April 6, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Garnet & Gold Game usually is a celebration of the end of spring football but not in Tallahassee this year. Originally the team was scheduled to have two practices following the annual scrimmage but rain forced a third practice in this final week. The Seminole players won’t have to wait long to celebrate the end of this portion of the off-season as they will practice Tuesday and then conclude organized practices on Wednesday.
HALF SCRIMMAGE HIGHLIGHTS
· The one’s moved the ball well on their first series. Jermaine Thomas picked up almost 50 yards on just two carries but on 3rd-and-9 Kevin McNeil crashed the pocket forcing Christian Ponder to run and come up short of the first. As the ball moved back to the -35 Ponder hit Jarmon Fortson deep but the play was wiped out by offensive holding. The one’s series ended on a positive though as Ponder hit Richard Goodman to convert a 1st-and-20.
· The second team offense had some success as well. A.J. Alexander started off with a pass break-up on a ball intended for Avis Commack but Ty Jones picked the offense up with a first down on a 12-yard run as he bounced the play to the outside. Dionte Allen got Thomas in the backfield on the next snap before Corey Eddinger connected with Corey Surrency for 10 yards. On 3rd-and-2 Marcus Sims busted an 11-yard run. The defense held up the next two snaps but on 3rd-and-8 Commack hauled in a 15 yarder from Eddinger for a first.
· Things started out well for the defense with a Kevin McNeil sack on 1st-and-20. On 2nd-and-27 Thomas picked up the first with a 28-yard run. Ponder and Fortson connected for 18 and then Ponder was forced out of the pocket but found Bert Reed on the run for a 21-yard TD.
· The two’s spent most of their time during this drill going backwards. Craig Yarborough had a sack for a 10-yard loss and then there was another loss, this one for four-yards, on a tackle in the backfield. On 3rd-and-24 there was a fumbled exchange and Alexander recovered the fumble. The defense forced a three-and-out and then Alexander broke up a deep ball to Josh Gehres on the final play.
· The first team offense dug themselves a big hole after moving the ball down inside the 10. Thomas ran it to the one-yard line but a holding, a sack by McNeil, a false start and another hold that wipe out a big Ponder run, put the one’s in a 2nd-and-goal from the 41-yard line. Ponder salvaged the drive with a 19-yard pass to Thomas and then another Thomas run for six yards. That allowed James Esco to convert a 34-yard field goal.
· The two’s made it look easy during their shot inside the 20. Eddinger hit Bo Reliford for 15 yards. Yarborough momentarily held the offense out of the endzone when he stopped Jones a yard behind the line. Jones did pick that yard back up on the next play and on 3rd-and-goal from the six Eddinger hit Commack on a slant for the touchdown.
· The first team offense looked like an entirely different group starting from the -30 with 1:30 on the clock. On the first play Everett Dawkins pressured Ponder but the junior was still able to find Reed for a gain of 43. He then hit Goodman for nine yards and then again for a TD.
· Eddinger got the two’s in the endzone again but it didn’t look good at first. After a six-yard completion to Cameron Wade, a Yarborough sack was wiped out by an offsides call and the offense eventually was looking at a 4th-and-4 from the -47. Eddinger found Wade down the sideline and the big wideout made the defender miss scoring a 53-yard TD.
· The last series of the scrimmage saw the one’s start at midfield with :15 on the clock. A Dawkins QB pressure, Kendall Smith pass break-up and incomplete Hail Mary left the defense with a victory in the final drill.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“The offense looked much better today. Looked liked them old selves today. I guess next year we won’t let anybody come to the (spring) game and maybe we’ll do better.
“Pretty good scrimmage. We worked on a lot of different situations. We worked one two-minute offense; we gave the offense the ball 60 or 70 yards away with two minutes and they scored both times. First and second unit. Hit a couple of long passes.”
Was today good for the offense after Saturday night’s performance?
“I’m sure it did. It all goes back to attitude. Always goes back to attitude. The offense has probably being doing real good but the defense had a ferocious attitude Saturday and they really played good. The offense probably thought they could walk out there and get it done and they couldn’t. Today, they had a real good day again.”
On Jermaine Thomas’ performance today?
“He did run good today, he sure did. He’s had a pretty good spring running the football. I don’t think we ran him about five times the other night. I still think he averaged about six yards a carry which is not bad. He’s had a good spring.”
Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
On today’s scrimmage:
“The thing I liked today better – we still made mistakes – still did some bad things – our attitude and effort was better and we overcame things when we had the chance to even when we had bad plays. We turned around and overcame them because our attitude and effort were there.”
Were you pleased with the one and two minute drills?
“It’s good because you need to get good at it. When you plays teams that are equal, being able to steal two minutes before the half or two minutes at the end if the game, at least you’ve got it introduced and we’ve got it in their blood we will try to keep doing it the rest of the spring.”
On Avis Commack making plays?
“I was happy for him. He made a couple of plays early in the spring then he struggled. He’s getting open but he’s not finishing the plays. Today he finally made a few more and to get that confidence back hopefully we can get it back going into the summer because he can help us. He can run, he’s got ability, he can jump. He can be a really good player. It’s just amazing you make a couple of catches, get your confidence back and all of a sudden it doesn’t seem as hard as it was.”