Nov. 19, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With a week off before next Saturday’s showdown with rival Florida, the Florida State University football team worked out for 22 periods during Wednesday’s (November 19) practice. The Seminoles (9-2, 7-1 ACC) are coming of a 50-44 double overtime victory over North Carolina State in which they wrapped up their 11th conference title.
Wednesday’s session was conducted in shells (helmet, shoulder pads and shorts). The first portion of the workout covered individual position drills before the FSU offense and defense went up against the respective Gator scout teams. The last four periods featured 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 passing drills that pitted the wide receivers against the secondary, as well as a full 11-on-11 sequence.
“There are sometimes you don’t need any open date, in fact I don’t like them, except when we’re injured, so at this point it’s good,” FSU grid boss Bobby Bowden said. “We got enough kids banged up last week that it is probably good for us.”
Both Chris Rix (Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Fabian Walker (Americus, Ga.) completed several long passes to multiple receivers during the pass skeleton. The defense backs had their moment in the sun when Leroy Smith (Quincy, Fla.) picked off one of Walker’s attempts.
“Someone has to step in and fill that void,” Bowden said of the spot left vacant by the injury to Craphonso Thorpe. “They responded pretty well today. All of them caught the ball pretty well today.”
During the 11-on-11 periods the defense stepped up its play, allowing only one first down during the ten-minute session. The Florida State defense, ranked seventh in the country in scoring defense, limited the first and second-team offenses on the ground and disrupted the passing attack.
Winners of four out of the last five meetings between the Seminoles and Gators, Florida State is looking to get its first win in Gainesville since the national championships season of 1999. That year the Seminoles came away from The Swamp with a 30-23 victory, giving them a spot in the Sugar Bowl where they beat Virginia Tech.