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Notes: Helton in leadership role, Noles ‘ran damn’ ball

Florida State’s receivers had their best game of the season in Saturday’s win over North Carolina. It was far from a 300-yard game or one with five passing touchdowns. But it was one where they blocked well and didn’t have any drops.

Ontaria Wilson caught two passes, both for touchdowns, while Keyshawn Helton led the way in receptions (three) and receiving yards (71). Freshman Malik McClain also had his first touchdown reception.

Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans has praised Helton, who is in his fourth season at FSU, as a leader in the group from the offseason into this fall.

“He’s taken ownership, more of a role of setting a standard when it comes to the fundamentals and the technique of practice,” Dugans said. “Focusing on those little things and not worrying about what you can’t control. That’s really helped a lot of the other guys and the young guys to stay locked in to the details and assignments, finishing plays and I think that’s been a difference just seeing a guy like him work day in and day out and not complaining about anything. Just going out and doing his job. And the other guys are seeing that. The young guys are seeing that.”

Dugans also praised McClain more for his blocking than the touchdown reception. McClain has room to improve but has shown a desire to make blocking a priority.

“He’s done a really good job as far as knowing who to block, fitting up on guys, still some technical stuff that we have to work on,” Dugans said. “Having tight hands, getting his hands inside, re-starting his feet. But for us he was the downfield blocker of the week. He’s done a good job with that. He’s taking ownership in it. He knows if you don’t block you don’t play. He wants his game to be not just a one-dimensional guy. He wants to be an all-around wide receiver. And he’s starting to show that.”

Ran the damn ball

Gibbons was honored to be named the ACC’s offensive lineman of the week on Monday. When he spoke with the media after practice on Tuesday, Gibbons was asked where the offensive line has made the most progress since the season opener.

“In the run,” Gibbons said. “We ran the damn ball last week. We dominated the line of scrimmage. Our interior and the tackles did an awesome job coming off the ball, establishing that line of scrimmage and moving it five yards in front of us. We’re very pleased in our work last week but we need to work off that.”