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    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Game Balls For Bama game

    There are three game balls this week:

    The first ball goes to QB Xavier Lee who had a great game. Lee was 12 for 19 for 224 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 interception. Oh, by the way, he also had 59 rushing yards. An outstanding job.

    The second game ball goes to wide receiver De'Cody Fagg who had 4 receptions for 95 yards and 2 TDs with a TD of 70 yards.

    The third game ball goes to Mickey Andrews and his defense who had a great game plan and was all over the Bama QB.

    Terps Upset Rutgers...Virginia A Surprise...Tech Clips Tigers

    Rutgers doesn't handle being in the top 10 very well. For the second straight year, the Scarlet Knights were upset after climbing that high in the rankings. Backup quarterback Chris Turner led Maryland to 20 second-half points, Keon Lattimore rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown and the Terps ruined No. 10 Rutgers' second stay in the top 10 with a 34-24 victory Saturday.


    Georgia Tech stifled the dynamic running duo of James "Thunder" Davis and C.J. "Lightning" Spiller and took advantage of a stunningly poor performance by Dean Buchholz and the rest of Clemson's kicking game, upsetting the 13th-ranked Tigers 13-3 Saturday. The Yellow Jackets (3-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak and avoided their first 0-3 start in league play since 1994. It wouldn't have been possible if not for Clemson's woes in a phase of the game that often gets overlooked.

    The new quarterback is still getting intense on-the-job-training, and the offensive line still hasn't found a combination that works well. Xavier Adibi set up one short touchdown drive with an interception and long return, Virginia Tech stopped another drive by forcing a fumble deep in its own territory and the No. 17 Hokies won their third straight, 17-10, against North Carolina on Saturday.

    Kyle Wright returned from an injury to throw a game-sealing touchdown pass to DajLeon Farr with 2:15 left, and Miami escaped an upset bid by Duke for the second straight year by beating the Blue Devils 24-14 on Saturday. Wright was 19-of-23 for 230 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes (4-1, 1-0), who won their Atlantic Coast Conference opener for the first time in three years.

    Jameel Sewell threw three first-quarter touchdown passes and Cedric Peerman ran for two scores as Virginia extended its winning streak to four games with a 44-14 victory over Pitt on Saturday night. Sewell was 7-of-7 as Virginia (4-1) built a 27-0 first-quarter lead. His scoring passes covered 2 yards to Jonathan Stupar, 18 yards to Tom Santi and 5 yards to Rashawn Jackson.

    Matt Ryan led Boston College on a 96-yard drive to give the Eagles a 17-point lead over Massachusetts. "We put together some nice drives when we needed to," Ryan said Saturday after throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown to lead No. 12 BC to a 24-14 victory over UMass. "I think that's the sign of a championship team: when you get scored on, you answer."

    Penalties And Missed Opportunities

    All of us know that a win is a win. However,the Noles had some missed opportunities and once again stupid penalties.

    Third-Down Conversions........ 6 of 16
    Fourth-Down Conversions.......1 of 1
    Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......2-3
    Penalties: Number-Yards....... 9-54 (FSU had three delay of game penalties)

    Field Position Stats First Half:
    FSU at Bama 47
    FSU at FSU 43
    FSU at Bama 41
    FSU at FSU 45
    FSU at FSU 32
    FSU at FSU 7
    FSU at FSU 10

    Note: FSU had mostly great field position and came up with 0 points in first half.

    BC Number 6 In Latest Poll

    1. Southern California 4-0
    2. LSU 5-0
    3. California 5-0
    4. Ohio State 5-0
    5. Wisconsin 5-0
    6. Boston College 5-0
    7. Florida 4-1
    8. Kentucky 5-0
    9. South Florida 4-0
    10. Oklahoma 4-1
    11. Georgia 4-1
    12. West Virginia 4-1
    13. Oregon 4-1
    14. Virginia Tech 4-1
    15. Hawaii 5-0
    16. Texas 4-1
    17. Missouri 4-0
    18. South Carolina 4-1
    19. Arizona State 5-0
    20. Purdue 5-0
    21. Rutgers 3-1
    22. Clemson 4-1
    23. Nebraska 4-1
    24. Cincinnati 5-0
    25. UCLA 4-1

    Sims And Overmeyer Sustain Injuries

    Starting sophomore fullback Marcus Sims fractured his right ankle when tailback Antone Smith hit him from behind midway through the first quarter. Starting senior right tackle David Overmyer limped off the field early in the second quarter when quarterback Xavier Lee hit his left knee from behind. Overmyer didn't return and said he sprained his MCL.

    "...I can say, 'We whipped y'all."

    "Know when it will be most emotional?" Is when I go home this summer up to Birmingham, we go out to Roebuck [Golf Course], we tee that thing up on the first tee box and I can say, 'We whipped y'all."
    Booby Bowden regarding win over Alabama

    New Poll: FSU Player Of The Game

    There is a new poll question: Who was FSU's player of the game?

    FSU It's Time Play Of The Game:FSU-Bama

    The Play of The Game came in the second half when Bama QB John Parker Wilson fumbled after Florida State sophomore Everette Brown sacked him on a third-and-15 play. Defensive tackle Letroy Guion recovered the fumble to set up a five-yard touchdown run by Antone Smith early in the fourth quarter. FSU went up 14-0 on the fumble recovery and subsequent touchdown.

    "...patience pays off..."

    "No athlete likes to wait and sit around and wait for their chance but patience pays off and patience is a virtue."
    Xavier Lee after the game

    Bama "Out-Toughed"...Saban Rates Noles Defense

    Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News reported that Nick Saban was not too happy because according to him"Alabama was "out-toughed." He spoke of the mental and physical toughness established by Florida State on offense and special teams.


    The Associated Press quoted Saban as saying this about the defense of the Noles,"I've been part of some great defensive teams as a coach and I've played against quite a few and they're up there with the best of them".

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Noles Stop Tide 21-14

    Before the largest crowd to ever watch a football game in Jacksonville, Xavier Lee came off the bench to throw a pair of touchdown passes to De'Cody Fagg, and Antone Smith scored on a 5-yard run as the Noles defeated No. 22 Alabama 21-14. For those who did not watch the game, the game was not as close as the score. FSU's defense completely stymied Bama's offense and it was only when the Seminoles went into a prevent defense did Bama score.

    There should no longer be a quarterback controversy. Xavier Lee should now have the job and the new chant in town should be "We're Number One". Lee did what many Seminole fans knew what he was capable of doing. He is clearly the better athlete. That is not a knock against Weatherford who is a good kid. It is just the truth.

    Now for some bad news. Penalties committed by the Noles are ridiculous. They have to get a handle on them.

    Now for the good news. The defense coached by Mickey Andrews was outstanding. There were talk show pundits and others that said FSU would lose because of defense. Anyone that has watched FSU through the years knew that was hogwash.

    Poll Results: Who Will Be Surprise Player In Alabama Game

    Poll results for the question: "Who do you think will be the "surprise" player for the Noles in their game against Bama?":

    1. Preston Parker- 30%

    2. Damon McDaniel - 15%

    2. Other- 15%

    Media Picks Bama...Noles Love Jax...Stadium Record

    Of the 25 media members polled by the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union, 16 picked quarterback John Parker Wilson and his Alabama Crimson Tide to beat Florida State today at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.


    The Seminoles are 7-1 in Jacksonville, and it took Brett Favre to beat them when Southern Mississippi upset Florida State 36-20 in the 1989 season opener.(I was at that loss I am sad to say.) Florida State has defeated Oklahoma, Houston, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Duke and West Virginia twice in the stadium once known as the Gator Bowl and now home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is being expanded to a record 85,000 seats for today's Florida State-Alabama game, but FSU athletic director Dave Hart thinks even that is too small. As a result, FSU-Alabama is on pace to draw more than the previous stadium record of 84,753 for Georgia's 31-24 victory over Florida in 2004. The record for a Jaguars game in Jacksonville, 76,877, also was set that year in a loss to Pittsburgh

    My Buys And Sells For FSU-Alabama

    Alabama mascot- A clothed mascot and this time an elephant. Sorry, I am not impressed. I am selling.

    FSU has "home" field advantage- FSU is playing close to home but there will be as many if not more screaming Bama fans. I am selling.

    Noles offense will play complete game- If they don't, they lose. They have had two weeks to get kinks ironed out. Call me a skeptic but I am selling.

    FSU will have 50 yards or less of penalties- Well, that would be a miracle. Noles have to get the penalty situation under control. Not sure if they can get below fifty. I am selling.

    Alabama QB John Parker Wilson will be intercepted- FSU had better pressure him to throw. I am buying at least one interception.

    FSU receivers will have good game- This is a broken record. FSU receivers have to have a good game if they are to win. I am reluctantly buying.

    Antone Smith will run for 100 yards or more- Smith says that he is ready. Let's hope so. Not sure he can gain 100 yards. I am selling.

    Cismesia will kick at least two field goals- Ok, give him some love. I am buying.

    Noles will score at least 30 points-
    Not sure they will score thirty. Let's hope they score enough to win. I am selling.

    Mickey Andrews will coach from sidelines- I think Mickey wants to be close to the action. I am buying.

    GameDay Facts: FSU-Bama

    Kickoff: 5 p.m. EST

    Television: CBS

    CBS Announcers: Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline)

    Site: Jacksonville Municpal Stadium, Jacksonville,Florida

    Stadium Capacity: 85,500

    Surface: Natural Grass

    Coaches: Bobby Bowden (295-82-4 in 32nd year at FSU) and Nick Saban (106-59-1, 3-1 in first year at Alabama).

    Line: FSU by 2 1/2

    All-Time Series: FSU is 0-2-1 in series with Alabama

    Stat that matters: Under Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles are 7-1 in the River City.

    Key Stat: FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden has fared very well against the SEC in his career. Bowden is 38-25-2 all-time against the current Southeastern Conference opponents.

    Last game against Alabama: Florida State lost 7-8 in 1974 in Tuscaloosa.

    Game Day Weather: Isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

    The Alabama Press-Register talks about the match up with Nick Saban and his former offensive coordinator, Jimbo Fisher. "For the first time, Fisher's offense will battle Saban's defense in a live game. The two coaches can't say enough about each other. Saban sees Fisher as "a great coach" and can't believe he isn't a head coach yet."


    The Birmingham News talks about the passing game of Bama. "We didn't do as well as we would have liked, so you need improvement," Bama QB Wilson said. "We want to be good and we know we can be good," Wilson said. The Seminoles are seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference in pass defense and have picked off only two passes.

    Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated says this about the FSU-Bama game. "... Bowden finally gets his shot at the Tide, and he's got to be thinking, Doggone it. Why couldn't we have done this when I had Charlie Ward or Chris Weinke? Alabama 23, Florida State 19."

    The Tampa Tribune reports that Mickey Andrews is still uncertain where he will coach the defense on Saturday. He will either return to the sideline or remain upstairs for Saturday's game.

    The Florida Times-Union talks about the FSU program. "Florida State is a program in turmoil. The Seminoles have a coach who is a living legend yet must deal with that segment of the fan base that thinks he's over the hill." The article states that a win won't change everything but "it can ... be the beginning the Seminoles so desperately need. "

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Saban Nation

    Bama football is now Saban Nation. Nick Saban can do no wrong in Alabama. He could be crowned king or Caesar. Here's what the columnist for the Alabama Press-Register, Paul Finebaum, said recently, "... the Tide is the most exciting team in college football. Hands down. Regardless of the record in 2007, the games the last two weekends have provided Nick Saban a magical recruiting wand -- not that he really needed anything else going his way. " Not to be outdone in his sycophantic hyperbole, Mr. Finebaum said this after Nick Saban signed his contract, "University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban finally signed his eight-year, $32 million contract the other day and the Tide Nation rejoiced. But is he worth the money? Absolutely not. In fact, he's probably worth twice that amount."

    Then there are those that hate him. One blog post said this, "He lied. Nick Saban is a documented liar, and the University of Alabama has just offered $32 million for 8 years of the coach’s service." Yes, he did lie. No denying that. He looked at the cameras and told the nation and the Miami Dolphins that he would not be going to Alabama. Period.

    So the Saban nation will be hailing Caesar at the game while others will be simply saying go to hell. College football. You've got to love it.

    Roll Tide Travel Kit

    Leeps, the forty-five year old lifetime student has an opinion about most everything. The following is his satire about Alabama fans. Any resemblance to actual Alabama fans is purely coincidental:

    Travel Kit for the game:

    1. English dictionary for traveling outside state of Alabama.

    2. Autographed picture of Bear Bryant.

    3. Autographed picture of Gene Stallings.

    4. Autographed picture of Nick Saban.

    5. Autographed picture of Joe Namath in hose.

    6. Tooth powder to clean their tooth.

    7. Adequate supply of Nehi Orange and peanuts.

    8. Lots of pork rinds.

    9. Whip and handcuffs.

    10.Toilet paper, boxes of Tide, and wooden dowels for that clever cheer "Roll Tide."

    11. Bear Bryant houndstooth hats.

    12. Sticky picture of Bama elephant for the motel room.

    13. Moon Pies.

    North Carolina @ Virginia Tech
    12:00 PM
    Blacksburg, Va.
    TV: R/LF (XM 192)

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

    Massachusetts @ Boston College
    1:00 PM
    Chestnut Hill, Mass.
    TV: ESPN 360 (XM 190)

    Maryland @ Rutgers
    3:30 PM
    Piscataway, N.J.
    TV: ABC (XM 191)

    Clemson @ Georgia Tech
    3:30 PM
    Atlanta, Ga.
    TV: ABC (XM 192)

    Louisville @ NC State
    3:30 PM
    Raleigh, N.C.
    TV: ESPNU (XM 193)

    Pittsburgh @ Virginia
    7:00 PM
    Charlottesville, Va.
    TV: ESPNU (XM 193)

    Will USF Win Again and Is Joe Pa Taking Another Loss?

    West Virginia at South Florida- This is a Friday night game and there is excitement at South Florida. Will USF beat the Mountaineers again?

    Auburn at Florida- Tommy Tubberville's Auburn team visit the Gators in the swamp. Can he get an upset? I don't think so.

    Clemson at Georgia Tech- Is Tommy Bowden ready to make his usual downward slide?

    Penn State at Illinois- Can former Gator coach Ron Zook pull the upset over Joe Pa?

    at Rutgers- Will the "offensive genius" Friedgen pull an upset? Nope.

    Navy at Air Force- Military schools collide on the field.

    Notre Dame at Purdue- We all want to watch and see if crew cut Charlie can lose another one.

    Cal at Oregon- Two offensive minded Pac-10 powers meet.

    We All Love Cupcakes

    There are fewer and fewer true cupcakes. However, there are still some this week:

    Arkansas takes on powerful North Texas.

    Vanderbilt plays Eastern Michigan.

    Kentucky gets poor outmanned Florida Atlantic.

    Boston College plays Massachusetts. Ouch!

    Texas Tech
    plays well known Northwestern State.

    Scouting Alabama

    On offense: With QB John Parker Wilson at the controls of a unit returning nine starters, the Crimson Tide has averaged 30.5 points and 436.3 yards per game. TB Terry Grant (120.8 yards per game) is the SEC's No. 2 rusher. WR D.J. Hall, the school's all-time receiving yardage leader, has 16 receptions for 337 yards and two touchdowns.

    On defense:
    After yielding only 16 points and one toucdown in the first two games, the Tide has allowed 64 points in its last two games. Opponents have averaged 326.5 yards per game. Sophomore LB Prince Hall is coming off a 12-tackle performance, and senior CB Simeon Castille, an All-SEC pick, leads a veteran secondary.

    On special teams: Second-year starting K Leigh Tiffin (9 of 14 on field-goal attempts; 14 of 14 on point-after kicks) handles all of the kicking chores, and P P.J. Fitzgerald (38.8) also does the holds. Javier Arenas is second in the SEC in punt returns (15.0 ypg) and sixth in kickoff returns (25.0 ypg).

    Bama Players To Watch

    QB John Parker Wilson -- One week after the best performance of his career against Arkansas, Wilson completed only 17 of 35 passes for 185 yards last week against Georgia. Alabama needs him to be more consistent this week, especially if Alabama's run game struggles to get going this week.

    RB Terry Grant
    -- Grant gave the Tide some occasional burst last week with 80 yards on just 11 carries but he might need more power to go with quickness this week. If it doesn't come from him, the Tide will turn to Glen Coffee or Roy Upchurch.

    Wide Receiver DJ Hall -- Hall grew up a Seminole living in Ft. Walton Beach. He was not recruited by the Noles and now says he has something to prove. He is the school's all-time receiving yardage leader, has 16 receptions for 337 yards and two touchdowns.

    LB Rolando McClain -- He already leads Alabama with 32 tackles as a true freshman but he appeared to be unsettled at times last week without senior Darren Mustin by his side. If Mustin is out again this week, he'll need to grow up quickly without him.

    Keys to FSU-Alabama Game

    Here is a key-two weeks. FSU has had two weeks to prepare for this game.No more excuses about lack of execution. It is put up or shut up time.

    * FSU must not commit stupid penalties. Noles are averaging almost 90 yards a game in penalties.

    * Noles must establish the run. They cannot afford to get in a one dimensional contest given Weatherford's limited capabilities.

    * Kicking game and field position will be one of the keys to the game.

    * Drew Weatherford must play within himself. No throwing into double coverage.

    * One of the receivers must have a break out game.

    * Defense needs to shut down Bama run and make the QB win the game.

    Three And Out: FSU-Bama

    This week's "Three And Out" is contributed by Palm Beach Post FSU beat writer Tom D'Angelo. He has been with the paper since 1981 and is from Quincy, Mass. We would like to thank Tom for answering the questions.

    1. What do you see as the major keys to the game?

    FSU must get the ball into the hands of their best playmakers, Antone Smith, Preston Parker and even Damon McDaniel by doing what Georgia did, screens and throws to the running backs. This will help wear down an already thin defense when it comes to depth.

    2. Which FSU player do you see as the one who needs to have a big game this week?

    Antone Smith needs to break out. He has yet to have a 100-yard game, partly because of the concussion he sustained in the third quarter against UAB. Smith has shown glimpses but a lot of his yards have come on long runs. FSU needs more of a sustained effort from their best runner.

    3. Overall, which team do you think has the most strengths going into the game?

    It's close. FSU clearly has the better defense, especially against the rush and Alabama has had the better offense, although they can run the ball better than they can pass. Both teams are pretty solid on special teams, especially in the punt return game and field goal kicking.

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Head To Head Matchup: Quarterback

    They are almost mirror images of themselves in terms of stats and ability. However, one will be the victor on Saturday and the other one will be fodder for criticism.

    As a sophomore, Bama QB John Parker Wilson started all 12 games for the Crimson Tide. He finished the season with a passing efficiency of 128.92, completing 198-of-346 passes for 2,539 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He threw for over 200 yards in the first seven games of the season, setting a new school record, and finished with a school record nine 200-yard games. Through four games this season, the 6'2" 213 pounds junior from Hoover,Al. has thrown for 851 yards with 4 TDs and three interceptions. He has a 54.1 % completion rate. He has also rushed for 17 yards on 21 carries.

    Nole QB Drew Weatherford has started slow once again this season. In 2006 Weatherford threw for 2,154 yards and had 12 TDs and 11 interceptions. Through three games this season, Drew has thrown for 600 yards passing with a 54% completion rate.He has 4 TDs and one interception through three games. The 6'3" 215 pound junior from Land O' Lakes, Florida has 23 yards rushing on 21 carries.

    Look for both teams to try and stop the run and make the QB beat them. The Noles have had two weeks to prepare so Weatherford should have the edge.

    "...pick is Bama to smother the Seminoles' feeble attack ..."

    "...the Seminoles are favored by the same count over Bama as they were at Colorado, when they were outgained and outperformed in most categories, but won. The Noles have had two weeks to get ready, while the Tide were heartbroken Saturday by Georgia. The Jacksonville crowd should be pro-FSU. But the pick is Bama to smother the Seminoles' feeble attack and score enough to eke out a reinvigorating W."
    Chris Fowler,ESPN

    FSU Ready For Bama Game

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    After two weeks of build-up and waiting, the Seminoles are inching closer to their date with Alabama. One of the most anticipated regular season games in recent memory is now just a couple of days away. The Florida State football team finished its preparations for the game with Alabama with a 15 period practice on Thursday. The team was in shorts and spent the majority of the day once again working versus the scout teams. FSU will board the buses and depart for Jacksonville Friday afternoon. The game with the 22nd-ranked Crimson Tide (3-1) will be broadcast to a national TV audience on CBS.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    On the hype before the game:

    "I think it will be a very interesting football game. Two teams with great tradition that haven't played each other in many, many years. You can just tell by the reaction of the tickets that are sold it's really a popular game."

    The Bama Elephant

    We go from the Colorado buffalo to the Bama elephant. Unlike the real thing at Colorado, the only elephant you will see in Jacksonville is the clothed mascot kind.

    So why the elephant? The story of how Alabama became associated with the "elephant" goes back to the 1930 season when Coach Wallace Wade had assembled a great football team.

    On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama-Mississippi game he had witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Strupper wrote, "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.

    "Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.

    "At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.

    "It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."

    Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as "Red Elephants," the color referring to the crimson jerseys.

    The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.

    New Poll: "Surprise" Nole Player In Bama Game

    There is a new poll question: "Who do you think will be the "surprise" player for the Noles in their game against Bama?"

    Poll Results: Bobby Bowden Decision Re Geno Hayes

    Results of the poll question: "Do you agree with the decision of Bobby Bowden to reinstate Geno Hayes?":

    66.7% agreed with decision of Bobby Bowden

    Schiano Gets A Pie

    Apparently Rutgers coach Greg Schiano loves piling it on. Schiano had one good year last year and is ranked this year. With recognition also comes scrutiny and somewhere along the line it seems Schiano has lost class and a sense of sportsmanship.

    Case in point. Rutgers was stomping a Division I-AA opponent by 45-0 calls but still used all three of its time-outs near the end of the first half to get the ball back and score again. Nice. This was against a clearly outmatched Norfolk State.Six touchdowns were accomplished in just 11 plays and a total of 91 seconds. That didn't stop Schiano from using his time-outs on Norfolk's final possession of the half, trying to squeeze in one more possession of his own.

    Norfolk State coach Pete Adrian after the game stated, "Forty-eight-zip and you're calling three time-outs at the end?" Hey, if that turns you on, it's fine."

    So here's a pie in your face Greg Schiano. Hopefully you will learn the meaning of class sooner rather than later.

    " never know when they are going to do it..."

    “They may know a little bit about what we do and we may know a little bit about what they do, but you never know when they are going to do it, so you always have to adjust and play the game and it’s going to come down to the execution of the players on both sides of the ball.”
    Nick Saban comments regarding Jimbo Fisher and Kevin Steele

    No Football Players Who Have Played Involved In Fraud Case...Fluellen Cleared...Thacker Doubtful

    As the academic fraud issue continues to be played out,it should be stated again that according to published reports no football players who have competed in games this season are involved. That apparently means that some football players may have been involved but have not played because of the pending investigation.


    Bobby Bowden expects senior DT Andre Fluellen (elbow) to be cleared to play Saturday, but that sophomore Budd Thacker (toe) has been downgraded from questionable to doubtful. "Budd was playing so doggone good," Bowden said. "You get a guy hurt in an off week and you say we shouldn't have practiced. Well, fifty other guys got better. But you hate for that to happen."

    Bama Continues Preparations For Noles

    Alabama Sports Information Excerpts:

    The University of Alabama football team held a two-hour practice Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility as preparations continue for Saturday’s non-conference showdown with the Florida State Seminoles at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

    “We certainly worked hard on the basics and got back to working on the fundamentals,” Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban said following Wednesday’s practice. “We are trying to work hard on the commitment to discipline and getting it right and controlling what we can control and improve what we can improve. We have talked about excellence is a habit. When you do things right and you have good habits it becomes spontaneous in terms of how you react and how you do things.

    “Everybody has to evaluate his own individual performance to see what part of the problem they are, whether it’s coaches, players or all of us. We have to do something to make a difference and try to make some kind of change to help us improve. I’ve been fairly pleased for the most part with the way the team has responded to that. Every guy needs to make a difference. Everybody’s role is important. Most of the guys are trying to do the things we want and we will have to replace the guys that don’t as soon as we can replace them.”

    Saban also said on Wednesday that senior linebacker Darren Mustin (Brentwood, Tenn.), sophomore nose guard Brian Motley (Autaugaville, Ala.), redshirt freshman tight end Preston Dial (Mobile) and senior kicker Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga,) have all returned to practice and could be available for Saturday’s game with Florida State.

    Saban also noted that junior offensive lineman Cody Davis (Tuscaloosa) “is another guy that came back to practice this week and had another problem with his shoulder and probably going to be out indefinitely.”

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Head To Head Matchup: Wide Receiver

    Senior wide receiver DJ Hall is one of the big time players for Alabama. Hall who is from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida as a junior led the team in receiving with 57 catches for 1014 yards and five touchdowns.

    Entering the Arkansas game Hall needed only 34 yards to eclipse the 2,070 yards receiving record set by Hall of Fame end Ozzie Newsome. He got it on the first play of the game.Through four games in 2007, the 6'2" Hall has 337 yards receiving and has scored two TDs. Hall did not have a particularly good game against Georgia having only 46 yards, three catches, and no TDs. Bama wide receiver Mike McCoy at 6'3" has 115 yards with no TDs. Another Bama receiver Matt Caddell has 96 reception yards and 1 TD.

    So who is the go to receiver for the Noles? Who knows. As of this point in time, there hasn't been a receiver that has stepped up for the Noles. We had the comments of De'Cody Fagg who admitted to taking plays off and has consistently dropped passes. It may be that some of the younger receivers will be the ones that serve as catalysts for the receiving corps. As it stands now, Greg Carr is the leader in reception yards with 153 yards,8 catches,and 1 TD. Preston Parker is second in receiving yards with 135 yards, 9 catches, and no TDs. Richard Goodman is third with Fagg coming in at number 5 behind Antone Smith. The Noles through three games have 600 yards through the air.

    Greg Carr last year was a TD scoring machine with 12 TDs but none of the primary receivers this year have showed much as yet. Receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey must be having nightmares. Carr at 6'6" is a large target that hopefully Weatherford will be able to find on Saturday against Bama.

    "...we would rather do the punishment ourselves."

    "If a boy breaks a rule, then we would rather do the punishment ourselves."
    Bobby Bowden when asked by a reporter after practice how he determined the punishment for Geno Hayes

    First, Hayes and Surratt broke the law. Bowden said that the punishment for Hayes is that he is running everyday.

    Noles Continue Preparations For Bama

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    The FSU football team has not played a game since a 16-6 win in Boulder, CO September 15. The squad is now into its second week of practice for the Alabama game and the preparations are starting to wind down. Wednesday FSU practiced for 20 periods in uppers and spent a large part of the practice working against the scout team.

    After special teams, the Seminoles spent a few periods working in position groups.Both the offense and defense worked versus scout teams before coming together for pass rush and 7-on-7.

    Pass rush was a little different Wednesday as a student manager played the role of QB, which is usually played by a tackling dummy. Kendrick Stewart had an impressive period beating his man three times. Neefy Moffett, Emmanuel Dunbar, Justin Mincey, Eli Charles and Everette Brown all recorded wins. On the other side of the ball Daron Rose and David Overmyer had multiple wins. Ryan McMahon, Will Furlong, Rodney Hudson, Jacky Claude and Shannon Boatman also won battles.

    In 7-on-7 Roger Williams, Jamie Robinson and Michael Ray Garvin all broke up passes. Xavier Lee connected with Richard Goodman. Drew Weatherford hit Antone Smith for a significant gain and Preston Parker deep.

    11-on-11 was spent working on the 2:00 drill. The biggest plays were turned in by the defense. Dekoda Watson, Alex Boston and Letroy Guion all recorded sacks while Jamie Robinson broke up a pass. Lee had some nice hook-ups with Parker but one ended in a fumble as Roosevelt Lawson stripped the receiver of the ball. Lee completed one of his passes to Parker after he broke the pocket and improvised for a big gainer.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    On Wednesday's practice:

    "Wish I could tell you something else exciting, it was just another good day of practice. At least we're getting a lot of hot sun. I hope it's hot Saturday because we've been in the hot sun. If it's real hot, it will be in our advantage, I don't know if it will be."

    NCAA Not User Friendly

    As fans and alumni become aware of the academic fraud reported by FSU to the NCAA, it should be noted that the NCAA was not investigating FSU. FSU investigated and self-reported the violation. How much this will help in the future toward penalties to be meted out by the NCAA is anyone's guess.

    The time lines that led to the letter that was sent by FSU to the NCAA on Tuesday was essentially this:

    1. Wetherell ordered the internal investigation in March when his office was informed that a tutor hired by the athletic department directed a student-athlete to complete an online quiz for another student-athlete and provided the answers for that quiz.

    2. Within two working days of those allegations surfacing, the employee was placed on administrative leave by the university. The employee resigned in July.

    3. The investigation into that employee led to the discovery that a tutor provided improper academic assistance to 23 student-athletes by providing answers or directing them to answers for on-line quizzes. "Approximately 130" student-athletes and "numerous" staff employees were interviewed as part of the investigation.

    4. Wetherell said that once the final self-report is sent to the NCAA he expects the NCAA to conduct its own investigation into the matter. A more complete self-report, including university recommendations for disciplinary action, will be sent following further review by a committee that includes Provost Larry Abele as well as The Compliance Group - a consulting firm headed by Chuck Smrt, a member of the NCAA enforcement staff for 17 years before establishing the firm in 1999.

    FSU Self-Reports Academic Fraud To NCAA

    According to reporter Steve Ellis of The Tallahassee Democrat, FSU has reported to the NCAA that nearly two dozen Florida State student-athletes from seven varsity sports, including 15 scholarship athletes, face punishment by the university and the NCAA for academic fraud. No football players who have competed in games this season are involved.

    According to the article by Ellis,FSU President T.K. Wetherell sent the NCAA a letter on Tuesday detailing the initial results of a six-month investigation conducted by the university's Office of Audit Services.

    In the letter to David Price, the NCAA's vice-president for enforcement services, Wetherell wrote that "approximately 130" student-athletes and "numerous" staff employees were interviewed as part of the investigation.

    This could have major ramifications for FSU given the history of the NCAA in similar actions.

    "...let the coaches give me the ball and show what I can do best."

    "It's just a chance to show the world what this team could do and what I could do. Use my durability and let the coaches give me the ball and show what I can do best."
    Antone Smith regarding the Alabama game

    Bama Returns To Practice...Wilson Takes Heat...Motley Returns

    The University of Alabama football team returned to the practice field Tuesday afternoon as preparations begin for Saturday’s nationally televised game against the Florida State Seminoles at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The Crimson Tide worked for two hours in full gear at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility as temperatures reached 90 degrees in Tuscaloosa on a humid afternoon.


    Kevin Steele who is now the defensive coordinator for Bama called Bowden "an amazing human being" and described leaving Tallahassee as "the hardest thing I've ever done coaching." Steele now coaches a Crimson Tide defense that runs a 3-4 scheme, does not possess depth in the front seven, and is seventh in the Southeastern Conference in scoring defense.

    Bama's QB, John Parker Wilson is taking the brunt of Alabama fans' displeasure for last Saturday's 26-23 overtime loss to Georgia. Wilson was 17-of-35 for 185 yards without a passing touchdown, including several key incomplete throws to halt drive. He failed to produce a touchdown in overtime.

    Redshirt freshman nose tackle Brian Motley practiced Tuesday and, for the first time since sustaining an ankle fracture in the preseason, was not in a black non-contact jersey. "He's feeling really confident," defensive end Bobby Greenwood said. "He's getting ready to get back on the field." Coach Nick Saban said last week that Motley might start participating in practice on a limited basis this week. But Saban indicated that Motley likely wouldn't return to game action until next week against Houston.

    Thacker And Fluellen Don't Practice...Graham Returns To Practice

    Starting defensive tackles Budd Thacker and Andre Fluellen missed practice again. Although Thacker is no longer wearing an orthopedic boot to protect his dislocated toe, he said trainers are concerned about him doing more damage by playing before it is healed. Fluellen is struggling with an elbow injury that kept him out of the Colorado game two weeks ago.


    Sophomore TE Charlie Graham returned to practice after struggling with a pulled leg muscle. Sophomore OT Caz Piurowski, who played tight end last season, also is seeing repetitions at his old position.