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    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Noles Look For Playmakers As Miami Week Begins

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    Florida State versus Miami is a legendary series and while it may not captivate the nation’s attention as it once did, it is just as big on the respective campuses as it ever was. You could hear that in the voice of Miami’s Corey Surrency in his post practice interviews Tuesday and you sure couldn’t tell it wasn’t a No. 1 versus No. 2battle listening to head coach Bobby Bowden as well. With the win versus Colorado now squarely behind them, Tuesday the Hurricanes were on everyone’s mind.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
    “I thought we had a pretty good practice today. The boys worked pretty hard and it seemed like the defense got the best of the inside running drills. It seemed like the offense got the best of the passing drills. I don’t know what that means but the passing looked pretty sharp; hope they keep it up.”

    On whether he needs more production out of the “playmakers”:
    “Yes, you’d love to have better production out of everybody. I think it will happen. What’s going to happen, the way we spread the field, it’s going to happen to this guy one day and it’s going to happen to this guy the next day. It’s not likely one guy can dominate like that. We’d like for all of them to step up.”

    WR Corey Surrency:
    On what the Miami game means to play at home:
    “It means a lot to me because I’m going back to play in my home town. It’s like my first time playing in my hometown for a collegiate football game. It means a lot and I can’t wait but I’m not trying to overwhelm me like that. I’m not trying to think too much about it.”

    More Noles Are Back For Miami Game

    The Noles are due to get back two more players for the game against Miami this Saturday. Senior defensive tackle Paul Griffin and junior fullback Marcus Sims will return after missing four games because of suspensions. Griffin and Sims are the last of more than 10 players who were disciplined as a result of the university's academic fraud scandal.

    Will James Run?

    So will Miami running back Javarris James play Saturday agains the Noles? James suffered a high ankle sprain in Miami's loss to the Gators and has not practiced or played since. Says head coach Randy Shannon, "If he gets out (of his cast) and can run this week, then he might be ready for FSU. " However Shannon indicated that a more realistic timetable might be Miami's game against Central Florida on Oct. 11. James splits time with Graig Cooper and has 14 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown this season.

    " We're not going to slow down and worry about penalties. "

    " We're not going to slow down and worry about penalties. If we're getting penalties and they come about because we're playing hard and physical and creating plays, we'll live with them."
    FSU defensive coordinaor Mickey Andrews regarding the large number of penalties by the Noles as quoted in

    Behind The Scenes Of Chief Osceola Tradition

    Most people know the tradition of Chief Osceola planting a fiery spear into the 50 yard line at Florida State home games, but don't see all the work that goes into allowing Osceola to ride on game days. Here is a nice behind the scenes look at the Chief Osceola tradition. Thanks to for the clip.

    Head To Head Matchup: Running Back

    6-0/200 sophomore Graig Cooper is the major running back for the Canes. In 2007, he shared the team's Rookie of the Year Award. Cooper led the team in rushing as a true freshman with 682 yards and a 5.5-yard average per carry. He also caught 13 passes for 129 yards in 2007. Cooper finished his first season with the third-most rushing yards ever by a Miami true freshman, behind only Clinton Portis (838 yards) and Javarris James (808 yards). He also led the team in rushing in six of 12 games.Cooper against the Noles last year was the leading rusher for the Canes with 80yards and 1 TD. He averaged eight yards a touch on 10 carries in the victory over the Noles.

    For 2008, Cooper has rushed for 291 yards and 3 rushing TDs. Against North Carolina, he rushed for 110 yards and 0 TDs. He however did have 1 receiving TD. Far behind Cooper is senior running back Derron Thomas who has rushed for 97 yards and 1 TD.

    Defensive matchup: Cooper and others will be facing a tough FSU defense who had its starters back for Colorado. The Nole run defense is ranked #2 in the ACC allowing a little over 67 yards a game. They have yet to allow a TD on the ground. Two Noles rank in the ACC top 10 of defensive leaders in tackles for a loss. Defensive lineman Everette Brown and linebacker Derek Nicholson are ranked #2 and #4 respectively in sacks for a loss. With Dekoda Watson back, the defense should be a definite asset against the Canes on Saturday.

    For the Noles, Antone Smith had an exceptional day against the Buffs. Hopefully that will carry forward to the game against the Canes this Saturday. Against Colorado, Smith carried the ball 25 times for 154 yards and 3 TDs. For the season, he has rushed for 302 yards and 5 TDs. Jermaine Thomas backs up Smith and has 162 yards and 2 TDs for the season. It will be important for the Noles to get the running game established due to the inexperience of Ponder in big game situations.

    Defensive matchup: As mentioned, the Noles are ranked #2 in rush defense in the ACC. However, the Canes are ranked #1. The Cane defense is only allowing 65 yards a game. They have also allowed only three TDs on the ground.

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Noles Focus On Colorado Mistakes Before Turning To Canes

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    Coming off a big win over a previously undefeated Colorado squad, the Seminole football team (3-1, 0-1) spent 10 periods correcting mistakes from the squad’s 39-21 win on Monday night. While it is hard not to look ahead to next week’s rivalry game with the University of Miami, FSU had other business to take care of before they could get set for the 53rd meeting between the schools. Those preparations for UM will have to wait until Tuesday.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
    On a reduction in mistakes against Colorado, and the need to continue to clean them up in practice:
    “We eliminated a lot of them, and you could tell a dog gone difference. But, we still got entirely too many penalties, missed assignments and other things like that. You look around the nation at all of these teams that are getting upset, it's because somebody makes a mistake at the wrong time and it costs you a ball game.”

    On whether the mistakes are mental or physical:
    “Mental. Nobody can play a game without making at least a mental error. Go the wrong way or line up wrong or do something like that. If you make too many of them, boy it can sure cost you a ball game.”

    Noles Run While Bobby Sings

    * The ABC announcer on Saturday made perhaps the most obvious statement of them all when he said that you don't see Bobby with the headsets on much nowadays. I guess he didn't get the memo that Bobby is not calling plays anymore.

    * Was it only me or was the ABC broadcast of the game like looking through a screen?

    * One of the highlights of the game had to be the playing of the 1984 Bobby Bowden song, " We're The Seminoles Of FSU." Now I know why Bobby chose coaching as a career.

    * Nike is not only in the shoe business but also provided a cooling system for the Colorado football players on Saturday.

    Garvin Earns ACC Honor

    FSU's Michael Ray Garvin was named the ACC’s co-specialist of the week following his performance versus Colorado. Garvin scored his first career touchdown on a kickoff return as he gave the Seminoles a 25-14 fourth quarter lead over Colorado with his career-long 94-yard kickoff return.

    For the game Garvin earned a career-high 119 kickoff return yards and increased his career total to 1,195 yards. He is currently third all-time in FSU in that category after setting the single season record in 2008.

    Will It Be All Green On Saturday?

    The Canes had some players that left the game early in their loss to North Carolina on Saturday. Starting right tackle Reggie Youngblood left the game with what appeared to be an injury to his left foot in the first half and was later seen on the sideline in street clothes. Reserve running back Damien Berry left in the first quarter and sat on the bench in the second half. Receiver Thearon Collier got the wind knocked out of him in the first half, and then left the field on a cart in the third quarter. Head coach Randy Shannon said he's "doing fine."


    UM had to play the game on Saturday on a dirt infield because the Marlin baseball team plays at the stadium. The Marlins were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday but there wasn't enough time to add grass. However, when the Noles play the Hurricanes at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday, a full grass playing surface is supposed to be in place.

    Noles Perfect In Red Zone

    First Downs: FSU- 21 Colorado- 22

    Net Yards Rushing: FSU- 259 Colorado- 124

    Net Yards Passing: FSU- 119 Colorado- 154

    Yards Penalized: FSU- 110 Colorado- 24

    Third Down Conversions: FSU- 36% Colorado- 27%

    Red Zone Percentage: FSU- 100% Colorado-66%

    Fumbles Lost: FSU- 0 Colorado- 0

    Interceptions Thrown: FSU- 1 Colorado- 1

    Field Goals: FSU-3-3 Colorado- 0-1

    Noles Run Over Buffs While Fans Left To Ponder The Passing Game

    The Noles won on the ground and the defense for the most part played a great game:

    Offensive Line: Rick Trickett's offensive line allowed no sacks and blocked well enough for Smith to run wild.
    Grade: B+

    Running Game: Antone Smith had a great game that saw him rush for 154 yards.
    Grade: A

    : Ponder completed just 10-of-22 passes for 119 yards and a freak interception. He does not look confident.
    Grade: C

    Offensive Coaching: Fisher decided that the run was the way to go against Colorado. One dimensional football however will get a team beaten down the road.
    Grade: B-

    : Poor showing by receivers but that in part could be Fisher's game plan also. Parker and Surrency had no catches. Carr had only 3 catches for minimal yardage and no TD.
    Grade: C

    Defense and Defensive Coaching: Good defensive effort although there were some breakdowns on Colorado TDs. Secondary continues to be a question mark.
    Grade: B+

    Penalties: Another horrible day for the Noles.Will they ever learn?
    Grade: F

    Special Teams/Kicking Game: Special teams was excellent as they had a blocked punt and a kickoff return for a TD. Gano was perfect on both extra points and field goals.
    Grade: A

    Trojans Go Down To Beavers

    My Turkey Of The Week award has to go to USC and Pete Carroll for the absolute flop at Oregon State last Thursday night. The number one Trojans were twenty-five point favorites to hammer Oregon State but instead were beaten by the Beavers 27-21. Turkeys sharing in this award have to be ESPN and Kirk "The Homer" Herbstreit who said that no one could beat USC and they could beat some teams in the NFL. Kirk has such a man crush on Pete Carroll. These are the same Trojans that last year were beaten by a sorry Stanford team. Honorable mention has to go to the Gators who lost to Ole Miss at home and Clemson who lost to Maryland.

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    Mickey Deserves More Praise

    * Tight end Caz Piurowski returned to the starting lineup against Colorado. He is not only good at blocking but is able to catch the ball also. Against the Buffs, he was tied in number of receptions with 3 for 33 yards and was the leader in yardage.

    * The passing game has gone south. In the game against Colorado, Preston Parker and Corey Surrency had no catches and Greg Carr had only 3 catches for 29 yards.

    * In my opinion. Mickey Andrews does not get enough credit for his year in and year out defensive coaching. Bobby Bowden must feel blessed to have had Mickey for most of his tenure at FSU.

    * Rick Trickett's offensive line deserves kudos also. The running game had 259 yards rushing due to their blocking and they allowed no sacks.

    * Although the secondary finally had its first interception, they are blowing coverages and getting burned.

    * Antone Smith has been good at talking the talk but against the Buffs he walked the walk. Hopefully that will carry over to the Miami game.

    * Dekoda Watson definitely was missed on the defense and his return was most welcome as he was the leader on the team in tackles and had a special teams punt block also.

    * Christian Ponder in the last two games in my opinion does not look comfortable at QB. Jimbo Fisher in post Colorado comments seemed pleased with his performance. Not sure we were watching the same game.

    * Colorado had 24 yards in penalties while the Noles had 110 yards. That was only slightly down from the 139 yards against Wake. Not only players should be blamed but also coaches who are apparently not doing a good job at communicating how important it is to not commit stupid penalties.

    Canes Give Tar Heels A Headache

    Although Miami lost the game to North Carolina on Saturday, their special teams did manage to get in some helmet crunching hits in the loss.

    Special Teams Shine In Colorado Game

    The game was won on the ground as the passing offense was missing in action for most of the game. Game balls go to:

    Antone Smith had an exceptional game as he rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

    Graham Gano showed why the Noles needed him back. He was 3 for 3 on field goals with a long of 52 yards.

    FSU special teams did it all against Colorado. Gano was perfect on extra points and field goals. Watson had a blocked punt for a safety and Garvin retuned a kickoff 94 yards for a TD.

    Dekoda Watson returned as a starter and led the defense with 10 tackles and a blocked punt.

    Watson Returns In Style

    With the Noles leading 14-7 in the second quarter, Colorado was forced to punt in their end zone. Dekoda Watson blocked the punt for a safety that put the Noles up 16-7.

    Canes Get Dumped By Tar Heels

    Before a home crowd of 35,380, the Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) gave up leads of 14-0 in the first quarter and 17-7 at halftime and were defeated by Butch Davis and his North Carolina Tar Heels 24-21. Miami tailback Graig Cooper rushed for 110 rushing yards and one receiving touchdown. Hurricane QB Robert Marve was 18 of 27 for 135 yards and three TDs with two interceptions. With 10 seconds left in the game,UM had the ball on UNC's 20. Marve hit a player in the end zone for the TD but it was intercepted to seal the victory for North Carolina.

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    Nole Air Game Grounded

    The Nole passing game has come to a screeching halt. In the first two games of the season, the Noles had 8 touchdowns through the air and no interceptions. In the last two games against Wake and Colorado, the Noles have had no TDs through the air, passed for only 118 yards and 119 yards respectively and have thrown 6 interceptions.

    While it is difficult to put the blame solely on the QB, the receivers, or the offensive game plans of Jimbo Fisher, it is apparent that these stats are troubling. These kind of numbers will not win a lot of games down the road.

    Noles Run Over Buffs

    12- Number of penalties by FSU.

    - Number of penalty yards by FSU.

    4- Number of sacks by FSU.

    0- Number of sacks by Colorado.

    - Net yards rushing by FSU.

    Noles "Defeet" Buffs 39-21

    The Nole victory against the Buffs was all feet today. Antone Smith had a breakout game with 3 TDs and Graham Gano was perfect with his field goals. The Nole defense played great in typical Mickey Andrews fashion while there still are concerns with the secondary. Bobby Bowden was able to savor his 500th game coached with a win while the big question mark is at the QB position. Once again the Noles had over 100 yards in penalties. Somehow the importance of not having penalties is not registering with the players. However, we Nole fans will take the victory and look toward playing the Canes next week.

    Will Buffs Be Singing "Rocky Mountain Cry"?

    Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. EST

    Television: ABC

    Announcers: Joe Tessitore (play-by-play),Rod Gilmore (analyst) and Todd Harris (sideline).

    Site: Jacksonville Municpal Stadium, Jacksonville,Florida

    Stadium Capacity: 85,500

    Surface: Natural grass

    Coaches: Bobby Bowden (375-120-4 in 33rd year at FSU) and Dan Hawkins (11-20 in third year as head coach at Colorado).

    All-Time Series: FSU is 2-0 in series with Colorado.

    Stat that matters
    : Under Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles are 8-1 in the River City.

    Key Stat: Bowden is set to become only the third coach in college football history to coach in 500 or more games.

    Last game against Colorado: Florida State defeated Colorado at Boulder 16-6 in 2007.

    Game Day Weather: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

    Hawkins Looking To Take Colorado To New Heights

    Dan Hawkins was hired by Colorado in December 2005 to a five year contract in an effort to resurrect a program that had been rocked by numerous scandals under former coach Gary Barnett. Hawkins first year at Colorado in 2006 was unremarkable. He ended the season with a record of 2-10.

    Hawkins gained national attention in February of 2007 during the National Signing Day press conference after he passionately expressed his disappointment in the attitude of a player's parent who had complained about the reduction in the players' time off before the summer condition program started.

    In 2007, Hawkins led Colorado to a record of 6-7 and earned him his first bowl invitation as the Colorado coach, against Alabama in the Independence Bowl. Alabama got the best of the Buffs in the bowl game, however, 30-24. So far in 2008, Hawkins is 3-0 coming off an overtime victory over West Virginia last Thursday night.

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Will Psycho Steve Smile This Week?

    Here are my cupcakes for the week:

    Texas A&M versus Army- Will Army get bombed by A&M?

    Boston College versus Rhode Island- BC gets to feast on a small cupcake.

    Kansas State versus La. Lafayette- Kansas State by 21 points.Ouch!

    Kentucky versus Western Kentucky- Kentucky gets an instate cupcake.

    South Carolina
    versus UAB- Psycho Steve gets to smile against UAB.

    Oklahoma State versus Troy- Boys of Troy set to get hammered.

    Ralphie V Quick On Her Feet

    The newest addition to the Colorado mascot family is Ralphie V, who, like Ralphie IV, was donated to CU from a Ted Turner ranch. Ralphie V was born in October 2006 on the Vermejo Park Ranch in Northern New Mexico. She was named "Blackout" by CU Ralphie Handlers as she was the darkest calf in the herd.

    Ralphie V was introduced to the public at "Ralphie’s Salute to a New Era" on November 17,2007.

    Colorado's spring game was Ralphie V's first action in front of a Buffs crowd. And like the football team's new no-huddle offense, this Ralphie will be noticeably quicker than last year's. Her predecessor, the retired Ralphie IV, had been the mascot since 1998 and was a relatively ancient 10 years-old when she made her final rounds in 2007.

    Asked what the biggest difference is with Ralphie V, program director Gail Pederson didn't hesitate.

    "Ralphie V is very, very fast. She's a rocket ship," Pederson said. "Just being a one-and-a-half year-old buff compared to a 10 year-old, the speed is just really different."

    My Buys And Sells For Colorado Game

    Chip The Colorado Mascot- A costumed character that looks like a buffalo. Not buying it. I am selling.

    Ralphie V The Colorado Mascot- Although Ralphie will not be at the game, she is what a mascot should be. You can love the mascot but hate the opponent. I am buying.

    Chief Osceola and Renegade- They are making a rare out of town appearance. What a great sight! I am definitely buying.

    Noles will have at least one sack against Colorado- With the starters back on defense, the Noles will have a sack or two. I am buying.

    Noles will hold Buff running game to less than 100 yards
    - Colorado has some playmakers at tailback. However, Nole defense has something to prove. I am buying.

    FSU will have 50 yards or less in penalties- If they have less than 100 yards, I will be happy. Not sure they will go under 50 yards. I am selling.

    FSU gets at least one interception
    - Patrick Robinson is back in the secondary. Noles need a big play from the defense. I am buying.

    Greg Carr will have at least one TD
    - Carr could be the catalyst the Noles need. I am buying.

    Keys To FSU-Colorado Game

    * Noles are playing in Jacksonville before what is in essence a home crowd. Get the crowd into the game early.

    * Noles must establish the run either with Smith or Jermaine Thomas.

    * Ponder needs to play within himself and stay composed. Stay in the pocket and do the reads.

    * Jimbo Fisher needs to have a good offensive game plan.

    * Defense needs to make an early statement and force some turnovers. Make Hawkins hurry his passes.

    * Offensive line must be able to pass protect and minimize sacks.

    * Need I mention penalties and turnovers? Noles cannot have a repeat of the Wake game.

    * Receivers must have a good day. Someone needs to be a catalyst for the receiver corps.

    Bowden Set To Coach Game #500 Against Buffs

    1. The Buffs have played in the state of Florida 12 times, losing eight of those games.

    2. Colorado is attempting its first 4-0 start since the 1998 season.

    3. Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins’ is 0-1 against Florida State, while Bobby Bowden is 2-0 against Colorado.

    4. The Noles are 9-1-1 all-time in the facility now known as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium but formerly known as the Gator Bowl and Alltel Stadium. They are 8-1 under coach Bobby Bowden.

    5. The Seminoles have won six games in a row in Jacksonville since a loss to Southern Miss and Brett Favre in 1989.

    6. Bobby Bowden reaches a milestone against Colorado as he will coach his 500th career collegiate football game versus the Buffalos. He will become only the third coach in college football history to coach in 500 or more games.

    Three And Out: FSU-Colorado Game

    I am pleased that Colorado sports journalist Kyle Ringo has agreed to answer my "Three And Out" questions regarding the University of Colorado football team. Kyle answered my questions last year and has been kind enough to do so again this year. Kyle grew up in Colorado and is in his fifth season covering CU football for the Daily Camera. He has a Daily Camera Blog which covers CU football news. Thanks again to Kyle for taking the time to answer my questions.

    1. The Colorado defense must be smiling after the play of the Nole offense against Wake on Saturday night. With that said. how would you assess the QB play of Cody Hawkins through the first three games of the season?

    I would say outside of a couple of bad decisions, he has been pretty good. He led his team to a game-tying touchdown late in a closer-than-expected win over Eastern Washington. It was a pretty clutch drive by him. He's completing 70 percent of his throws and he will throw the deep ball on occasion with a few more options around him and more speed than last year. However, two of the bad throws he has made were intercepted and led to touchdowns for the opponent. One was returned for a TD. He still gets a pass or two batted down at the line of scrimmage each week, and he's doesn't have the strongest arm in the world. Another thing I've noticed about him this year is he will occasionally make something happen with his feet. That has been a hole in this offense.

    2. What do you see as the major strengths of this Colorado team this year?

    I think Cody's feel for the game and leadership are one strength and the defense is another. The defense has been a bend'but-don't break bunch for the most part. They have given up a few big plays, two last week in the running game against West Virginia, but they have been tough to score against. It makes sense with seven seniors starting on that side of the ball.

    3. Most Nole fans have not had the opportunity to see Colorado play other than the Thursday night game last week. What Colorado players are keys to the game on Saturday when they take on FSU?

    Cody is obvious, but I really think this game hinges on how the CU offensive line plays. This is a young group. Center Daniel Sanders is an experienced senior who has been playing since he was a sophomore, after that, the most experienced guy is a sophomore (right tackle Ryan Miller) who became a starter midway through last season. If the line can block at all, CU has definitely upgraded in the backfield with Darrell Scott and Rodney Stewart. Both of those guys can take it to the house.

    Wide receiver Josh Smith is also a threat. He has scored a touchdown in every game so far. He's also dangerous in the return game. He returned on kickoff for a score, got caught by a shoestring at the 4-yard line on a punt return and barely missed returning two other kickoffs for touchdowns.

    Defensively, the Buffs two senior tackles are tough. George Hypolite could be an All-American and will be playing on Sunday's next year. Brandon Nicolas has a shot to make it in the NFL, too. Senior outside linebacker Brad Jones is sort of all all-purpose guy on defense. He rushes the passer, covers backs and tight ends and is solid in run support.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Noles Wrap Up Practice And Get Set For Jax

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    For seven members of the Seminole football team, Saturday’s game in Jacksonville will be a homecoming but with three games played in Jacksonville since 2005, it is not a new experience for most of this group. Last year FSU downed Alabama and three years ago the Seminoles won the ACC Championship and the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Florida State has scored at least 21 points in every game played in Jacksonville since 1982 and will hope to get the offense restarted following the three point showing versus Wake Forest.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
    On the offense this week:
    “You hope every week that they pick it up a little bit. We have run down the list of reasons why they didn’t do well last game. I hope that we have worked on that this week.”

    Quarterback Christian Ponder:
    On how the offense practiced this week:
    “I think we did, I think we had a pretty good week. The tempo was definitely a lot quicker than usual. I think guys were coming out here motivated and ready to work hard and ready to forget what happened last week and turn this thing around.”

    Head To Head Matchup: Quarterback

    Cody Hawkins, the Buff starting QB, is the son of head coach Dan Hawkins. In 2007, he was named the starter midway through August drills and started all 13 games including the Independence Bowl. The 5-11/190 Hawkins is now in his sophomore year at Colorado. He was the Iron Buffalo Award winner among the quarterbacks for hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage for spring strength and conditioning. He enters his sophomore year already 11th on CU’s all-time passing yards list(2,693),as well as eighth in touchdown passes(19).

    Through three games in 2008, Hawkins has thrown for 654 yards and completed 70 passes for a 70% completion rate. He has 6 TDs and also has thrown 3 interceptions so far this season. In addition, he has rushed for 2 TDs. In the last game against West Virginia, Hawkins passed for 179 yards, 2 TDs , and 1 interception.

    On the Nole side, Christian Ponder will be starting again despite his nightmarish game against Wake. Ponder this week admitted to being overwhelmed in the Wake game. Hopefully that "deer in the headlights" game is behind him and he will be able to lead the offense effectively against Colorado. On the year, Ponder has almost a 53% completion percentage rate and has passed for 426 yards and 6 TDs. He has also thrown 3 interceptions which were all in the Wake game. Look for backup QB D'Vontrey Richardson to play also in this game, sooner rather than later if Ponder gets into trouble early.

    The Sacred Acre

    This video has nothing to do with FSU or Colorado but it does reflect the spirit and values that football can have for a community that goes through terrible times. This is ESPN's E:60 segment on Parkersburg, the small Iowa town that was devastated by an EF-5 tornado on May 27. The twister was more than a mile wide and had winds of 205 miles per hour and stayed on the ground for 43 miles. It claimed six lives in Parkersburg and two in neighboring New Hartford.

    Buffs Lose Guard For Game

    Colorado freshman guard Max Tuioti-Mariner suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in non-contact drills in Tuesday’s practice and will miss the remainder of the season. Tuioti-Mariner played in each of the first three games this season and recorded 16.5 knockdown blocks, the third most on the team.


    Colorado seems to be suffering from lack of depth according to reports in the Colorado area papers. There are 80 scholarship players on the current roster while the NCAA allows 85. Eleven of those scholarships are unable to help the program on game days. Four players have suffered season-ending injuries, six players are academically ineligible and one player is suspended indefinitely. That leaves 69 scholarship players and 12 of them are slated to redshirt this fall.

    The Buff football players are attempting to deal with hydration for the upcoming game. Temperatures in Jacksonville are expected to be in the high 80s or low 90s for the game on Saturday. Players have been seen walking around campus carrying gallon jugs of green Gatorade.

    Saban Nation Takes On the Dawgs

    There are some interesting matchups this week. My games to watch:

    Alabama versus Georgia- Dogs are going to wear black against Saban and Bama.

    Tennessee versus Auburn- Will Phil and his Vols get another beat down this week?

    versus Clemson- Could Ralph and his turtles upset Tommy Boy and his tigers? I doubt it.

    Virginia versus Duke- Duke is favored in this game. Wow!

    Michigan versus Wisconsin- Will Michigan get another "L"?

    Virginia Tech versus Nebraska- Can Beamer ball up end the Huskers?

    versus Notre Dame- Will crew cut Charlie and his Irish get booted by Purdue at home?

    Arkansas versus Texas- Will this be a stampede?

    Oregon State
    versus USC- #1 USC tackles Oregon State on Thursday night.

    Chip Gets Busted

    You just have to love how stupid some people can be. Especially those who wear costumes as mascots for schools. Case in point. Chip, the Colorado costumed mascot was busted in January, 2008 for conduct unbecoming a fuzzy headed buffalo.

    An official at the University of Colorado apologized for an "insensitive, unfortunate and thoughtless" display by a Chip during a promotional appearance. Seems that Chip, CU's costumed buffalo mascot, showed up at the Pepsi Center in Denver for a "kid's night" Nuggets basketball game dressed in "gangster-themed" attire.

    Chip had replaced his trademark CU clothing with a white T-shirt and baggy pants, a do-rag and fake gold teeth. In addition, the costume also included a graphic of a teardrop tattoo below one eye which is commonly associated with gang activity. It usually means that the wearer has killed someone.

    "It was, basically, every stereotypical thing you could think of," CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said. "It ended up being a gang-style persona, and that's just unacceptable."

    Gary Cismesia Has Three Field Goals In Nole Victory Over Buffs In 2007

    The Noles travelled to Boulder Colorado in September of 2007 to take on a 1-2 Colorado team in front of a crowd of almost 53,000 fans. The Noles were 2-1 and were led by QB Drew Weatherford.

    After a scoreless first quarter, the Noles scored the first points of the game when Antone Smith ran 36 yards for a TD. Later in the second quarter, Gary Cismesia would kick a 31 yard field goal that had the Noles leading Colorado 10-0 at the end of the half.

    In the third quarter, Coloado missed a field goal and the Noles added another three points on a Gary Cismesia 27 yarder to make the score 13-0 at the end of the third quarter.

    At the beginning of the fourth quarter, FSU's Cismesia kicked a third field goal for 37 yards to make the score 16-0. With less than five minutes to play in the game, Colorado scored a TD when Colorado QB Cody Hawkins connected with Tyson DeVree for an 11 yard score.The Buffs went for two but were unsuccessful. The score was 16-6. The Buffs got the ball back and with less than two minutes left in the game drove the ball down the field to FSU's 11 yard line. At the FSU 11, Cody Hawkins was intercepted at the goal line by Tony Carter for a touchback and a win over the Buffs for the final score of 16-6.

    After the game, Jimbo Fisher said this,""The most ridiculous demonstration of football I've been around in my life. I'm going to tell you what, if I'm an offensive player, I'm embarrassed. Our defense won that football game. It's ridiculous the mistakes we keep making." Sound familiar?

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Defense Continues To Look Good In Practice

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    Tuesday and Wednesday are vital days in preparation for a game and if that is the case the Colorado offense should expect to see another stellar effort from the Seminole D. For the second straight day the Florida State defense looked impressive as four players returned to practice this week shedding their gold scout team jerseys and re-joining their teammates in white.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
    “We had a pretty good practice, the kids worked hard, tomorrow we’ll go out in shorts and polish up our game plan.”

    On needing to stick to the running game:
    “It’s good if you can, but sometimes the game doesn’t dictate that. We had so many first and 20’s and first and 25’s that if you make eight yards on a run and then you make another eight yards you still have 11 or 12 yards to go. I think if we would have had good field position you would have seen a lot more running and we do want to run more.”

    Head To Head Matchup: Receiver

    Scotty McKnight leads the Buff receivers with 178 yards and 1 TD. The 5-11/190 sophomore is listed atop Colorado's “z” receiver grouping. The coaches selected him as the recipient of the Eddie Crowder Award, presented for outstanding leadership during spring drills. After just one season, he’s already 47th in receptions and 63rd in receiving yards on CU’s all-time lists Once teamed with Buff QB Hawkins on the Colorado scout squad, it's no surprise he's emerging as the quarterback's favorite receiver. McKnight leads the Buffs with 15 receptions through three games, including their second longest catch of the season for 37 yards.

    Along with McKnight, there is Josh Smith who has caught 119 yards and 2 TDs The 6-0/180 sophomore is listed second among the “x” receiver grouping. He is known as a big play receiver. The Colorado receiving corps through three games has 6 TDs on the season.

    For the Noles, Greg Carr is one of the major receivers for the Noles. Through three games, Carr leads the Noles in receiving yards with nine catches for 144 yards and 1 TD.He has a lot of guys complementing him who have huge upside potential. Corey Surrency who had a bad night against Wake has 101 receiving yards and 3 TDs. Bert Reed with 129 yards and 2 TDs is another receiver to watch along with Taiwan Easterling. This week Preston Parker has been practicing mostly at the receiver position and has the potential of having a good day also. On the season, the Nole receiving corps has 8 TDs.

    Miami Gets Next Three Opponents At Home

    While the Noles play an out of conference opponent Saturday, their next opponent Miami has a stretch of three consecutive home games Saturday when the Hurricanes(2-1) host North Carolina (2-1) in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2. The Hurricanes will play four of their next five games at Dolphin Stadium. The Hurricanes are coming off of one of their best offensive games on the road in three years when Miami defeated Texas A&M, 41-23, at Kyle Field last Saturday.

    " Who cares? "

    " Who cares? Hey, I can step out tomorrow and go to the beach."
    Bobby Bowden regarding the fact that the Noles are no longer in the top echelon of college football when talking to Denver Post as quoted in The Orlando Sentinel

    Note: I read the original article where Bowden was quoted and it's not out of context. A baffling comment to say the least.

    Nole Defense High In Rankings

    National rankings based on 120 teams:

    Scoring Offense: FSU-17 Colorado-56

    Scoring Defense: FSU-2 Colorado-38

    Passing Offense: FSU-51 Colorado-57

    Passing Defense: FSU-19 Colorado-39

    Total Offense: FSU-34 Colorado-58

    Total Defense: FSU-4 Colorado-45

    Penalties: FSU-115 Colorado-86

    Third Down Conversions: FSU-13 Colorado-42

    Red Zone Conversions: FSU-49 Colorado-49

    It Was Awful And Long

    Not only did Nole fans have to suffer through a horrible game last Saturday but it was made even worse because of its length. The FSU-Wake game was the seventh longest game of week four:

    Fresno State-Toledo: 4:05
    Southeastern Louisiana-Louisiana Tech: 3:45
    Portland State-Washington State: 3:42
    South Florida-Florida International: 3:32
    Miami-Texas A&M: 3:28
    Kansas State-Louisville: 3:27
    Wake Forest-Florida State: 3:24

    " They have a ton of talent and a ton of speed."

    Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins held his Florida State week press luncheon Tuesday previewing Saturday's game against the Seminoles. The following are excerpts from the session:

    On Florida State’s Offense:
    "They have a ton of talent and a ton of speed. They’re just trying to get everybody on the same page. Anytime you break in a new quarterback or quarterbacks there’s going to be some issues there. I know they’re a little younger up front, but they have a ton of talent. They’re just working hard on getting everybody on the same page and we know how that feels.”

    On making it to 500 games like Coach Bowden:
    " I think if you added up every basketball, baseball, softball, rec. league, every game I have ever been in, I think it would probably add up to about 300. It’s an amazing feat. I’m one of those guys who never says never, but I think as the years go on, you’re going to see that become very hard to do anymore, I really do.”

    On Recruiting In the State of Florida:

    " We’re going to continue to keep recruiting down there; there’s a lot of players down there. It’s always just about finding the right guy, the right fit. Sometimes you find the guy who wants a change, he wants to do something different, he wants to get out of the box, wants to see another part of the world. Every kid is different; some definitely want to stay home, they like it or there’s family there, or comfort level, whatever it is. So it’s just about finding that right kid that says, ‘Yeah, I’m looking for change and I want to go; I like Colorado and I like what you guys are all about.”

    On Young Players Being Star-Struck When Playing Florida State:
    " I don’t think so, and I think that’s the benefit of playing the schedule that we play; playing in Invesco, playing on television, playing West Virginia. We always talk about just having your ‘A’ game on in life everyday, and the way they look at it is that it’s just Colorado football. We’re going to travel, play on the national stage, play the good team; they just look at it as being Colorado football.

    On Rodney Stewart’s Playing Time Against West Virginia and the Other Tailbacks:
    " He was hot and doing well, he was in rhythm and making some good runs; his confidence level was up and he stayed with it. The ultimate scenario is that we have all of those guys working in there a little bit. As Darrell (Scott) continues to get confidence and his body is good to go, his mind is good to go, you’re going to see him have some unbelievable days. I still think there’s a role and a place in there for Kevin (Moyd) and Demetrius (Sumler).”

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Noles Turn Their Focus Toward Buffs

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    For the only time this week, the Seminoles put on full pads and turned their focus towards the undefeated Colorado Buffaloes and the River City Showdown. Florida State practiced for 22 periods in full pads Tuesday as they look to improve to 10-1 under Bowden in Jacksonville.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
    On The First Night Of Practice Leading Up To The Colorado Game:
    “We had a regular Tuesday practice. We had a little goal-line scrimmage down there a while ago. I can’t think of anything that stood out that you would want to write about. I thought the offense did a little better job today; both of them did, and looked like they picked it up a little from last week.

    Do you notice any difference in practice with the reinstated players?
    “It gives you a little bit more depth, boy, you have been out there sweating hoping that nobody gets hurt at this position because there is nothing but freshman behind them and things like that. You feel a little bit better in that regard. They were working hard. The guy that gets around a lot, gets a lot of attention is Dekoda (Watson). When he was on the scout squad he got a lot of attention. I could see his presence out there today.”

    Head To Head Matchup: Running Back

    Gain 166 yards against West Virginia last Thursday night and be listed at number four on the Colorado depth charts. That is exactly where freshman Rodney Stewart is listed after his spectacular night against the Mountaineers.

    5-10/220 sophomore Demetrius Sumler is listed at the top of the charts. The Buffs consider Sumler the most versatile of the running backs. The coaches selected him as the Fred Casotti Award winner as the most improved offensive back during spring practice. For the first three games of the 2008 season, Sumler has rushed for 43 yards and 0 TD. Not exactly the stats of the premier back on the team.

    The 5-6/175 Rodney Stewart is ranked number six in the Big 12 Conference in rushing yards with 242 yards and averages almost 6 yards a carry. The Colorado roster description about Stewart says that he is projected as a tailback in his true freshman season in college, and figures to make an immediate impact in the return game on special teams.

    The tailback to watch in addition to Stewart is Darrell Scott who has rushed for 128 yards and 1 TD through three games. The 6-1/225 freshman was projected as a tailback in his true freshman season in college. Sporting News selected him as the Big 12’s top impact freshman and Lindy’s Big 12 Football tabbed him as the Offensive Newcomer of the Year in the conference. Colorado's defensive tackle George Hypolite said this about Scott. "... if I'm worth my salt, in three years, you'll be talking about him winning the Heisman Trophy."

    It is interesting to note that Colorado has three rushing TDs in three games and two of those were by QB Cody Hawkins.

    On the Nole side,the running game was almost non-existent Saturday against Wake Forest. In the game, Antone Smith had eight touches for 24 yards rushing and a fumble. For the season Smith has 148 yards rushing and 2 TDs. He is averaging 5.3 yards a carry.

    Jimbo Fisher this week has indicated that establishing a running game is crucial. Freshman Jermaine Thomas who had 125 yards in the first two games did not play in the Wake game as running back/receiver Preston Parker returned to action. It is apparent that the Noles need Smith to turn it up a notch or perhaps give someone else a shot at being a play maker.

    Colorado Kicker Earns Big 12 Honors

    Colorado has some players with Florida roots. Josh Smith (receiver, return specialist) and Darrell Scott (running back) were born in Tallahassee. Smith later moved to California to be raised by his older sister. Also Josh Hartigan (linebacker), Kevin Moyd (running back) , and Matt DiLallo (punter) are from Florida.


    Colorado sophomore placekicker Aric Goodman was chosen the Big 12 Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week for his 25-yard field goal in overtime that beat West Virginia 17-14 on Thursday.With his play last Thursday, Goodman also was awarded a full scholarship.

    Noles Try To Correct Mistakes And Look Toward Colorado

    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    Following the loss to a top 25 Wake Forest squad, the Seminoles headed back out to the practice fields and worked on some of the things that didn’t go as planned versus the Demon Deacons. After spending 10 periods in shorts making corrections from Saturday night’s game, FSU will turn its focus to a 3-0 Colorado team beginning Tuesday.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    On The First Night Of Practice Leading Up To The Colorado Game:
    “We spent most of our time tonight working on the kicking game and then working on correcting mistakes. We made a big issue out of that. Our coaches showed them their mistakes again and we will see how much improvement we are able to make, which is going to be very important.”

    On Getting Over Last Week's Loss And Lack Of Execution:

    “I thought we had a good practice tonight. I thought everybody seemed to be over the loss pretty good. I didn't mention last Thursday's practice to them tonight, but I probably will again before the week is over.”

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    No Change In QB Rotation For Noles

    Bobby Bowden and Jimbo Fisher have announced that Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for Florida State on Saturday when the Seminoles meet Colorado in Jacksonville while D'Vontrey Richardson remains the backup.

    Noles Lose To Wake Dadgummit

    * The national ESPN audience got to hear Bobby utter his trademark "dadgum" at the end of the first half when asked a question by the sideline reporter for ESPN.

    * Preston Parker got an ear full from Bobby Bowden after committing a stupid penalty early in the third quarter.

    * FSU secondary is in need of some playmakers. There were several instances of them getting burned for easy TDs had Skinner been on the mark.

    * After predicting a win against Wake Forest last week, perhaps Ponder will now know to keep his mouth shut.

    * Bobby must have read my comments last week. He was sans sunglasses this week for his show.

    FSU-Miami Game Time Set

    The Atlantic Coast Conference announced on Monday that the FSU-Miami game on October 4 will kick off at 3:30 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ABC with a mirror broadcast on ESPN2 for those receiving another game on their local ABC affiliate.