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    Friday, August 31, 2007

    De'ja Vu All Over Again

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    It was déjà vu all over again for the 19th-ranked FSU football team on Friday. For the second day in-a-row, the team was forced off the practice fields midway thru due to lightning. On Friday the Seminoles worked on special teams and kicking and then jumped straight to period 13 to get in pass skel, 11-on-11 and 2:00 offense before the dangerous weather rolled in. After making it to period 21, they rolled the clock back and started at one but that didn't last long. By the time the practice moved to period two the squad was being rushed off the field once again. The offense and defense were right back in the turf room and Tully Gym finishing another practice. The team will have a closed walk through Saturday night before departing for Clemson on Sunday.

    In 7-on-7 Drew Weatherford started off with completions to Rod Owens, De'Cody Fagg and Richard Goodman. Weatherford then put the ball into the end zone with Greg Carr and Fagg on the receiving ends. Xavier Lee completed a pass to Bert Reed and also connected on a TD with Josh Dobbie. The catch was a thing of beauty as the tight end reached up and grabbed the pass with one hand. For the defense Lawson broke up a pass.

    In pass rush Paul Griffin and Neefy Moffett both had great drills winning multiple battles. Everette Brown also got to the QB. On the offensive line the victories were spread out as Caz Piurowski, Brandon Davis, Shannon Boatman, Jacky Claude and Daron Rose all got wins.

    In 11-on-11 the team worked on down and distance situations. The biggest offensive play came on a short pass from Weatherford to Fagg that the senior turned into a big play. For the defense Geno Hayes had a quarterback pressure that easily could have been ruled a sack and Derek Nicholson picked off a pass dropping back into coverage and making a great read.

    In the 2:00 drill Weatherford and Fagg once again proved to be a deadly combination. After an incompletion on the first play, Weatherford found Fagg across the middle and the wideout took it the length of the field for a TD. The defense had its revenge versus the two's. Alex Boston recorded back-to-back sacks on the first two plays, McClure and Toddrick Verdell pressured Lee into an incompletion on third down and then Eli Charles finished the offense off with the D's third sack in four plays.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
    Opening statement:
    "We needed to get out. Now we did go ahead and get in our kicking, thank goodness, that is something you can't do inside. We also got in our pass scouting we went ahead and did that first so at least we got that in. So now I guess what we'll do is go to Tully Gym. Offense will go then the defense will go. Just check, be sure we know our plays and who to get and all that. But I think this is the fourth time that we've been driven off the field with lightning. It's not raining, it's lightning. Rain doesn't hurt us because we can go to that band field. It's really a problem. Coach (mark) Richt was complaining about that up in Georgia last week about not having a place to practice. We're gonna have to solve it one of these days."

    Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
    On his first game
    "There is no pressure. We just have to go and do what we are supposed to do and that is play hard, play with toughness, effort and discipline and let the other things take care of them. Don't worry about the things we can't control. The only thing we can control is ourselves. Clemson is one heck of a football team. They are coached very well. They have good players. It's a tough environment. We have to focus on ourselves and control that and then see what happens."

    Games Worth Watching

    So what are some of the games worth watching this week?

    Wake Forest at Boston College- ACC battle and we shall see if Wake is for real.

    Tennessee at Cal- Pac-10 versus SEC. Can Pac-10 earn some respect?

    Colorado St. at Colorado- In state rivalry and we can see how good Colorado is.

    Georgia Tech at Notre Dame- Will Ga. Tech be able to beat crewcut Charlie Weis and Notre Dame?

    News From Around The ACC

    The Charlotte Observer reported on starting NC State quarterback Daniel Evan's statements regarding Chuck Amato. Hours after Daniel Evans was told he would keep the starting quarterback position at N.C. State, he praised former Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato. Protocol dictates that players avoid talking about their former coaches, particularly if they were fired. "It started with coach Amato," he said. "Nobody should sell that short at all. These facilities and the way N.C. State football is thought of around the nation started with coach Amato. He kind of put it back on the map."


    South Carolina's The State says this about Clemson's chances at winning the Atlantic Division. "One thing is certain about Clemson: The Tigers are in position to challenge for the ACC's Atlantic Division title, in a division that lacks a clear-cut favorite and could be won by any of five teams."

    The Atlanta Journal Constitution says this about Saturday's game pitting Georgia Tech at Notre Dame. "Tech is 2-16 in Notre Dame Stadium, but opportunity seems ripe for the Jackets. Coach Weis is not exactly Parseghianesque, going 10-3 at home, all of those with a proven star at quarterback. Saturday the Irish will begin life after first-round NFL draft pick Brady Quinn."

    The Miami Herald reported on Miami Kyle Wright not winning the starting position. "Wright, a fifth-year senior, lost his starting job to junior Kirby Freeman on Tuesday, and told University of Miami sports information folks he would rather not talk to the media. He told them the same thing again Wednesday."

    The Florida Times-Union reports on the bidding war among cities for the ACC Championship game. "By this afternoon, delivery trucks will have dropped off separate bids from Jacksonville, Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa to the ACC office in Greensboro, N.C., meeting the 5 p.m. deadline established by the league. Over the next three months, ACC and member-institution officials will scour the numbers and consider every intangible that each site has to offer." The contract with Jacksonville ends this year.

    Cupcakes Are Being Served

    Want some cupcakes this weekend? Tune in to these games:

    Alabama takes on a powerhouse Western Carolina.

    Maryland plays Villanova.

    North Carolina takes on powerful James Madison.

    Miami takes on Marshall.

    The Florida Gators who always are badmouthing the Noles for a "patsy" schedule takes on cupcake Western Kentucky.

    Virginia Tech plays East Carolina.

    Number One USC who apparently doesn't want to play a tough schedule plays Idaho.

    Are You Ready For Some Football?

    Saturday, Sept. 1
    East Carolina @ Virginia Tech
    12:00 PM
    Blacksburg, Va.
    TV: ESPN (XM 190)

    Marshall @ Miami
    12:00 PM
    Miami, Fla.
    TV: ESPNU (XM 191)

    Virginia @ Wyoming
    2:00 PM
    Laramie, Wyo.
    TV: Versus (XM 193)

    Connecticut @ Duke
    2:00 PM
    Durham, N.C.
    TV: (XM 192)

    Wake Forest
    @ Boston College
    3:30 PM
    Chestnut Hill, Mass.
    TV: ABC/ESPN (XM 190)

    Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame
    3:30 PM
    Notre Dame, Ind.
    TV: NBC (XM 144)

    James Madison @ North Carolina
    6:00 PM
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
    TV: ESPN360 (XM 192)

    Villanova @ Maryland
    6:00 PM
    College Park, Md.
    TV: ESPN360 (XM 191)

    UCF @ NC State
    6:00 PM
    Raleigh, N.C.
    TV: ESPN360 (XM 193)

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Real Thunder And Lightning Force Noles Inside

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    Florida State football got practice underway on Thursday but the team was not outside for long. After making it through special teams work and some position drills, the offense moved to field one to face the scout team with crowd noise being piped in for the first time. That only lasted about a period though because a massive storm swept through Tallahassee. With lightning present in the area, the offense and defense split up. While the D watched film in the Moore Athletic Center, the offense went over and worked out in Tully Gym. The two units then switched. When the offense returned to Moore they spent some time walking through plays in the turf room. Florida State is expected to return to practice Friday afternoon.

    Junior Running Back Antone Smith

    (on Clemson's running back tandem of Spiller and Davis)
    "I'm not really concerned about those two guys (Clemson's C.J. Spiller and James Davis). Those guys did what they did last year. It's my opportunity now being the featured guy to go out and do what I can do. Obviously the difference between their team and our team last year was they had holes and we didn't have too many holes out there. I don't take anything away from those two guys - they are great backs. I'm just going to out and compete and how ever it turns out it turns out.

    Bobby Makes A Prediction

    For those of you who like me endured "The Bobby Bowden Call In Show" full of glitches, no sound, and more commercials than questions, you did hear Bobby Bowden make a prediction that is unusual for him. In response to a question regarding Antoine Smith, Bowden predicted that Smith would gain a thousand yards if he stayed healthy.

    Hannah Ineligible, Grosso Becomes A Hen,and FSU-Clemson Game

    Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden confirmed that junior college transfer TE Jonathan Hannah will not be eligible to play this season, further thinning the ranks at that position.


    Anthony Grosso is now a "Hen". The freshman offensive lineman Matawan, N.J., has transferred to the University of Delaware from Florida State University and will compete for the Fightin' Blue Hens football team this fall, UD Head Coach K.C. Keeler has announced.

    Bobby Bowden is echoing something that I have grown tired of by the media. Namely, the media referring to the FSU-Clemson game as "The Bowden Bowl." “We don’t like it anymore,” Bobby Bowden said on Tuesday. “To me, it’s another game. Tommy does the same thing. We like to keep it in the confines of FSU and Clemson.” I agree. the last time I checked neither Bobby or Tommy Bowden were suiting up for the game. Let's call it the FSU-Clemson game. Period.

    Bama and Gators Suffer Injuries And Hawkins The Wordsmith

    Alabama nose guard Brian Motley broke his left ankle and will miss six to eight weeks. Coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that Motley, a redshirt freshman who won the job in spring practice, was hurt in Tuesday's practice. Sophomore Lorenzo Washington will start at nose guard Saturday night against Western Carolina and will be backed up by freshmen.


    Starting left tackle Phil Trautwein will miss Florida's season opener against Western Kentucky on Saturday because of a stress fracture in his right ankle, and it's unsure how long the injury will keep the senior on the sideline. On the third day of preseason practice, Trautwein suffered what was believed to be just a sprain. However, the injury grew progressively worse, and UF coach Urban Meyer said he learned late Tuesday night that it was a stress fracture.

    Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins is a wordsmith. He revealed this when he was discussing the fact that fullbacks at Colorado are going to get more playing time this season. "They're the ultimate drone in your beehive," Hawkins said after Wednesday's practice. "They're your worker bees."

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    FSU-Clemson Connection And Clemson Saturday Practice

    There are obviously many FSU-Clemson connections. One connection is Clemson assistant head coach and offensive line coach Brad Scott. Scott served as offensive coordinator of Florida State's National Championship team of 1993. He served as an assistant with the Florida State program from 1983-93, including the 1990-93 era when he was offensive coordinator. Florida State won the National Championship in 1993. He has a master's degree from Florida State in athletic administration, a degree he earned in 1984. He was on the Florida State sideline in 1988 when the Seminoles executed the "Puntrooskie play".


    With its season debut against No. 19 Florida State taking place on a Monday night, the Tigers have to fill gaps in the normal game-week routine. To ensure that players stay out of trouble, Tommy Bowden considered putting the team up in a hotel Saturday night as well as Sunday. Instead, he has chosen to hold a Saturday night practice for perhaps no other reason than to occupy their time.

    Bobby Bowden commented on the Clemson defense in his weekly conference. “They’ve got a real sound scheme and have enough variation to it that it’s hard to predict what they’re going to do but they have really, the last couple of years, whipped us up front. Pass rush and run defense.”

    Noles Continue Prep For Clemson

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    With college football kicking off in just over 24 hours, the 19th-ranked Seminoles, the last team to play on opening weekend, returned to the practice fields Wednesday. FSU practiced for 21 periods in pads. It was the last time the team will put on full pads until they step on the field Monday night versus Clemson. Florida State will return to practice Thursday.

    There were a few nice plays during inside drills. Antone Smith and Jamaal Edwards both broke tackles and turned in nice runs. Xavier Lee had a great run on a scramble. Everette Brown and Neefy Moffett combined on a tackle for loss, Andre Fluellen disrupted a play with great penetration into the backfield as did Emmanuel Dunbar. Toddrick Verdell had a fumble recovery.

    In 1-on-1 Tony Carter had two pass break-ups for the defense. D'Vontrey Richardson connected with Bert Reed but it was Drew Weatherford that made the biggest plays. The junior hit Damon McDaniel and then two big hook-ups with Richard Goodman. The first was a deep ball and the second was a highlight reel catch as Goodman leapt over the DB to make the catch.

    In skeleton versus the scout team Weatherford completed two passes to Fagg, one to Rod Owens and a deep ball to Parker. For the defense Patrick Robinson had an interception and Dekoda Watson and Geno Hayes combined on a pass break-up.

    The defensive line had the better of pass rush on Wednesday. Emmanuel Dunbar, Everette Brown and Letroy Guion all had multiple wins. Budd Thacker, Moffett, Fluellen and Paul Griffin also beat their blockers. On the other side Daron Rose won a couple battles as did Rodney Hudson and David Overmyer also got a win.

    Weatherford continued to practice well in pass skel. He hit Fagg twice and Goodman twice. One to Goodman was a deep TD. The only big defensive highlight was Carter's pick.

    11-on-11 was situational. In the first period it was pretty wide open and Weatherford was able to connect with Fagg and Charlie Graham. Xavier Lee completed a TD to Greg Carr. When the chains moved into the red zone, most of the plays were on the ground. Smith had two nice runs as did Edwards. Edwards converted two 3rd-and-shorts. One he broke a tackle and took into the endzone. For the defense Brown had a QB pressure, Alex Boston and Fluellen had a tackle for loss on a 3rd-and-short, Kendrick Stewart had a sack and Benjamin Lampkin and Paul Griffin stuffed a play right at the line stopping the offense from moving the chains.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    On being in pads
    "It's the last day in full pads, tomorrow we'll come out in shells. We've had two days in a row of full pads, working pretty hard. The heat hasn't let up, so they'll be in pretty good shape for that ballgame."

    "We'll have our hands full..."

    "Both of them are pretty complete backs and they get involved in the running game and the passing game. We'll have our hands full with them."
    Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews referring to Clemson's two talented running backs

    Little Herbie Awards

    ESPN Gameday co-host Kirk Herbstreit has given out his "Herbie" awards. First, what an ego this sports hack has. The thing that got my attention is his award for top defensive minds.

    Here are little Herbie's picks for what he terms "Favorite Defensive Minds - Ruthless Aggression":

    1. Pete Carroll, USC
    2. Bo Pelini, LSU
    3. Greg Schiano, Rutgers
    4. Jon Tenuta, Georgia Tech
    5. Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
    6. Mark Stoops, Arizona
    7. Charlie Strong, Florida

    Notice anyone missing? How this moron could leave out Mickey Andrews from the list is beyond me. Andrews year in and year out has one of the best defenses in the country. This clown for the last several years has picked Mark Stoops from that powerhouse Arizona team. Ok, Herb, take that Herbie and well, you know what you can do with it. By the way, Kirk The Homer Herbstreit picked his alma mater Ohio State as the best gameday location.

    Hayes Butkus Nominee And Brinson Eligible To Play

    Florida State junior linebacker Geno Hayes is one of 66 preliminary candidates on the watch list for the Butkus Award. The award is handed out by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando and is presented to the nation's best collegiate linebacker.


    For the second year place-kicker Gary Cismesia is in the running for the Lou Groza Award. Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2006 season and 2007 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award.

    FSU cornerback Bernard Brinson has returned to practice after being cleared by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse. That leaves two FSU newcomers, Jatavious Jackson and junior college transfer Jonathan Hannah,who are still not academically eligible to compete.

    Freeman Named Canes QB And NC Has Groza Nominee

    Junior Kirby Freeman has been named the starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes for the 2007 season opener against Marshall Saturday, head coach Randy Shannon announced at his Tuesday press conference.

    "Kirby Freeman will be our starting quarterback for the Marshall game," Shannon told members of the media. "We are excited about both of the quarterbacks. We are fortunate to have two quality quarterbacks that can lead us in the right direction. Both of the guys worked well in the offseason. They did some things to try to win the job, but as a coach, you have to make tough decisions. We feel that Kirby will give us the best opportunity to win games. Kyle Wright has done a wonderful job preparing himself."


    University of Maryland senior running back Lance Ball was named to the preseason watch list for the 2007 Doak Walker Award . The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate running back. This year's field includes 2006 recipient Darren McFadden of Arkansas.

    University of North Carolina place-kicker Connor Barth has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2007 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. A senior from Wilmington, N.C., Barth was the only kicker in the country with a 1.000 field goal percentage in the NCAA rankings. He made all 10 attempts in 2006 and has a current streak of 11 in a row.

    Gators Get A Back And Bama Suspends Two

    Former USC running back Emmanuel Moody announced that he will transfer to defending national champion Florida. "I followed my heart," Moody, the Trojans' second-leading rusher last season, told ESPN's Joe Schad. "It's when you get that feeling that you know something is right and you can't really describe."


    Alabama receiver Keith Brown and linebacker Prince Hall have been suspended for the season opener against Western Carolina for unspecified violations of team rules, coach Nick Saban said Monday. Saban said both 2006 starters had been working in backup roles throughout fall camp in the Crimson Tide's practices, which are closed to the media.

    On Saturday, when UAB opens the 2007 season at Michigan State, UAB will be without Will Dunbar. Dunbar, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior playmaker in the secondary, is suspended for the Michigan State game. UAB head coach Neil Callaway announced the suspension during his weekly media luncheon on Monday. Callaway didn't elaborate why he's suspending one of his star players.

    Ranking The ACC Atlantic Division Teams: FSU

    The Nole's poster motto for 2007 is "The Awakening." After last year's 7-6 season, the Noles better be awake. One good thing is that "The Jeff Bowden Experiment" is over. The Noles over the last five years saw offensive production decline under his leadership. There is almost a completely new staff with the notable additions of Jimbo Fisher as offensive coordinator and Rick Trickett as coach of the offensive line.

    To say that this year's schedule is tough is an understatement. The Noles once again take on a tough opponent in their first game. No time to iron out the kinks. In addition, the Noles only have five home games. Whoever made up that schedule should be fired. Wait, that was Dave Hart and he is gone after this year.

    Florida State returns 14 starters including 6 on offense and 8 on defense. The Noles lost some key players. On defense, they lose Buster Davis and junior linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who declared early for the NFL draft. Offensively, running back Lorenzo Booker, the team’s leading rusher, and wide receiver Chris Davis, the Seminoles leading receiver, both will be missed.

    Key players on offense will be Drew Weatherford. and Antoine Smith. Weatherford cannot make the mistakes that he has made in the past. He cannot continue to make stupid interceptions if the Noles expect to contend for the Atlantic Division title. Antoine Smith is poised to be a big time player and if he stays healthy he should add the dual threat that the Noles need in the passing and run game The receiving corps with Fagg, Carr, and others must run better routes and hang on to the ball. On defense, two words. Mickey Andrews. Mickey always manages to have the defense ready to play and I see nothing different in 2007.

    If the Noles can survive a horrible road schedule and avoid trap games such at Colorado, they may be able to have a good season and reclaim the Atlantic Division.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction: The Noles don't have to wait for a key ACC game. They will have to be near perfect to survive their game at Clemson. If the Noles can have solid QB play and a running game, they can compete for the Atlantic Division. I am ranking them at #1 to win the Atlantic in a hotly contested division.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    My View: "Will He Make It Rain?"

    Xavier Lee had been silent until today regarding Drew Weatherford being chosen the starting quarterback for the Noles. There was even speculation today on local sports radio that perhaps Lee was contemplating transferring. There were harsh words about him perhaps attempting to "blackmail" the school. Pretty harsh rhetoric about a kid who is trying to win a starting job and let's be honest here,having to fight both Bobby Bowden and Jeff Bowden in the past. No matter what Drew Weatherford did or didn't do, Weatherford was the chosen one.

    We all should understand that these are young kids. I have a twenty-one year old son and I know how upset he can get and how he can act sometimes in an irrational manner. Given the circumstances, I think Xavier Lee has been relatively moderate in his comments and demeanor.

    From all accounts, Drew Weatherford had the better preseason. That said, I heard that said about him last year and the year before that and then I watched him in game situations.

    Xavier Lee spoke to the press tonight in regard to the QB position. In regard to not being the starter, he said, "I'm going to still work hard like I have been and when I get my shot I am going to have to make the most of it." Nothing incendiary in those words.

    What about Drew as starting QB? Here's what Lee said," I'm preparing like I'm going to start.I just hope Drew does well and we just come out on top that's all that matters to me. I care about this team more than myself." Not a hint of blackmail or threats in those words.

    As I have said before, I believe that Lee is far and away the better athlete and QB. However, he has not shown coaches what he is capable of in practices. Some would argue that you will never be able to convince Bobby Bowden that he is the better athlete.

    Lee did manage to let everyone know what he is capable of doing." Everyone knows I can throw the long ball and I can hit a barn from a mile a way. But, at the same time, you have to work on your 10 yard throws. I could make it rain out here if I wanted to."

    The question is will he ever be allowed to make it rain.

    Noles Finally Focus On Clemson

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    After eight months, FSU's new coaches finally opened up a week of practice with their focus on an opponent. The Seminoles practiced 22 periods in full pads on Monday and most of the practice was spent working against Clemson scout teams.

    Practice opened up with extensive work on special teams. In field goal, Gary Cismesia was a perfect 6-for-6.

    The team followed field goal with punt/punt block and position group work. The quarterbacks worked with the receivers and running backs.

    For the first time in 2007 the gold jerseys came out as both the offense and defense got work in versus the scout teams. The two units worked on inside drills versus scout and then the ones faced off versus one another. The two best highlights were solid runs turned in by Marcus Sims and Jamaal Edwards.

    In 1-on-1 Patrick Robinson had a pass break-up. D'Vontrey Richardson hit Greg Carr, Xavier Lee connected with Rod Owens, who made a great grab and Drew Weatherford completed passes to Richard Goodman and Bert Reed.

    After more scout team work the ones came together for 7-on-7. Weatherford completed passes to Goodman, Preston Parker and De'Cody Fagg. Lee hit Reed, Damon McDaniel and Carr. Mister Alexander had an interception and Michael Ray Garvin recorded a pass break-up.

    In pass rush Caz Piurowski and David Overmyer won multiple battles. Daron Rose and Shannon Boatman also recorded wins. For the defense, Letroy Guion got to the QB three times, Andre Fluellen twice and Paul Griffin, Budd Thacker and Eli Charles also got past their blockers.

    The scout team then worked versus the offense and defense in 11-on-11. Edwards had another nice run versus the scout team. Weatherford connected deep to Fagg and also hit Goodman deep on top of another completion to Fagg. Lee and McDaniel hooked-up on a deep ball and Carr made a great catch on a Lee pass. For the defense Tony Carter had a pick, J.R. Bryant broke up a pass and Toddrick Verdell had a huge tackle for loss.

    After 11-on-11 versus scout, the ones came together in a pretty uneventful session. The biggest play was a deep TD pass from Weatherford to Fagg. Lee had a nice scramble. Defensively Griffin had a sack and Everette Brown had a near sack but forced the QB into a poor throw.

    Each first unit got a crack against the second team in goal line. The first team defense allowed two TD's. After Anthony Leon laid a huge hit on Antonio White, Letroy Guion and Benjamin Lampkin stopped Edwards short of a TD. On the next play Xavier Lee hit the tight end for a TD on a rollout and then Edwards plunged in around the outside. The first team offense went 2-for-4 also. The first snap resulted in a Weatherford to John Frady TD pass. Frady, FSU's starting center last season, made a great catch along the side of the end zone and got one foot in for the score. On the next play Antonio White barreled in. Emmanuel Dunbar disrupted the next play with a great burst off the snap causing a fumble and then on the final play Edwards slipped before he could turn the corner.

    Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews
    (on the Clemson game last season)
    "We played fundamental football for thee and a half quarters. In the fourth quarter, we had a defensive back who made a mistake, one of several, and I let the play calling get away from me a little bit trying to do some persuasive instruction trying to get him to do his job a little bit better and I didn't get the call out quick enough to him. The lined up, hurried up and ran a running play and ran what -- 50-something yards or whatever it was. That was a coaching error."

    (How capable is this group of stopping the run?)
    "Up `till today, I thought we were good. We didn't play with enough effort, intensity and discipline today to be a good run defense. We wanted to tap people; we wanted to tag people instead of put the helmet and pad on them. That's not a good sign. We hadn't hit anybody or done any work for two days now. Since Saturday and that's wasn't much of a workout. We ran them a little bit. I'm a little disappointed in the way we came to work today. We'll have to be a lot better than that if we are going to be successful defensively against Clemson. They let the weather get to them a little bit. We had gone six periods and I looked over there and we had a safety in the tub over there cramping up because he didn't eat lunch. Cars don't run without gas. He didn't put any gas in his tank. He didn't get any better today. He didn't work. And there were three or four more."

    NC State Names QB And Miami To Announce QB Today

    Junior Daniel Evans,the quarterback for two N.C. State comeback wins and seven consecutive losses to end last season, has won back his starting job.

    First-year coach Tom O'Brien had opened competition for the job to redshirt freshman Justin Burke and Nebraska transfer Harrison Beck, but the school announced Monday that Evans has earned back the job. Evans was 163-for-307 for 1,843 yards last season. He threw six touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.


    University of Miami head coach Randy Shannon announced that he will unveil his starting lineup Tuesday along with the answer to the quarterback riddle that has plagued the team.

    With the 2007 college football season set to begin, 65 players have been added to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, including Georgia Tech linebacker Philip Wheeler. The 38th annual Rotary Lombardi Award onors the top lineman in college football. Wheeler, a senior from Columbus, Ga., led the Yellow Jackets with 9.0 sacks and 14.5 trackles for loss. He and the Jackets will open the season this Saturday at Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. ET.

    Ranking The ACC Atlantic Division Teams: Boston College

    Boston College is one of four ACC teams with new coaches for 2007. New head coach Jeff Jagodzinski insists that he would not have left the NFL for any other college coaching job. The 43-year-old Jagodzinski left his job as offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers for the head coaching job with the Eagles.

    For a new coach, a great asset is to have a QB that is tested. He has that in Matt Ryan. The best thing we've got going for us is our quarterback," Jagodzinski said. "Whatever league, whatever level you're playing in, you have to have that to be successful. Matt gives me a lot more options." Ryan threw for an ACC-best 2,942 yards last season, completing 61.6 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions.

    The Eagles lose only 6 starters (just two on defense) led by All- America guard Josh Beekman and clutch receiver Tony Gonzalez on offense and strong safety Ryan Glasper and cornerback Larry Anam on defense. The team took a hit when nerve damage will sideline one of the team's best players, the versatile linebacker/fullback Brian Toal, for the season.

    Perhaps the Eagle's biggest obstacle to winning the Atlantic Division is their road schedule. They have to play Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Clemson on the road.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction: Boston College is a solid team and will challenge for the Atlantic Division title. QB could be the deciding factor when you compare Ryan to Drew Weatherford. I am predicting a #2 ranking for the Eagles in 2007 but will not be surprised if they end up on top.

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    First "3 And Out" For The Season

    Continuing the practice from last year of interviewing those in the media who are familiar with FSU football, the opening "3 And Out" for the 2007 season is with sports radio personality Jeff Cameron of 1270 The Team. Jeff hosts the Jeff Cameron Show weekdays Monday through Friday from 3-6 on 1270 AM radio. He covers all sports with particular emphasis on FSU sports. He is a highly entertaining and informed host. Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to answer the questions.

    1. Can you give us what you feel are three keys to a successful season for the Noles in 2007 ?

    Here goes, let's start with the running game shall we? Last year FSU did not have a back average 50 yards a game rushing. Not 50 yards!!!!!!!! That's pathetic. Pathetic to the tune of being ranked in the 100's out of 119 teams. This is where lack of offensive balance comes into play. FSU must be able to run the ball effectively in order to give their QB's a chance. The Noles no longer possess the kind of overwhelming athleticism as compared to their opponents that will allow for such a deficiency to be overcome. If FSU runs with some degree of efficiency you'll see the play action pass become relevant again and defenses will be forced to play us "honest". That hasn't happened in years.

    The next key is one that applies to all teams but I think especially so in FSU's case. From the scrimmages I watched it was clear that the starters on both offense and defense can play at a pretty high level. However, the second team, with few exceptions, showed an alarming drop off. This was very apparent in regards to our offensive line. In short, FSU must stay healthy. Very healthy if they are to have a great season.

    As for the third key I'll go with the obvious- find a QB that they can trust. I don't think Weatherford has to be the next "great one" but rather a guy who doesn't blow the game. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers, got to cut way down on the INT's and understand that it's ok to punt. While we'd all prefer to have a superstar at this position it isn't entirely necessary if the other components I referenced come into place.

    2. What has been your biggest surprise on offense and defense?

    On offense I'll go with DeCody Fagg. The guy has consistently shown off another gear this fall and has frequently made catches underneath and then out ran our defense on his way to the end zone. I typically thought of him as a possession receiver so this has surprised me quite a bit.

    On defense I'll go with LeTroy Guion. With so much talk about Paul Griffen coming back healthy I think that many people forgot about Guion. He has been a one man wrecking crew at every single practice I have witnessed. The interior of FSU's defensive line is going to be very good this year if he and Fluellen play up to their abilities.

    3. Who do you think needs to be the impact player on offense and defense?

    On offense it's Antone Smith. The coaches have told him that he's the man and if he can handle the load they'll give him the ball 15 to 20 times a game minimum. He's the one true game breaker on offense and if the line gives him a chance we could finally see a 1,000 yard rusher in FSU's backfield.

    On the defensive side of the ball I'd like to see Everette Brown become a dominant rush end. It's been so long since FSU has had consistent pressure off the edges that allow for Mickey to run the defense he wants without having to stunt in order to pressure the QB. Brown may not even begin the year as a starter so some might find this as a bit of a reach but honestly, from what I've seen, I don't see how he won't be the guy by week three.

    Ranking The ACC Atlantic Division Teams: Clemson

    It seems that sometimes Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden would rather make sarcastic remarks than concentrate on winning games. His brand of sarcasm and his teams folding like cheap seats has him on the hot seat with Clemson fans. In 2006, the Tigers went 8-5 and 5-3 in the ACC. Clemson finished 4th in the Atlantic Division. Under his leadership the Tigers lost four out of their last five games of 2006 and then lost to Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

    So what's in store for 2007? The Tigers have a lot of holes to fill on offense. That is very evident on the offensive line where graduation wiped out the ACC's best collection of run blockers. Senior tackle Barry Richardson, a potential All-American, is the only returning starter.

    "There's not a lot of experience right now," Richardson said. "But, if we stay at everything, work at everything, I think we're going to have a good offensive line."

    Bowden also has to find a quarterback to replace Will Proctor, who threw for 2,353 yards in his one season as a starter. Cullen Harper, who threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns last season in a limited role, emerged from spring practice as the probable starter, although prep All-American Willy Korn, who enrolled at Clemson in January, goes into the season as the No. 2 man on the depth chart.

    Junior "Thunder" James Davis, the 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year and a first-team All-ACC running back last season, has rushed for 2,066 yards in two seasons and has averaged 5.6 yards a carry. To complement Davis, there is sophomore C.J. Spiller, nicknamed "Lightning",who was even more effective, averaging 7.3 yards a carry as he rushed for 936 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman last year.

    On defense, seven starters return. "We should be solid on defense," Bowden said. "We've finished in the top 25 [nationally] in four major defensive categories in each of the last two years. That's a credit to [defensive coordinator] Vic Koenning and the job he's done."

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction:
    Clemson will be tested in their first game against the Noles at home on Labor Day. It is difficult to have much faith in a Tommy Bowden team that has yet to win an ACC championship or go to a BCS game. I am predicting a ranking of #3 for Clemson recognizing that they could head lower given their history.

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Clemson Announces Starting O Line

    Clemson has announced its starting offensive line for the FSU game. Clemson had the task of replacing four starters from its 2006 season.

    Offensive line coach Brad Scott said Saturday he has settled on senior Barry Richardson at left tackle, senior Chris McDuffie at left guard, sophomore Barry Humphries at center, sophomore Thomas Austin at right guard and senior Christian Capote at right tackle.

    "...not a lot of reason for Clemson and Florida State to play this game now"

    "There's not a lot of reason for Clemson and Florida State to play this game now except that it's on national TV (ESPN) on (a) Monday night. I can't think of another reason why they'd want to play each other this early. You'd like to have this game mid-season or later."
    Terry Bowden regarding FSU-Clemson game on Sept. 3

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Ranking The ACC Atlantic Division Teams: Maryland

    Maryland was 9-4 last year and finished at #3 in the Atlantic Division. The Terrapins lose 10 starters (five offense, five defense) with 221 career starts, including two-year starting quarterback Sam Hollenbach, second-team All-ACC punter Adam Podlesh, Honorable Mention All-ACC cornerback Josh Wilson as well as starting offensive tackle Stephon Heyer.

    With the departures of linebackers David Holloway and Wesley Jefferson and strong safety Marcus Wimbush, the Terrapins lose three of their top four tacklers from a year ago. Not a good outlook for 2007.

    It is likely that Maryland could end up next to last in the Atlantic Division competing with Wake Forest for that spot. If Ralph Friedgen is as much an offensive genius as some think, then he will have to show that genius in 2007.

    One of the keys will be how well Friedgen can get QB Jordan Steffy to play. Turnovers will be key and last year the Terrapins were 90th in the nation in turnover margin.

    An early test for the Terrapins will be West Virginia at Maryland on September 13 and then Wake at Wake the following week.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction:
    It is probably going out on a limb to predict Maryland at #4. Look for a battle between Wake and Maryland for the spot.

    Preseason Practices End- Focus Now On Clemson

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    For all the excitement that surrounded the beginning of preseason practice the final day came without much fan fare. The Florida State Seminoles held their final practices of the preseason on Saturday and will now get ready to begin classes on Monday and look towards the season opener at Clemson.

    The morning session lasted about 1:15 and was mainly spent on special teams. The team went through punt return, kickoff return, punt block, field goal and kickoff coverage.

    Preston Parker remained with the ones on punt return as did Michael Ray Garvin and Joslin Shaw on kick return.

    Gary Cismesia had a great practice. In the field goal segment he hit 5-of-6 attempts including three of 30+ yards. Graham Gano went 2-of-3 on his field goals.

    The evening session was spent with the one's working versus scout teams with minimal contact.

    Some of the highlights for the offense included numerous big runs by Antone Smith. Drew Weatherford had some nice completions to De'Cody Fagg and Richard Goodman for big gains. He also hit Smith for a TD inside the red zone. Bert Reed turned in a highlight film play as he burst down the field on a run for a TD.

    Xavier Lee had a TD throw as he completed a pass to Fagg in the seam that the senior took in for six.

    The biggest cheers of the night came on a TD pass from Christian Ponder. Even though he was sacked on the play, Ponder aired one out to the end zone where a leaping D'Vontrey Richardson made the catch for a TD.

    On the defensive side Michael Ray Garvin, Budd Thacker, J.R. Bryant and Patrick Robinson all recorded pass break ups. Toddrick Verdell forced a fumble and Marcus Ball and Anthony Houllis both had picks. Dekoda Watson had two sacks and Everette Brown recorded one as well.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden
    "Well it was more of a rehearsal then anything. We got to spend the first half letting our number ones and chief subs go for a half and then we let them run. Then worked with the other guys the other half. We didn't keep score. We didn't tackle, we thudded. The last group tackled but the first group thudded. But anyways, pretty good, pretty good scrimmage."

    NCAA Changes Mind

    Beside the change in kickoffs from the thirty yard line, the NCAA has a few other significant changes for 2007.

    Last season, the NCAA wanted to speed up football games. This season it wants more plays. Many coaches complained about the 2006 changes, which resulted in about 14 fewer plays per game, had altered the game too much. Others said it prevented teams from rallying late in games. Due to the concerns, the NCAA football rules committee recommended going to back to the old system. "The dramatic number of plays taken out of the game was a concern to everybody, including the rules committee," said Ty Halpin, a spokesman for the oversight panel. "These guys practice all week to play in the game and we found there were less opportunities for them. That was a big part of the rationale." Bobby Bowden at the kickoff luncheon on Friday estimated that it will probably mean 12 more plays per game.

    Another rule that will take effect in 2007 involves media timeouts. After media timeouts during televised games, teams will have less time to run plays. Previously, teams had a 25-second play clock; now it will be 15 seconds. Halpin said it could prevent the long stoppages when teams are merely simply trying to save time.

    Bama Player On List And Happy Meyer

    The Crimson Tide technically end fall camp today, with Sunday off and Monday marking the beginning of game week. Alabama coach Nick Saban has been adamant that there is no depth chart and that any position battles would continue to be evaluated. Also, Alabama's center Antoine Caldwell on Friday was named to the Rimingon Award watch list. The award honors the nation's best center.


    Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins was asked how he saw the team's progression. "We're getting close," he said. "The next week, they'll be a little more rested, a little more focused. I'm one of those guys that thinks you're never quite there. We could be doing awesome, and I'll think we're not quite there. But I think we're headed in the right direction."

    The Gator's practice on Friday was delayed 30 minutes because of lightning, but Meyer said he was happy with how the Gators regrouped and finished their workout. Meyer said he's still concerned about a few positions, but he's more than confident in the receiving corps, sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow and, surprisingly, the tailbacks.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Ranking The ACC Atlantic Division Teams: Wake Forest

    Can Cinderella do it again? Wake Forest won the Atlantic Division in 2006 and won the ACC championship against Georgia Tech in Jacksonville. The Deacons went 11-3 and lost in the Orange Bowl to Louisville. The excitement is so high that the school is undertaking a major renovation of the stadium. Not sure one year of success is enough to commit millions of dollars to the football program.

    There is one sure thing this year. No one is going to take the Deacons for granted especially the Noles when they play Wake Forest at Wake on Oct. 11. After a 33-0 drubbing in Tallahassee, the Noles will surely be hoping to avenge a horrible loss.

    The Deacons will return eight starters on offense and six on defense.The loss of linebacker Eric Berry to academic ineligibility was a blow to a defensive unit that already was trying to adjust to the departures of Jon Abbate, Josh Gattis, Pat Ghee and Riley Swanson. Seven defenders who had a combined 163 career starts are gone from the unit that surrendered only 15.4 points in ‘06. The offense, which averaged 21.6 points per game in ‘06, should be at least a touchdown better with the return of quarterback Riley Skinner, runner Micah Andrews and Kenny Moore back at wide receiver on a full-time basis.

    The Deacons have Boston College at BC in their first game and Nebraska the following week. This should indicate how good a team they will be. So where will the Deacons end up in 2007?

    Many analysts have them in the upper part of the Atlantic Division. I don't see it. I think they may be one hit wonders and Wake players are not used to being in the spotlight and having teams focusing on you.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction:
    Wake may prove me wrong but I am predicting that they finish at #5.

    Weather Complicates Practice Again

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    For the second day in a row late afternoon lightning forced the Seminoles to alter their practice plans. On Friday the team was stuck inside for two hours before practicing 16 periods in shells on the turf field. Saturday is the final practice of the preseason. After an early morning kicking practice, the team will have a half scrimmage and Clemson walk through. Sunday and Monday will be off days as far as practices are concerned.

    Head coach Bobby Bowden announced the 2007 team captains on August 24 at the 56th annual kickoff luncheon. With input from his coaching staff, Bowden selects the leaders himself and then the team will vote on permanent captains at the conclusion of the season. FSU's 2006 captains are seniors De'Cody Fagg (offense), Andre Fluellen (defense) and Anthony Houllis (special teams).

    In red zone the first team offense had a good showing. It started with a nice run from Ball and then a connection from Weatherford to Ball. The next pass was broken up when Roosevelt Lawson perfectly timed out his hit and got to the receiver right as the ball was delivered. On the next play though Weatherford swung a pass out to Smith who scored the TD.

    In 1:00 drill the offense started at the 35 and needed a TD. The first team offense got a break and started off with five yards when the defense jumped offsides. On the next play Weatherford completed a pass to Smith and then picked up a first with a completion to Fagg. After an incompletion, Weatherford scrambled for minimal yardage when McNeil chased him out of the pocket and to the sideline. On third-and-eight Smith ran for a first down but back-to-back sacks by Everette Brown and Budd Thacker killed the clock. The two's weren't any more successful. Lee started with a completion to Shaw for a first. After a Mister Alexander pass break up, Lee hit Pat Davis before an incompletion. On fourth down Lee and Davis connected again but they couldn't move the chains.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden
    "We changed-up the schedule today because when we were coming out we had a lightning storm so we had to go back in and look at film, study film then come back out and try to get what we could out here tonight. They are going to work just a little bit more on Clemson stuff and then they are going to take it in. Tomorrow we will work on our kicking game in the morning and then in the afternoon officials will come in, talk to us and let us ask questions then have a little workout that night."

    Ranking The ACC Atlantic Division Teams: NC State

    NC State no longer has Chuck "The Chest" at the helm. In his place, fomer Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien takes over for the Wolfpack. O'Brien accumulated an impressive record at BC and became the winningest coach in BC history.

    O'Brien has a difficult job in bringing back NC State who was 3-9 last year. One of those three wins came against the Noles and I am am sure that Amato will be pleased to welcome the Wolfpack to Doak this year.

    O'Brien is known for a hard hitting defense and a methodical and consistient offense. He is also known for instilling a sense of discipline to a team. As O'Brien states, "It may not happen overnight, but it will happen. It has to be important to them. It's the us mentality instead of the me mentality."

    One big reason for State's 3-9 record in 2006 was their minus-11 turnover ratio, 112th. O'Brien's BC team led the ACC at plus-15, with 37 takeaways, compared to only 12 takeaways for State.

    NC State has a schedule that is manageable although they have Boston College, FSU, and Miami on the road. The team is a decent team but there are question marks at QB with Daniel Evans.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction: NC State will end up on the bottom in the ACC Atlantic at #6.

    Another Kickoff Luncheon In The Books

    Note to organizers of the FSU Kickoff Luncheon. Start on time. Thirty minutes late is not acceptable.

    With that said, the somewhat subdued crowd of Seminole faithful greeted the football team and heard from various FSU leaders.Dave Hart managed to get the tape off his mouth and did speak. T.K. Wetherell took several swipes at the NCAA. Good for T.K. Mickey Andrews got a deserved standing ovation.

    Bobby Bowden was Bobby Bowden. A few jokes and then the keys to the season- avoid major injuries, some luck,and correct mistakes.He also weighed in on the NCAA kickoff rule change and was not enthusiastic in regard to it.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Ranking The ACC Coastal Division Teams: Va. Tech

    Virginia Tech is one of the football programs in the nation that just reload. Head coach Frank Beamer in his twenty-first year at Va. Tech looks to be a BCS contender with a team that was 10-3 last year. The year ended in disappointment when they lost to Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

    The Hokies return 16 starters for the 2007 season and saw a number of players stay at school instead of turn pro. There is no doubt that they will be "America's Team" this year given the tragedy and horror that the school had to endure.

    This is a team that sometimes seems to let down and lose games that perhaps they should have won. The key this year for Beamer is to be consistient. The Hokies will be tested early as they play at LSU in their second game of the season. The Hokies are the only ACC team to be ranked in the top ten of the preseason polls so they will not be sneaking up on any team. They also get FSU at home this year and this should be an interesting test for the Noles.

    Virginia Tech has the framework of the nation's No. 1-ranked defense led by linebackers Vince Hall, who finished with an ACC-best 128 tackles, and Xavier Adibi, who had as many sacks as interceptions (three). In addition, as good and as experienced as Tech's front seven is, three of the down lineman are seniors, the secondary could be the team's best asset. Corners Brandon Flowers and Macho Harris (four interceptions) will be playing in the NFL soon. The Hokies allowed only 11 points per game last season, giving up 14 touchdowns in 13 games.

    Junior running back Branden Ore who was the dominant player for Virginia Tech's offense last season wil be even better this year. He scored 17 of the offense's 35 touchdowns, 16 on the ground, to go with 1,137 yards. Ore will have an improved offensive line and a veteran quarterback to relieve the pressure of the running game.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction: All in all, the Hokies should be the team to beat for the ACC Coastal Division title. Unless they trip up, they should finish at #1 in the ACC Coastal.

    Noles Second Practice Cut Short By Lightning

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    Florida State's evening practice was cut down to just eight periods after the team spent about an hour and a half waiting out lightning in the area. The Seminole football team will attend the kickoff luncheon at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center tomorrow and then practice for 18 periods beginning at 4:00 p.m.

    The Seminoles barely got started before they got chased inside by lightning. The team did get in some work in specialty before heading indoors and waiting for about an hour and a half.

    When the team returned to the field they moved right into period 11 and skeleton drills. Weatherford opened skel by connecting with Preston Parker on the sideline and then hitting De'Cody Fagg twice. Xavier Lee completed passes to Chase Walker and Joslin Shaw. For the defense Roger Williams, Kenny Ingram and Patrick Robinson broke up passes.

    In pass rush the offensive line got off to a great start. David Overmyer won back-to-back battles and Caz Piurowski picked up a couple wins. Antwane Greenlee, Daron Rose and Rodney Hudson got victories as well. On the other side Letroy Guion got to the passer three times, Budd Thacker, Andre Fluellen, Craig Yarborough and Dustin Tremellen also won battles.

    11-on-11 was situational once again. Weatherford completed a couple passes to Parker, one to Smith, one to Josh Dobbie and also mixed in a nice scramble. Lee connected with Russell Ball. For the defense Geno Hayes picked a pass and took it back for a TD, Everette Brown had a sack, Williams broke up a pass and Derek Nicholson swatted away a ball in the backfield.

    The practice ended with the 1:00 drill. The first team offense was unable to produce points and ended their turn giving up points on a safety. Weatherford started out by hitting Joslin Shaw on the sideline. Brown then recorded another sack. Weatherford and the offense looked to be back in business on a nice pitch and catch with Greg Carr but a holding penalty pinned the O back deep. That's when Neefy Moffett ended the drive with a sack in the endzone. The two's did a better job and generated some points. It started with a big scramble by Lee. After a pass break up by Toddrick Verdell, Lee hit Shaw underneath. Russell Ball mixed in a nice run but Verdell broke up another pass on the following play. That brought Gary Cismesia in to the game and the kicker connected on a long field goal to end practice.

    Florida State Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
    "The starter for the first game will be Drew Weatherford. They (Drew and Xavier Lee) both had good camps. They both played well and I still think we have two fine quarterbacks. I still have two great young quarterbacks also on this team. The starter we decided on for the first game will be Drew. I think the main thing we were looking for is consistency; a little more consistency in practice on an every day basis and in scrimmages and in practice every day. Just a little bit more consistency but I still think Xavier is playing well. I still think he is doing some good things and he made some real good plays out there today."

    Surprise! Weatherford Named Starting QB

    To no one's surprise, Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher announced this evening that Drew Weatherford would be the starting QB for the Noles The redshirt junior has thrown 30 touchdown passes and 29 interceptions in his first two years at Florida State.

    As stated in previous posts, I have no horse in the QB race. All I care about is if the Noles win. I do think that there can be no more excuses made for Weatherford.

    It is now time for him to fish or cut bait. I still believe that the most talented QB is Xavier Lee. Most observers would agree that Weatherford is lacking in arm strength and cannot scramble. Lee clearly possesses both of those attributes.

    With that said, fans need to rally around Drew as we enter the 2007 season.

    FSU Completes First Practice Of Day

    Excerpts From FSU Sports Information:

    After taking a day off from the practice fields on Wednesday, Florida State is halfway through its final two-a-day of the pre-season. The Seminoles returned to the field for 24 periods in pads this morning. The team will go back out tonight for 18 periods beginning at 6:15.

    The practice began as usual with special teams work Preston Parker and Bert Reed fielded punts and in field goal Gary Cismesia was 4-for-4. The field goal block team did get one on a Graham Gano attempt. After specialty the team moved into position drills and then 3-on-3. In 3-on-3 Antone Smith made his return to the drill and on his first carry breezed through the gauntlet. Marcus Sims, Pat Davis and Joche Norona all made it through multiple times. Antonio White also got to the end. On the other side Jeremy Franklin, Maurice Harris, Rod Roberts, Anthony Leon, Dekoda Watson and Myron Rolle all had tackles. Budd Thacker turned in the most impressive play as he shed his blocker at the first level and brought down the back.

    In 11-on-11 Marcus Sims had a nice run to the outside. Lee and Carr connected as did Weatherford and Goodman. Andre Fluellen and Charles recorded sacks. The biggest play was turned in by Moffett as he drove his blocker into the backfield and right into the ball carrier. In goal line the first team offense scored on two of four tries. On the first two attempts the defense held tough. Recardo Wright and Letroy Guion stopped Sims on the first play and Seddrick Holloway was bottled up on the second. Sims did get in on a sweep on play three and then Weatherford hit Holloway in the endzone for another TD. The two's scored on the first of their four tries. The TD came on a Pat Davis run, which was made possible by a great Antonio White block. White was stopped up the middle the next play and Davis was taken down trying to run outside by Alexander. The drill finished with an incomplete pass into the endzone.

    Associate Head Coach Mickey Andrews

    "We didn't practice yesterday. We were mainly just cleaning up some things on film and trying to make some corrections. We had a bunch of kids that were banged up and gave them a little extra time to get some extra treatment and try to get well. But mostly what we were trying to do today was to take one more step in getting ready for Clemson. We've been working on our stuff as well as some of Clemson's stuff. The basic fundamentals of the offense (in today's practice) were being kept. There were way too many penalties out here. It's hard enough to beat an outstanding team when you're playing your best. Penalties and mistakes don't allow you to play your best. We weren't very sharp today; too many penalties on both offense and defense. We've got to build up a little more focus. Sometimes when you miss a day of practice and have too many distractions, it's hard to get your focus back on what you've got to do. The things we talked to them about, they didn't get to improve on them physically. We asked them to come out today and pick up and make up for what we missed and you could see them losing a little bit in terms of their concentration and focus. We've got to be more disciplined then that."

    BC Names Kicker And Clemson Backs Recognized

    Steve Aponavicius, who last year earned the nickname of the late punk rocker when he became a national story as a walk-on, will handle Boston College’s kicking duties to start the season, coach Jeff Jagodzinski said yesterday. “I think Steve’s done a nice job and Johnny (Ayers) has done a nice job punting, too, so I’ll probably go with those two guys,” Jagodzinski said.


    After it was announced that 2007 would be the last year that Miami plays in the Orange Bowl,ticket sales have been brisk. Sales have particuarly been brisk for the Nov. 10 Virginia game, the final UM game to be played in the Orange Bowl. "I don't have all the numbers, but they told me ticket sales have picked up the last two days and a lot of people are starting to buy single-game tickets for Virginia," Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee said. "That game is going to go quickly."

    Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller have been named to the preseason Watch List for the 2007 Walter Camp National Player of the Year Award. Thirty-five players from around the nation were named to the Watch List for the award that honors the best all-around player in college football.

    Clemson was the only school in the nation to have two running backs named to the list and one of just eight schools to have more than one player selected regardless of position. Matt Ryan, quarterback from Boston College, was the only other ACC player on the list.

    Will Hart Speak?

    So will FSU Athletic Director Dave Hart speak tomorrow at the 2007 Seminole Football Kickoff Luncheon? Normally the lame duck Hart is one of the speakers at the luncheon. It will be interesting to see if he is in attendance and if he in fact will make any comments. The luncheon is set for 11am in the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

    QB Named Later Today And Andrews Returns To Practice

    Jimbo Fisher is expected to announce the starting quarterback for the Seminoles after this evening's practice. The practice is scheduled to end at 8:30, and FSU sports information has said Fisher will name the first-team quarterback following the practice.


    After holding his son's funeral and having more than five-hundred in attendance, Mickey Andrews is expected to return to the practice fields today. Andrews has had an outpouring of calls and visits from former players and coaches.

    Linebacker coach Chuck Amato said this is one of the younger groups at linebacker he's coached in his career. Says Amato,"There's not a whole lot of experience. "Their attitude is awesome. I couldn't ask for anything better."

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Ranking The ACC Coastal Division Teams: Georgia Tech

    There is good news. Calvin Johnson will be playing football. The bad news is that it won't be for Georgia Tech. The heralded receiver is now in the pros and the defending Coastal Divison champs will be playing without him. However, the Yellow Jackets will still be contenders in 2007.

    Georgia Tech who won the Coastal Division title but lost to Wake in the ACC championship game has some notable returning players. Tashard Choice, with his ACC-leading 1,473 rushing yards, returns with four starting linemen, including tackle Andrew Gardner, who's switching from the left side to the right to protect the blind side of QB Taylor Bennett, a lefty. Says Choice,"If they want to ride me, they can ride me all day." This clearly an indication that he and other players welcome the challenge of being the focus of the offense without Johnson.

    The Yellow Jackets lost twelve letterman but have a nucleus that should have them in contention for 2007 in the Coastal Division. Junior QB Taylor Bennett should be a welcome addition with the departure of an awful Reggie Ball at QB. The Yellow Jackets seem to have few worries when it comes to the kicking game.Ray Guy Award candidate Durant Brooks booted three punts for an average of 50.3 yards and senior placekicker Travis Bell was 3-of-3 on field goal attempts in a recent scrimmage.On defense, Georgia Tech lost a minimal number of stsrters and should be solid.

    Their first test comes in their first game of the 2007 season when they play at Notre Dame on September 1.

    FSU It's Time Ranking Prediction:
    Georgia Tech is solid and should challenge Virginia Tech and Miami. They should fiinish at #2 in the Coastal Division.