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    Friday, December 08, 2006

    Breaking Down The Bowl Game: Running Game

    FSU and UCLA each have a marquee running back. Lorenzo Booker, a native Californian, came to FSU as the number one recruit in the country. His potential was not fully achieved due to a number of variables. Perhaps Booker will have his break out game in the Emerald Bowl before family and friends.

    UCLA has their marquee running back in Junior Chris Markey who has 1230 all purpose yards. He was named UCLA's Most Valuable Player for 2006. UCLA is averaging 3.7 yards a carry and the team averages over 124 yards a game. UCLA's second back,Kahlil Bell has rushed for 239 yards and 2 TDs. He is used mainly for pass protecting in the backfield. UCLA has Chane Moline as their fullback who is used for short yardage situations and has scored 4 TDs on the year. Moline was rated the No. 4 fullback nationally by out of high school. the trio of Markey, Bell, and Moline have 8 TDs.

    This is compared to FSU's 3.5 yards a carry and averaging less than a 100 yards a game. UCLA's Markey has 33 receptions for almost 300 yards while Booker has 28 receptions and 303 yards. With the injury to Antone Smith, the onus may be on Booker to perform. TB Antone Smith (dislocated elbow) is expected to resume practices for the bowl game and could be ready to play if doctors agree he is ok to play.If Smith is not available, then Marcus Sims will complement Booker. FSU has a good fullback in Joe Surratt who has taken the ball into the end zone for 6 TDs this year. However, Surratt will not be available for the bowl game due to injury. The trio of Booker, Smith, and Surratt have 13 TDs.

    The obvious question mark for FSU is if the offensive line will be able to open up holes and make blocks for Booker and the other backs. For the season, that has not happened to any degree.

    Advantage: UCLA

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