|FSU's new trash-talking rival is ... Wake Forest?|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008 13:50|
Smack talk might seem out of character for the warm-and-fuzzy Demon Deacons, who have preached humility during their rise to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But they've beaten the Seminoles twice in two years, and those results - plus an inflammatory T-shirt, a seemingly innocuous guarantee and some good old-fashioned dislike - have transformed this once-lopsided mismatch into a full-fledged Atlantic Division rivalry.
``I really can't stand Florida State, personally,'' Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn said.
He declined to explain why, though this isn't the first time Vaughn has tweaked the Seminoles.
After last year's 24-21 win at home, Vaughn pulled off his jersey and pads to reveal a T-shirt with Florida State's logo and ``unconquered'' motto - only, Vaughn used a black marker to color over the ``un,'' leaving ``conquered.''
ouldn't say whether he's planning to wear it again Saturday, calling it a ``game-time decision.''
Coach Jim Grobe is concerned that the motivated Seminoles have posted pictures of Vaughn's shirt in their locker room.
``I don't know if it was smart or dumb,'' Vaughn said. ``I know it probably will give them some extra fuel.
``It's been awhile since Wake Forest had some swagger around it,'' Vaughn said. ``It's a little statement, as far as us, that this is not the old Wake Forest anymore. This is a new day coming.''
But Vaughn didn't take the bait when reacting to Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder's proclamation to reporters in Tallahassee that ``we're not going to lose this game.''
``He's not going to come out and say, 'We're about to lose again to Wake Forest,''' Vaughn said. ``That's not the smartest thing to say, so I guess what they need right now is as much confidence as they can get.''
REDSHIRT TO RED JERSEY: Ralph Friedgen is willing to sacrifice the future to win now at Maryland.
A series of injuries has struck the Terrapins, so Friedgen is activating some players he planned to let ride the sideline all season.
y they can come in and fill a role for us to help increase the number of good players we have.''
A lack of defensive depth forced several Terrapins to play the entire game last week against California. They tired in the fourth quarter, and the Golden Bears took advantage by scoring three touchdowns in the final 7 minutes. But help is on the way.
``I'm going to do whatever we can to win this year,'' he said. ``That's important to us.''
NESBITT'S RECORD: In only his third start, Josh Nesbitt set Georgia Tech's single-game record for most yards rushing by a quarterback.
The sophomore rushed for 151 yards with a touchdown on 28 carries last week at Virginia Tech.
He scored on an 18-yard run, but he lost two fumbles, including one on a pitch.
Nesbitt has 261 yards rushing with four touchdowns in three games.
``He made some big plays,'' coach Paul Johnson said. ``He's very athletic and he can do some things.''
Nesbitt topped the old record of 130 yards by Reggie Ball against Troy in 2006. It was only the ninth time in school history a quarterback has rushed for 100 yards.
HANDLING CULLEN: What does the preseason ACC player of the year have to do to get some love?
``It's funny. It's just the way it is,'' Harper said. ``That's the way it is being a starting quarterback anywhere.''
Harper says his shoulder feels strong and ready for South Carolina State this week.
Coach Tommy Bowden never acknowledged the injury last week, and Harper played throughout a win over North Carolina State, finishing 20-for-28 for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
Still, Bowden questioned Harper's 11-yard run on 3rd-and-13 in the second quarter and the Tigers ahead 7-6. The coach wanted Harper to lower his shoulder, hurt or not.
``We've got another quarterback. Go ahead and lower the sore one and go win a conference game,'' Bowden said after the game.
Harper said he ``got as close as I could'' to a first down without taking a crunching hit.
So far, Harper has started slow - he's fourth in the ACC in passing yards per game and fifth in efficiency. He led the league in that category last season.
``For the most part, I think anybody who knows anything about football would say that I'm doing a pretty good job right now,'' Harper said.
HIGH PRAISE: One of Virginia Tech's early season weaknesses has been the offensive line. The Hokies hope to regain right tackle Blake DeChristopher this week at North Carolina after he was hurt early in the opener. The team has struggled to replace him.
with the Tar Heels.
``They don't have any sloppy fat guys,'' he said.
AP Sports Writers David Ginsburg in College Park, Md.; Charles Odum in Atlanta; Pete Iacobelli in Clemson, S.C.; and Hank Kurz Jr. in Blacksburg, Va.; and Associated Press Writer Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.