TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's offensive coaches didn't take any chances when delivering their message to senior Greg Carr and the Seminoles' other receivers.
They hammered the point home at every practice, in every meeting. It came from offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey and even line coach Rick Trickett.
"Virginia Tech is going to challenge you," the coaches said. "They're going to play man coverage and dare you to beat them."
Consider that challenge accepted. And answered.
Carr, who had been relatively quiet through the first half of the season, hauled in two huge third-quarter receptions that helped the Seminoles rally for a 30-20 win Saturday against the Hokies.
"Coach told us, 'They're not going to change what they do. They're going to play Virginia Tech football,' " said Carr, who led the Seminoles with three receptions for 100 yards. "They're going to do what they do and just make you beat them. We had to come out and play hard-nosed football just like they do."
Virginia Tech's defense controlled much of the first half, limiting the Seminoles to 70 yards of total offense. After two quarters, FSU quarterback Christian Ponder had completed just 3 of 7 passes for 15 yards.
But Ponder and Carr took control in the third quarter. After Virginia Tech was flagged for roughing FSU punter Graham Gano, Ponder went deep on the next play, hitting Carr down the right sideline for a 48-yard gain.
The pass looked like it might be slightly overthrown, but Carr accelerated past Hokies cornerback Victor Harris and hauled it in with his fingertips.
"When it was in the air, I knew if I had to pull my hamstring to get it, I was going to go get it," Carr said. "The coaches told us we were going to see some one-on-ones, and we were going to see who was the better guy."
Carr's catch set up a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to freshman Taiwan Easterling, which gave the Seminoles a 17-13 lead.
Ponder and Carr pulled off their magic one series later — this time on third and 20 from the FSU 45. Again working against Harris, Carr leaped and made a one-handed grab down the same sideline. The play went for 39 yards and set up a Marcus Sims 1-yard touchdown run two plays later.
"We told (Carr), 'You're going to have to make some plays,' " Fisher said. "And he did. He stepped up big time. He made two huge catches."