April 12, 2008 - by
Defense Leads Gold Team To 22-12 Victory Over The Garnet Squad

April 12, 2008


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    Tallahassee, FL – In front of approximately 30,000 fans and under the bright lights, the Seminole defense shone brighter than the postgame fireworks that lit up the Tallahassee sky Saturday night in the 2008 Garnet & Gold scrimmage. The defense, or Gold team, defeated the Garnet/offense 22-12 in the final practice of the spring. FSU’s defense recorded 11 sacks and picked off two passes.


    “The defense did a tremendous job I thought,” said Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden. “They did a tremendous job. I don’t think the offense scored until they got in the red zone.  That’s happened all year; we get out in the middle of the field and we move the ball but don’t score.  Then we get in the red zone where it would be tougher to score and we score. Maybe we will get something out of it.”


    “I’m not sure how we came out as a team as a defensive unit until we look at the tape,” said defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. “You try to use the scrimmage, the spring game, as your final evaluation. It looked like we played pretty good when we defended on the field.”


    The Seminole defensive line stole the show versus an undermanned group on the offensive side of the ball. With Daron Rose out, some of FSU’s offensive linemen were forced into double duty. Ryan McMahon started at center with the ones and played at tackles with the twos. Rodney Hudson played with both units at times as well. That allowed the Seminoles defenders to rack up 11 sacks.


    “I thought the big difference is the line of scrimmage,” said Bowden.  “The defensive line did a good job. The quarterbacks hardly ever had time to set their feet. I wonder how many passes they threw tonight where they could plant their feet. They were harassed pretty good.


    “Again, I thought the mismatch tonight was our defensive front. I thought that was a mismatch. I think he (Coach Trickett) played eight offensive linemen for 10 positions – it should be 10 at the least. So you had guards playing tackle and centers playing tackle and so you lose a lot of continuity right there. I think it shows.”


    Kendall Smith was one of the stars for the defense as he was tied for the team lead in tackles (4), sacks (2) and tackles for loss (2). Neefy Moffett also had two sacks while Myron Rolle, Dekoda Watson and Darius McClure each had four tackles as well.


    “I thought we did real well actually,” said defensive lineman Budd Thacker. “We were definitely getting heat on the quarterback which is what we’ve been trying to accomplish all spring, getting more pressure on the quarterback. We got better at that and our [defensive backs] played good ball. We basically went out there and played Seminole football.”


    “Defense came with way more blitzes then what they have been doing,” said quarterback D’Vontrey Richardson. “We just got to continue to watch film over this little break and learn how to pick it up. We can’t hold our heads down; we’ve just got to pick it up a little more.”


    Richardson and Christian Ponder combined to go 23 of 44 for 270 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Ponder was 12-of-19 for 140 yards and the redshirt sophomore posted a QB rating of 131.89.


    “I think they (the quarterbacks) had so much pressure of them they were not able to show really what they could do,” said Bowden. “I’m sure statistically and point wise it was probably the least production we had in maybe every scrimmage. We probably had another one like this but we had our good days, too. I think it give us something good to build on.” 


    “I think I didn’t do as well as I should have,” said Ponder. “I never really got comfortable or into the rhythm. I missed a couple throws and a couple of reads on some things, but I didn’t do that bad. I think I could have done better than I did.”


    Preston Parker and Taiwan Easterling led the way for the offense. Parker had six catches for 76 yards and the lone touchdown and that came in red zone when Ponder hit him on the first play for a 20-yard score. Easterling posted big numbers as well. The redshirt freshman caught five balls for 81 yards for an average of 16.7 yards per reception.


    “He really was (Taiwan Easterling was in the middle of many big plays),” said Bowden. “He was kind of the offensive star tonight.”


    “I gained a lot of confidence by coming out here and showing I can do it a little bit,” said Easterling. “It really helped me out a lot so I’ve got to come out and just work during the summer and just take it up another step, just keep working hard.”


    The next time the Seminoles will get together as an entire team for practice will be in August when two-a-days begin and the squad begins to prepare for its September 6 opener versus Western Carolina.




    Head Coach Bobby Bowden:

    “I am very pleased with the spring we had.  I think we are going to see improvement out of everybody.  We are still a team of potential; a team that hasn’t done it yet.  I do see potential out there. 

    “We need some depth (on the offensive line). We will bring in some of these freshman and see if they can help us.  We lost (Daron) Rose – he was the starting tackle last year. He missed tonight.  (Drew’s experience would have helped) if he could have gotten some protection.”

    “A lot, A lot.  (Further ahead this year as compared to last year).  Yes if we can stay healthy (it could be better for us in wins and losses).  I think if we stay healthy.  The things I saw them do this spring and the potential they have (gives me optimism).  If you get beat up front, there ain’t nothing any good.  Nothing is any good if you are getting beat up front.  There has been so many times that passers has had no time what so ever to throw.  Our defense is doing a better job.  They are covering so much better than they used to.  I think they have really gained in that area.”


    Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews:

    On how the team preformed in the red zone:

    “When we got down in the red zone, both our first and second team got scored on and that’s not good. We had some individual breakdowns that created problems for us and gave up some points there in the red zone scrimmage. Down on the goal line the only time they scored we had a guy in position; we just didn’t make the tackle. You’re not going be good on defense until you make those type of plays. I’m a little disappointed in the way we finished in the red zone but please with some things we saw overall.”


    On how the defense improved:

    “It’s hard to tell. We feel like we got better. We made some progress, certainly not where we got to be to compete against the people we’ve got to play this year.”


    Christian Ponder

    On the offense as a whole:

    “I think we struggled a little bit, we definitely didn’t really show what we could do.  These last few weeks we were really getting into the groove.  I think we came out tonight and everyone was a little nervous and we never really got comfortable.”


    On what Jimbo Fisher said after the game:

    “He said we didn’t really come out ready to play and we made some mistakes we shouldn’t have.  We had a pretty good spring overall; we just didn’t come out tonight.”



    Budd Thacker

    On what the mindset of the defense was tonight:

    “Just got out there and act like we’re playing Miami or Florida.  As far as spring goes, when you’re playing the offense just hit them in the mouth.  They’re the opposing team the whole time and you just play hard until the whistle blows.”


    On what the defense needs to work on:

    “There are many places we could work on, getting the good pass rush all the time, make sure you can read the back a lot faster, [defensive backs] making plays in the back field, everything.  We just got to work as a team better and get everyone on the same page.”


    QB D’Vontrey Richardson:

    On the reps he got this spring:

    “It helped me a lot. Especially going into this summer; going to meetings and things. It helped me in the pocket especially because I’ve usually just take off and run so it helped just stay back there and learn to see the routes through the line.


    WR Taiwan Easterling:

    On what Coach Dawsey has said to him during the spring:

    “He’s just been saying be consistent and just come out and know what you’re doing, study your playbook work hard so that’s what me and Bert (Reed) been trying to do and all the other receivers, we just trying to stay on the same page as the quarterbacks and working together as a whole.”




    MOST VALUABLE OFFENSE                                            Christian Ponder           

    MOST VALUABLE DEFENSE                                           Dekoda Watson  

    HINESMAN (MOST DOMINATE)                                     Rodney Hudson   





    QUARTERBACK                                ­D RICHARDSON        C PONDER    

    RECEIVER                                          T EASTERLING                      ———            

    OFFENSIVE LINE                               W FURLONG              R HUDSON    

    RUNNING BACK                               S HOLLOWAY           A SMITH        

    TIGHT END                                        J HANNAH                 C PIUROWSKI                       



    DEFENSIVE END                               BLAMPKIN                E BROWN      

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE                        E DUNBAR                 B THACKER  

    LINEBACKER                                    R WRIGHT                  D NICHOLSON          

    DEFENSIVE BACK                            J ROBINSON              McCLURE/CARTER




    GENERAL AWARDS                         OFFENSE                   DEFENSE

    KING OF 3 ON 3                                 J SURRATT                 DUNBAR / ROBINSON



    BIG OTIS AWARD                             P PARKER                  B THACKER  

    SECOND EFFORT AWARD               R HUDSON                 E BROWN      


    BIG HITTER AWARD                        E BELLAMY               D McCLURE  

    IRON NOLE AWARD                         R McMAHON             K MANGUM  




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