TALLAHASSEE — Florida State WR Corey Surrency not only hadn't scored a touchdown against a Division I-A defense, he barely had any catches against that level of opposition.
He had three receptions combined against Wake Forest, Colorado, Miami, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech and was suspended for violating team rules for last week's game against Georgia Tech.
"The last two weeks, three weeks, I was really down on myself," he said. "I felt like I wasn't bringing anything to the team; I wasn't contributing."
But against Clemson on Saturday, Surrency had two key catches, a 14-yard touchdown early in the second half then a leaping catch in traffic for a 38-yard gain that set up a touchdown.
"It's great to see him respond and see him playing like he's capable of playing," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said.
QB Christian Ponder said he could immediately tell a difference in Surrency after the score.
"He was feeling a lot better about himself," he said.
"When you go six straight games without a touchdown, that's not normal," Surrency said. "I came in as a five-star player. I came in here to make plays, and when you're not making plays, you feel like you're not part of the team. … I really needed this."
Getting a chance: With WRs Bert Reed and Jarmon Fortson suspended for violating team rules, sophomore Louis Givens had a rare opportunity to contribute beyond special teams. In the opening half, he had a catch for 3 yards, his second career reception, then took a reverse for 27 yards on his first career rush that set up a touchdown. "That's really what I want to try to bring to the team, a spark," he said.
"We're becoming a team," Fisher said. "Like I said, one guy goes down (for whatever reason), a hero's made somewhere else, and you don't know where it's coming from. … Somebody steps up every night."
Leg up: Senior PK Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal in the first quarter, which hit the right upright and bounded through, was his fifth of 50-plus this season, tying him with two-time Groza Award winner Sebastian Janikowski for second on the school's all-time list.
Gano had hit from 52 against Colorado, 53 against Miami and North Carolina State and 50 against Virginia Tech. The record for 50-plus yarders belongs to Derek Schmidt (seven, 1984-87). Gano hit from 37 yards to extend his streak to 17 makes.
Tough half for Tony: Not only did FSU star CB Tony Carter muff a punt that gave Clemson the ball at the 9 (and led to a touchdown), he injured his left shin and had to be helped to the locker room at the half. He returned briefly in the second half but had to leave.
NCAA approval: FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said Saturday that the league office has heard that the NCAA will not "stand in the way" of FSU using a charter or booster's private plane to get S Myron Rolle from Birmingham, Ala., to College Park, Md., on Nov. 22.
Rolle is a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, and his final interview is the same day as the Seminoles' final league game that could determine the Atlantic Division champion. If the game is an 8 p.m. start, Rolle might make it for the second half. FSU could learn today about the time.
"They're very supportive of Myron," Spetman said.