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    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    FSU Retro Look Back: Deion Sanders

    It's Prime Time! Ask any sports enthusiast and they will tell you that is the description for Deion Sanders, arguably the most gifted athlete to ever play for the Seminoles.

    Sanders was a star in three sports for the Florida State Seminoles, participating in football, baseball, and track. Beginning his freshman year, he started in the Seminoles' secondary, played outfield for the baseball team that finished fifth in the nation, and helped lead the track and field team to a conference championship. It was clear Sanders was an exceptional athlete on a national level.

    At Florida State, under head coach Bobby Bowden, Sanders was a two time consensus All-American cornerback in 1987 and 1988, and a third team All-American in 1986, intercepting 14 passes in his career, including three in bowl games, and managed to return one interception 100 yards for a touchdown. He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 1988 and is widely considered to be the best cornerback to ever play college football. He was also a punt returner for Florida State, leading the nation in 1988 with his punt return average, and breaking the school's record for career punt return yards. His jersey at Florida State, #2, was retired in 1995, only the second jersey retired in school history (after Ron Simmons's #50 in 1988.).

    Sanders was inducted into the FSU Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

    Petrino To FSU?

    "Bobby Bowden will leave Florida State when Bobby Bowden decides to leave. But when he does...the two coaches most likely to succeed him are Bobby Petrino (Louisville) or Rich Rodriguez (West Virginia)."
    Montgomery Advertiser

    Tuesday Practice Report: Preparing For Virginia

    The Florida State football team practiced for 21 periods in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) Tuesday in preparation for its noon showdown Saturday against Virginia.

    Former Seminole linebacker Garth Jax (1982-85) - who played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Cowboys and Cardinals - attended practice, as did former Cleveland Brown and Carolina Panther Nick Maddox (1999-2002).

    During 7-on-7 pass skeleton, quarterback Xavier Lee was 6-for-8 with the first team, including a 20-yard pass to Preston Parker.

    Tommy Keane worked at quarterback with the second team and also went 6-for-8 in 7-on-7.

    Safety Roger Williams and cornerback Jamie Robinson had pass breakups during 7-on-7.
    The second team had the upper hand in 11-on-11 with Keane going 2-for-2, including a 20-yard pass to Richard Goodman, while defensive end Kevin McNeil had a tackle for a loss against the first team offense.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    (on Alex Boston's condition)

    "Well I sure hope he can come back and play. Whether he starts or not isn't the most important thing. If he can just come in and play some it would be a real help."

    (on more starters playing on special teams from now on)

    "We have had to put some starters back on that team. It was a good example last week. You can lose that way just as easy as you can lose any other way. So he still has some walk ons out there, but I know he has replaced some of them."

    Alex Boston:

    (on slowing gaining more playing time after hurting ankle)

    "Yeah, just easing me back in, and I was just being cautionary. Just trying to get in as many plays as I can and just seeing how it felt up there (at Maryland) in the cold weather."

    Lorenzo Booker:

    on about splitting carries)

    "I don't think it's so much about that. There might be a guy who's hot. I just think that when it comes to running the ball, it has to be consistent."

    (on how well the line blocked at Maryland)

    "It was definitely the best they've blocked in a long time. Sometimes I was surprised that the hole was as big as it was. It was like I wasn't getting touched at all, so it really made my job easier."

    Notable Quotes

    Bobby is the beloved father of Florida State football, but now the children are struggling with the dilemma of how to tell dear old dad that it might be time for him to check into the home for retired icons. And the thing is, they have to do it tactfully and gracefully without hurting his feelings.
    Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel

    Buster Davis Named Semifinalist for Bednarik Award

    Florida State University senior linebacker has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award which is presented to the nation's top defensive player. The Bednarik Award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club and was first presented in 1994 in honor of former Philadelphia Eagle standout Chuck Bednarik.

    Davis is Florida State's defensive captain and team leader in tackles through seven games with 63. He has been ranked among the ACC leaders in tackles throughout the season and enters Saturday night's game against Maryland ranked second in the conference and 31st in the nation with a 9.0 tackles per game average. Davis recorded his season-high of 12 tackles in the Seminoles' victories over both Miami (Fla.) on Sept. 4 and Troy on Sept. 9.

    2006 Bednarik Award Semifinalists
    Gaines Adams, Clemson
    H.B. Blades, Pittsburgh
    Mkristo Bruce, Washington State
    Dan Connor, Penn State
    Buster Davis, Florida State
    Daymeion Hughes, California
    James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
    Quentin Moses, Georgia
    Sam Olajubutu, Arkansas
    Paul Posluszny, Penn State
    Quinn Pitcock, Ohio State
    Brandon Siler, Florida
    Eric Weddle, Utah
    Patrick Willis, Mississippi
    Lamar Woodley, Michigan

    New Poll

    There is a new poll question: Do you believe Bobby Bowden is being unfairly criticized?

    Poll Results

    Results of the poll: Assuming Weatherford is healthy, who do you think should start game against Virginia this Saturday? was an overwhelming Xavier Lee by 95.2%.

    My Buys and Sells : FSU Coaching Staff

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden- A CEO is supposed to know his staff and make the tough decisions. Bobby Bowden either unable or unwilling to make tough decisions. I am selling.

    Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews- Still one of the best defensive minds in college football. Excellent at making second half adjustments. I am buying.

    Offensive Coordinator Jeff Bowden- Has the job because his father is head coach. Does not have the skills or intelligence to be in the position. I am selling.

    Offensive Line Coach Mark McHale- Offensive line has not gotten the job done for several years and therefore he is not coaching the players. I am selling.

    Running Backs Coach Billy Sexton- Running backs are not being developed to their full potential. Time for Sexton to move on. I am selling.

    Linebackers Coach Kevin Steele Linebackers corps still one of the best and the coach is one of the reasons why. I am buying.

    Defensive Ends Coach Jody Allen- Allen does good job developing the defensive ends. I am buying.

    QB Coach Daryl Dickey- Not coaching QBs and having them play to their potential. I am selling.

    Defensive Tackles Coach Odell Haggins- Haggins is doing an ok job. I am buying.

    Tight Ends and Recruiting Coach John Lilly- More play from tight ends and recruiting has been ok but needs to attract more players with character. I am buying.

    Graduate Assistant James Colzie- Former player and motivator. I am buying.

    Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Jost- Unusual amount of injuries. One has to wonder about this aspect of the program. For now I am buying.

    Inside FSU Football

    Linebacker Jae Thaxton is out after suffering recurring symptoms of the concussions that have forced him to miss 14 games the last two seasons. He returned Saturday after missing four games this season and was limited to 11 plays.


    Receiver De'Cody Fagg (ankle) and linebacker Geno Hayes (knee) are not expected to play.

    Xavier Lee said his cellphone had been ringing nonstop since Saturday. He even received a voice mail Monday morning from former FSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward.

    Ward reached out to Lee last season when the former prep All-American was dissatisfied with his role as a backup.

    ''He's been telling me to keep my head up,'' Lee said. ``He's a legend around here, so I definitely see him as a mentor and listen to what he has to say

    ACC Opposition Honors: Virginia

    Virginia guard Branden Albert was tabbed ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his play in the Cavaliers' 14-7 win over visiting NC State Saturday. The 6-7, 306-pound sophomore from Glen Burnie, Md., graded out at 78 percent and had key blocks on both of Jason Snelling's rushing touchdowns in the Cavaliers' 14-7 win over NC State.

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    Monday Practice Report: Preparing for Virginia

    Doak Campbell Stadium is the site of the Raycom/Lincoln Financial Sports ACC Game of the Week as Florida State welcomes Virginia to Tallahassee for a noon kick-off on Saturday, Nov. 4th.

    • The Seminoles worked out in shorts and helmets for 10 periods Monday night, starting with agility drills before going into special teams and individual position drills. Most of periods were spent with the offense and defense working against the scout teams.

    • The television networks will exercise their six-day option for the Florida State vs. Wake Forest football game with an announcement of game time coming this Sunday, November 5th.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on Drew Weatherford)

    "We've got Drew in a boot and he'll have that boot on today and have it on tomorrow. I guess the biggest hope is that he will be able to play Saturday. I guess we won't know until we get the boot off whether he can practice the rest of the week. That's how we stand now."

    "The biggest hope is that he can play (Saturday) but we won't know the answer to that until Wednesday. Xavier would have to start. I really didn't want to say that, but might as well. The fact that the doctor has put im (Drew) in a boot for two days and then to just try to find out is he is going to play? My big hope right now is that he will be available."

    (on availability of other players)

    "De'Cody (Fagg) won't be ready this week, Geno (Hayes) is probably still out a week at least. I believe (Jae) Thaxton will be out as well. He tried to play last week and get back to where he used to being hit but I don't think he can do it."

    (on how Xavier Lee will play over a period of time)

    "I don't worry about that. I saw what he did. I saw what he is capable of doing and I was very pleased with it."

    (on comfort level of having Xavier play after he's had one start)

    "Well, the good thing is you've seen him in a game. Up to then, you're just not sure. You had that second quarter against Duke and you've had other times but he might be the kind of guy that you give him the ball and say okay it's your game. Some pitchers are that way I understand. It might be a good sign. You don't know what the future holds but thank goodness Xavier's here."

    (on the season)

    "It's been one of those years, like I told them (the team), you didn't lose a game; time ran out. We've all heard that expression. We've been in every game right down to the wire. Could of won it and we didn't. First time I've been through that because in the past, my past, plenty of times I've lost four games in my career, and seven and eight games but they're usually blowouts. These have all been close games."

    Offensive Coordinator Jeff Bowden

    (on Xavier Lee's play Saturday)

    "He (Xavier Lee) looked like a totally different person in that game. He sat in the pocket; he never seemed rattled or flustered. I didn't think he rushed things; he just looked like a poised kid out there which was totally different from any other game that he's been in there. I couldn't put a finger on why that was. If I had been him and got told just before kickoff that I was going to start, I would have been a little more nervous, but that was not his reaction. I expected a little more nervousness early."

    (on the upcoming week and decisions regarding the quarterback)

    "The number one thing we have to do right now is find out how healthy Drew (Weatherford) is right now. So we won't know that until we see him running around on the field. You got to throw off that right foot and that is where you have to put all that pressure, so it's one of those wait and see type of things."

    (on running the ball)

    "We ran the ball better, and there is no question how much that helps us. All of a sudden our play action passes were better. You really need to be able to do both. Until we can start backing that up from week to week there are going to be games where they aren't going to allow it. You can see it throughout this league that there are teams that are going to give you fits. And when we can't run the ball, we had better be able to throw it. When we can't throw the ball, we had better be able to run it. So you have to be prepared to do both. The fact that we were able to run the ball pretty well was big. The most encouraging thing about our running game was that we had 10-, five-, six- and seven-yard runs that when we get a little better, they become 10-, 15- and 20-yard runs. And that is how close we are. That's not every time, but we are getting close."

    Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews

    (on the wind during the Maryland game)

    "The weather had an effect on the game. It changed the team on offense as far as how much throwing. Probably the kicking game was what it affected the most. If you were kicking the ball into the wind it would just knock it down. Whoever received with the wind in their face didn't get a chance to return, while the team returning with the wind had the ball knocked down and would get a chance to return."

    (on the number of starters on special teams)

    "You'd rather have none. If we're scoring a lot of points, we will be having to cover a lot of kickoffs. Our defensive people play about 50 percent of the game, so we'd rather not have them out there. Some people, however many plays they play, that is it for them. What does that mean? We have to be in better conditioned. You have to be better conditioned mentally because you have to fight through being tired. You are going to have more to learn. There is more to learn than just being on offense or defense if you are going to be on special teams. You are involved in a lot more meetings, meaning you miss out on other meetings."

    (on play of Rodney Gallon at linebacker in Maryland game)

    "Rodney Gallon played an excellent game. He made some excellent plays. Here is a guy who was really better than he thought he was and it took him to this point to go out there and play like it. He made a few key plays and had a very solid performance. That was encouraging; it was the first time he has stepped up and played at that level."

    Quarter back Drew Weatherford

    "Well it was obviously an unfortunate situation that I wasn't able to go on Saturday. We didn't find out until Wednesday in practice that I had actually injured a tendon in my ankle. We tried to let it rest on Wednesday and Thursday. I didn't do anything on those two days. I went in on Thursday, got an MRI and an X-Ray and had the doctors take a look at it. They saw a lot of inflammation and swelling around my tendon, but they didn't see any damage to it. They are hoping that it's just a strained tendon rather than a torn one. But there is definitely discomfort and inflammation. The coaches thought on Saturday night that the best case scenario was to let me rest and give Xavier (Lee) the opportunity to come in. I was only about 70 percent and I wouldn't have been able to beat the rush or run at all. I would have loved to go out there and give it my best effort but the coaches thought it was best to give Xavier the nod."

    (on how ankle issue happened)

    "It happened on Wednesday just after we finished up quarterback drills. I just planted on my right foot and turned and I did something to aggravate it or make it flare up. We aren't really sure what happened, but I wasn't able to play."

    Quarterback Xavier Lee

    (on being named the starter for Saturday's game)

    "I going to just prepare the same way I did last week, just work really hard in practice. Everything carries over from the practice field to the game so I am really going to work hard at that. I am going to watch film that much harder and correct my mistakes from last game and try not to make them this game and move forward and play it play-by-play."

    "I wasn't 100 percent sure (that he would get the start once he saw Drew in a boot), I hate to jump to conclusions. I hate to see him go down like that but it's an opportunity for me and I am going to try to run with it. Drew's a great player and I respect him a lot."

    Linebacker Rodney Gallon

    (on how it felt to get a lot of playing time at linebacker in Maryland game.)

    "I just felt really comfortable out there. They put me in there. I've played a lot of special teams and I was just trying to do my best out there. I had the boys behind me, you know Buster and Lawrence. I'd been practicing hard all week and I've just waiting for a long time for this opportunity to come and I just went ahead and try to take the chance when I got it. I just try to do my best."

    "It's been probably since high school that I've gotten that many snaps but I just thank God that I was in there. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win. We've been through our ups and downs and I just want to be a big part of us getting back to winning."

    Xavier Lee To Start Against Virginia

    Florida State quarterback Xavier Lee will start Saturday's game against Virginia, FSU head coach Bobby Bowden said after practice Monday.

    Lee had a strong performance in his first start in FSU's 27-24 loss to Maryland on Saturday in place of injured Drew Weatherford.

    Weatherford was wearing a walking boot and didn't practice Monday. He also is expected to be out Tuesday. Bowden hopes he'll be available on Saturday if needed.

    My View: Leadership Needed

    FSU President T.k. Wetherell answered critics of the FSU football program by saying the following on Saturday: "It's all going to work out. You don't change horses in midstream. You don't step on Superman's cape, and you don't sell Coca-Cola stock if you live in Gadsden County.

    This kind of statement is indicative of an arrogance that is taking this program downward. I am not sure what it will take for the president to understand that it is time for wholesale changes. A half empty stadium? Booster contributions declining? No bowl game? A losing season?

    It is time for leadership and if he cannot exercise that leadership, maybe he should step aside and let someone do what is necessary.

    Bizarre Bobby Bowden Quotes

    "Won't work. I see that a lot. They don't want to fire the coach so you have to get rid of so and so. I don't work that way. I believe in loyalty to my guys. If they aren't working hard, I will get someone else. The public wants a hanging. I won't play that game. If you want to put me out of coaching, try to get me to play that game. "
    Interview with ESPN's Joe Schad when asked what he would do if president or athletic director asks for coaching changes

    Q & A: Bobby Bowden Sunday Teleconference- Part 1

    During his Sunday teleconference, Bowden also talked about costly breakdowns in the kicking game and the continuing criticism he is receiving now that the Seminoles have slipped to 4-4 after losing three of four games in October.

    In terms of getting ready in practice, do you make that decision on Monday? What's your normal course of action, in particular if you decide to make a change?

    Bowden: Well, it might be that we can't answer that. It might be that the doctors say Drew's not ready, and the answer is already there by the doctors. Or it could be that Drew is ready to go again, and so is Lee, and we'd have to decide, 'Well, which one of you is going to get the first reps?' We don't have to decide who is going to play until game time. But I don't think it's a drastic situation. You had a first-team quarterback who couldn't play. Then you've got a second-teamer who got in there and played like lights out, you know. So it's a nice problem

    Can you talk more about the way Drew was injured and how much he could have played against Maryland if he had been needed and how limited he might have been?

    Bowden: Drew, Wednesday, I believe . . . This is the way I understand it. Now somebody had in the paper today, or somewhere I heard, that he was hurt in his room or something. But we were out there practicing Wednesday and I noticed, I was up in my tower, and I noticed that while we were running plays that he was sitting over there on the bank with ice on his ankle. I was thinking, 'What in the world has happened here?' Of course, I stayed up on the tower, and Xavier got all the reps. I noticed he was going first team and Drew was not there. When I came down I asked what was wrong with Drew, and the trainer said he turned his ankle. They say he was just warming up and it was kind of like he tripped and something was wrong with his ankle. I said, 'Well, do you think he will be OK for Saturday?' The trainer said 'Yeah, I think he will.' So anyway I thought he would be out at practice. Well, he was there but he didn't do anything again. So then I talked to the trainers and they said they will do what they need to do to it. 'I'm sure he'll be ready by Saturday.' Now, so Friday Ð we didn't work out Friday Ð he was better. That was the only response I got, that he was better. Then Saturday, Daryl (Dickey) and Jeffrey (Bowden) informed me that we would probably have to start Xavier in the ballgame because Drew . . . The doctors were a little concerned about Drew if he plays. He could get knocked out for the year, and so and so. I said, 'Well, let's wait until the warm up . . . Lets warm up and be sure. I think he'd be less likely to make mistakes, so let's warm up before the ballgame. So we warmed up, and everybody agreed, including the doctors, that Drew should be held out. So anyway, that's the way that went.

    Did you go into the game trying to simplify the game plan for Xavier or were you confident with all the practice he got during the week that he could execute what you wanted to do against Maryland?

    Bowden: I don't think we changed a thing.

    When do you make a decision on who starts Saturday?

    Bowden: When will we make a decision? I'm not sure. If it's close, it will probably be as late as we can make it. If we felt like we should do this or do that . . . And a lot of it is we've got to wait to see how is Drew's ankle? Then go from there. I feel much secure now by what I saw happen the other night. It makes you feel like you've got two quarterbacks instead of one. Now comes, how are you going to use them?

    You said you had never seen it from Xavier in practice, and he hadn't done it in games, but that was about as good a game as a quarterback has played for you in a long time.

    Bowden: Well, it sure was. It most certainly was. It reminded you of some of those great days that Chris Rix had. He had great days like that, just not every week. But now, that was an amazing thing. We put him in for one quarter at Duke and he had three interceptions in one quarter. Now you put him in again in the fourth quarter and he does real well. The question is, 'How's he going to play now?' In the past it's kind of been that way . . . But that is the first time that, boy, he really made some things happen. I was wanting him to run, and yet, it seemed like when I put him in the game he was reluctant to run. He'd run and kind of get to the sideline, and I wanted him to take off and try to score, and he did that yesterday. I don't think anybody told him to. I didn't tell him to.

    Antone Smith was talking today about the calm Xavier had in the huddle. Is that one of the things that surprised you?

    Bowden: No, it didn't surprise me a bit. He's calm. He's a calm individual. What disturbed me was what happened when you snapped that ball and got into trouble, what would he do with it. And in the game Saturday, he did just opposite of what I had been seeing.

    Xavier said, and some of his teammates confirmed it, that he had done well working with the ones and twos Wednesday and Thursday. Had you built up a little more confidence, a little more comfort, even knowing that Drew might be ready to play, from those two days of seeing Xavier playing?

    Bowden: Yes. Yes. Watching him work Wednesday and watching him work Thursday, and I watched him very closely. I usually spend most of my time watching our quarterbacks. I watched him closely. I said, 'Gee, it looks like he knows what we are trying to do.' He was doing it pretty good in practice. So yeah, I felt much better about it. If I hadn't felt better about it, I don't know what I would have done. But after watching him work out Wednesday and Thursday, and then Daryl and Jeff both felt better about him.

    The defeat is obviously deflating, but did you sense that there was something invigorating about the offensive performance that may provide something of a silver lining in a season in which some goals have already disappeared?

    Bowden: Well, we might have had as many drives for touchdowns and for scores . . . Maybe as any game this year except the ones like Duke and Rice where the other team was out-manned. We probably had more drives for touchdowns, because they didn't give us nothing. What was the closest touchdown we drove? They didn't turn it over a time, did they? So anyway, you had to drive a long way to score, and we hadn't done that frequently. That was very encouraging.

    Now I looked at the film . . . We lost the game in the kicking game, that's where we lost the game. That's the thing that disturbs me the most. I'm going to address it with our coaches when we meet (Monday morning). We've got so many guys on our kicking team that normally would never even be playing that are going out on punts and going out on kickoffs, and missing tackles. I think we've got people . . .. We're simply going to have to put some starters over there. You know, we did that with (Geno) Hayes in the Duke game. We put Hayes on the kickoff team because we got ripped the week before by N.C. State. They brought that kickoff back 60 yards and we had walk-ons and subs in there. So Kevin said we are going to have to put first-teamers back in there because we can't afford to give up that kind of yardage. So we started Hayes against Duke and he gets hurt. That's the only thing you are scared of. If you've got a big lead, you can go ahead and get them out. Well, the other night, we had a lot of . . . I looked at the numbers of kids, and wondered, 'What in the world is he doing in there?' But again, it's a case you've got (all the injuries). Usually the people you want on your kickoff are your defensive backs and linebackers. We had so many of them hurt we had to use a lot of walk-ons.

    Anyway, when I look at that game Saturday, if we could have won the kicking game, there's no doubt that we would have won the game.

    Is it fair to say that if Drew is healthy that Xavier has forced a difficult decision?

    Bowden: Yes. Yeah, like I said, the only way I know how to address it, is that it's a good problem, but it is a problem because there is going to be a lot of disagreement whichever way you go. That's where you have to call on your kids to have great unselfishness, and see what happens. But again, if Drew doesn't get better, it ain't a choice.

    You've had a policy that a guy can't lose a starting job because of an injury. How do you weigh wanting to be faithful to that policy with what a kid does when he comes into a situation like that and provides a spark you might not otherwise have? Is that part of the difficulty of making a decision about who starts?

    Bowden: I don't know where that . . . statement came from. Yes, I do. We used to have that rule when I first came here that you can't lose your job through injury, that if you came back you got your job back. That a guy had to beat you out on the field. Now we stuck by that sometimes, but there have been plenty of other times that we haven't stuck by it. That's kind of a rule of convenience. We're going to play the guy that we think can help us win.

    Since you are 4-4, is this something the team can rally around with the competition between Drew and Xavier?

    Bowden: Well, they've got to do that. The competition will probably help. But you have to remember this . . . Even though (Xavier) had a tremendous game, and even though he surprised everybody, and even though he gave us a running (game), we still lost the game. We still lost the game, so you have to keep that in mind, in fact, too. But, again, what are we going to do about that? Right now I don't know. We'll have to . . . I think I will have to have input from the coaches, and I think we'll have to watch practices this week and see what we are seeing.

    You've talked about how Xavier has never come to you and said he wanted to transfer because he wasn't playing, but a lot of kids in his situation might have looked to leave. So Xavier has to be a little different in that regard. Did that surprise you about him?

    Bowden: Does it surprise me? No. Now let me say this - had he left, it would not have surprise me. I've always said stick with it, stick with it, stick with it. I can give him good examples. That's what history can give you. I can say, 'Do you remember we had ol' Casey Weldon and we had Brad Johnson here, and Casey beat out Brad in the middle of his junior year. Both of them were juniors. Casey won out when he went into the Auburn game and led us to a lot of scores, So here is Brad, with another year of eligibility, and so does Casey, and (Brad) is a second-team quarterback. But he stayed with it . . . Now, the pros are going to find you no matter where you are. If you are second, third or fourth team, they are going to find you . . . So anyway, Brad Johnson gets drafted and Casey gets drafted. Well, Brad is still playing pro ball, and Casey played a certain amount of years. But it just happened that one of them was better off as a college quarterback.

    I tell them that. 'Men, this is what happened in the past. Don't get impatient.' If you've got the stuff, they are going to find you wherever you are and you don't have to transfer to some little ol' school or go out west or somewhere else. They are going to find you.

    You never know what's going to happen. What if the other guys gets injured? You are starting. And that's exactly what happened. So I think (Xavier) has enough maturity not to leave.

    Now do you remember we had another quarterback when we had (Danny) Kanell. Kanell had another year. This other quarterback had another year, so he left and I never heard from him again. Nice kids. Great kid. But I never heard from him again. He could have gotten discovered here just as good as anywhere else.

    So I think Lee is smart enough to see that and is mature enough not to do anything stupid.

    Have the doctors given you any indication that Drew will be ready to go this week?

    Bowden: I haven't talked to them. Unless it's something tricky, I would guess he would be about ready. But it could be . . . Randy Oravetz explained to me that it's like a foreign object in there . . .You get a chip on your knee, on your cartilage in your knee . . . If you have a cartilage that chips, it will get in the joint there and it might not bother you, then all of a sudden it falls into a position where it feels like your knee is coming off. Then in another day, it works out again. So that could be the type of thing he has in his ankle, something that is floating around in there that got into a bad position, and kind of locked it up . . . I don't know. Randy or the doctors could give you their side of that.

    Stats Close Up:FSU-Maryland Game

    Penalties: Number-Yards....... 13-100
    Fumbles: Number-Lost.......... 1-1
    Net Yards Per Punt.......... 10.8
    Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 4-5

    Game Balls: FSU-Maryland Game

    * Xavier Lee- 286 yds. and 2 TDs

    * Chris Davis- 132 yds. and 1 TD

    * Antone Smith- 88 yds. and 1 TD

    Notable Quotes

    "It's all going to work out. You don't change horses in midstream. You don't step on Superman's cape, and you don't sell Coca-Cola stock if you live in Gadsden County.”
    T.K. Wetherell referring to FSU football program

    What They Are Saying About the Seminoles

    "... the Seminoles 4-4, 2-4 ACC don't seem despondent.
    They have a quarterback controversy that has infused not only some drama between Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee but some enthusiasm about the possibilities.

    "I feel much more secure now by what I saw happen the other night," coach Bobby Bowden said the day after a 27-24 loss at Maryland. "It makes you feel like you've got two quarterbacks instead of one. Now comes how you're going to use them."
    St. Pete Times

    "I can’t blame Florida State fans for feeling a bit giddy in the midst of its worst record in three decades. After all, the spark provided by quarterback Xavier Lee is something this program and its fans needed.

    Lee’s performance in Saturday’s loss at Maryland was eye-opening, especially from a player who had shown little to even warrant a starting look all season. But Lee was cool and calm and nothing like the calamity of the Duke game."
    Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post

    "Saturday night's 27-24 loss at Maryland officially eliminated the Seminoles (4-4, 2-4) from title contention.

    Oddly enough, Sunday's mood around the players and coaches was surprisingly upbeat, considering the Seminoles still need two victories just to become bowl-eligible.

    "I think in each game you see things happen that either leave a bad taste in your mouth, or a good taste," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said Sunday. "I had more good taste left in my mouth after [Saturday] night than I had bad."
    Florida Times Union

    "FSU got as close as the Maryland 18-yard line on its final series. But a potential game-winning touchdown turned, following a sack and a penalty, into a long field goal. And that barely got off the ground.

    Maryland fans flooded the field, although beating FSU hardly seems notable these days in the ACC. As many teams have done it this season as have not.

    Bowden now has plenty to mull without glancing toward the standings."
    Orlando Sentinel

    "The decision won't be announced until later in the week, possibly as late as the day of the game, but the most intriguing question surrounding Florida State football at the moment is whether Xavier Lee or Drew Weatherford will be the starting quarterback against Virginia.

    "It's going to be exciting to see, I can tell you that," FSU running back Antone Smith said of the reborn quarterback competition on Sunday."
    Tampa Tribune

    " Bowden was not ready Sunday to proclaim Lee the starter. Weatherford missed Saturday's game after sustaining a sprained ankle in a midweek practice, and Bowden usually doesn't take a starting job away from a player because of an injury.

    On Sunday, however, Bowden said that rule is not etched in stone.

    ''We're going to play the guy that we think can help us win,'' he said."
    Miami Herald

    Monday Morning Quarterback:FSU-Maryland Game

    What can you say? Four losses with more to come. Bobby Bowden seems not that concerned.
    Bobby Bowden Coaching: Same old stuff although Lee was a surprise.
    Grade: D

    Running Game: Running game did have some promise.
    Grade: C-

    QB: Xavier Lee looked poised and definitely has the potential-and he can scramble. Plus he had no INTs.
    Grade: B+

    Offensive Coaching: Offense showed promise but too many dropped passes and weird play calling.

    Receivers: By and large the receivers did good but there were too many dropped passes especially critical ones.

    Defensive Coaching:Defense gave up too many big plays.

    Intangibles/Special Teams Play: Stupid penalties were disastrous. Field position was horrible.

    Upcoming FSU Opponents Scores for Past Weekend

    Virginia 14 NC State 7
    Jason Snelling ran 17 yards for his second touchdown with 1:31 to play Saturday and Virginia beat North Carolina State 14-7.

    Snelling, who carried 20 times for 99 yards, broke off an 18-yard run down the left side on the play before go-ahead run. He then took another handoff and went up the middle, breaking free and dragging several defenders into the end zone with him.

    The Cavaliers (4-5, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), coming off a 23-0 victory against North Carolina nine days earlier, were seeking consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1952. They came up 4:48 short when Daniel Evans hit John Dunlap in the back of the end zone from 8 yards out. John Deraney's extra point tied it at 7.
    FSU plays Virginia on Nov. 4

    Wake Forest 24 North Carolina 17
    Riley Skinner threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Ken Moore and Jon Abbate intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal No. 24 Wake Forest's 24-17 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.

    Abbate picked off Joe Dailey on the game's final play after the Tar Heels drove to the Wake Forest 3 with 41 seconds left.

    The Demon Deacons (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won seven of eight to start the season for the first time since 1979 and third time in school history. They swept Tobacco Road rivals North Carolina, N.C. State and Duke for the first time since 1987.
    FSU plays Wake Forest on Nov. 11

    Western Michigan 18 Eastern Michigan 15

    Mark Bonds' 19-yard touchdown run with 5:04 left put Western Michigan ahead for good in an 18-15 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. After being held to a field goal through three quarters, the Broncos (6-2, 4-1 Mid-American) rallied for scoring drives of 65 and 50 yards in the final quarter, winning their third consecutive game and remaining in the hunt for the MAC West title.
    FSU plays Western Michigan on Nov. 18

    Florida 21 Georgia 14

    Florida coach Urban Meyer was the first to toast his defense -- an appropriate gesture even if this wasn't supposed to be a cocktail party anymore.
    The defense forced two fumbles and intercepted two passes, helping the ninth-ranked Gators beat Georgia 21-14 on Saturday and continue their recent dominance in the rivalry.
    FSU plays Florida on Nov. 25

    New Poll

    There is a new poll question: Assuming Weatherford is healthy, who do you think should start game against Virginia this Saturday?

    Poll Results

    The results for the poll:Do you think FSU fans should stop going to the remaining home games in order to send a message to the FSU administration? was 72.2% said yes to the question. This was a pretty significant response.

    Sunday, October 29, 2006

    Did You Know?

    FSU has now lost 13 games to unranked opponents in its last 70 games. In the previous 303 games of the Bowden Era, that happened just 15 times.

    Bizarre Bobby Bowden Quotes

    “I can't control the fans. If you listen to the fans, pretty soon you will be sitting with them.”
    Press conference following Maryland loss

    ACC Scoreboard

    Va Tech 24 Clemson 7
    Branden Ore gained 203 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns and Virginia Tech held the No. 10 Tigers to 76 yards in the last three quarters in the Hokies' 24-7 victory Thursday night.

    Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), beaten soundly in its last two ACC games by Georgia Tech and Boston College, showed the Tigers what it felt like.

    Clemson (7-2, 4-2) had just three first downs in the last three quarters, and the third one came in the final minute, not long before the final gun sounded and Hokies fans streamed onto the field, surrounding the team and celebrating around midfield.

    Ga Tech 30 Miami 23
    Georgia Tech got Calvin Johnson back in the offense and took a major step toward reaching the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

    One week after failing to catch a pass for the first time in his career, Johnson hauled in a tie-breaking, 1-yard touchdown with 6:18 remaining and the No. 21 Yellow Jackets rallied for a 30-23 victory over Miami on Saturday.

    Tashard Choice rushed for 107 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown with 3 1/2 minutes left in a wild fourth quarter. Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-1 ACC) scored 17 straight points to take a seemingly comfortable 30-16 lead, but Kyle Wright hooked up with Greg Olsen on a 41-yard touchdown pass that made it close.

    Georgia Tech merely needs to win two of its last three conference games to secure the Coastal Division's spot in the Dec. 2 ACC championship at Jacksonsville, Fla. Two of those games are against North Carolina and winless Duke.

    Wake Forest 24 North Carolina 17
    Riley Skinner threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Ken Moore and Jon Abbate intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal No. 24 Wake Forest's 24-17 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.

    Abbate picked off Joe Dailey on the game's final play after the Tar Heels drove to the Wake Forest 3 with 41 seconds left.

    The Demon Deacons (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won seven of eight to start the season for the first time since 1979 and third time in school history. They swept Tobacco Road rivals North Carolina, N.C. State and Duke for the first time since 1987.

    Virginia 14 NC State 7
    Jason Snelling ran 17 yards for his second touchdown with 1:31 to play Saturday and Virginia beat North Carolina State 14-7.

    Snelling, who carried 20 times for 99 yards, broke off an 18-yard run down the left side on the play before go-ahead run. He then took another handoff and went up the middle, breaking free and dragging several defenders into the end zone with him.

    The Cavaliers (4-5, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), coming off a 23-0 victory against North Carolina nine days earlier, were seeking consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1952. They came up 4:48 short when Daniel Evans hit John Dunlap in the back of the end zone from 8 yards out. John Deraney's extra point tied it at 7.

    Vanderbilt 45 Duke 28
    Sophomore quarterback Chris Nickson ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more, and Vanderbilt withstood a fourth-quarter rally to beat winless Duke 45-28 Saturday.

    Nickson accounted for 400 yards of total offense for the Commodores (4-5), who won their sixth straight over the Blue Devils (0-8) in the "SAT Bowl."

    Boston College 41 Buffalo 0
    Chris Crane filled in for injured Matt Ryan and overcame a soaking rain to run for two touchdowns and throw for another Saturday, leading No. 18 Boston College to a 41-0 victory over Buffalo.

    Crane completed 17 of 26 passes for 142 yards to lead BC (7-1) to scores on its first four possessions. L.V. Whitworth ran for 84 yards and a touchdown, and Andre Callender had 81 yards rushing as the Eagles did not need to punt until late in the third quarter - and that was called back for a roughing the kicker penalty.

    Buffalo (1-7) had just 92 yards of total offense - with a total of minus 12 on the ground. The Bulls have not won since a season-opening 9-3 overtime victory over Temple.

    What They Are Saying About FSU Loss to Maryland

    "Florida State fans, tired of league losses and desperate for an offensive shakeup and spark, have long hoped that quarterback Xavier Lee would get his shot to show his stuff.

    With incumbent Drew Weatherford ailing on Saturday, they got their wish.

    And they were treated to Lee's production, not simply his promise.

    They also got another disappointing ACC loss, 27-24 to host Maryland, on a blustery evening when a last-minute field goal was blocked. An October to forget continued as hundreds of the announced crowd of 50,517 at Byrd Stadium poured onto the field to celebrate."
    St. Pete Times

    "A program with more than enough problems to manage -- a revolting fan base, a hospital ward of injured players, an unpopular coaching staff now receiving national scrutiny -- just added another Saturday. Enter The Dreaded Quarterback Controversy.

    Florida State took the latest loss in a slide that grows more painful by the week, with a 27-24 defeat at Maryland. The Terrapins (6-2, 3-1) are now bowl eligible for the first time in three seasons, while the Seminoles (4-4, 2-4) enter November without a winning record for the first time since Bobby Bowden's inaugural season in Tallahassee."
    Orlando Sentinel

    "With the loss, the Seminoles fell to 4-4, marking their worst start since 2-6 in Bowden's first season, 31 years ago. Florida State remains in last place in the ACC's Atlantic Division at 2-4. The Seminoles still need two victories to become eligible for a post-season bowl game.

    "It's naturally disappointing," Bowden said. "We spent so many years not in this category. We spent 14 years in the top five and now we're not even ranked. We have very few seniors on this team, so our future is looking good. But we would like to do well now, too."
    Palm Beach Post

    "The loss officially eliminated the Seminoles (4-4, 2-4) from Atlantic Coast Conference title contention, assuring its worst eight-game start since coach Bobby Bowden went 2-6 in 1976, his first season at FSU."
    Florida Times-Union

    "The students flooded the field, where they mocked Florida State's tomahawk chop, as it was only the second time in 17 meetings that the Terps beat the Seminoles. In the process, Maryland ended a streak of back-to-back 5-6 seasons and earned its third straight conference win."
    Baltimore Sun

    My View: Trick or Treat

    Last night's 24-27 loss to Maryland is becoming a recurring theme that is at least appropriate for this time of year. Halloween is for nightmares and being shocked and FSU fans are getting all too accustomed to being shocked. Four losses with more to come.

    A once proud program is being run into the ground because one man refuses to see that changes are necessary. How many more losses is it going to take for the leaders in charge to know that it is not about the players. The players are playing their hearts out but this nightmare is not about the heart.

    It is about a program that has lost its soul and its will to win. The program needs a rejuvenation and redirection with new leadership. What do we as fans want? Trick or treat?

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    What They Are Saying About the FSU-Maryland Game

    "The struggling Seminoles encounter a Maryland team that is playing with new confidence, bolstered by back-to-back victories over Virginia and North Carolina State.

    Last season, the Terrapins looked as if they would make it two in a row over Florida State until the Seminoles rallied to win, 35-27. Some players are using that game as proof that the gap between the programs is closing.

    "I think we're getting better at playing them," Bolston said. "It's definitely not like Florida State automatically beats us."
    Washington Post

    "Florida State expects Maryland to try to run at them. But to the extreme in which the Terrapins did in a victory against North Carolina State last week?
    Of Maryland's 50 offensive plays, just nine were passes. Quarterback Sam Hollenbach threw to his wide receivers just four times. Two were caught. Of its 37 first-and-second down plays, Maryland attempted passes five times. Four were for completions."
    Tallahassee Democrat

    "Tough tests on the road, like the one expected from Maryland, will help FSU’s younger players gain needed experience for the future. In 2007, FSU is away from Doak Campbell Stadium seven times, including once against Alabama in Jacksonville.

    Next year’s road slate also includes trips to Colorado, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Boston College and Florida.

    FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden and the rest of the Seminoles’ coaching staff were somewhat surprised as well as pleased with how the team responded in practice this week. The Seminoles were focused and the expected bleak outlook was nowhere to be found. "
    Emerald Coast News

    My Buys and Sells for FSU-Maryland Game

    Fear The Terrapin or Turtle- Ok, seriously, a human mascot clothed like a turtle? Give me Renegade and the spear anytime. I am selling.

    Maryland Home Field Advantage- Maryland smells blood in the water. They are anxious to beat FSU and show they are for real. I am buying.

    Jeff Bowden's Offensive Play Calling- This is the offensive "genius" that has given up on the run. A big mistake. I am definitely selling.

    Bobby Bowden Coaching- Refuses to do the right thing and make changes that are needed. I am selling.

    Mickey Andrews Coaching- Still one of the best defensive minds in college football. I am buying.

    FSU Receiving Corps- The receivers have been sporadic this year. They need to step up for this game. Although Fagg will not be playing,I am reluctantly buying.

    Maryland Wearing All Black Uniforms- Maryland is pulling out all the stops and will wear all black uniforms. Sound familiar? Just another way to get the juices flowing. I am buying.

    Ralph Friedgen Coaching- A lot of people say that he is an offensive genius but I have not been that impressed. He has hardly had great seasons recently. I am selling.

    Buster Davis Will Have Good Game- This is a for real player. I am betting that he will do something super this Saturday. I am buying.

    Drew Weatherford- Still making stupid mistakes at key times in a game. I am selling.

    FSU Run Game- What run game? Someone needs to step up and have a good game. For now, I am selling.

    My Keys to FSU-Maryland Game

    * Take the crowd out of the game.

    * When in the red zone, score TDs instead of FGs.

    * Defense must create turnovers.

    * Somehow establish the run.

    * Manage timeouts and prevent costly penalties!

    Stadium:Byrd Stadium (51,500)
    Location:College Park, MD
    Series:Saturday’s game is the 17th in the football series between Maryland and Florida State. The Seminoles hold a 15-1 edge in the series.
    • Florida State travels for the last time of the regular-season when the Seminoles face Maryland in College Park Saturday. FSU has fallen in two of its last three games while Maryland has won two straight games. The Seminoles are 2-1 on the road this season while the Terrapins are a perfect 4-0 at
    Byrd Stadium in 2006. Saturday’s contest will feature the ACC’s top two tacklers in Maryland linebacker Wesley Jefferson (65 total, 9.3 pg) and Florida State linebacker Buster Davis (63 total, 9.0
    • The Seminoles are averaging 28.9 points per game this season. Only once has Florida State not scored at least 24 points against Maryland and that was in 17-20 loss to the Terrapins in College Park
    in 2004.
    • FSU’s defense is allowing 19.0 points per game. Maryland enters the game at 23.7 points per game. In 16 meetings between FSU and Maryland, the Seminoles have surrendered 20 or more points seven
    • The Seminoles started four true freshman on defense in the Boston College game and could again at Maryland. Overall, FSU has played an ACC-high 17 true freshman this year while Maryland has played just one.
    • The Maryland game will be Florida State’s 64th appearance on an ESPN network (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc.) and the fourth appearance on the network(s) this season so far. Overall, FSU is 52-11 on an ESPN network.
    Gameday Weather:Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s. West winds 10 to 15 mph.
    TV:ESPN2: Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (color) & Jeanine Edwards (sideline).

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Thursday Practice Report: Final Prep for Maryland

    The Florida State football team held their final practice session in preparation for the Saturday night game at Maryland on the FSU Football Practice Fields.

    * The Seminoles practiced in shorts and helmets for 15 periods on the FSU Football Practice Fields.

    * It was the final practice in preparation for their game at Maryland Saturday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

    * The Seminoles will meet the Terps in a game televised by espn2. It marks the fifth time in eight games this season Florida State will appear on the ESPN family of channels. The Seminoles opened the season on ESPN against Miami; appeared on espn2 against Troy; ESPN against Clemson and ESPN against NC State.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (on the status of players for game)

    "De'Cody Fagg is out, Boston practiced yesterday, got about four plays in and couldn't go after that, so we're not counting on him, but we will take him and maybe he will get in a play or two. He (Jamaal Edwards) is making progress, I still don't think he is quite 100 percent, but he is making progress."

    (on Brandon Warren's status)

    "He has had a good week of practice. I'm not sure; it depends on what formation we are in. That could be tough; it just depends on what formation we are in."

    Tony Carter

    (on what he feels about other teams staying away from passing to his side of the field)

    "I don't know, maybe it's in the game plan to not throw to the wide side of the field. I don't think it's because of me. I hope it is but maybe teams just don't throw to the wide side of the field. It's easier to throw to the short side of the field."

    (on if he has feelings that the ball may never come his way)

    "Not really, because if I fall asleep, that's when they are probably going to hit me with one. It feels like high school again. The crowd keeps me into it, if I ever get bored and they throw the ball to the other side of the field five times, then I always say the next ones coming, the next one is coming. I always tell myself that in my head."

    My View: The Emperor Has No Clothes

    Some men grow old with dignity; others grow bitter. Unfortunately the latter applies to Bobby Bowden. Perhaps it is because the later part of his career is not how he envisioned it. He sees his legacy now tainted by too many losses to inferior teams and too much critcism from those he thought would never dare criticize.

    Perhaps we were wrong about the "Southern Gentlemen". Maybe this hardened personality was always there and we simply chose to ignore it. I do know that we now see a man who is eager to belittle fans. How dare fans who pay his salary criticize the great one. He sees the criticism of himself as unjust. It is as if he sees this in terms of an epic struggle akin to a holy war.

    Bobby Bowden has himself caused this examination of the man. He is now fair game. His legacy will not be written in glowing terms. It will be told in terms of a coach who had a lax discipline regarding player infractions where at other schools players would have been suspended or dismissed. It will be in terms of a man who thought he was above the law when he hired his son although Florida's nepotism law prohibits such actions. Never mind that he and the FSU administration circumvented the law by creating a sham procedure.

    On his call in show you see a man that is confident that he knows something that no one else knows. He knows that no one would dare fire the savior of the football program. And when fans call in to rave about him, you see his eyes light up.

    He refuses to believe that there are a significant number of fans and supporters that wish him to step down. He does not even want to read anything negative.His secretary censors any negative letters and only provides those that praise the great one.

    There are those who know when it is time to exit the stage. Men like Parshegian and Royal and Holtz and Schembechler. Somehow Bobby Bowden does not know when it is time. He is consumed with what the ancient Greeks called "hubris" or false pride. It has been time for a while now and yet he has been buoyed by sycophants and admirers who have isolated him from the reality of the situation. If he would dare look in the mirror, he would see that the emperor has no clothes.

    New Poll

    There is a new poll question:Do you think FSU fans should stop going to the remaining home games in order to send a message to the FSU administration?

    Poll Results

    The poll results for the poll:FSU has five games remaining in the season. How many of those games do you think the Noles will win? Highest response was 3 games with 58.8% and second highest response was 4 games with 14.7%.

    ACC Schedule for This Week

    Clemson @ Virginia Tech
    7:45 PM
    Blacksburg, Va.
    TV: ESPN (XM 191/192)

    Saturday Games
    NC State @ Virginia
    12:00 PM
    Charlottesville, Va.
    TV: R/LF-TV (XM 191)

    Vanderbilt @ Duke
    1:00 PM
    Durham, N.C.
    TV: (XM 192)

    Buffalo @ Boston College
    1:00 PM
    Chestnut Hill, Mass.
    TV: ESPN 360 (XM 193)

    Wake Forest @ North Carolina
    3:30 PM
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
    TV: ESPNU (XM 191)

    Miami @ Georgia Tech
    3:30 PM
    Atlanta, Ga.
    TV: ABC (XM 194)

    Florida State @ Maryland
    7:00 PM
    College Park, Md.
    TV: ESPN2 (XM 191)

    Scouting Report: FSU-Maryland

    Florida State

    Even though the spread offense had limited success, the Seminoles are likely to try it again, reinforcing a lack of confidence in their running game. But if there was an opponent to run against, the Terps rank 11th in rushing defense, 11th in total defense.

    As if the injuries were not frustrating enough, the Seminoles' defense had to deal with their offense playing giveaway last week against Boston College. An interception resulted in a touchdown. A fumbled reception resulted in the ball being placed at the FSU 1. A roughing-the-punter penalty gave BC a short field for its other touchdown drive. Otherwise, the starting defense played well.


    The Terps are surviving on offense with their running game, which ranks third in the ACC and contrasts a passing attack with is next-to-last.

    Opponents are getting 5.7 yards per-play against Maryland's defense, which ranks 11th in the ACC in total defense and rushing defense.

    Bizarre Bobby Bowden Quotes

    "I know there are people upset," he said Monday after Florida State's weekend loss to Boston College effectively eliminated the Seminoles from Atlantic Coast Conference title contention. "It ain't like there's a million out there."
    After Monday luncheon

    What They Are Saying About the FSU-Maryland Game

    "Rarely have the Terrapins had reason to be confident when playing the Seminoles, who have dominated the series since joining the ACC in 1992. Maryland's only win came in 2004, arguably the only bright spot in the first of two straight 5-6 seasons.

    The Terrapins (5-2, 2-1) now stand one victory short of becoming eligible for a bowl bid, and would like nothing better than to accomplish the feat against the once-proud Seminoles (4-3, 2-3)."
    Baltimore Sun

    "Maryland's defense sends a lot of blitzes at you, a lot of twisting and things that mess you up with their linebackers especially in the pass protection,” defensive lineman David Overmyer said. “We're going to have to do a really good job and really concentrate this week and focus in on our assignments so we can give Drew the maximum time he needs to complete his passes.”

    Bowden noted that teams have been successful running against Maryland. But that's not something FSU has been consistently effective at this season. FSU is at its best when it throws the football. Bowden noted that Maryland, as does Boston College, wants to prevent the deep passes. FSU had success underneath last week against the Eagles, and but not enough to Bowden's liking. Chris Davis did have 10 receptions for 100 yards."
    Tallahassee Democrat

    What To Watch For In The Game:FSU-Maryland

    THIS WEEK'S GAME: Florida State at Maryland, Oct. 28 -- What a role reversal. More than a month ago, the Terps seemed headed nowhere and there were grumblings in the stands on the direction of the team. Now, after the improbable rally to beat Virginia on Oct. 14, followed by a mild upset win against N.C. State, the Terps are feeling good and have a chance to showcase themselves in a rare night game on national cable television. Emotion won't be a problem.


    TB Lance Ball -- The Terps leading rusher has scored at least one touchdown in nine of his last 11 games.
    QB Sam Hollenbach -- Though he hasn't enjoyed the most exciting career, Hollenbach has already moved to No. 7 on the school's career passing yardage list, completing 60-percent of his passes for 3,790 yards.
    CB Josh Wilson -- Ranks second in ACC and seventh nationally in kick-return average with a 32.7 yard kick return average.
    ROSTER REPORT--No major injury issues.

    THIS WEEK'S GAME: Florida State at Maryland, Oct. 28 -- One of the biggest issues in this game will be Florida State's own psyche. Just what kind of FSU team will show up? One that plays with passion and limits mistakes? Or one looking disinterested? The Seminoles have never been in this position before, facing a late-October game in the ACC without any hope to contend for the league title, nor a major New Year's Bowl. This is a character check for the program.

    Florida State

    QB Drew Weatherford -- He was nearly benched in the third quarter last week against BC, pleaded to stay in, then delivered a TD drive. But the bottom line with Weatherford is he's 12-8 as an FSU starter and that's the worst record for a quarterback in Bowden era.
    WR Chris Davis -- The team is hoping his career-high 10 catches last week signifies a greater role as a go-to player the rest of the season.
    LB Buster Davis -- No relation to Chris, but Buster is backing up his mouth with good play all season.
    The Seminoles won't have LB Geno Hayes (MCL sprain) back this week, but might have TE Brandon Warren (hamstring).
    TB Lorenzo Booker (thigh bruise) also appears set to play after missing much of second half vs. BC. More good news, LB Jae Thaxton (concussion) who has not played since being hurt in the Clemson game, returned to practice and will likely see action to aid a depleted linebacker corps.
    Overall, this team is in better physical health than it has experienced the past couple weeks, but the real issue is how mentally strong the Seminoles are right now.

    FSU Injury Update: Fagg Out For Maryland Game

    Florida State leading receiver De'Cody Fagg looked at Wednesday as the final test of whether his high ankle sprain would be ready to go. It didn't hold up, so he will be out for Saturday's game with Maryland.

    "I just have to try to get healthy for next week," said Fagg, who also missed last year's game against Maryland.

    Fagg leads all receivers with 25 catches, and he is second on the team with 297 yards.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Wednesday Practice Report: Getting Ready for Maryland

    * Florida State practiced for 20 periods in shells Wednesday in preparation for their game Saturday against Maryland at 7:00 p.m.

    * Highlights for the offense in 11-on-11 included:

    * Xavier Lee completed two passes to Marcus Sims for a combine 22 yards (10, 12).

    * Lee also completed a pass to Damon McDaniel (27 yards), Preston Parker (13 yards) and Greg Carr (8 yards).

    * Highlights for the defense in 11-on-11 included:

    * Recardo Wright recorded an interception and Michael Ray Garvin had a pass break up.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    (On practice tomorrow)

    "Tomorrow the offense will go into the stadium and get crowd noise. The defense will work out here."

    (On Jae Thaxton)

    "Thaxton is still out there practicing. I hope he is okay Saturday. He has made some shoulder contact but nothing live. He just has to not hit with his head. He has to tackle with his shoulder instead of his head which is what you are supposed to do anyway."

    (How concerned are you with what Maryland does offensively especially with the young guys?)

    "There is always concern. There is just nothing you can do about it, you just have to go out and play the best you can play. The kids are getting some great experience."

    RB Lorenzo Booker

    (On Maryland)

    "They are scrappy. Maryland is one of those teams that they start slow and as the season goes on they continue to get better and better and better. They pushed Georgia Tech to the end and they had N.C. State shutout for a long time until the end. We are playing there and I mean they came here and we were up 14 nothing and they end up scoring 24 unanswered points and we had to come from behind so it is definitely going to be tough. It is a night game and it is going to be chilly which won't mean much but their crowd will definitely be into it."

    (Is the weather going to affect the team?)

    "I don't think so. Actually we like it. We are used to practicing in the hot and it is hard to get your rest back. There will be more oxygen in the air since there won't be any humidity so I think we will recover a lot faster."

    (How much do you need a victory?)

    "We need one. Regardless of how you get the victory it is still a win. You never like practicing through the week with a loss because it is not much to build on. Even though you learn more from a loss than from a win, it just does a lot more for your confidence going into the next game coming off of a win."

    WR Chris Davis

    (On the freshman class)

    "Since the summer when they first came in you knew that they were going to get their chance. A lot of them got here earlier than expected and Mickey Andrews and the defense staff have made sure that they are ready."

    Buster Davis Nominated for Lott Trophy

    Florida State University senior linebacker Buster Davis, who is bidding to become the first Seminole to lead the ACC in tackles, has been named a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy which is presented to the college football defensive player of the year. Now in its third year, the Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal attributes of each candidate. The award is named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.

    Davis, from Daytona Beach, Fla., leads the team in tackles with 63. He has four tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. He has recorded his season high of 12 tackles twice this season - in victories over Miami and Troy. Davis has led the team in tackles four times in seven games and has recorded double-digit tackles in three different games. He is ranked second in the ACC and 31st nationally in tackles on the season.

    The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach Dec. 10.

    The 17 Quarterfinalists:
    H.B. Blades, Sr, LB, Pitt
    Mkistro Bruce, Sr, DE, Washington State
    Tim Crowder, Sr., DE, Texas
    Buster Davis, Sr., LB, Florida State
    Michael Griffin, Sr., DB, Texas
    Korey Hall, Sr., LB, Boise State
    Leon Hall, Sr., CB, Michigan
    Daymeion Hughes, Sr., CB, Cal
    LaRon Landry, Sr., S, LSU
    Quentin Moses, Sr., DE, Georgia
    Sam Olajubutu, Sr., LB, Arkansas
    Quinn Pitcock, Sr., DT, Ohio State
    Paul Posluszny, Sr., LB, Penn State
    Anthony Spencer, Sr., DE, Purdue
    Eric Weddle, Sr., DB, Utah
    Patrick Willis, Sr., LB, Mississippi
    LaMarr Woodley, Sr., DE, Michigan

    FSU Podcast:Jeff Bowden/Offense

    Tallahassee Democrat Discusses Jeff Bowden/Offense

    Bizarre Bobby Bowden Quotes

    "I think people are getting personal," he said. "They'd better be glad I'd like to keep this job."
    Last year during the three game losing streak.

    Inside FSU Football

    Seminoles QB Drew Weatherford wants the entire team to meet privately without coaches."I think it's definitely something that needs to be done," Weatherford said Monday.

    Evidently, Weatherford's wish will come true. Whispers of a players-only meeting are now circulating, and it looks as if the players will meet prior to leaving town for Saturday's game at Maryland.


    LB Jae Thaxton returned to practice (no contact) for the first time since suffering a severe concussion against Clemson. He has missed the last four games.
    Thaxton said his symptoms have nearly disappeared and that he hopes to be cleared by doctors to play against Maryland.

    "It felt real good," Thaxton said of putting pads on for the first time in more than a month. "I hope [to get cleared], but I've been hoping that for the last couple of weekends. We'll see."

    The FSU-Virginia game on Nov. 4 will kick off at noon and will be televised by the ACC's Lincoln-Financial Services/Raycom television network

    What They Are Saying About the Seminoles

    *Florida State’s 24-19 loss to Boston College at home confirms that Bobby Bowden now runs a second-tier college football program. On Saturday Florida State was a poorly coached team that didn’t have enough athletes to overcome its mistakes. The only question that remains is how far the program is going to slide before changes are made by Bowden — or someone else."
    Tony Barnhart, ESPN Analyst

    "When you lose 7 of 12 and three of those five wins are over Rice, Duke, and Troy, frustration is going to mount. However, the losing is not what has Seminole fans most frustrated right now.

    It’s the way the losing is handled by the staff that has the fan base frustrated, which includes the ‘coach speak’ if you will; things like Coach Bowden saying, ‘if you didn't play football, your opinion is not valid’.

    The excuses that come out each week, through all of the losing this season, I have yet to hear the coaching staff, with exception to Mickey Andrews, take responsibility for a loss. One of the most popular excuses is that the Noles were just a play away. The coaches use it all the time; the players on the other hand don't buy it."

    ESPN Poll: Should Bobby Bowden Step Down

    Please express your opinion in the ESPN poll: Should Bobby Bowden step down as coach of FSU? Poll is in lower part of the page.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Tears for The End Of A Proud Program

    Did You Know?

    The Boston College loss marked Florida State's third straight ACC home defeat stretching back to last season's loss to N.C. State on Nov. 5, 2005.

    My View: Accountability Starts At Top

    Someone had better put the pictures of President T.K. Wetherell and athletic director Dave Hart on milk cartons.These leaders are missing in action. The accountability for the mess with the FSU program lies with three major players-Wetherell, Hart, and Bowden. Bobby Bowden is the only one that is seen and heard often. His statements become more bizarre as he tells us that our program is headed in the right direction and he feels really good about it.

    It is a mystery to me why this leadership refuses to understand how this program is being run into the ground. It's as if there is a death wish by those in power to see a once proud program slowly disappear. It s apparent that Wetherell and Hart refuse to do anything in regard to the mess. They had a great opportunity at the end of last season to take necessary steps to correct the decline. What did they do? Absolutely nothing!

    These so called leaders need to be held accountable for their inactions. The impact to FSU and the football program will be tremendous. It is unfortunate that we have no leadership with the guts to do the right thing.

    Tuesday Practice Report: Preparing For Maryland

    *Florida State practiced 21 periods Tuesday in shells as the team continued its preparations for Saturday's 7 p.m. game at Maryland, the Seminoles' last regular-season road game of the season.

    *After working on special teams, the team broke up into position groups and got in some work versus the scout teams.

    *Linebacker Jae Thaxton, who has been out of action since suffering a concussion vs. Clemson in the third game of the season, practiced noncontact this afternoon and recorded an interception during pass skel.


    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    "(Alex) Boston worked a little bit today. (Jae) Thaxton worked some today but I don't know that he has been cleared yet. (Brandon) Warren did work and I've been surprised he's been able to do what he's been able to do."

    (on Thaxton getting back at linebacker)

    "That's where we really have been missing and it would be welcomed back. I hope he can make it. Again, he practiced today but we didn't do any contact with him. We've always had our three starters and then you'd like to go with four on certain situations. If he could come in and be that fourth guy then Buster could play here, it does give you some flexibility which we need."

    (on offense finding its identity)

    "I don't know what people mean when they say the offense doesn't have an identity. We run the ball and we throw the doggone ball. We're making more yardage passing than running, is that an identity? A lot of times people wonder why you're throwing so much cause you're playing to your strength and that's what the other team is giving you. We'll find out more and more about that as time progresses."

    (on Maryland defense)

    "They remind us of North Carolina State, they're defense is a lot like them."

    (on Dekoda Watson's play in BC game)

    "He did well as a freshman. Freshmen, they've got talent, but they are also inexperienced and mistake-prone. Our young kids just need experience, experience and experience. At least they'll have it next year. Instead of breaking them in next year, we've had to break them in this year."

    Sophomore Linebacker Jae Thaxton

    (on linebackers)

    "We've just got to maintain. This is Florida State. If somebody goes down, somebody's got to reload. So we don't really talk about what we are going to do but how we're going to get it done."

    True Freshman Dekoda Watson

    (on first career start and what position he will ultimately play)

    "It was a dream come true, just a dream come true being out there. As far as my position, I'm not really sure where I will end up playing for good. I'm just doing what's best for the team."

    (on his performance in first career start)

    "I think I played well but I believe I can get better and that's what I want to do, just get better with each game, every week. In practices too because whatever you do in practice is pretty much how you're going to perform in a game."

    Junior offensive lineman David Overmyer

    (on Maryland's defense)

    "Maryland's defense sends a lot of blitzes at you, a lot of twisting and things that mess you up with their linebackers especially in the pass protection. We're going to have to do a really good job and really concentrate this week and focus in on our assignments so we can give Drew (Weatherford) the maximum time he needs to complete his passes. That's going to be our main focus this week."