South Roundup : Florida St. Is Carried by Smith

From Times Wire Services

Florida State running back Sammie Smith said his teammates were complaining about the weather before Saturday night’s game against East Carolina at Greenville, N.C.

However, the sophomore didn’t let a little rain bother him, running for a career-high 244 yards, second-best total in school history, to lead No. 8 Florida State to a 44-3 victory over the Pirates.

“All the other guys were complaining about the rain, but I seem to like the rain and wet fields,” said Smith, who helped the Seminoles roll up 548 yards, including 362 rushing.

Smith said his sprained right knee, which kept him out of out action last weekend, is “feeling excellent.”


“There was a little question in my mind about my knee. I hadn’t gotten hit on it since I hurt it and I still have a little bit of pain in it. I was wondering tonight if I took a shot on it if I’d be able to run. But luckily, I didn’t get hit on it and it feels good,”

East Carolina coach Art Baker was impressed with Smith.

“He is an awesome runner. What an exciting player to watch. We saw too much of him tonight.”

Smith rushed for 166 yards in the second quarter. His 83-yard scoring run in the period was the second-longest in Seminole history behind Larry Key’s 97-yard run against Virginia Tech in 1976.

But Smith’s rushing total fell short of Greg Allen’s school record of 322 set in 1981 against Western Carolina. Smith also ran for 205 yards as a freshman in last season’s All-American Bowl.

Smith, who carried 19 times, wasn’t the only troublemaker against the Pirates (1-1). After losing two of six first-half fumbles and trailing 16-3, East Carolina quarterback Travis Hunter lost two fumbles and was intercepted once in the second half.

Hunter’s first fumble of the second half at his 24 with 8:07 left resulted in a 1-yard scoring run by Dayne Williams. In the short drive, Smith rushed three times for 23 yards.

The Seminoles (2-0) increased the lead to 30-3 with 2:56 left in the quarter on a 59-yard pass from Danny McManus to Randy White.


Dexter Carter, who started in place of Smith at tailback, scored with 13:13 remaining on a 5-yard run, and backup quarterback Chip Ferguson added a 10-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter.

A crowd of 33,937 was the largest to watch a season-opening game at Ficklen Stadium and third largest in the stadium’s 24-year history. The previous opening-game mark of 33,857 was set last season against West Virginia.

Maryland 21, Virginia 19--At College Park, Md., the Terrapins gave Coach Joe Krivak his first college victory, despite five second-half turnovers.

The victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener was Maryland’s 16th straight over the Cavaliers. But, to accomplish the feat, they had to stop a two-point conversion attempt with 1:14 remaining.


“We put our defense in some tough situations, but they hung tough,” said Krivak, who succeeded Bobby Ross last December. “It wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win, and that’s all I wanted.”

Clemson 22, Virginia Tech 10--Wesley McFadden rushed for 226 yards, and 10th-ranked Clemson won on a rainy day at Blacksburg, Va.

The 200-pound sophomore tailback carried 21 times and scored on runs of 89 and 44 yards as Clemson (2-0) spoiled Frank Beamer’s debut as Hokies’ coach.

Clemson’s win gives the Tigers a 15-7-1 record in the series and avenges a Virginia Tech win last year at Clemson.


Georgia Tech 51, Citadel 12--At Atlanta, Bobby Ross opened his Georgia Tech coaching career, using a strong passing game from Rick Strom.

Strom, who completed 11 of 18 attempts, passed for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns, and became one of five quarterbacks in Yellow Jacket history to pass for more than 300 yards in a game.

The defeat dropped Citadel to 1-1.

S. Carolina 31, W. Carolina 6--Sophomore Todd Ellis threw for three touchdowns, and running back Harold Green rushed for a career-high 104 yards as South Carolina defeated Western Carolina at Columbia, S.C.


Ellis completed 17 of 34 passes for 245 yards, but he also had 4 passes intercepted. He has now thrown for more than 200 yards in all but one of the 13 games he’s started.

The victory was the second in two games for South Carolina, while Western Carolina fell to 0-2.

Wake Forest 24, Richmond 0--Darryl McGill rushed for 129 yards, and Wake Forest turned three turnovers into touchdowns at Winston-Salem, N.C., to make Bill Dooley’s first game as Demon Deacon coach a successful one.

The Wake Forest defense allowed the Spiders 240 yards of offense and stopped several Richmond drives near the end zone to preserve the shutout.


Cincinnati 25, Louisville 0--Halfback Alan McKinney rushed for 147 yards and 1 touchdown, and the Cincinnati defense forced 5 turnovers as the Bearcats won a nonconference game at Louisville.

Both teams are now 1-1.

The turning point in the game came early in the second half when Louisville fullback Rodney Knighton fumbled a pitch from quarterback Jay Gruden on the Cincinnati one-yard-line and the Bearcats recovered.

Florida A&M; 17, Georgia Southern 14-- Derrick Gainer’s three-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the fourth quarter at Jacksonville, Fla., gave Florida A&M; an upset of two-time defending Division I-AA champion Georgia Southern, ending a nine-game winning streak for the Eagles, who had won 18 straight against Division I-AA teams.


Georgia Southern committed six turnovers, two of which set up Florida A&M; scores.

Gainer’s touchdown marked the first time Florida A&M; had led Georgia Southern in four meetings.

Florida A&M; had opened its season last week with a 23-0 loss to Tuskegee, while Georgia Southern started the season with a 27-0 rout of Catawba.

Both teams are 1-1.