 yards against Virginia.

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