Florida State coach Bobby Bowden held his weekly conference call with the media on Friday,and discussed the Seminoles 24-21 defeat at Wake Forest. This is a partial excerpt of the conference.
Q: There probably are several areas that concern you -- the inexperienced offensive line, the lack of a running game, the excessive penalties -- is there anything that has you most concerned after that game?
A: I think the thing is in the running game, we are just not running enough. You know we did lose an offensive starter (guard Rodney Hudson) yesterday in that ball game. When we really ran and knew what we were doing, we ran better than you would think. Then we had so many plays where we had a run called and [the quarterback] checked off to a pass we thought looked better. And maybe it didn't work. So we're going to have to analyze that part of it.
Q: How many of the problems go back to the quarterback? Is there still a lot of work to be done there?
A: I think so. I think so. What you have is one quarterback who is very consistent. You have another quarterback with big-play capabilities, but inconsistent. And that's where we stand. We've got to get the big-play guy to be more consistent and the consistent guy with more big plays. We're halfway through the season, maybe we can do it.
Q: Does that mean that you have another quarterback controversy?
A: I'll leave that up to Jimbo (Fisher). All of our coaches are out recruiting on the road, so I haven't had a chance to talk to them. But we'll look at the film real good and decide what to do.
Q: You came into this game leading the nation in penalties, and penalties had a direct effect on those 17 unanswered points that Wake scored. Why are those still happening?
A: The facemask really hurt. That was third down and 8 or 10. And they didn't make but three. But the guy didn't mean to do it. You had a defensive end that made a great play. He was rushing from the outside. He saw the ball go up the middle, and he dove in there and grabbed the first thing he could get ahold of. And it happened to be his mask. As soon as he grabbed it, he let it go. Boy did that hurt though. But like I've said in the past, it's the foolish penalties you hate. Like jumping offsides. I don't know, we're trying to teach go, go, go. We've got to be more disciplined.
Q: Coach, you're 4-2 now and you still have a lot of tough games ahead, so your record might not improve much over last year's 7-6. How do you feel about where this team is compared to last season?
A: I think we're stronger and I think last night was a pretty good indication. Wake Forest slaughtered us last year 30-0 on our home field. This year we lead them for what, three and a half quarters or something like that? And played it toe to toe and end up getting beat by three. And you didn't play your best game and your boys fought hard. It wasn't for lack of effort. And in my opinion, they're better than they were a year ago. So we must be better too then. We've just got to learn from those errors and go out in the next ball game and see if we can't do better. That's all we can do.
Q: Can you talk about Preston Parker? He continues to have big games every week.
A: Preston Parker has been that way every game. He's a guy you want to get the ball to. I've never seen a guy that wanted to score more than he does. If you'll notice the catches he makes and how he fights to stay on his feet, and unbelievably does a lot of the time. There's not many guys I've seen with that type of ferociousness or desire to stay on his feet and move that ball toward the goal line.
Q: He's already so involved in the offense and special teams, is it possible to get him even more involved?
A: Yeah, we've got a couple of little tricks for him. There's some more things he can do. He's pretty talented.
Q: You mentioned working another quarterback in practice. Was that D'Vontrey Richardson or Christian Ponder?
A: We did D'Vontrey because he could run, just trying to give us a little change up on the running. He fits Xavier's style more. So it would be easier to get him in there than Ponder. So it was D'Vontrey.
Q: With the running game struggling, is there more thought of getting Jamaal Edwards into the game more? It seems like Antone Smith is really struggling.
A: I look at the film and I don't think it's him (Smith). If they give him a crease, now he gets through that thing. We've had penalties that have called some of his runs back. And then we've had some plays where the blocking just broke down. But we're going to have to take a serious look at that this week. I think the big thing people need to realize is Wake Forest ain't no fluke. They're a pretty good, little old ballclub. They could be 6-0 now very easy. I was impressed with them last night, the way they played football.
Q: What about Jamaal? Are you pleased with his progress?
A: Yes, I'm happy with it. But the only way he's going to get more at-bats is if we were running the (starting) tailback a lot and you've got to get him some rest. And we're not running him enough to get him tired.
Q: When do you think you might make a decision on the quarterback situation?
A: Jimbo will come in and look at the film. I want him to make those decisions. But that's no big controversy there.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
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