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    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    Defense Rules In First Full Spring Practice Scrimmage: Day 8

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    The 2008 coach's clinic got off to a great start Saturday. The day began with FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz participating in a Q&A that lasted well over the allotted one hour time slot. Then the participants were treated to a full scrimmage under crystal blue skies. The Seminoles spent over two hours in Doak Campbell Stadium in the first scrimmage of the season that actually mirrored a game situation.


    Practice began with field goal and the two Seminole kickers combined to go 7-for-8. Graham Gano connected from 28, 40, 25 and 39 yards. Zack Hobby hit from 24, 25 and 36 but missed one from 37 yards away.

    After working on field goals, practice moved to punt/punt block and there were a few blocks to speak of. Dekoda Watson blocked two kicks and Patrick Robinson got to another one. Tony Carter, Bert Reed and Richard Goodman fielded the punts.

    Although it was not the best day for the offense overall, Antone Smith started the day off on the right foot and had a nice afternoon. The senior opened the first drive with a 15 yard burst. After that Everette Brown took over. The junior defensive end jumped up to bat one ball down and then ended the drive with a nine yard sack.

    The first drive for the second team looked awfully similar to the first drive of the day. Dumaka Atkins batted down a pass at the line, something he has been doing frequently all spring, and Neefy Moffett followed with a sack. After a nice seven yard scamper by Brandon Paul the drive ended with a Jamar Jackson sack.

    Christian Ponder led the one's back out for the next series and scrambled for a 13-yard gain. Jamie Robinson then stuffed a running play and Brown almost came up with an INT on the next play. Another sack, this one by Recardo Wright, ended the series.

    The two's came the closest to scoring on the next drive. The series opened with D'Vontrey Richardson running for a 25-yard gain. After a QB pressure by Josh Johnson, Richardson hit Easterling on a 42-yard pass down inside the 20. Richardson almost put six on the board himself but DB Rod Roberts was just able to get a hand on the green jersey to end a play that Richardson wound up dancing in the endzone afterwards.

    The scrimmage moved into down and distance where Aaron Gresham and Kevin McNeil both recorded big hits.

    When the drives moved up to the 50, the one's came out and had a little more success moving the ball but still struggled to score. Tony Carter opened the series leaping up to break-up a pass that Ponder was trying to drop-in to a receiver that was bracketed between Carter and Myron Rolle. A fumble on an exchange resulted in a Derek Nicholson recovery on the next play. Ponder then hit Bert Reed for a short gain. The scripted series came to a close on a 22-yard run by Antone Smith.

    After nearly scoring earlier in the day, the twos did get a TD on their first series from the 50. Richardson hit Greg Carr for a short gain and then the sophomore QB went deep to Rod Owens for a 41-yard TD strike.

    While the two's put up points, the one's continued to struggle with Mickey Andrew's defense. On the first snap Moffett got to Ponder on a broken play then Rolle broke up a pass on another near INT.

    The two's had trouble on their next series as well. Following a short Richardson to Easterling completion, Craig Yarborough recorded a sack, Kenny Ingram had a QB pressure and Roberts broke up another pass.

    The first team finally got on the board in red zone thanks to Antone Smith. The tailback converted a 3rd-and-3 and then on the next play took it to the house from the six yard line.

    The two's weren't as successful. Ingram started the drive off with a tackle for loss. Paul gained three on a sweep before an incomplete pass left them with 4th-and-8. Gano came on but missed a 36 yarder to the right.

    The ones went 2-for-4 in goal line. Smith was bottled up on a pitch out by Marcus Ball with help from Rolle on the first play from the three. The next play Smith punched it in from a yard out thanks to a key lead block by Seddrick Holloway who took Ball's legs out from under him. Justin Mincey blew-up the next play, a Ponder bootleg from the three. Joe Surratt finished off the one's drill with a TD plunge from a yard out.

    The twos scored on one of four plays. Nigel Bradham made the key play on the first shot as he sniffed out the pitch to Marcus Sims and held him up as the rest of the defense got there for a loss on the play. A fumbled snap, recovered by Korey Mangum, killed the second play. Holloway was stuffed from the three-yard line on the third shot. The scrimmage ended with a play action roll out where Richardson threw a short toss to Caz Piurowski for six.

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