March 31, 2007
Before Saturday’s first full scrimmage of the spring, new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher told head coach Bobby Bowden that he felt like the offense was beginning to understand `what we are trying to do’ and from the results of the scrimmage Fisher was correct. The Florida State offense looked the sharpest it has been all spring as Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford both had big days. Lee and Weatherford combined to go 29-for-44 for 324 yards with two TD’s and one interception. Antone Smith had another impressive outing as he neared 150 all-purpose yards.
The scrimmage began with three straight runs by Smith, the longest of the three came on the first play and went for 13 yards. Smith’s biggest gainer of the day went for 25 yards after he shed an arm tackle in the backfield. Although it wasn’t his biggest run, the best carry of the day by Smith went for eight yards when he made a jaw-dropping cut and broke for the endzone only to trip after eight yards. Later Smith broke off a six-yarder where he carried Dakoda Watson for half of the run. The Seminoles projected feature back also hauled in a dump pass from Lee that he turned into a 24 yard gain and another one from Weatherford he took for 31 yards.
Lee posted 180 yards on 15-for-23 passing with one TD and one interception. Lee’s longest completion was a 26-yard pass on a dump off to Marcus Sims and his TD came on a great play by Joslin Shaw who took an inside screen 13 yards into the endzone. Lee also hooked up on another TD pass to Greg Carr for 32 yards but it was wiped out by a holding call. Lee also had a few nice runs including a 16-yarder.
Weatherford was equally as good going 14-for-21 for 144 yards and a touchdown. His longest completion come on a 31-yard catch and run by Smith. Weatherford also hooked up with Richard Goodman for 27 yards on the first drive and then later hit Rod Owens for a 21-yard gain. His TD pass came on a two-yard pass to Carr in the corner of the endzone.
Defensively Dakoda Watson, Toddrick Verdell, Alex Boston, Kendrick Stewart and Neefy Moffett all recorded sacks.
Moffett continued his strong spring by forcing a Smith fumble that was recovered by Patrick Robinson.
Myron Rolle recorded the only interception of the scrimmage as he picked off a ball inside the ten during red zone.
Rolle also recorded a pass break-up along with Roosevelt Lawson and Jamie Robinson who had a sure interception slip away.
Letroy Guion had a nice stop 1-on-1 with Smith right at the line of scrimmage and Stewart also registered a tackle for loss.
Sims was the star for the offense as the team moved near the goal line. In red zone drills Sims broke off nine and five-yard runs and then in goal line Sims plowed into the end zone on the first two plays.
Anthony Kelly recovered a fumble inside the one during goal line drills as the defense responded with five straight stops including the biggest hit of the day. Pat Davis looked like he was cruising into the endzone when walk-on Damion Harris came out of nowhere and drove him three yards back to the cheers of his defensive teammates lined up in the back of the endzone.
The field goal kickers also got some work in before practice and during the scrimmage. Gary Cismesia went 3-for-4 with his only miss coming from 50 yards. Graham Gano went 3-for-4 missing his only attempt during the scrimmage but hitting a 45-yarder before the scrimmage.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
(on the offense)
“The light came on. It is flickering. It ain’t real bright yet. It came on a little bit. The kids are beginning to grasp (the offense). There was some pretty good hitting going on. Offense got the better of it I thought, the first time. Last week I thought the defense got the better of it. I thought the offense got the better of it today. Still a lot of mistakes we have to get corrected. Anyway, I thought they made a little progress offensively.”
(on Antone Smith’s performance)
“Antone ran well, he sure did. Marcus (Sims) is still running good, hard. (Smith) had some good runs. A guy that had a good day was (Joslin) Shaw. Shaw made a touchdown that I don’t know how he got in there.”
(is the offensive line helping the light come on for the offense?)
“That plus they are beginning to understand what they are trying to do. They had a couple practices since that last scrimmage where they were able to work on plays and try to get the feel of what’s happening. Jimbo (Fisher) told me today before practice `I think they are beginning to understand what we are trying to do’. I hope that’s the case offensively.
(on the quarterbacks)
“The good thing about it is I saw improvement out of both of them. You really see an improvement out of Lee, but the other kid is too. Lee’s is probably more.”
Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
(on the offenses play in the scrimmage)
“We are competing on a higher level. There’s a lot more intensity. Our toughness is a little bit better. Our effort seemed to be better. We will watch the film and see…we have to contend with our discipline. We still have some crazy penalties and a few missed assignments that we need to start cleaning up, its time. They have been in it long enough. The way our kids competed and got after it, I was very pleased today.
(on Antone Smith)
“He is an outstanding football player. He has great toughness. He is getting to be more of the featured back, getting the ball all the time. I think that is even a new role. Saying you want to be the featured guy and being the featured guy, you got to work your way into that. He has showed no signs of not being that guy. He is a competitor, he can catch, he can run, he blocks well, he is tough, he has great top end speed, he makes you miss, he is a very good football player. He seems to be getting better every day.”
(on his younger receivers having a good scrimmage)
“We have to have everybody who’s on the field has to be able to catch the ball and be a weapon. (The opponent) has to account for them so that some of the guys that may catch a few more balls than the other guys can’t get doubled and tripled all the time and you can feature guys. When the defense doubles guys and gives you a weakness on a guy he can make plays and they all made plays today. They made a few nice runs and catches and I am very pleased with that.”
(on where the quarterback battle stands)
“We will just wait and see. We are only half way through. A few more weeks and we will pass judgment when the time comes.”
Offensive Line Coach Rick Trickett
(on his offensive line)
“These guys are more talented than the guys I had over the last six years. They ought to be able to do anything I have been able to teach them other guys to do. It is are you accepting it, are you buying into it and are you trying to do what I am coaching you to do?”
Quarterback Drew Weatherford
“I think the process just caught up to where we are. We have a good understanding of our offense now and were able to go out and just react and play instead of think too much. As an offense there is a lot of thinking going on but it needs to be second nature. It is starting to get that way. We are not where we need to be but we made some good strides today.”
(on play of some of the receivers like Joslin Shaw and Rod Owens)
“They came out and have really improved themselves. Joslin had a great day. Rod Owens had that knee problem but he is getting more work and everybody is seeing he is a real player. When he came in as a freshman he did a lot of good things. He has starting to feel more comfortable running his routes, understanding the offense. They both did a lot of good things and it is just more weapons for us to use.”
(on Antone Smith)
“Antone has been playing well. If the offensive line gives him room to run, he can make things happen. Sometimes he doesn’t have room to run and he makes things happen. He is just a great player and we need to give him the ball as much as we can.”
Quarterback Xavier Lee
(on his improvement in the offense)
“At first I was lost on a lot of things. I really didn’t understand quite a bit. As I watched the film, started scrimmaging and the more practice that I had we started clicking more as a team. I started to understand what was going on a little bit more.
“I know what to expect on this play. I know what to expect on that play. I am not just going to the line and guessing.”
Running back Antone Smith
“Today we came out a little flat at the beginning later on in the scrimmage we picked it up a little bit and got a little tempo going. A lot of good things happened for us, a lot of bad things happened for us but we are killing ourselves with penalties, jumping off sides and stuff like that.”
(on his role in the offense)
“I am kind of getting comfortable again and trusting my line. That is the biggest thing right now, trusting my linemen. They are coming off pretty good. They are doing a pretty good job. Just following them and making plays. That is all I am doing right now.”
Rover Myron Rolle
(on the scrimmage)
“It was a little rougher for (the defense) today than it was on Wednesday. I thought it went smoother on Wednesday. We were able to shut the offense out a little bit more. We were making a few more plays. Today they sort of had our number. They were throwing a lot of plays, a lot of misdirection and new stuff at us. So it was harder for us.”
(on his interception)
“I told myself this morning when I woke up I wanted to make a big play somehow, someway. I got my opportunity. (Lee) threw it up there and I was able to take one down. I should’ve had one earlier in the scrimmage. I got my hands on it. I just try to do the best I can to help our team win.”