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    Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Garvin 63 Yard Return Highlight Of Game


    It is probably a stretch to suggest that there was a play of the game in the game played by the Noles. However, Seminole kick off return man Michael Ray Garvin was an exception in an otherwise poorly played game. With the Gators leading 7-0 in the first quarter, Garvin returned the Gator kick 63 yards to the Gator 24 yard line. This great kick return would have hopefully been an opportunity for a TD but as was the case on Saturday the Noles had to settle for a field goal.

    "... I really wanted to hit somebody extremely hard the next play."


    " I don't think that showed very good sportsmanship. I really told Coach to give me the ball because I really wanted to hit somebody extremely hard the next play."
    Tim Tebow in reaction to apparently some booing when Percy Harvin fell with a right ankle injury halfway through the second quarter as quoted in The Orlando Sentinel

    Note to Tim Tebow: Get over yourself. You need to take a look in the mirror at your Gators who for years have been accepted by most as the worst fans in the country. And it starts at the top with your coaches.

    Saturday, November 29, 2008

    Third Down Conversions Say It All


    First Downs: FSU- 17 Florida- 22

    Net Yards Rushing: FSU- 102 Florida- 317

    Net Yards Passing: FSU- 140 Florida- 185

    Yards Penalized: FSU- 55 Florida- 71

    Third Down Conversions: FSU- 21% Florida- 50%

    Red Zone Percentage: FSU- 100% Florida-86%

    Fumbles Lost: FSU- 1 Florida- 1

    Interceptions Thrown: FSU- 3 Florida- 0

    Sacks Made: FSU-1 Florida- 4

    Field Goals: FSU-3-3 Florida- 1-1

    Gators Totally Dominate Noles


    Third down conversion percentage for Florida- 50%

    Third down conversion percentage for FSU- 21%

    Rushing yards by Florida- 317

    Rushing yards by FSU- 102

    Turnovers by Florida- 1

    Turnovers by FSU- 4

    Noles Manhandled By Gators 45-15


    In a game that was never in doubt,the Gators defeated the Noles 45-15 for their fifth in a row.

    In a perfect storm named Defeat, the Noles not only got manhandled by the Gators but also were denied a trip to the ACC championship game as BC took care of Maryland.

    There weren't many bright spots for the Noles with the exception of Michael Ray Garvin and Graham Gano. Among the many problems for the Noles, Ponder was awful,the receivers couldn't hold on to the ball, the defense couldn't stop anyone, and the Noles couldn't convert third downs.

    This is a team that is one game better on the season than last year with two of those wins coming against Western Carolina and Chattanooga. It is quite obvious that the Noles have a long ways to go in order to compete with teams like the Gators.

    And as a footnote, we all know now why Drew Weatherford was not the starting quarterback for the Noles this season.

    Noles Hoping For Flawless Game


    Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. (EST)

    Television: ABC. Also available on ESPN360.

    Announcers: Brad Nessler (play by play),Bob Griese (analyst),Paul Maguire (analyst) and Stacey Dales (sideline).

    Site: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida

    Stadium Capacity: 82,300

    Surface: Grass

    Coaches
    : Bobby Bowden 8-3 in 2008 (381-122-4 lifetime in 33rd year at FSU) and Urban Meyer 10-1 in 2008 (41-9 in fourth year at Florida)

    All-Time Series: Florida leads the series with a record of 31-19-2.

    Stat that matters: The Seminoles are just 1-4 at home versus a team ranked No. 2.

    Key Stat: Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden is 17-16-1 in his career versus Florida.

    Last game against Florida: Florida beat FSU 45-12 in Gainesville in 2007.

    Predicted MVPs for Florida and FSU: For Florida, look for receiver/back Percy Harvin to have a big day. For Noles, Preston Parker could finally have his break out game for the 2008 season.

    Game Day Weather
    : Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 72 to 76. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

    Special Teams Play Could Be Big Factor


    * Get the crowd involved in the game- the Seminole crowd.

    * The Noles will have to control the ball and the clock. Keep the Gator offense off the field.

    * Noles must convert on third downs in order to move the ball and control the clock.

    * Avoid like the plague costly penalties.

    * The Noles must win the turnover battle.

    * Noles must keep Gators backed up- field position will be critical.

    * Special teams play will be critical especially on kickoff coverage.

    * Nole secondary has to play lights out to compete against Florida's receivers.

    * Two words- Contain Harvin.

    Third Down Conversions Could Be A Big Key In Game


    * For the season, Florida has scored over 100 points in every quarter. The most productive quarter for the Gators is the first when they have scored 146 points in the first quarter and their opponents have scored just 7. The Noles have scored 100 points in two quarters for the season- the second and fourth. The lowest quarter for their opponents has been the second with 41 points.

    * UF has allowed just three first-half touchdowns all season and is outscoring opponents, 276-32, before the half.

    * UF’s 479 interception return yards rank second nationally and UF’s 256 against top-25 teams leads the nation.

    * Only four of Florida’s 11 opponents this year have started a drive in UF territory. Overall, UF has started 32 drives in opponent territory this season and the Gators have scored on 26 of those.

    * Florida has scored 42-or-more points in each of its last six games, which is the longest active streak in the nation.

    * Florida averages 58.4 yards a game in penalties while the Noles average 72.5 yards per game.

    * Florida is averaging 6.1 yards per rush this season. The Noles are averaging 5.1 yards.

    * FSU in kickoff returns is averaging 23.6 yards. Florida is averaging 21.9 yards.

    * Florida in punting is averaging 37.9 yards a punt. FSU is averaging 35.2 yards a punt.

    * FSU has converted 42.03% of its third downs at home. Florida has converted 55.88% of its third downs on the road.

    * FSU is 82.61% in red zone conversions at home. Florida is 84.62% in red zone conversions on the road.

    Head To Head Matchup: Quarterbacks


    Sophomore versus Junior. Heisman Trophy winner versus first year starter. And the list goes on. On paper, looking at the two quarterbacks in Saturday's game, it isn't even close. However to use a trite cliche, that's why they play the game.

    FSU fans are familiar with Tim Tebow and unfortunately it has been from a losing perspective. Over the past three seasons, Tebow has been a part of teams that have gone 45-8 overall. He is 19-5 as the starting QB at Florida.

    On the season, Tebow has thrown for 2,114 yards, 22 TDs and has only two interceptions. Tebow has not thrown an interception in 11 of the last 13 games.

    He is one of three players nationally to have thrown two or less interceptions this season (min. 225 att.). His completion percentage is 65.8% and his last interception thrown was against Kentucky on October 25. He also has rushed for 427 yards and 11 touchdowns this year.

    No team of late has been able to stop a Florida offense that is averaging 444.6 yards per game, which ranks 17th nationally. The Gators’ passing game hasn’t been outstanding this season but they are averaging 229.8 yards per game on the ground.

    In scoring offense, the Gators are ranked #3 in the nation averaging 46.5 points a game and scoring 69 TDs. The offensive line for the Gators has allowed 14 sacks which places them #25 in the nation in sacks allowed.

    Tebow has plenty of receivers to throw to and two of them, Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, are in the top 20 in the SEC in reception yards. Tebow and the Gators have been successful at converting on third down and rank #12 in the nation at 48.74%.

    In the red zone, Tebow and company have converted for scores at 92.16% which puts them #9 in the nation.When they get inside the red zone, the bulk of their scores have been for TDs. They have 39 TDs out of of the 47 scores within the red zone.

    Defensive matchup: So which Nole defense will Tebow and his offense be facing Saturday afternoon? Hopefully it will be the one that dominated Maryland. The Nole defense is ranked #7 in the nation in total defense allowing 272.6 yards a game.

    In passing defense, the Noles are ranked #4 nationally allowing almost 163.1 yards a game, 11 TDs through the air, and 9 interceptions. The Nole secondary will need to be playing lights out against Florida's speedy receivers and players like Rolle and Carter will have to have their best games of the year.

    The Noles are ranked #1 nationally in allowing the least number of third downs by opponents allowing only 24.14%.

    In red zone defense, the Noles are ranked #12 in the nation with a 34.29% conversion rate. Almost half of the scores against the Noles in the red zone have been field goals. In scoring defense, the Noles are ranked #19 in the nation allowing 18.5 points a game.

    Hopefully Tebow will get to know defensive end Everette Brown well on Saturday. FSU is ranked #4 nationally in sacks with 35 and Brown is #2 in the nation in sacks with 12.5 sacks on the year. Eight of Brown's sacks have been at home.

    The Noles are ranked #2 in the nation in tackles for a loss with 95 on the season. Brown is also ranked #2 in the nation in tackles for a loss with 20.5 tackles for a loss.

    The linebacker corps is anchored by Derek Nicholson who ranks #5 in the ACC in tackles for a loss and has 70 tackles on the season and leads the team in that category.

    For the Noles, QB Christian Ponder will be facing on the season the highest ranked team in the Gators. For the season, Ponder has thrown for 1,747 yards, 12 TDs, and 11interceptions.

    For the season, he is averaging almost 159 yards a game and has completed 56.4% of his passes. Ponder has also rushed for 390 yards and 4 TDs.

    The pass offense for the Noles is ranked #85 nationally and in scoring offense, the Noles are ranked #22 and are averaging 34.3 points a game.

    On third down conversions, the Noles are ranked #18 in the nation converting 47.14% of third downs. In red zone conversions, they are ranked #19 nationally converting 88.89% of the time when they are inside the twenty.

    The Nole offensive line will have to play at their best in order to allow Ponder time to throw and establish a running game. The Noles are doing a decent job in sacks allowed and are currently ranked #37 in the nation in sacks allowed with 16 on the season. In tackles for a loss allowed, the Noles are ranked lower at #65 in the nation.

    Defensive matchup: Ponder and the offense will be facing a Gator defense that is ranked #9 in the nation in total defense allowing 278.7 yards a game. In pass defense they are ranked #20 nationally allowing 175.9 yards a game and 10 TDs through the air.

    Ponder will have to be very careful as the Gators are ranked #3 in the nation in interceptions with 20 picks and five returned for a TD. The interception leader for Florida is defensive back Ahmad Black who has 6 picks for the season. He also is tied for second on the team with 5 pass breakups. Black has returned two for touchdowns this year.

    In addition to those players in the secondary, Gator linebacker Brandon Spikes has three interceptions this season against top-25 teams, which is tied for second among all players nationally and is the most by any linebacker in the country.

    The Gator defense is ranked #34 in the nation in sacks with 26. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap leads Florida in sacks with 7. He also leads the Gators in tackles with a loss with 9 and linebacker Brandon Spikes is one behind with 8. Spikes also leads the team in tackles with 74.

    On third down conversions, Florida is ranked #18 nationally and is allowing their opponents 32.03% on third downs and in red zone conversions, the Gators are ranked first nationally allowing opponents to score only 62.96 % of the time when inside the twenty.

    Quick stat: Tim Tebow has thrown two or more TDs in 9 games this season. Christian Ponder has thrown two or more TDs in only two games against Western Carolina and Chattanooga.

    Ponder Will Need To Play Almost Mistake Free Game


    So who are the players to watch in the FSU-Florida game?

    Here are my players to watch for Florida on offense:

    Tim Tebow- Tebow last year in The Swamp humiliated the Noles with a 45-12 loss in which he accounted for five touchdowns. The Noles will have to find a way to keep him in check.

    Percy Harvin- Doesn't matter where he lines up. He will be trouble for the Noles unless they can find a way to contain him.

    Jeffrey Demps- The Gators freshman RB grew up a die-hard Seminoles fan but wasn’t offered a scholarship from the school. Look for him to try and show what the Noles missed. For the season he has rushed for 440 yards and 5 TDs.

    Louis Murphy
    - The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior doesn't have the marquee status of a Harvin but he does have 30 catches for 476 yards and 5 TDs. If Harvin is covered, Murphy could have a big game.

    Aaron Hernandez- The 6-foot-3, 255-pound sophomore tight end has 22 catches for 220 yards and 3 TDs. The Noles have gotten burned by tight ends in the past.

    On defense, here are my Florida players to watch:

    Carlos Dunlap – Nole offensive line will have to play a good game against defensive end Dunlap and give Ponder time to throw.

    Brandon Spikes
    – One of the best linebackers in the country. And he has three interceptions.

    Ahmad Black
    - Ponder will have to have an almost error free game and keep the ball out of the hands of defensive back Black who leads the Gators in picks with 6.

    Special teams:

    Brandon James- He is ninth nationally in punt returns and has returned two for touchdowns.

    Jonathan Phillips- The placekicker hasn’t been needed much this season but is a perfect 9-for-9 on his field goal attempts.

    For the Noles on offense, here are my players to watch:

    Christian Ponder- It will be critical for Ponder to manage the game and avoid mistakes.

    Antone Smith
    - Smith will have to run the ball effectively in order for the Noles to have a shot at the win.

    Jermaine Thomas- Thomas needs to complement Smith and gain yards in order to control the clock.

    Preston Parker- Preston Parker continues to be the go to guy for Ponder. That should not change against the Gators.

    On defense, Nole players to watch:

    Everette Brown
    - Brown needs to have the kind of game he had against Maryland.

    Derek Nicholson- Nicholson and the defense will need to stop the Gator run attack.

    Myron Rolle/Tony Carter- Will one of these guys have an exceptional game against the Gators?

    On special teams:


    Graham Gano- Field position and avoiding blocked kicks will be important. Gano can help in both areas and of course his field goals are almost automatic.

    Michael Ray Garvin- Garvin is a speedster and could help keep the Noles in the game with his kickoff returns.

    Meyer "The Cryer" Trying For Another Shot At National Championship


    Urban Meyer is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Gators. Meyer's first collegiate coaching position was a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Ohio State (he had spent one year as a defensive backs coach at Saint Xavier High School in Cincinnati, OH). He then spent the next 13 years as an assistant—two at Illinois State, six at Colorado State, and finally five at Notre Dame.

    In 2001, Meyer took his first head coaching job at Bowling Green; in his first season there, he engineered the greatest turnaround in the NCAA, earning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors in the process.

    In 2005, his first season at Florida, Meyer's Gators team finished the season 9-3 (5-3 in the Southeastern Conference). The season included an undefeated record at home and a bowl victory against Iowa in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. The Gators would have faced LSU in the SEC championship game, but they lost to South Carolina which was coached by former Florida coach Steve Spurrier.

    In his second season at Florida, Meyer turned the Gators' fortunes around. He coached the Gators to a 13-1 (8-1 in the SEC) record, with the one loss coming on the road at Auburn. Florida played in the BCS National Championship Game where they beat Ohio State 41-14.

    This year the ever cocky Meyer lost to Ole Miss at home. That however has not deterred him from lobbying for a shot at the national championship despite other teams that may have a more legitimate shot. He also is not short on ego having his very own web site.

    Friday, November 28, 2008

    Can The Speech And Play The Clip



    If I were Bobby Bowden, I would scrap my pregame speech and show this clip instead.

    Mascot Wearing A Dress


    In the early 1900’s, the alligator was chosen as the symbol of a fledgling college football team. How the University of Florida came to adopt the alligator as their symbol is a story that doesn’t start in Gainesville, but in Charlottesville, VA.

    It was 1908 when Austin Miller, a Gainesville native, was enrolled in law school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Austin’s father, Phillip Miller, had come up to visit his son and had decided to order some pennants and banners for sale in his store in Gainesville.

    When the manager asked for Florida’s emblem, the Millers realized that the new school had none. Austin Miller said that the symbol of the alligator occurred to him because the alligator was native to the state of Florida and because he thought that no other school claimed the alligator as its symbol.

    Phillip Miller returned to Gainesville with an order of pennants and small banners. The pennants and banners had alligators in different poses with some lying down, some rampant, while other banners included only the alligator’s head. The Michie Company had supplied these along with a large blue banner with an orange alligator in the center. By all accounts, this is the first appearance of the alligator as the University’s emblem.

    The first live alligator, Albert, came to UF in 1957. Several different live alligators assumed the role of Albert over the years, and even a robotic, motorized reptile held the role. It wasn’t until 1970 that Albert became personified on the field as a full-body vinyl costume. Alberta the Alligator was introduced in 1986 as Albert’s sidekick and friend.

    My Buys And Sells For Florida Game


    Florida Mascot- This is a mascot in only its own pea brained mind. As I have said before, Albert and Alberta can take a hike to the closest swamp. I am selling.

    Noles get at least one sack against Gators- Defense needs to have a great game and get after Tim Tebow. Brown will be Tebow's new best friend. I am buying.

    Noles will hold Florida to less than 100 yards rushing-Usually the one who wins the running game wins. Noles will have to try and shut down the run. I am selling.

    FSU will have 100 yards or more rushing- Smith and Thomas will have to get physical and run the ball well in order for Noles to have a shot. I am buying.

    FSU will have 50 yards or less in penalties- This is a game in which penalties could be costly. Noles have to be disciplined. I am buying.

    FSU gets at least one interception- Nole secondary needs to step up and make some things happen on Saturday. I am buying.

    Christian Ponder runs for at least 50 yards- I think he will be part of the running game on Saturday. I am buying.

    FSU and Florida combined will score at least 60 points in the game- I could be a pessimist and say the Gators alone may score that many. Noles will have to score points in order to have a shot. I am buying.

    Gano gets at least one field goal in the game- Gano goes for more in his last home game. I am buying.

    Rushing Yards Could Be Key To Win On Saturday


    1. The Seminoles are just 1-4 at home versus a team ranked No. 2. The only win came versus Miami in 1989.

    2. Florida State’s last four wins in the series have all come when the Seminoles score 30 or more points.

    3. FSU is 7-2-1 in their last ten homes games against Florida.

    4. Since 1990, the team which has rushed for more yardage has posted a 17-2-1 record

    5. The team that has led at the half has won 11 of the last 12 games in the series (all but 1998).

    6. Since 1990, the team with fewer or even turnovers in the game is 14-5-1.

    Nole Fans Rooting For Turtles On Saturday


    So what ACC games should we watch other than the rivalry games already picked? Here are my select few:

    Boston College versus Maryland- This is for the ACC championship game. If BC wins, they go to Tampa. If the FSU fans' second favorite team the Maryland Terrapins beat BC, the Noles head to Tampa.

    NC State
    versus Miami - The Pack is on a roll and the Hurricanes are reeling from a smack down at the hands of Georgia Tech.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    Noles Practice Then Feast


    FSU Sports Information Excerpt:

    Thanksgiving is about food, family and football. It was no different on the campus of Florida State Thursday for the Seminole football team. The squad spent Thanksgiving Day with its football family on the practice fields as preparations for Saturday's showdown with the Gators concluded with a 15 period practice. Following the workout, the team had turkey dinner at the training table.

    Head To Head Matchup: Receivers


    One word describes the Florida receivers- f-a-s-t. The Gators are explosive not only on the ground but through the air.

    Leading their air assault is all everything wide receiver Percy Harvin who has 35 catches for 595 yards and 7 TDs. Harvin has scored a touchdown in each of the last 13 games he has played in and his streak leads the nation. Four of Harvin’s team-leading seven touchdown receptions this year have come on his last 16 catches.

    For the year, Harvin has had two 100 yard receiving games. He had 186 reception yards against Ole Miss and 112 yards against LSU in addition to 3 TDs in the games. For the season he is averaging 17 yards a catch.

    Second in reception yards for the Gators is 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior Louis Murphy who has 30 catches for 476 yards and 5 TDs. Murphy in last year's FSU-Florida game burned the Florida State secondary for an early touchdown.

    Murphy was the only Gator to make at least one catch in all 13 games last year has now extended his streak to 24 (currently tied for fourth-longest in the SEC) with two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown against The Citadel. Six of his 10 career touchdowns have come on passes of 30 or more yards. Murphy is averaging almost 16 yards a catch.

    Third in reception yards is 6-0, 195-pound redshirt freshman Deonte Thompson who has 18 catches for 269 yards and 3 TDs. Thompson had 56 yards receiving in the Gators’ 70-19 rout of The Citadel and has managed at least three catches in three of his last four outings. He was one of the top receiver prospects in the nation. Says Thompson, "Everyone is fast and everyone is just like me. That’s what makes our offense so good. All of us are fast."

    Next in reception yards is 6-foot-3, 255-pound sophomore tight end Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez for the season has 22 catches for 220 yards and 3 TDs.Against USC, Hernandez had his third touchdown reception this season, which is tied for the highest total among all SEC tight ends. He replaced all everything senior tight end Cornelius Ingram who was lost for the season by a torn anterior cruciate ligament during preseason practice.

    In passing offense, the Gators rank #56 in the nation averaging almost 215 yards a game and 25 TDs through the air. Look for the Gators to try and exploit the FSU secondary with their speedy receivers. The Nole secondary will have their ultimate test this Saturday and it will be up to defensive backs Myron Rolle, Tony Carter, and others to step up to the plate.

    Defensive matchup: Mickey Andrews admits that preparing for the Gators has been difficult. He has compared the preparation to preparing for Georgia Tech. Says Andrews, "You have a week’s time to get ready for a team that does a lot of things with a lot of different people at different positions, different kind of motions. They don’t always give you what they start in.”

    The Gators will be facing a Nole defense that is ranked #4 in the nation in pass defense allowing 163 yards a game and giving up 11 TDs through the air. The Noles also have 9 interceptions which puts them at #76 in the nation. In what hopefully will not be the case on Saturday, the Noles have had only 2 of their interceptions at home.

    In passes defended, the Noles rank #40 nationally. Defensive back Korey Mangum has 7 passes broken up while defensive back Myron Rolle has 5 break ups. Opponents are only completing 50.7 % of their passes against the Noles.

    Defensive back Darius McClure surprisingly has returned to practice but is not expected to play on Saturday. Kenny Ingram who has been playing at linebacker this season has again practiced with the secondary this week.

    For the Nole receivers, Bobby Bowden has said that there will be no further discipline of Bert Reed or Cameron Wade so FSU will have its full complement of receivers.

    The reception yards leader is Greg Carr with 26 catches for 440 yards and 3 TDs. On the season, he is averaging 12.2 yards a catch. Almost half of his catches this season have been for 15 yards or more.

    Preston Parker leads the Nole receivers in receptions with 38 catches. He has 359 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Parker has started to come on strong toward the end of the season and is a receiver that Ponder can rely on in the clutch. He is averaging almost 10 yards a catch and also has rushed for 87 yards on 10 attempts.

    Freshman wide receiver Taiwan Easterling has been impressive and has 29 catches for 317 yards and 1 TD. More than half of Easterling's catches have gone for either a first down or a touchdown.

    Freshman Bert Reed despite his problems has also been impressive on the field having 253 reception yards and 3 TDs.

    Corey Surrency has been an up and down player and in the last game against Maryland had two dropped balls in the end zone. Despite that, he is the TD reception leader with 4 TDs on the season. Rod Owens has also been catching more and for the season has 159 receiving yards.

    The Noles are ranked #85 in the nation in passing offense averaging 190 yards a game and throwing 16 TDs through the air. The majority of their TDs through the air have been at Doak having thrown 11 TDs in front of the home crowd.

    Defensive matchup: The Noles will be facing a Gator pass defense that is ranked #20 in the nation allowing almost 174 yards a game and giving up 10 TDs through the air.The Gators' opponents are completing 54.2% of their passes.

    On the road, the Gator pass defense has been stingy allowing only 3 TDs. In passes defended, Florida is ranked #20 nationally with 62 passes defended.

    For the Gators this season, three different players have returned an interception for a touchdown (ties school record). The five interception returns for touchdowns are tied for first nationally this year and are the most in a season in school history. UF’s 479 interception return yards rank second nationally and are the second-highest total in school history since the stat began being recorded in 1977 (509, 2000).

    For the Gators, Ahmad Black is the interception leader with 6 for the season. He also is tied for second on the team with 5 pass breakups.Against South Carolina, the 5-9, 190 lb. sophomore safety made his sixth interception of the season, which is tied for fourth in school history. His total is tied for second nationally this season. Black has returned two for touchdowns this year, which is tied with 13 others for the most in the country. Black also is sixth on the team in tackles with 41.

    Also, 5-11 sophomore corner Joe Haden is the leader in the secondary in pass breakups with 7 and also has 2 interceptions. He is second on the team in tackles with 64.

    Florida is averaging 24.0 yards per interception return this season, which ranks eighth nationally. Ahmad Black’s 80-yard interception returned for a touchdown against Hawaii was the third longest by any player in the SEC in records dating back to 1996. As of games played through Nov. 22 , the return is the ninth-longest returned for a touchdown by any player in the nation this year and is the longest by an SEC player.

    In addition to those players in the secondary, Gator linebacker Brandon Spikes has three interceptions this season against top-25 teams, which is tied for second among all players nationally and is the most by any linebacker in the country.

    Spikes is one of five linebackers in the nation to have two interceptions returned for touchdowns this season. With his interception returned 12 yards for a touchdown in the Gator's game against USC, he tied the Florida single-season record for returns for touchdown in a season

    Quick stat: The Gators have 12 players with at least one catch for the season. The Noles have 17 players who have at least one catch for the season.

    Happy Thanksgiving !

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Reed And Wade Charged In Brawl Incident


    Two FSU wide receivers were arrested on Wednesday on misdemeanor battery charges stemming from a fight in the student union two weeks ago.

    The two receivers are Bert Reed and Cameron Wade who turned themselves in at the Leon County Jail and were released after posting bond according to university officials.

    Reed and Wade had been suspended for one game (Boston College) and according to Bobby Bowden they are expected to play against Florida and will not be disciplined any further.

    According to Bowden, "They're going to be available. They've been disciplined." One has to wonder how many more chances Bert Reed gets given his past conduct.

    It is hardly a surprise that Bobby Bowden is taking no further action given his history in disciplining players.

    Noles Continue Preparations For An Athletic Florida


    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    While most of America is preparing for a long holiday weekend, the 22nd-ranked Seminole football team is working through Thanksgiving in preparations for the second-ranked Florida Gators. The Seminoles finished installing most of their game plan for Tim Tebow and the high octane Gator offense on Wednesday but the coaches know Urban Meyer’s offense isn’t the only concern. Florida will bring one of the nation’s best defenses to Tallahassee as well. The team practiced for 21 periods in shells. Due to Thanksgiving, the squad was able to hit the practice fields 45 minutes early on Wednesday.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    On preparation for Florida

    “I think we’ve done about everything that we can do to prepare for this ballgame. There’s been a lot of preparation.”

    Offense Coordinator Jimbo Fisher:

    On film study of Florida

    “Their offense is tremendous, but when you score 47 points a game you score them in a lot of different ways. Their special teams get field position and the turnovers their defense creates not only scoring, but putting them down there to score. They score with their team, their whole team scores and like I said their offense is so dynamic and everyone talks about it, but their defense is just as dynamic and they make a lot of plays to set them up.”

    Quarterback Christian Ponder:


    On Florida’s defense:


    “I don’t think we have faced a team that is as athletic as Florida. Miami was, but Florida is very athletic as a team. This is going to be the biggest test all year. I think we should be able to handle it. They play a lot of man and that is something I think we can match up against. We can create a lot of opportunities for big plays. We are not changing what we’re doing. We are going to be able to stick to our normal stuff.”

    Will Saban's Tide Get Rolled?


    This is rivalry week so here are my picks of the rivalry games to watch:

    Alabama versus Auburn- Number one Bama takes on Auburn who has had the Tide's number for a while. However probably not this year.

    South Carolina versus Clemson- Psycho Steve versus Dabo in the Palmetto state show down. Dabo will probably come up short.

    Georgia Tech versus Georgia- Do the Yellow Jackets have a shot against the Dawgs? This may be the year.

    Notre Dame
    versus USC- Could this be crew cut Charlie's last game at Notre Dame? It should be but I doubt it.

    Oklahoma versus Oklahoma St.- Oklahoma wants to show it deserves to be in national championship discussion while State wants to just stomp Stoops.

    Oregon versus Oregon State- Oregon State needs to win to go to Rose.

    Pittsburgh versus West Virginia- Traditional rivalry that pits two 7-3 teams.

    Texas versus Texas A&M- Texas hopes to avoid an upset on Thanksgiving day.

    Virginia versus Virginia Tech- Tech needs the win to get to the ACC championship game.

    " I was upset, but it is what it is."


    "I got recruited for track by FSU, but not for football. I was upset, but it is what it is."
    Florida running back Jeff Demps who was a die-hard Seminole fan in high school as quoted in The Gainesville Sun

    Head To Head Matchup: Running Backs


    How do you want a player to beat you? That is the untenable dilemma the Noles may face in the person of 5-11/195 lb. junior Percy Harvin. Harvin leads the Gators with 35 catches, 595 yards and 7 TDs. He also is second in rushing with 525 yards and 8 TDs and is averaging 9.5 yards a carry.

    Harvin is a dual threat for the Gators as the Noles well know from last year. Harvin in last year's game against the Noles rushed for 157 yards and 1 TD. He also had 67 receiving yards. Harvin is thought of more as a receiver than a running back but he has also found a lot of success running the ball.

    The key to Harvin's success has been his ability to operate and make plays in space. Says Florida head coach Urban Meyer, " I think Percy is also a tailback, but we're doing what we have to do with him to win games."

    Consider this as evidence of Harvin's rushing ability. Earlier this season against South Carolina, Percy Harvin rushed for a career-high 167 yards, which is the second-highest total by any wide receiver in the nation in a game this year. On the first play of the second half, Harvin carried the ball a career-long 80 yards for a touchdown. It tied the seventh longest run in UF history.

    The leading rusher just ahead of Harvin for the Gators is freshman Chris Rainey who has 74 carries for 557 yards and 4 TDs. Rainey is averaging 7.5 yards a carry.

    Rainey at 5-9, 185 was a Florida high school player who rushed for more than 7,000 yards and 90 touchdowns during a 45-game win streak at Lakeland, Fla., High School. He sprints too, running the lead leg for Florida’s 4x100 relay team, which took third in the NCAAs nationals last spring. In Saturday's game against The Citadel, Rainey rushed for 142 yards and 1 TD.

    The third leading rusher behind Harvin is freshman Jeffrey Demps with 440 yards and 5TDs. Demps is averaging a huge 9.6 yards a carry. His five touchdown runs have been for 35 yards or more. Demps also has 130 receiving yards and 1 TD.

    Earlier in the season, Demps had his second-straight 100-yard game with his 10-carry, 129-yard performance against LSU. He became the first true freshman to have back-to-back 100-yard games since Neal Anderson in 1982.

    Demps joins Anderson and Emmitt Smith as the only true freshmen in school history to have back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. Demps at 5-foot-8, 176 pounds was a world class sprinter, whose 10.01 100-meter time while at South Lake High has prompted a discussion that he is the fastest player in college football history.

    And when it comes to rushing, you cannot ignore Heisman winner and Gator QB Tim Tebow. Tebow on the season has rushed for 427 yards and 11 TDs. He is averaging 11 rushing attempts a game. Tebow's average yards per carry is 3.53.

    Florida is averaging 6.1 yards per rush this season, which is ahead of the school record of 5.9 (1976). The Gators are averaging 7.3 yards per play on the year, just off of the record of 7.4 (1995, 2001).

    Florida has had a player rush for 100-or-more yards in a game this season six times (five time in 2007). This season Florida’s running backs have accounted for 1,549 yards on 212 carries (7.3 yards per carry) and they have 16 touchdowns.

    In 2007, the Florida running backs carried the ball 136 times for 761 yards and scored six rushing touchdowns. In 2007 as a group, they averaged 5.6 yards per carry.

    The Gators' rushing offense ranks #11 in the nation rushing for almost 230 yards a game and 37 TDs. The Gators are averaging 6.12 yards a carry.On third down conversions, the Gators are ranked #12 converting 48.74% of their third downs.

    In the red zone, the Gators are ranked #9 scoring 92.16% of their attempts. They have scored 39 TDs and 8 field goals within the red zone. To be in the top echelon for rushing, the Gators have to have a good offensive line. They are ranked #12 in the nation with tackles for a loss allowed.

    The Gators also do not make mistakes. They rank #2 in the SEC in least number of fumbles lost. In addition, they have only lost one fumble this season on the road.

    Defensive matchup: The Nole defense will have their work cut out for them against a tough Gator rush offense.The Nole rush defense is ranked #21 in the nation allowing almost 110 yards a game on the ground and 9 TDs. At home the Noles have been stingy allowing only 3 TDs on the ground and an average of 80 yards per game.

    For the Nole defense, it starts up front with the play of defensive end Everette Brown. Brown is ranked #2 nationally for tackles with a loss with 20 1/2. Brown also has 1 fumble recovery and 3 forced fumbles.

    Defensive end Neefy Moffett is also a factor with 7 tackles for a loss and is second on the team with 4 1/2 sacks. He also has 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. Moffett had the interception returned for a touchdown in the Nole win over Clemson.

    The Nole defense is also ranked #2 in the nation with 95 tackles for a loss.The Noles seem to like home cooking since 66% of their tackles for a loss have come at home.

    The Noles have a solid linebacker corps led by Derek Nicholson. Nicholson leads the Noles with 70 tackles, 13 of which are for a loss. He also has one sack and two fumble recoveries. He returned a fumble for a TD against Maryland this past Saturday.

    Linebacker Toddrick Verdell is second on the team with 50 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 interception. Dekoda Watson is fourth in tackles with 38 and 1 interception.

    The Nole defense is ranked #1 in the nation in allowing opponent third down conversions with a 24.14% rate. Within the red zone, the Noles are ranked #12 nationally allowing opponents to score 71.43 % of the time.

    Of the 25 scores within the red zone, the Noles have allowed opponents 13 TDs to 12 field goals.At home, the Noles are even better with a 60% conversion rate for opponents within the red zone.

    The running game for the Noles will revolve around Antone Smith and Jermaine Thomas. It will be interesting to see if Jimbo Fisher uses Ponder in run situations more and also if Preston Parker may be utilized due to his speed.

    For the season, Antone Smith has rushed for 696 yards and 14 TDs. Smith is averaging 4.67 yards a carry and a little over 63 yards a game. Smith has had one 100 yard game when he rushed for 154 yards and 3 TDs against Colorado. Against Maryland this past week, he rushed for 45 yards and 1 TD. He also has 1 receiving TD for the season against Chattanooga.

    Freshman Jermaine Thomas has rushed for 441 yards and 2 TDs and is averaging 7.8 yards a carry. Thomas has had one 100 yard game against Georgia Tech when he rushed for 130 yards.

    Christian Ponder may see some designed opportunities running the ball on Saturday. On the season, he has rushed for 390 yards and 4 TDs. Against Maryland, he was the leading rusher with 81 yards and 1 TD.

    The Noles are ranked #30 in the nation in rushing offense averaging 187.55 yards per game and scoring 24 TDs on the ground. They are averaging 5 yards a carry.On third down conversions, the Noles are ranked #18 converting 47.14% of their third downs.

    In the red zone, the Seminoles are ranked #19 scoring 88.89% of their attempts. They have scored 27 TDs and 13 field goals within the red zone. The Nole offensive line as fans know has been a work in progress. The Noles are ranked #65 in the nation in allowing tackles for a loss.

    In fumbles lost, the Noles rank #5 in the ACC. At home they have lost 4 fumbles for the season.

    Defensive matchup: The Nole running game will be facing a tough Gator defense that is ranked #13 in the nation in rushing defense allowing 102.82 yards a game and 6 TDs.

    In its last game against The Citadel, UF’s starting defensive line is made up of Justin Trattou, Lawrence Marsh, Terron Sanders and Jermaine Cunningham. Florida has opened with the four in eight games this season.

    Marsh is questionable for the game due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee. The Gators will definitely be without backup tackle Matt Patchan who has a sprained knee.

    Florida is ranked #2 in the SEC in tackles for a loss with 43. Florida's sophomore defensive end Carlos Dunlap leads the Gators with 9 tackles for a loss. The 6-6 Dunlap is very versatile as he blocked two punts in a first half game earlier in the season against Vanderbilt.

    Linebacker Brandon Spikes is close behind with 8 tackles for a loss and 3 interceptions. He also leads the Gators in tackles with 74. Spikes has been named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given annually to the best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America.

    The Gator defense is ranked #18 in the nation in allowing opponent third down conversions at a 32.03% rate. Within the red zone, the Gators are ranked #1 nationally allowing opponents to score 62.96 % of the time.

    Of the 17 scores within the red zone, the Gators have allowed opponents 13 TDs to 4 field goals. On the road, the Gators have only allowed opponents 4 TDs within the red zone at a 50% conversion rate.

    Quick Stats: For the Gators, fourteen different players have had at least one carry in 2008. For the Noles, sixteen different players have at least one carry.

    Gators Lead The Nation In Turnover Margin


    Rankings based on 120 teams:

    Scoring Offense: FSU- #22 Florida- #3

    Passing Offense: FSU- #85 Florida- #56

    Rushing Offense: FSU- #30 Florida- #11

    Total Offense: FSU- #47 Florida- #17

    Third Down Conversions: FSU- #18 Florida- #12

    Red Zone Conversions: FSU- #19 Florida- #9

    Scoring Defense: FSU- #19 Florida- #3

    Rushing Defense: FSU- #21 Florida- #13

    Passing Defense:FSU- #4 Florida- #20

    Total Defense: FSU- #7 Florida- #9

    Field Goals: FSU- #27 Florida- #1

    Penalties: FSU- #115 Florida- #87

    Turnover margin: FSU- #61 Florida- #1

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Noles Continue Practice For Gators


    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    The Florida State University football team continued its preparations for Saturday's game against No. 2 ranked Florida on the FSU Practice Fields. The Seminoles practiced for 22 periods in shells (shoulder pads and helmets) in their second of four practices during a normal game-week. The Seminoles will work on both Wednesday and Thursday putting in their game plan as they play their highest ranked opponent of the season.

    Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher:


    "I think it's very imperative that we establish the line of scrimmage. You never win the game in the first five minutes but you don't want to lose it. You have to get out and establish the line of scrimmage, move the ball, get some points and do the things you have to do because they not only start well on offense they start fast on defense. That's been the key - people haven't scored on them. Everybody talks about their offense being top 10 but their defense is top five, too, in every category".

    K/P Graham Gano:

    On his Senior Day game plan: "I'm pretty excited. I guess I'll probably be emotional that day but I'm excited to go out there and play my last game. My mom and dad and my brother will be here. I'm just going to go out there and kick whatever we're supposed to kick."

    FSU Defense Played Hard For Four Quarters


    * Lee Corso and Kirk "The Homer" Herbstreit on ESPN's Gameday both picked Maryland against the Noles. Not surprising really. These guys in my opinion are a joke.

    * Everette Brown had a great sack on the first Maryland drive.

    * Speaking of Brown, he ought to patent his spin moves.

    * Corey Surrency has been disappointing. He had two dropped balls and both in the end zone.

    * FSU's kickoff coverage team hopefully will put in some extra time for the Gators. They need it.

    * Jimbo Fisher called the option play and Ponder executed it well against Maryland.

    * One thing that can be said for Ponder. He doesn't mind taking a hit.

    * Nice clip by ESPN of former NBA great and ex senator Bill Bradley congratulating Myron Rolle on his Rhodes scholarship.

    * It was nice to see the FSU defense snap back from a horrible BC game. It was also nice to see the defense stop Maryland from scoring at the end of the game.

    * And in other college news, can someone tell me why Charlie Weis shouldn't be fired at Notre Dame? Bet Tyrone Willingham would like to know why also.

    Newton's Fall...Gators Get Recognized


    The Gators have had to make a move in regard to their back up quarterback situation. The Gator's No. 3 quarterback Cameron Newton was suspended indefinitely after his arrest for theft last week.

    Punter Chase Henry is now the third-team quarterback, while wide receiver Percy Harvin also is taking some shotgun snaps this week.The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Henry was a three-year starting quarterback at East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., where he threw for more than 1,700 yards his junior season.

    ___

    Junior quarterback Tim Tebow has been named as one of three finalists for the Maxwell Award. Tebow won the Maxwell Award last season and could become the second player to win the award twice.
    ___

    Freshman running back Chris Rainey was named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week for his game against The Citadel this past Saturday. Rainey had a career-best 142 rushing yards on seven carries and one touchdown against The Citadel.

    " This isn't tennis, it's football."


    " This isn't tennis, it's football. Unfortunately, injuries are part of it."
    Florida defensive line coach Dan McCarney regarding shuffling his defensive line due to injuries as quoted in The Gainesville Sun

    Black Not Bobby's Favorite Color


    * In a slam against the black uniforms worn in the loss to BC, Bobby Bowden said on his Thursday show last week that FSU didn't look good losing in black. Good point.

    * A caller to Bowden's show also asked about any NCAA rules he might like to see changed and Bowden lamented the celebration penalty. I agree with him on that. Players are not allowed any kind of celebration without drawing a possible penalty. And we all know that the rule is a result of the outlandish behavior exhibited by Miami in the past.

    * It was 26 degrees in Maryland with the wind chill factor. Saw some fans without shirts who may have needed their heads examined.

    * ESPN coverage of Myron Rolle and his Rhodes scholarship was quite impressive.

    * ESPN announcer Ron Franklin commenting that Graham Gano was not a terrorist as they showed him on the sidelines in a ski mask.

    * Note to FSU fan in the stands with a faux Seminole headdress. Lose it.

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Noles Start Looking Toward Matchup With Gators


    FSU Sports Information Excerpts:

    This was one of the better Monday’s of the year for Florida State football. The Seminoles returned to the practice fields for 12 periods sporting a new top 25 ranking and a new Rhodes Scholar as well. On top of that, kicker Graham Gano was named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award and Everette Brown was named a Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week. Not a bad start to a very important week that will culminate Saturday at 3:30 p.m. versus No. 2 Florida.

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    On tonight’s practice:

    “Well just about everyone was out there. [Darius] McClure was out there even, that surprised me. When he got hurt everybody thought [he’d be out for the year] and he was out there working out a little bit. I just saw him working there at the end. I’m not sure how much he was getting. He didn’t look real bad.”

    On what a win against Florida could do for the team:


    “It would be a step-up, no doubt about it. We’ll have to play our absolute best and don’t turn the ball over. Hold those penalties down in a game like this. We’ve just got to play our best, that’s all there is to it.”

    On what they learned from last season’s game against Florida:


    “The things you’ve got to do that you didn’t do, you didn’t tackle well in the open field. Like that Maryland game the other night, the first two times they had the ball we didn’t tackle worth a darn. Then all of a sudden we started tackling. They were catching a four-yard pass and running for 25 yards with it with about three guys missing them.”

    Gano Naned Groza Finalist


    Graham Gano has been named one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award and will travel to Orlando December 10 for the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.The award is named in honor of one of the all-time great kickers in football history, Lou Groza who played 21 seasons for the Cleveland Browns.

    Gano joins Josh Arauco of Arkansas State and Louie Sakoda of Utah in vying for the school’s third Groza. Former Seminole Sebastian Janikowski won the award in 1998 and 1999.

    Gano leads the nation in field goals per game and has connected on more 50-yard field goals than any FBS kicker.Gano is 21-for-23 and his only two misses came from 50 yards or better. He is the ACC’s leading scorer despite the fact he missed the first two games of the season due to surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

    Brown And Gano Honored By ACC


    To no surprise by Nole fans, defensive end Everette Brown was named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week as he posted a career-high 3.5 sacks against the Maryland Terrapins. He also added a career-high 4.5 tackles for a loss to raise his national-best total to 20.5 TFL. Brown is the league leader and ranked second nationally in sacks with 12.5.

    In addition, kicker Graham Gano was named the ACC Specialist of the Week as he was 3-for-3 in field goal attempts in the Seminoles upset win over No. 22 Maryland. Gano improved to 21-for-23 this year in field goals and for the sixth time this year (in nine games played) he had double digit points (13). Gano handled all the kicking for FSU and none of his three punts were returned by Maryland. Gano converted on field goal tries from 22, 34 and 48 yards, respectively.

    Texas Tech Shot Down By Sooners


    Someone forgot to tell Texas Tech they were the number 2 ranked team in the country this past Saturday. Mike Leach's Texas Tech team travelled to Oklahoma and got demolished 65-21 on Saturday night for my Turkey Of The Week award.

    Honorable mentions have to go to Michigan for its most lopsided loss in 40 years to Ohio State 42-7 and finishing 3-9. And then there is crew cut Charlie Weis and his Notre Dame team who lost 24-23 to a pathetically bad Syracuse team.

    Noles Have Dominating Game Against Terps


    As I said in a previous post, what a difference a week makes. The Noles had a complete game on both sides of the ball as they dominated the Terps. Here are my grades:

    Offensive Line: The line did a great job against the Terrapins. The line didn’t allow a sack and allowed the running game to produce 172 yards. Kudos to Rick Trickett and his offensive linemen.
    Grade: A

    Running Game: The running game was adequate without having big numbers. A key stat was that there were no fumbles. Antone Smith had 45 yards and 1 TD.
    Grade: B

    QB: Ponder managed the game well as he threw for 143 yards, 1 TD, and no interceptions. He also rushed for 81 yards and a TD. He still seems to not be getting the proper reads from time to time but all in all a good game.
    Grade: A

    Offensive Coaching: Jimbo Fisher's offense and game plan dominated the Terrapins on a cold night.
    Grade: A

    Receivers: Preston Parker was the leading receiver with 8 catches for 67 yards and 1 TD. Six other players had at least one catch or more. Corey Surrency continues to not be able to hold onto the ball when in his hands.
    Grade:B

    Defense and Defensive Coaching:Mickey Andrews had his players ready to play and they did an excellent job. The defense was dominating against the Terp offense as they allowed Maryland's Turner only 149 passing yards. The defense recorded six sacks on the night as well as two interceptions and 2 fumbles.

    On the defensive front, the defensive ends led by Everette Brown were in Turner's face all night. Brown had 1 forced fumble, 5 tackles including 4 1/2 for a loss, and 3 1/2 sacks, What more can you say?

    The linebackers were also a key in the win. Derek Nicholson had 7 tackles, one sack and returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. Dekoda Watson also had four tackles, one for a loss and a pass breakup. In addition, Toddrick Verdell had a sack and an interception.

    The secondary was decent also as Maryland's leading receiver Heyward-Bey had only 22 yards on the night. Kenny Ingram who was filling in on the night also had one interception.
    Grade: A

    Penalties: To my surprise the Noles had under 50 yards in penalties as they committed 5 for 40 yards. However as usual some were key.
    Grade: C

    Special Teams: Graham Gano again was super as he made all three field goal attempts with a long for 48 yards.

    The one area that continues to be a concern is kickoff returns. Maryland's Torrey Smith had 5 returns for 106 yards and a long of 31 yards.
    Grade: B

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Florida Defensive Linemen Sustain Injuries Against The Citadel


    Florida's sophomore defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh who has started all 11 games and has 21 tackles and three sacks, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee on the first play against The Citadel.

    Defensive lineman Matt Patchan, a freshman who has played in every game, suffered the same injury late in the game against The Citadel. He has seven tackles and 1.5 sacks.

    Florida head coach Urban Meyer said Sunday that Patchan would not play against the Seminoles and called Marsh questionable for the game.

    Ponder Manages Game Well As He Scores Two TDs Over Terps


    The Noles had a complete game on both sides of the ball in their win over Maryland. My game balls go to:

    Christian Ponder- Ponder managed the game well as he threw for 143 yards, 1 TD, and no interceptions. He also rushed for 81 yards and 1 TD.

    Everette Brown- Brown had a superb night as he had 5 tackles of which 4 1/2 were for a loss, 1 forced fumble, and 3 1/2 sacks.

    "... the offense is what caught my attention. "


    "Watching that game, the offense is what caught my attention."
    Florida head coach Urban Meyer regarding watching the FSU-Maryland game on television as quoted in The Gainesville Sun

    Brown Forced Fumble And Nicholson TD Propel Noles To Huge Win Over Terps


    With FSU leading Maryland 7-0 early in the second quarter, Maryland tailback Da'Rel Scott was stripped of the ball by FSU defensive end Everette Brown. Linebacker Derek Nicholson picked up the fumble and ran 22 yards for a TD. The Noles led 14-0 and it was all downhill after that for the Terps.

    Game Time Set For FSU-Florida...Brown Tabbed Walter Camp Defensive Player Of The Week


    The game between FSU and Florida will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be shown regionally on ABC and to other parts of the country on ESPN2.

    ___

    Everette Brown has been named as the Walter Camp National Player of the Week for his defensive efforts against Maryland. Brown had a great game as he recorded 3.5 sacks and forced a fumble to lead Florida State to a 37-3 victory at Maryland. Brown, who finished the game with five tackles, led the Seminole defense as it held the Terrapins to just 252 yards of total offense.

    Noles Perfect In Red Zone Against Terps


    First Downs: FSU- 19 Maryland- 16

    Net Yards Rushing: FSU- 172 Maryland- 103

    Net Yards Passing: FSU- 160 Maryland- 149

    Yards Penalized: FSU- 40 Maryland- 5

    Third Down Conversions: FSU- 54% Maryland- 38%

    Red Zone Percentage: FSU- 100% Maryland-50%

    Fumbles Lost: FSU- 0 Maryland- 2

    Interceptions Thrown: FSU- 0 Maryland- 2

    Field Goals: FSU-3-3 Maryland- 1-2

    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Noles Control Clock In Win Over Terps


    Number of turnovers by Maryland- 4

    Number of turnovers by FSU- 0

    Reception yards by Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey- 22

    Time of possession by FSU- 36:02

    "Brown Out"As Noles Roll Over Terps 37-3


    What a difference a week makes. Led by the defense and the spectacular play of defensive end Everette Brown, FSU rolled over Maryland 37-3. Not many prognosticators gave the Noles much of a chance given their play against BC last week.

    This week the Noles looked good on both sides of the ball and if not for some costly penalties near the goal line, the score would have been even larger. What was a black out game for the Terps turned into a Brown out as Everette Brown had unofficially 5 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, and one forced fumble. Christian Ponder also played well especially when he ran the option play.

    Against all odds, the Noles are still in the race for winning the ACC Atlantic Division. Now Nole fans will be rooting for Maryland to defeat BC next week. If that happens, the Noles clinch a trip to Tampa and the ACC championship. And of course congrats to Myron Rolle on his Rhodes scholarship.

    Gators Pound The Citadel


    The Florida Gators held a scrimmage Saturday prior to their meeting with the Seminoles next week with their opponent being The Citadel. Florida QB Tim Tebow threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Rainey ran for 142 yards as the third-ranked Gators manhandled The Citadel 70-19 on Saturday.

    Quick Stat: Florida had 705 total yards against the Citadel.

    Poll Results: What will be FSU's 2008 record?


    Results of the poll question: "With two remaining regular season games left and a bowl game, what do you think FSU's record will be for the 2008 season?" were:

    9-4- 54.3%

    8-5- 23.9%

    7-6- 13%

    10-3- 8.7%

    Noles Need To Be Hot In Frigid Maryland


    Kickoff: 7:45 p.m. (EST)

    Television: ESPN

    Announcers: Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (color) and Jack Arute (sidelines)

    Site: Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium, College Park, Maryland

    Stadium Capacity: 51,500

    Surface: Grass

    Coaches: Bobby Bowden 7-3 in 2008 (380-122-4 lifetime in 33rd year at FSU) and Ralph Friedgen 7-3 in 2008 (63-34 in eighth year at Maryland)

    All-Time Series: FSU leads the series with a record of 16-2.

    Stat that matters: FSU has lost the last two games at Maryland and have not won there since 2002.

    Key Stat
    : FSU is 14-2 against Maryland in ACC play.

    Last game against Maryland: Florida State won 24-16 at Tallahassee in 2007.

    Predicted MVPs for Maryland and FSU: For Maryland, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey could take advantage of questionable FSU secondary. For Noles, look for field goal kicker Graham Gano to perhaps win the game against the Terps.

    Game Day Weather: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

    Gano Could Be Game Winner On Saturday Night


    So who are the players to watch in the FSU-Maryland game?

    Here are my players to watch for Maryland on offense:

    Chris Turner- The Noles seem to bring out the best in opposing players. The defense will need to get to quarterback Chris Turner. For the season, Turner has thrown 9 TDs and has 6 picks. He will run but on the year has negative rushing yardage.

    Da'Rel Scott- If the Noles can limit running back Scott, they have a good shot at the win. That will not be easy. Scott has 858 yards rushing and 6 TDs. He is over the thousand yard mark in all purpose yards with 1,008 yards including 150 receiving yards.

    Darrius Heyward-Bey- He is the Terps' leading receiver and he has s-p-e-e-d. The FSU secondary will have to have a great game in order to contain him.

    Dan Gronkowski
    - He is Maryland's huge tight end. At 6-6 and 255 pounds, Gronkowski is known as a tight end with sure hands. He is the second leading receiver for Maryland with 25 catches for 241 yards and 3 TDs.

    Edwin Williams- He is the Terp's senior center on an offensive line that has experience. This will be a great test to see how FSU's defense can handle this tough offensive line. If Williams and the Maryland line prevail, it could be a long night for the Noles.

    On defense, here are my Maryland players to watch:

    Alex Wujciak– This 6-3/255 pound middle linebacker is the leading tackler for Maryland with 99 and 5 tackles for a loss. He also has recovered one fumble and has one pass break up.

    Moise Fokou – The 6-2/225 pound strong side linebacker leads the team in sacks with 5 and tackles for a loss with 8. On the year, he has 62 tackles.

    Dave Philistin
    - The 6-2/231 pound inside linebacker is Maryland's second leading tackler with 70 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, and 1 1/2 sacks.

    Jeremy Navarre - The 6-3/280 pound senior defensive end anchors the defensive line having posted 52 tackles on the year. He also has 2 1/2 sacks and 3 pass break ups.

    Jamari McCollough
    - The 5-11 junior defensive back leads the team in interceptions with 4.

    Special teams:

    Obi Egekeze - The field goal kicker is 14 of 21 on the season. His longest field goal of the season is a 47-yarder. However, Egekeze has connected on 14 of his last 16 field goal attempts including game-winners vs. NC State and last Saturday's win versus the Tar Heels.

    Travis Baltz- The sophomore punter leads the ACC in punting averaging 43.16 yards a punt. Field position in the game will be a key.

    Torrey Smith
    - The freshman wide receiver is ranked #5 in the ACC in kickoff returns averaging almost 25 yards a return.

    For the Noles on offense, here are my players to watch:

    Christian Ponder
    - It will be critical for Ponder to manage the game and avoid mistakes. Against BC, he looked uncertain in his throws and had 3 picks in the game. He will have to put that game behind him and play smart and attempt to exploit the Terps' zone defense and a Maryland secondary that is not highly ranked in the ACC.

    D'Vontrey Richardson- Look for Richardson to play some and maybe even more if things start to go south for the Noles. Fisher has indicated that he would like to see him play more anyway.

    Antone Smith
    - For the season, Smith has 651 yards,13 TDs,and is averaging almost 5 yards a carry. Maryland's rushing defense is ranked #9 in the ACC allowing almost 145 yards a game. The Terps are giving up almost 4 yards a carry. Smith behind a work in progress offensive line will have to be able to run the ball and make the Noles muti-dimensional against the Terps.

    Jermaine Thomas
    - Thomas has rushed for 435 yards, 2 TDs, and averages almost 8 yards a carry. He will need to have a good game against Maryland as the Noles need to establish the run.

    Preston Parker- Preston Parker continues to be the go to guy for Ponder. That should not change against the Terps even with the other receivers back from suspension.

    On defense, Nole players to watch:

    Everette Brown- Defensive end Brown needs to put the BC game behind him and be a catalyst against the Terps. He is the sack leader for the Noles with 9 on the season. He also is the team leader with tackles for a loss with 16. It is important that he puts pressure on the Maryland QB and get some key sacks.

    Derek Nicholson- Linebacker Nicholson leads the team in tackles with 63 and is second on the team in tackles for a loss with 11 1/2. He like Brown will need to rebound and have a good game against Maryland.

    Jamie Robinson - Robinson will be replacing safety Darius McClure who is out with a torn cartilage.

    Kenny Ingram - He will be in Rolle's rover spot due to Rolle being in Alabama for the Rhodes scholarship interview.

    On special teams:

    Graham Gano- Gano could be the player that wins the game for the Noles. He is #1 in the ACC having made 18 out of 20 field goals for a 90% success rate. He has not only done an exceptional job in that area but also is doing the kickoff and punting duties. On kickoffs, he is averaging 64.7 yards a kick and has 5 touchbacks. He also is averaging 42.2 yards a punt. If the game comes down to a field goal, the Noles will be in good shape.

    Michael Ray Garvin- Garvin is ranked #1 in the ACC in kickoff returns and the speedster is averaging 32.23 yards on kick returns with 1 TD. Look for him to try and make something happen on Saturday night. He could be the spark that the Noles need.

    Nole Defense Has To Rebound Against Terps


    * Block out- not black out. This is a black out game for the Terps. The Noles have to block out the last game against BC and focus on Maryland.

    * Offensive line has to run and pass block effectively.

    * Establish the run.

    * Ponder must manage the game and make the proper reads.Cannot make mistakes.

    * Special teams will have to play well and field position will be very important.

    * FSU defense has to limit Maryland run game. Try and make the Terps one dimensional.

    * It's step up time. One of the Nole receivers needs to have a good game.

    * Secondary has to step up and avoid missed coverages.

    * Create turnovers.

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Fans Will Need Calculator For Texas Tech-Oklahoma Game


    Grabbing my games to watch from the BCS Top 25. Here are my picks:

    Texas Tech
    at Oklahoma- This will be a real shoot out. Texas Tech gunning for national championship game as they go into Oklahoma where Stoops has only lost twice.

    BYU
    at Utah- Utah is looking to stay undefeated and securing a berth in a BCS bowl.

    Michigan State at Penn State- Will this be Joe Pa's last hurrah?

    Oregon State at Arizona- Oregon State looking to win Pac-10 race having already beat USC.

    Friedgen Looking To Win ACC Atlantic Division Title


    Ralph Friedgen is in his eighth year as head coach at the University of Maryland with a reputation as one of the top offensive minds in college football.

    Friedgen has lifted the Terrapins to unprecedented heights in his tenure, taking the team to five bowl games, including a pair of New Year's Day appearances, and a school record three straight bowl victories. Prior to Friedgen's arrival, Maryland had just one bowl game appearance in the previous 15 seasons.

    He is the 33rd head coach in school history and ranks fourth in Maryland annals in career winning percentage (.676). His 56 wins are also the third most of any Atlantic Coast Conference head coach through seven years.

    This year his Terps are 7-3 and hoping to win the ACC Atlantic Division title.

    Friedgen was a long-time successful assistant coach at Georgia Tech, where he was credited with overseeing one of the nation's most potent offensive attacks, Friedgen continues to build a new level of pride and glory to his alma mater's football program, guiding the Terps to a 50-24 record, including an Atlantic Coast Conference title and a pair of second-place finishes in his first six years.

    Friedgen's 50 wins after six seasons are more than those of Terps legend Jerry Claiborne but they also fall just shy of the all-time ACC mark of 51, set by Clemson's Danny Ford in the early 1980s.

    In addition, in his first three seasons at the helm of the Terrapin program, Friedgen became the first coach in the conference to lead a team to three-straight seasons of 10 wins or more, while his 36 wins in his first four years ranked him in the top 10 in NCAA history, surpassing the fourth-year marks of coaches such as Frank Leahy and Joe Paterno.