December 30, 1998 - by

sports_m-footbl_spec-rel_123098aaa



Larry Smith will miss
the Fiesta Bowl.


Seminole Noseguard Out of Fiesta Bowl


Larry Smith sprains right knee in practice.

December 29, 1998

PHOENIX (AP) – Florida State’s top-ranked defense will be without noseguard
Larry Smith for Monday night’s Fiesta Bowl against No. 1 Tennessee.

Smith, a 6-foot-5, 288-pound junior, sprained his right knee on Tuesday
during the Seminoles’ first workout here.

Billy Rhodes, a 6-1, 265-pound senior, will replace Smith. The second-ranked
Seminoles rotate linemen, so Rhodes with share time with All-American Corey
Simon and Jerry Johnson.

Smith was injured during drills when a player inadvertently hit him from the
side. He was taken off the field on a motorized cart.

Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said a decision was made to work out in
pads to get the heavy work out of the way early.

“And then we lose one of our tackles right off the bat,” he said. “He’s a
great player.”

Smith, who had 10 tackles for losses, missed two games this season with an
injury but bounced back to become a force on a defense that allowed just 214.8
yards per game, tops in the nation.

“There’s no way you can lose a player of that quality, just like when
Weinke went down, and it won’t affect you,” Andrews said, referring to
quarterback Chris Weinke’s neck injury that sidelined him late in the season.
“We have three starters on the defensive line, we lost one and we have two.
The guy that takes his place is not as physically talented as Larry, so he’s
got to be a guy that somehow will play hard enough that it will make a
difference.”

Also, wide receiver Marvin Minnis damaged a ligament in his right thumb and
will wear a cast Monday night to protect the injury.

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