March 29, 2008
Tallahassee, FL – The 2008 coach’s clinic got off to a great start Saturday. The day began with FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz participating in a Q&A that lasted well over the allotted one hour time slot. Then the participants were treated to a full scrimmage under crystal blue skies. The Seminoles spent over two hours in Doak Campbell Stadium in the first scrimmage of the season that actually mirrored a game situation.
- Practice began with field goal and the two Seminole kickers combined to go 7-for-8. Graham Gano connected from 28, 40, 25 and 39 yards. Zack Hobby hit from 24, 25 and 36 but missed one from 37 yards away.
- After working on field goals, practice moved to punt/punt block and there were a few blocks to speak of. Dekoda Watson blocked two kicks and Patrick Robinson got to another one. Tony Carter, Bert Reed and Richard Goodman fielded the punts.
- Although it was not the best day for the offense overall, Antone Smith started the day off on the right foot and had a nice afternoon. The senior opened the first drive with a 15 yard burst. After that Everette Brown took over. The junior defensive end jumped up to bat one ball down and then ended the drive with a nine yard sack.
- The first drive for the second team looked awfully similar to the first drive of the day. Dumaka Atkins batted down a pass at the line, something he has been doing frequently all spring, and Neefy Moffett followed with a sack. After a nice seven yard scamper by Brandon Paul the drive ended with a Jamar Jackson sack.
- Christian Ponder led the one’s back out for the next series and scrambled for a 13-yard gain. Jamie Robinson then stuffed a running play and Brown almost came up with an INT on the next play. Another sack, this one by Recardo Wright, ended the series.
- The two’s came the closest to scoring on the next drive. The series opened with D’Vontrey Richardson running for a 25-yard gain. After a QB pressure by Josh Johnson, Richardson hit Easterling on a 42-yard pass down inside the 20. Richardson almost put six on the board himself but DB Rod Roberts was just able to get a hand on the green jersey to end a play that Richardson wound up dancing in the endzone afterwards.
- The scrimmage moved into down and distance where Aaron Gresham and Kevin McNeil both recorded big hits.
- When the drives moved up to the 50, the one’s came out and had a little more success moving the ball but still struggled to score. Tony Carter opened the series leaping up to break-up a pass that Ponder was trying to drop-in to a receiver that was bracketed between Carter and Myron Rolle. A fumble on an exchange resulted in a Derek Nicholson recovery on the next play. Ponder then hit Bert Reed for a short gain. The scripted series came to a close on a 22-yard run by Antone Smith.
- After nearly scoring earlier in the day, the twos did get a TD on their first series from the 50. Richardson hit Greg Carr for a short gain and then the sophomore QB went deep to Rod Owens for a 41-yard TD strike.
- While the two’s put up points, the one’s continued to struggle with Mickey Andrew’s defense. On the first snap Moffett got to Ponder on a broken play then Rolle broke up a pass on another near INT.
- The two’s had trouble on their next series as well. Following a short Richardson to Easterling completion, Craig Yarborough recorded a sack, Kenny Ingram had a QB pressure and Roberts broke up another pass.
- The first team finally got on the board in red zone thanks to Antone Smith. The tailback converted a 3rd-and-3 and then on the next play took it to the house from the six yard line.
- The two’s weren’t as successful. Ingram started the drive off with a tackle for loss. Paul gained three on a sweep before an incomplete pass left them with 4th-and-8. Gano came on but missed a 36 yarder to the right.
- The ones went 2-for-4 in goal line. Smith was bottled up on a pitch out by Marcus Ball with help from Rolle on the first play from the three. The next play Smith punched it in from a yard out thanks to a key lead block by Seddrick Holloway who took Ball’s legs out from under him. Justin Mincey blew-up the next play, a Ponder bootleg from the three. Joe Surratt finished off the one’s drill with a TD plunge from a yard out.
- The twos scored on one of four plays. Nigel Bradham made the key play on the first shot as he sniffed out the pitch to Marcus Sims and held him up as the rest of the defense got there for a loss on the play. A fumbled snap, recovered by Korey Mangum, killed the second play. Holloway was stuffed from the three-yard line on the third shot. The scrimmage ended with a play action roll out where Richardson threw a short toss to Caz Piurowski for six.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“Taiwan Easterling caught the ball – he’s the only guy that just caught the ball consistently – out there today. I think the offense got one lone touchdown. I think that was about it.
“I thought he (Antone Smith) ran well today. Jimbo threw more than he wanted to but (that was) because of the lack of running backs. I think his idea was to throw a little bit more. I think he (Smith) knows his role. We know that you can’t hardly play a season with one tailback. We better hope that some of these other guys can give him some help. He’s had a good spring; he has run well.
“He’s (D’Vontrey Richardson) got that kind of (big play) capability of making plays when things break down. He’s very dangerous when that happens. He is beginning to get the feel of this thing. That’s very encouraging.
“We are playing with a (second-team) offensive line that’s got a couple of walk-ons and they are just having a hard time handling that defensive front.
“I’m glad to see the defense doing good. You are not going to win if you can’t play defense. They (the defense) usually dominate the first of spring then the offense begins to put things together. I imagine that will happen before the spring is over. We are half way through today with spring training. I though the defense really progressed today – they did a good job today. The offense did some good things but the offense would do something one of every four plays and the defense would do something three out of four.”
Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
“Probably the most consistent guy – one of the most consistent guys on the field four us today (was Antone Smith). I think he is very mature. He understands it and he knows this is his senior year and if he wants to go on he has to play – do a lot of other little things than what we has done. He’s been very mature and has been as consistent as anybody we have had on our side of the ball.
“If you keep running it, running it and running it – you don’t have enough people. Even Marcus (Sims) is out there trying to run at tailback and he’s still not 100 percent on his leg. Certain things, he knows most of it, but there are a few things you don’t want to put him in those situations quite yet. With Deuce, you’ve got to run him and get him enough carries, but do you want to beat him to death and lose him for the rest of the spring?
“It was a good chance to see where we were with the young receivers trying to make some plays. It’s easy to do it in practice but you come out here in a scrimmage it’s a whole different animal. It’s the first time with game-like situations and the youth starts to show. Then your quarterbacks, too. They make some good plays and hadn’t missed a few things but for the most part they seemed to play pretty consistent. I don’t think of anything just crazy and dumb but we had some things function around them which put you in bad situations.”
Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews
“I was very disappointed with the way we play on goal line and the way we played in the red zone. Other than that, we played fair; we played pretty good.
“It’s frustrating for them (missing interceptions) because they are going to be running gassers. A couple of them would have been tough catches – three of them would have been really tough catches. Great players got to make great plays.
“I think we were three out of four with the first group on short yardage and we were seven out of eight on short yardage. That’s good. That part was good. We got beat maybe on one or two out in the field on third and short during the scrimmage. You’ve got to win third downs’ you’ve got to get possession of the football – take it over on downs or by getting turnovers. We’ve got to do a better job with both.
Quarterback D’Vontrey Richardson
“They (the defense) got us today. It was tough. We have to come Monday ready and with a different attitude. We have got to work a little harder and hopefully we can get them.
“I fell much better in the pocket. I feel comfortable with the play calling. The more reps the better. I feel a lot more comfortable. Last year, I didn’t really know all of the plays. The plays I did know I didn’t really know where to go with it. If I did something, I didn’t know why I did it. Now I know why I do things.”