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    Monday, March 31, 2008

    FSU Spring Practice Report: Day 9

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    After the longest scrimmage of the spring season this past Saturday, the Florida State football team had a fairly relaxed practice on Monday. The squad practiced for 16 periods in shorts and it was the last practice in shorts for the semester. The full pads come out once again this Wednesday as the Seminoles will hold another ½ scrimmage.


    Monday began with position group work and then broke into scout teams.

    In ½ skel the defensive backs set a tone that started in Saturday's scrimmage and continued throughout Monday's session. Dionte Allen broke up two passes, Jamie Robinson broke up a pass and Roosevelt Lawson and Rod Roberts combined on a PBU.

    Patrick Robinson picked off a pass. The offensive highlights came on a D'Vontrey Richardson to Bert Reed completion and Christian Ponder hooking up with Richard Goodman and going deep to Rod Owens.

    In skeleton Tony Carter broke up a pass and Patrick Robinson broke up two. One was picked off on the deflection by Kendall Smith. The offense did look better as Richardson connected with Greg Carr twice, Jonathan Hannah once and on a deep TD with Lewis Givens. Ponder also had a deep TD pass this one to Greg Carr. He also had completions to Taiwan Easterling, Caz Piurowski and three to Owens. One of the Owens passes went for a big gain due to a nice run after the catch.

    In 11-on-11 the defense continued to fluster the Seminole offense. Everette Brown, Kendall Smith and Craig Yarborough had sacks. Yarborough also had a QB hurry. Korey Mangum had a tackle for loss when Antone Smith was forced to try and make something out of a busted play. Darius McClure had a nice break-up leaping over Piurowski's shoulder to get to the ball. Allen had the lone interception.

    Practice wrapped-up with work in the 2:00 drill. With 1:30 on the clock the first team offense was unable to get much going. Ponder had a completion to Easterling but pass break-ups by Mangum and Jamie Robinson stifled the drive. The second team offense seemed to be on a similar path but Richardson and the two's found ways to convert third and fourth downs. Owens picked up a first on a third down and Brandon Paul bailed Richardson out on a busted play as he flared out of the back field for a nice gain. Givens caught a couple short passes but the drive ended with the Richard Goodman show. He converted a fourth-and-short and then scored a TD on another fourth down.

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    " Thou shall not have any foolish penalties."

    " Thou shall not turn the ball over. Thou shall not give up cheap touchdowns. Thou shall not have any foolish penalties. Thou shall not have any missed assignments. Win the third-down battle. Must play well at the goal line. Must win the kicking game."
    ESPN analyst Lou Holtz and his "Seven Commandments" speaking at FSU high school coaches clinic on Saturday

    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.

    "... I'm just trying to have a level head...."

    "Right now my goal is to compete day in and day out and try to be consistent just like the coaches have told me to do. I'm happy but I'm just trying to have a level head, keep working and still try to get better at what I do."
    FSU Wide Receiver Rod Owens

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Brooks In Attendance For Spring Practice: Day 7

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:
    The sidelines of Friday's Florida State football's Friday practice were packed with high school coaches as the Seminoles held a 20-period practice during coaching clinic. The team was only in shells but there was plenty of hitting with large audiences gathered around every drill.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer and one of FSU's all-time greats Derrick Brooks was out at practice after addressing the crowd at the coach's clinic.

    Practice began with punting and then the squad broke into position groups. The entire team then came together for 3-on-3.

    In 1-on-1 Greg Carr had three catches, one of which went for a touchdown. Dionte Allen broke up a pass, Ochuko Jenije picked off a pass and Tony Carter locked down receivers so completely on two routes that the QB's didn't even attempt to make a throw.

    Pass rush was especially spirited despite the fact the players were just in shells. Helmets were being knocked off on almost every play. The offensive linemen had a great drill. Evan Bellamy, Ryan McMahon, Will Furlong and Daron Rose all won multiple match-ups. Rodney Hudson and Antwane Greenlee also picked up wins. For the defense Budd Thacker, Justin Mincey and Emmanuel Dunbar won a couple battles each while Benjamin Lampkin, Everette Brown and Paul Griffin also picked up wins.

    Skeleton was run in down and distance and Bert Reed put on a show. The redshirt freshman caught three passes from Christian Ponder. One was a juggling catch with Allen draped on his back and another was a one-handed stab on a ball thrown high and behind him. D'Vontrey Richardson threw a deep TD pass to Taiwan Easterling. For the defense Korey Mangum had a break up, Jamie Robinson had a big hit to dislodge a caught ball and Marcus Ball had a huge hit to break up another catch.

    In short yardage Darius McClure had a tackle for loss, Myron Rolle broke up a pass, Vince Williams had a sack and Dekoda Watson had two. For the offense Antone Smith, Marcus Sims, Richardson and Ponder all had first down runs. Rod Owens had a leaping catch on the sideline and Reed broke a huge play with some great moves after a short catch.

    In red zone drills Brown had two sacks, Williams had a QB pressure and Jamie Robinson broke up another pass. Ponder connected with Easterling and also hit Reed who had another nice run after the catch. Richardson connected with Owens and then hit Caz Piurowski on a TD. Easterling also had a leaping catch in this drill.

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Drew Out For Spring Practice

    Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford will not be seeing anymore action during the spring. Weatherford has a lateral meniscus (cartilage) tear which will probably require surgery. According to Weatherford, the injury is "a little unfortunate but I'll be all right. It's not too serious."

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Weatherford And Parker Miss Practice- Spring Practice Report: Day 6

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    The Florida State football team was back in pads and back inside Doak Campbell Stadium on Wednesday. The Seminoles went nine periods on the practice fields before spending 17 periods inside the stadium. There were plenty of highlights despite Drew Weatherford and Preston Parker both sitting out the second scrimmage of the spring.


    Wednesday began with both field goal kickers having a good session. Graham Gano was 4-for-4 and Zack Hobby was 3-for-4. His lone miss came from 39 yards out with Dionte Allen almost getting to the kick.

    The practice then moved to punt, position work and scout team.

    The team then moved inside Doak for 3-on-3. Emmanuel Dunbar had a good drill registering two tackles at the first level. Neefy Moffett, Benjamin Lampkin, Paul Griffin and Jamar Jackson also took down the running back right off the bat. Dekoda Watson and Vincent Zann both had multiple tackles. Zann's was one of the biggest hits of the day. Terrance Parks started a big day with two tackles at the third level and Korey Mangum also had a huge hit.

    During inside drills Dunbar had two tackles for loss. Everette Brown, Roosevelt Lawson, Craig Yarborough and Rod Roberts also had tackles behind the line. Roberts' came on the biggest hit of the drill. D'Vontrey Richardson had the biggest highlight on a very nice run.

    The receivers and defensive backs worked in 2-on-2 during inside. Richardson completed passes to Rod Owens and Richard Goodman. Christian Ponder completed passes to Goodman, Taiwan Easterling and Lewis Givens. Anthony Leon had a pass break up.

    During pass rush drills eight different defensive linemen got to the QB. Justin Mincey led the way getting to the QB four times, Brown, Paul Griffin, Dunbar, Budd Thacker, Moffett and Lampkin all had multiple wins. Dumaka Atkins also beat his man. Rodney Hudson was the only offensive lineman to win more than one battle while Brandon Davis, A.J. Ganguzza and Evan Bellamy also got a win.

    In skeleton Ponder completed passes to Goodman, Rod Owens and Greg Carr. Richardson hit Easterling three times and also completed a pass to Caz Piurowski. Patrick Robinson had a pass break-up.

    The scrimmage started in short yardage. Antone Smith had a nice conversion when he spun out of a tackle for loss and picked up a first. Smith converted another third as did Marcus Sims. The defense had one clear stop and two others were too close to call.

    Just like Saturday, the full scrimmage started with all the plays being run from the 30 yard line. The drill got off to a good start for the defense as it started out with Benjamin Lampkin recovering a fumble. Thacker had a great drill with a sack, a QB pressure and an impressive 1-on-1 tackle on Reed in the backfield. Aaron Gresham had a tackle for loss and a big hit as did Atkins.

    Christian Ponder had a very impressive drill. Three of his biggest plays came on runs. On one play he put a move on Kendall Smith in the backfield to avoid a sack. He also completed a screen to Bert Reed that turned into a nice gain and found Reed again on a 15 yard completion. Reed also had a big gain on a reverse. Richardson had a big play as he hit Owens deep and also had a nice play on a designed run.

    The scrimmage moved up to the 50 yard line but the defense continued to have success. Brown, Kenny Ingram and Yarborough all had sacks. Darius McClure, Kendall Smith and Patrick Robinson broke up passes. Gresham had a QB pressure that led to a bad pass and Kevin McNeil also forced the QB to put up an early throw.

    The biggest highlight for the offense came on a 25 yard Richardson to Reed pass.

    When the scrimmage moved to the 20, Ponder really had his way with the defense. The redshirt sophomore ran for a TD and threw TD passes to Easterling, Owens and Antone Smith. Easterling also had a TD on a nice run where he broke a tackle to get into the end zone. Richardson did complete a TD pass to Owens from the seven and Sims had a TD run from nine yards out.

    The defense recorded three interceptions in red zone. Parks picked off the first one. The second came on a deflection of a pass that Leon grabbed in the back of the endzone. The final INT was the result of Mincey tipping a pass at the line and Griffin coming down with the pick. Other defensive highlights included sacks by McNeil and Josh Johnson.

    In goal line Korey Mangum started the defense off on the right foot as he blew up an Antone Smith run in the backfield. Smith did get into the end zone two plays later on a sweep from the three. Ponder scored on the final play on a bootleg from the one yard line.

    The second team offense did not get a TD thanks to big defensive plays. Kenny Ingram stopped the first run from the three as he got into the backfield and Vince Williams finished the play with a tackle for loss. Parks continued his big day with a tackle in the backfield on a run/pass option and the last play was another tackle for loss from the one this time it was Leon who made the play.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    " We really need to get these two guys up to par. "

    " I don't think it's very serious, but we feel like the other guys need the work anyway. I was talking to coach [Jimbo] Fisher about that earlier, that the other kids have been here four springs. We really need to get these two guys up to par. It's probably good for them."
    FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden regarding Drew Weatherford and other two QBS

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Weatherford Misses Practice:Spring Practice Report- Day 5

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    The Seminoles ditched the full pads for shells on Monday but the players probably would have appreciated the long pants as the team practiced in 60 degree temperatures. With strong wind gusts the weather felt much cooler yet that didn't stop FSU from going 22 periods. The shells didn't stop the team from hitting either as there were plenty of thuds heard around the practice fields.


    Senior quarterback Drew Weatherford did not participate Monday due to a sore right knee from Saturday's scrimmage.

    For the second straight practice, the Seminoles opened up working on punt and punt block.

    After some work in position groups and in scout, the practice moved to 3-on-3 in period 13.

    During 3-on-3 drills Budd Thacker was the only lineman to make multiple tackles at the first level. Everette Brown, Justin Mincey and Emmanuel Dunbar all made tackles as well. Aaron Gresham was the only linebacker to make two tackles at the second level while Dekoda Watson, Vince Williams and Kendall Smith all recorded a tackle as well. Patrick Robinson had two tackles at the third level and Rod Roberts and Darius McClure each pulled down a back.

    D'Vontrey Richardson had a couple nice runs during inside drills and both Antone Smith and Brandon Paul scored TDs. Rodney Hudson had the block of the day as he put his defensive lineman on his back.

    While inside was going on, the receivers and DB's faced off. Christian Ponder connected on passes with Rod Owens and Richard Goodman. Tony Carter and Terrance Parks broke up passes.

    Skeleton was run exclusively from the red zone so there were a lot of TDs. Richardson scored on passes to Owens and Richard Goodman while Ponder connected on TDs with Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed and Jonathan Hannah. Jamie Robinson had two interceptions and Kenny Ingram broke up a pass.

    In pass rush the offensive linemen had a nice drill. Hudson, A.J. Ganguzza, Evan Bellamy and Daron Rose won multiple match-ups. Brandon Davis, Ryan McMahon and Will Furlong also had wins. For the defense Brown got to the QB three times and Dunbar, Kevin McNeil and Justin Mincey each beat their man twice. Jamar Jackson also had a sack.

    After the offense broke off to work on no-huddle, practice finished with 11-on-11 and the defense had a great day, especially up front. Jackson, Dumaka Atkins and Paul Griffin all applied pressure to the QB's. Griffin's pressure resulted in a tipped ball that was picked off by Myron Rolle. Neefy Moffett had a tackle for loss and a sack. Dunbar also chipped in with a sack. Both Derek Nicholson and Recardo Wright generated pressure on the QB's as well. For the offense Paul had the biggest play of the day scoring on a run of 30+ yards. Richardson made a nice play with his feet when a play broke down and he scrambled out of danger and picked up a big chunk of yards. Richardson connected with Reed on a pass later in the drill. While Richardson was doing a good job with his feet, Ponder got the job done with his arm hitting Easterling and Owens on another play in which the defensive pressure caused him to break the pocket and improvise.

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    " A leopard don't change his spots. "

    "Two dropped balls, two dropped pitches and acted the same way. It's the same old team. A leopard don't change his spots. They may cover 'em up, but they come back out sometimes. Until they learn to change their spots, it's going to be the same issues."
    FSU Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher regarding FSU's red zone production after Saturday's mini-scrimmage

    Happy Easter To All Nole Fans !

    Saturday, March 22, 2008

    " Hopefully it will happen. "

    "I am excited. Hopefully I will come out on top in the spring, going into summer. I am doing everything I can to get there. Hopefully it will happen."
    Quarterback Christian Ponder on competing to start

    Noles In Full Pads: Spring Practice Report- Day 4

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    The first day the full pads go on is a special day for any football team. That was no different Saturday as the Seminole football team went through a 27 period practice in full pads. Half the practice was spent on the practice fields and the second half inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Much of the final 13 periods were spent in 11-on-11.


    For the first time this spring the Seminoles worked on FG and FG block. The star of the drill was former Countryside kicker Zack Hobby. The transfer from Delaware was a perfect 4-for-4 with three of the four coming from beyond 35 yards.

    Special teams work continued with punt block/punt return. Graham Gano and Shawn Powell looked very good during the drill. Tony Carter, Preston Parker and Bert Reed were handling punt returns during this period.

    After position drills, the team moved inside the stadium. The first period was spent in 3-on-3. Emmanuel Dunbar continued his strong spring with a tackle and a forced fumble at the first level. Justin Mincey also made a tackle. The linebackers had a nice drill as Marcus Ball recorded multiple tackles and Kendall Smith, Nigel Bradham, Vince Williams, Dekoda Watson and Derek Nicholson all chipped in with stops at the second level.

    During inside drills Christian Ponder had a nice run and Brandon Paul had two big gainers. Watson forced a fumble and the biggest cheers of the day came on a big hit delivered by Myron Rolle.

    While inside was going on, the receivers, QB's and DB's worked against each other. Korey Mangum had an INT and a break-up while Tony Carter and Dionte Allen both broke up passes as well. Drew Weatherford hit Richard Goodman and Taiwan Easterling. Ponder connected with Goodman and Rod Owens twice while D'Vontrey Richardson found Bert Reed and Easterling.

    In skeleton Weatherford had hook-ups with Owens, Lewis Givens and Reed. Ponder hit Marcus Sims and Reed and Richardson found Preston Parker, Owens twice and Givens. Defensively Mangum had a PBU as did Darius McClure, Carter and Aaron Gresham. Gresham's was almost a one handed interception.

    In pass rush Budd Thacker, Dumaka Atkins and Everette Brown all got to the QB as did Justin Mincey on two occasions. The offensive line had a better day Saturday in this drill. Ryan McMahon, Will Furlong and Rodney Hudson had multiple wins. Brandon Davis, A.J. Ganguzza, Antwane Greenlee and Evan Bellamy also won battles.

    The team came together for 11-on-11 and the drill was run with all plays starting at the 30. The highlights for the offense included a 13-yard run by Richardson, a nice 10+ yard run by Paul, three catches over 10 yards by Bert Reed and a tough inside run on a short pass by Parker. The biggest play came on a Ponder screen pass to Owens who broke the play 70 yards for a TD.

    Defensive highlights were turned in by Brown, Josh Johnson, Mincey and Thacker who all had sacks. Gresham recorded a nice tackle behind the line on Richardson, Dionte Allen dragged Paul down deep in the backfield on a busted play that Paul tried to turn into a gainer and Jamie Robinson broke up a pass. True freshman Terrance Parks forced and recovered a fumble.

    The next part of 11-on-11 took place from the 25 yard line in. For the Defense Brown continued to cause problems with a sack and a forced fumble. Thacker and Watson had sacks and Carter and Allen broke up passes. Neefy Moffett recorded a tackle for loss.

    There was only one TD play and that came on a Ponder to Easterling hook-up from nearly 20 yards away. Weatherford looked to have a TD to Jonathan Hannah but a motion penalty wiped that out. Paul added a great run but he was dragged down just a yard shy of the endzone.

    Practice concluded with goal line. The first team offense went 2 for 4 versus the first team D. Paul opened the drill by faking out two defenders in the flat to get in for six. Weatherford then scored from the one on a designed roll out. Watson, who was upset Weatherford got in on the previous play, took matters into his own hand and stopped the QB on the next play as the redshirt senior tried to run it in from the three. The defense then stopped Marcus Sims right up the middle from the one.

    The second team defense did a great job allowing just one TD. The first play was a fumbled snap. Paul got to the edge on the second play and took it in. Dunbar stopped Ponder from the three on the third play and then the defensive front bottled up Joe Surratt from the one on the final play of the day.

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Shell Game: Spring Practice Report- Day 3

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    While the Seminole football team will have to wait about 16 more hours to put on full pads, the squad did get its first chance to hit on Friday.

    The Seminoles went 26 periods in shells on a warm Friday afternoon. The squad will put on full pads Saturday and scrimmage for the first time this spring.


    After a lot of work in position groups, the two sides of the ball started to work together. For the first time this spring the 3-on-3 drill made an appearance. Both Antone Smith and Brandon Paul had a great drill. Paul showed a lot of toughness breaking a tackle at the first level and popping up after a big hit by Patrick Robinson. Paul also showed off his moves on an electrifying run through the gauntlet. Pat Davis added a nice run as well. Budd Thacker had two tackles at the first level and Everette Brown and Jamar Jackson both made a tackle right off the bat. Vince Williams, Dekoda Watson, Marcus Ball, Recardo Wright and Derek Nicholson all brought down the back at the second level while Aaron Gresham had two tackles. Kendall Smith had the most impressive stop as he dragged down a back with just one hand who had run past him.

    Myron Rolle and Patrick Robinson had tackles at the third level and Roosevelt Lawson had two. The biggest play was turned in by Emmanuel Dunbar who caused the only turnover when he forced a fumble. Smith had a great few periods during inside drills. The rising senior broke numerous big runs and many in spectacular fashion. The back who goes by the nickname of `Deuce' sliced through the line for a huge run on the inside, made a great cut on another carry to get to the outside and then spun out of a tackle in the backfield to break off another long gainer. Paul also showed his toughness when he broke a tackle deep behind the line and turned it into a long jaunt. For the defense Thacker had a sack and Watson recorded a tackle for loss.

    In 1-on-1, the offense got off to a very rough start as none of the QB's and receivers were able to connect. Part of the reason for that was Patrick Robinson who would not allow his receivers to get off the line time after time. Dionte Allen and Darius McClure also were strong as each broke up a pass. After a few minutes, the offense started to put things together. Christian Ponder connected with Greg Carr, Preston Parker and Rod Owens. Drew Weatherford found Owens, Parker, Bert Reed and Taiwan Easterling who had a beautiful stop-and-go move and had to come back to the ball but still pulled in a juggling catch.

    In ½ skel Weatherford hit Reed and Carr. Ponder connected with Reed and Richard Goodman and D'Vontrey Richardson hit Easterling and Carr on a deep ball. Richardson had one of the nicest throws of the day as he floated a short pass over the defense and right into the hands of Rod Owens who hauled in the dump pass and turned it into a big gainer.

    During 7-on-7 Weatherford hit Caz Piurowski, wearing a new No. 81 jersey, and the QB connected with Parker three times. One was a short pass that the electrifying playmaker turned into a big gainer. Both of FSU's other QB's got some help from great receiver play as well. Richardson completed passes to Owens, Parker and Goodman, but it was Easterling's catch on a high pass that the freshman plucked out of the air that dropped jaws. Ponder hit Paul out of the backfield, got a nice long run after the catch from Owens and hit Goodman deep on a leaping grab between two defensive backs. Darius McClure recorded the only INT of the day and Jamie Robinson had a pass break up.

    The defensive line had a nice day in pass rush during the second period of the drill as defensive linemen were pushing their offensive counterparts back into the QB dummy on a pretty regular basis. Paul Griffin, Justin Mincey and Thacker all had power rushes. Emmanuel Dunbar had a nice drill getting to the QB three times and Everette Brown used his speed rush to get around his blocker on two occasions.

    The practice ended with 11-on-11 which was highlighted by nothing but big plays. The drill started with Nicholson forcing a fumble that Rolle scooped up and took to the house. Weatherford then hit Parker who sped right through the defense for a huge play. Smith continued his great day with three big runs including one for a TD. Parker burned the defense once again on a great run after the catch after a Ponder pass. Richardson made it happen with his feet on a designed run he took in for six points. Reed also had a long run. The D had a couple big plays left in them as Justin Mincey recorded a sack as did Watson.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Spring Practice Report: Day 2

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    Thursday was supposed to be an off day for the Seminole football team but after weather shut down Wednesday's session before it got started, the team was back out on the field this afternoon. The squad went through another 26-period practice in shorts. It was the second-to-last practice in shorts as the Seminoles will come out in shells on Friday and in full pads on Saturday.


    Most of the start of practice was spent working in position groups.

    The receivers and defensive backs broke off to work on 1-on-1 drills inside the red zone. Drew Weatherford connected with Taiwan Easterling while Ponder found Greg Carr, Richard Goodman, Rod Owens and Chase Walker. Ochuko Jenije and Terrance Parks both broke up passes.

    While half the squad worked on inside drills, the DB's and wideouts went back to work versus each other. D'Vontrey Richardson had a couple completions to Carr while Weatherford hit Owens, Walker and Goodman. Ponder hit Preston Parker twice, one of which was on a deep ball. For the defense, Patrick Robinson, Tony Carter and Dionte Allen all broke up passes.

    In ½ skel Weatherford had multiple connections with Carr, Bert Reed and Rod Owens. He completed deep passes to Owens and Parker. Ponder and Reed hooked up twice and both were one-handed grabs by the redshirt freshman. One was up against the fence and drew a reaction from Corey Fuller watching from the sidelines. Ponder also had completions to Seddrick Holloway, Owens and Brandon Paul. Richardson completed passes Carr, Owens, Goodman and Easterling. For the defense Carter, Darius McClure, Korey Mangum, Jamie Robinson and Patrick Robinson all broke up passes. Patrick Robinson also picked off a pass that came off the hands of one of the receivers.

    In pass rush Brandon Davis, Antwane Greenlee, Rodney Hudson and Evan Bellamy all had wins for the offense. Jamar Jackson, Dumaka Atkins, Paul Griffin and Everette Brown all got to the QB.

    After the offense and defense split up, the team came back together for 11-on-11. The main highlight for the offense was a Weatherford to Carr hook-up and two big runs by Antone Smith. The defense had a sack from Dekoda Watson, a near pick by Derek Nicholson, a tackle for loss from Roosevelt Lawson and a QB pressure from Budd Thacker. Atkins batted a ball down at the line for the second consecutive practice.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Spring Practice: Tailback Depth Chart

    As spring practice begins, FSU will try and find ways to make the running game more effective than it was last year.

    Antone Smith despite the hype in 2007 was underwhelming and was basically overshadowed later in the season by all everything Preston Parker.

    In 2007, Smith carried the ball 192 times. That is the most carries by a Seminole back since Greg Allen carried the ball 200 times in 1983. Smith was responsible for 43% of the team’s rushes in 2007. Several freshmen will also be in the depth charts behind Smith and Parker.

    TB Depth Chart:
    1. Antone Smith
    2. Preston Parker
    3. Brandon Paul
    4. Pat Davis

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    "....if they stay healthy and get all these practices in, then we will be okay."

    "As far as this first day compared to last year's first day is a lot of difference. Of course now the key will be how much can this improve. We've got to improve. I think that if they stay healthy and get all these practices in, then we will be okay."
    FSU head coach Bobby Bowden regarding first day of spring practice

    Spring Practice Report: Day 1

    Excerpts from FSU Sports Information:

    One of the biggest storylines of the first practice was the wind. With heavy gusts blowing most of the day, the passing game was erratic but there was plenty to be encouraged about.

    Most of the first half of practice was spent working in position groups where new tight ends coach James Coley worked with Jonathan Hannah and Caz Piurowski.

    One-on-one drills were plagued by the heavy winds but the QB's and receivers both managed to do some very good things. Taiwan Easterling stole the show despite not hauling in a single pass. The speedy redshirt freshman got open on numerous routes but the wind wreaked havoc on the deep ball. The same happened to fellow redshirt freshman Bert Reed and Richard Goodman who both had deep TD passes sail on them but they both did manage to pull in two other passes including a deep ball each. Rod Owens caught four balls and Greg Carr, sporting a new jersey (18), caught three. Defensively Tony Carter and Ochuko Jenije each broke up a couple passes and Korey Mangum and Patrick Robinson also got a PBU each.

    While the offense was working in one-on-on, the rest of the team was working on inside drills up on field three. Kendall Smith and Derek Nicholson both got to runners behind the line of scrimmage. Marcus Sims and Pat Davis had nice gains for the offense. One of Davis' best runs came when he was able to break a play to the outside and turn the corner.

    In ½ skel Robinson, Carter and Darius McClure all broke up passes. Drew Weatherford connected a couple times with Reed and once with Owens and Goodman. Christian Ponder hit Owens, Carr and Goodman. D'Vontrey Richardson completed balls to Easterling, Owens and Chase Walker but the biggest jaw-dropper came when Preston Parker adjusted to a ball thrown by Richardson to his back shoulder and hauled in the pass over his defender.

    In 7-on-7 Weatherford hit Parker twice, Walker once and Reed three times. One of Reed's catches was a phenomenal leaping grab. Ponder had success with the deep pass connecting with Reed and Goodman on long passes. Easterling got behind the defense once again in this drill but a wind-aided pass was just out of his reach. For the defense, Dionte Allen broke up a play.

    In pass rush the defensive line was ahead of their counterparts on day one. New defensive lineman Dumaka Atkins had three sacks as did Emmanuel Dunbar. Kevin McNeil, Jamar Jackson, Neefy Moffett and Everette Brown all had multiple wins. One of Brown's sacks came on a power rush. Budd Thacker, Paul Griffin and Justin Mincey also got to the QB. For the offense, Daron Rose had the best day with three wins. Antwane Greenlee and Rodney Hudson won multiple battles and Brandon Davis and Ryan McMahon picked up wins.

    The session ended with 11-on-11. Weatherford and Richardson each completed a pass to Parker and Owens, respectively. Ponder hit Carr and then Easterling turned in the play of the day. The Mississippi native made a leaping grab between two defenders and came down hard but held on to the Ponder pass. Antone Smith and Richardson both had nice runs. For the defense Moffett jumped up to bat down a pass at the line and true freshman Terrance Parks broke up a pass.

    Spring Practice: QB Depth Chart

    As spring practice begins, all eyes will be on the QB battle to see if Ponder or Richardson can unseat Senior QB Drew Weatherford from his starting position. Drew Weatherford has started 33 games in his three-year career. Weatherford has started double digit games in each of the last three seasons. Weatherford was almost perfect in one area last year- interceptions. He only had three picks in 2007 as opposed to 11 in 2006.

    Xavier Lee is gone and the Noles have Sophomores Christian Ponder and D’Vontrey Richardson who both saw limited action in 2007 but neither has ever started a game in college.

    QB Depth Chart:
    1. Drew Weatherford
    2. Christian Ponder
    3. D’Vontrey Richardson

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Noles Begin Spring Ball With Run On Tuesday

    Actually spring practice officially begins on Tuesday with a run. Here are the spring dates:

    March 18 Tuesday Run
    March 19 Wednesday
    March 21 Friday
    March 22 Saturday 1/2 Scrimmage
    March 24 Monday 1/2 Scrimmage
    March 26 Wednesday 1/2 Scrimmage
    March 28 Friday
    March 29 Saturday Scrimmage
    March 31 Monday
    April 2 Wednesday
    April 4 Friday 1/2 Scrimmage
    April 5 Saturday Scrimmage
    April 7 Monday
    April 9 Wednesday 1/2 Scrimmage
    April 12 Garnet & Gold Game 7:00 p.m.

    New Poll: What Position Battle Most Interests You?

    There is a new poll question: "What position battle are you most interested in during spring practice?"

    Poll Results: What Will NCAA Do Regarding Sanctions?

    Results of the poll: " Now that FSU has sanctioned itself, what do you think the NCAA will do?"

    Accept the FSU sanctions- 71.4%

    Impose additional sanctions- 28.6%

    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Spring Practice Set To Begin On Tuesday

    As the Noles head into the start of spring practice beginning on Tuesday, seven players will be returning on offense and seven returning on defense. They lose four starters on both offense and defense. Notable players returning on offense are Drew Weatherford at QB, Antone Smith at running back, and Greg Carr at wide receiver.

    On defense, returning in 2008 are defensive end Everette Brown, middle linebacker Derek Nicholson, corner Tony Carter, and rover Myron Rolle to name a few. Gary Cismesia is gone and in his place will be Graham Gano at kicker and punter as it stands now.

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Noles Make Offer To Pennsylvania Player

    FSU may not be on his radar but the Noles would love to land four-star offensive tackle Eric Shrive. FSU recently offered the 6-foot-7,285-pound offensive tackle from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Shrive has also received offers from Auburn, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Shrive is the nation's No. 87 overall prospect and can play both offense and defense although he prefers offensive tackle.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Parker Will Play Dual Role In Spring Ball

    As the Noles get set to begin spring practice on March 17, the depth charts are being announced. One of the key positions to watch will be that of running back. Preston Parker not only is the first team ‘z’ wide receiver but he will be the second team tailback behind Antone Smith. The key question will be if Smith can hold onto his first team spot at running back.

    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Will It Be Fear The Turtle Or Turtle Soup?

    As the Maryland Terrapins begin spring practice on March 25, there will be a big difference- pun intended. Weight challenged head coach Ralph Friedgen is no longer calling the plays; first-year offensive coordinator James Franklin brings a new scheme to College Park -- he will also take over the quarterbacks.

    The Terps will have a QB with starting experience in Chris Turner. One of their to dos is to look for a safety and they do have USC transfer Antwine Perez.The Terps do have experience on their defensive line.

    Let's see how much Friedgen's weight increases now that he has no play calling duties. It could get ugly.

    FSU plays Maryland Nov. 22 @ College Park, MD

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Garnet And Gold Game Under The Lights This Year

    So where can you see former FSU players, have games for the kids, and get great food? Glad you asked. As we get set to begin spring practice at FSU, fans can look forward to a different Garnet & Gold spring game. This year the game will be going under the lights on April 12.

    The game is set for 7 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium. The day’s festivities will be capped by a fireworks show immediately following the game. Also, prior to the game, Langford Green outside the stadium will open at 2 p.m. and feature live music, appearances by former FSU stars, food and games for kids.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Will Yellow Jackets Be Able To Sting Opponents In 2008?

    As Georgia Tech gets set to begin their spring practice on March 24, the Jackets have a new head coach and defensive coordinator. Former Navy head coach Paul Johnson is now at the helm for the Yellow Jackets with his option offense that is different from that of former coach Chan Gailey.

    QB Taylor Bennett plans to transfer so the QB position will be between Josh Nesbitt, a true freshman, and Calvin Booker, who played at Auburn but sat the bench until the bowl game. For the first time in seven years well respected defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta isn't running the unit.

    FSU plays Georgia Tech November 1 @Atlanta

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Will It Be Same Old Story For Blue Devils?

    Duke will attempt once again to get out from the bottom of the ACC ladder. The Blue Devils have a new head coach in former Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe will have quarterback Thaddeus Lewis who will be a third-year starter. The Blue Devils will be competitive at corner but there is a lot more wrong with the team than there is right. Cutcliffe will be hard pressed to turn the Blue Devils around in a short time. Cutcliffe does have time in that Blue Devil football fans are more patient than most fans in the ACC.

    Sunday, March 09, 2008

    Is This The Year For Clemson?

    Amid gusting winds and cold temperatures, Clemson's football team kicked off spring practice on Saturday morning.

    According to head coach Tommy Bowden, this should be the most competitive spring at every position since he has been at Clemson. According to a press release by Bowden, "We've got the most talented group of freshmen coming in -- top to bottom -- and were playing the best guys, regardless of length of tenure or what they've accomplished in the past. "

    The spring practice did not start out well as Clemson starting middle linebacker Cortney Vincent has been suspended for the Tigers' spring practice session for violating an unspecified team and athletics department policy.

    Clemson will be seeking to replace both offensive tackle positions as they lose All-American Barry Richardson and starter Christian Capote. In addition, the Tigers will be rebuilding at linebacker and with the news regarding Vincent that is not good.

    Clemson is strong at QB having both Cullen Harper and Willy Korn. The only question there is regarding their health.

    FSU plays Clemson Nov. 8 @ FSU