The Daily Nole

69 Days Until FSU Football: Barry Smith Catches 69 Passes in 1972

Garnet and Great Archive Collection

There are now 69 days between now and the start of Florida State football. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from FSU football history.

On Monday, it was former running back Amp Lee catching 70 passes in his career and redefining the running back position for Florida State.

Today, it’s former wide receiver Barry Smith catching 69 passes during his dominant 1972 season.

The incredible numbers from Fred Biletnikoff and Ron Sellers in the 1960s mean those two names are more commonly associated with receiving excellence at Florida State. One name that always gets glossed over: Barry Smith.

A quick examination of Smith’s legacy shows why it shouldn’t be that way. Smith was just as talented as the two aforementioned names, except his star shined bright for only one year before he went to the NFL. But his 1972 season still stands as one of the best in program history.

Photo courtesy of FSU athletics

Smith caught 69 passes for 1,243 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns on his way to being selected on multiple All-American lists. To understand why it was so surprising, one needs to look at his two seasons before that: in 1970 and 1971, Smith combined for 50 receptions and 1,149 yards.

Usually we discuss wide receiver excellence by pointing out how many games they had with over X amount of yards. For Smith, we have to do the opposite. In eight of the 10 games he started in, Smith went for over 100 receiving yards. The two exceptions were versus Colorado State and Auburn. In the former, he had 99 yards and two touchdowns. In the latter, 75 yards.

Perhaps Smith gets overlooked because the 1972 team was unspectacular. The Seminoles went 7-4 and finished the season unranked in the polls after losing to Auburn and Houston late in the year. That being said, they still notched marquee victories against Miami (37-14) and Virginia Tech (27-15). Smith had 254 receiving yards and three total touchdowns in those contests.

Any way you slice it, Barry Smith and his distinctly 1970’s style were some of the best to ever don the garnet and gold. Smith became a first round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers and spent four years in the NFL. He then became a full time disco-dancer and bell bottom pants enthusiast (we cannot confirm this last part).

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply