Aug. 25, 2008
Tallahassee, FL – There is little doubt that senior captain Antone Smith was the star offensively for Florida State in the final scrimmage of the 2008 pre-season. The tailback from Pahokee was the lone bright spot for the Seminole offense statistically as he rushed three times for 130 yards in a scrimmage that was delayed for two days by tropical storm Fay. Deuce, as he is known to his teammates, ran for 30, 45 and 55 yards to lead the FSU offense on the ground but outside of Smith the day belonged to Mickey Andrews’ defense. There were five sacks for the D and in goal line the defense almost equaled the offense with two of their own touchdowns compared to three in eight tries for the offense.
Defensive end Justin Mincey was re-admitted to Florida State and re-joined the football team.
· The team worked on coverage throughout the scrimmage. The main highlight was an excellent return by A.J. Alexander that he almost broke for a TD
· Almost every drive ended in a field goal attempt and Zach Hobby got his first taste of kicking live. The Delaware transfer went 5-of-8 hitting field goals of 26, 34, 35, 35 and 34 yards. His misses came from 27, 39 and 41 yards out.
2-v-1 from the -25
· Derek Nicholson had a QB hurry and Everette Brown had a huge tackle for loss as he read the play beautifully and took Preston Parker down in the backfield. The best offensive play was wiped out by penalty as D’Vontrey Richardson rolled out and found Parker.
1-v-2 from the -25
· This series was all about Smith. The senior took the first carry for 30 yards after breaking a tackle and on the next play scored a TD with a 45-yard run. After they reset the ball, Kevin McNeil had a sack but Smith was back at it on the next play as he ripped off a 55-yard run. The offense was inside the 10 but unable to punch it in for the score. The series ended with Markus White slapping the ball out of Drew Weatherford’s hand, picking it up and taking off running towards the endzone.
2-v-1 from the -25
· Nigel Bradham, who had a nice scrimmage, had a tackle on Jermaine Thomas at the line. Moses McCrary had a QB hurry on the next play but Richardson was still able to hook-up with Rod Owens on another play that was called back due to penalty. White got into the backfield again and forced a screen but Recardo Wright read the play for a loss. Richardson moved the chains on a completion to Bert Reed that was opened up on a great block by Corey Surrency on the outside. White continued to wreck havoc as he pressured the QB right into the waiting arms of Bradham where the two combined for a sack. The series ended with Richardson hitting Surrency for 26 yards with the big receiver fighting to get the ball that was slightly underthrown.
3-v-3 from the -25
· Niger Carr had a big tackle for loss and E.J. Manuel connected with Louis Givens for a nice gain and Brandon Paul had a nice run as well. Jackson ended the series with a sack that Manuel almost escaped but fell down at the end.
2-v-1 from the +40
1-v-2 from the +40
· Thomas’ 8-yard run was nice but wiped out due to penalty. Everett Dawkins batted down a ball at the line and Terrance Parks broke up a pass after White applied pressure to the QB.
3-v-3 from the +40
· Manuel hit D’Vontrey Richardson’s cousin, Ashuwa Richardson, for 21 yards. Michael Colley had a pass break-up, Vince Williams had a nice wrap-up on Paul, Lampkin pressured Manuel into White who recorded another sack. The offensive highlight was a deep ball from Manuel to Surrency down to the one-yard line for 38 yards.
2-v-1 in OT
· The offense scored a TD in the overtime drill. After Ochuko Jenije broke up a pass, Weatherford found Parker for a first. Kevin McNeil followed with a QB pressure but the drive ended in six with Weatherford hitting Fortson in the endzone with Korey Mangum draped all over him.
1-v-2 in OT
· Ponder hit Smith for 11 yards and then got Greg Carr for a 14-yard TD but it was wiped off the board by a hold. On 4th-and-20 the offense went for a FG and Hobby connected.
· 3-yard line: Pressley stopped and on second effort the ball comes loose. McClure picks it up and goes the other way with the fumble.
· 1-yard line: A defender in the pile gets his helmet on the ball knocking it out of Joe Surratt’s hands. Mangum recovers the fumble.
· 3-yard line: Paul Griffin pressures the QB and forces a bad throw that Bradham intercepts and takes the other way for six.
· 1-yard line: Pressley was stuffed for no TD.
· 3-yard line: Marcus Sims was stuffed for no TD.
· 3-yard line: Richardson gets into the end zone on a designed run.
· 1-yard line: Marcus Sims up the middle for a TD.
· 6 for 8, 31 yards
· 1 for 7, 17 yards
· 3 for 11, 32 yards
· 3 for 7, 87 yards
· 7-22 yards
· 3-3 yards
· 3-130 yards
· 1-3 yards
· 6-16 yards
· 2-7 yards
· 1-17 yards
· 3-72 yards
Emmanuel Dunbar – 4
Kenny Ingram – 4, 1 sack
Brandon Paul – 3
Toddrick Verdell – 3 tackles, 1 sack
QUOTES FOLLOWING SCRIMMAGE
Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
“Like I told the offense for about a minute and a half out there they looked like a million dollars. The shortest run they made was probably 25 yards. Today we ran better than we threw. But after that drive, the offense simply could not get anything together.
“The quarterback would miss people that were open then we’d drop one. [Corey] Surrency had a good day; he caught about everything he could get his hands on. Penalties, offensive penalties…too many first and 20’s, it’s hard to overcome. I thought our defense looked better and that’s encouraging because you’re not going to win if they can’t hit. They looked better; their coverage was better, their rush was better. For some reason they had more spirit today then the offense.
On the defense’s performance in the scrimmage:
“All of football is about attitude, it’s about discipline. It’s about being tough, mentally tough. It’s about out-fighting. We got to learn to fight a little harder, getting to the quarterback, getting off the blocker, getting to the football. Fight a little harder through the ball carrier.
“Overall, it was something to build on. I think our guys for the first time got through a scrimmage with some smiles on their faces, especially after goal line. It’s just something we’ve got to build on. That was our 29th practice, we’re a few days behind on our schedule and chances are we’ll never make them up. So we got to find a way to get where we want to be in less days then the NCAA says you can have.”
Linebacker Dekoda Watson
On whether the defense seems to be coming around:
“Yes sir, without a doubt. Our thing is we’ve been watching a lot of film and been trying to study one another, not only our position but other positions. It’s really beneficial to know what your teammate’s going to do.”
Quarterback Drew Weatherford
On the offense’s performance in the scrimmage:
“I don’t think we were ready to play from the get-go. Those two days off that we had really kind of put us behind. Offense is about getting into a rhythm. That’s no excuse. We have got to step up to the plate and get our minds right no matter what the conditions are and be ready to play.”
On the quarterback battle
“It’s been a battle. Everybody has made good plays and everybody has made bad plays. We’re just continuing to fight and to try to get better. Ultimately, all you can do is worry about yourself.”
Is there a different mindset with the first game coming up?
“Yes, there is a little sense of urgency. We are trying to get everybody mentally prepared. We have some young guys; we have a lot of young backs without a lot of experience they have got to learn they’re assignments and the have to be comfortable with what they are doing along with everybody else.”
Do you think Antone Smith is playing well?
“I think he is just confident and the offensive line has given him a lot of confidence. I think sometimes he lost a little bit of his swagger at times. He’s lost it, I’ve lost it, and we have all lost it at times. But he has definitely got his back and you can definitely tell.”
Running Back Antone Smith
On the running game:
“We have got to bring everybody along. The other backs seem to be coming along pretty good, there are not on their assignments right now but we are going to bring them along. For me personally it wasn’t the best but if I can build on something like that — it was one of those runs where I could have took it to the crib and I didn’t so I have to build on that and get better.”
What did you see in the scrimmage?
“I saw the crease and took it. The linemen up front were making big holes – (Joe) Tonga, (Rodney) Hudson and (Ryan) McMahon all those guys up front were making those holes and I’m just taking advantage of the holes and just trying to get positive yards out of them and it has worked out pretty good for the last two scrimmages.”
Is the play of the offensive line encouraging?
“It’s very encouraging. You’ve got (coach) Trickett, a coach like Trickett he’s pushing those guys day in and day out. It’s not about who is front of those guys it’s just those guys know what they have to do because they have Trickett on their butts. I applaud the offensive line; they need to keep doing what they are doing and hopefully they will have a great season.”