Oct. 9, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For all intensive purposes, the Seminoles completed their bye week on Thursday with a 22 period practice in pads. With a Thursday night game against NC State looming, the team will take Friday off and then begin their game week with a Saturday practice.
· In pass rush Everett Dawkins, Justin Mincey and Markus White each had multiple sacks. Everette Brown, Jamar Jackson, Moses McCray and Kevin McNeil all got to the QB as well. For the offense Rodney Hudson had three wins, Ryan McMahon had two and Will Furlong, Joe Tonga and Andrew Datko also won a battle. Zebrie Sanders, with help from some wet grass, had a pancake block.
· During 7-on-7 Christian Ponder hit Parker twice, on of which was on a deep route. He also found Carr. Weatherford had a nice drill with three completions to Rod Owens, one of which was a bomb. The senior also hit Louis Givens and Reed twice. Reed had a long run after the catch after one of those completions. D’Vontrey Richardson completed one ball to Reed who once again had a great run after the catch. Jamie Robinson had two pass break-ups for the defense.
· The defense had success in 11-on-11. Derek Nicholson, Kenny Ingram and McNeil all had QB pressures. Neefy Moffett broke up a pass and White had a sack. Marcus Sims had a big run for the offense as did Ponder. Ponder also completed a pass to Carlton Jones and Parker who turned in a nice run after the catch.
· The drill moved into the red zone and Sims had two more impressive runs. One was for a TD and the other was a big gainer right up the middle. Ponder completed a pass to Sims as well. Moffett and Kendrick Stewart had pressures and Myron Rolle broke up a pass.
· In goal line Ponder connected with Carr for a 3 yard TD. Moffett recorded a sack on a pass play from the one. Bo Reliford seemed to pull in a TD.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“I was anxious to see how they practiced today because many times when you have an open date kids have a tendency to want to kind of hold back. They had a dog-gone tough practice today and they worked hard. That was a good sign. That was some pretty good hitting going on out there.”
Did you go back to a lot of the basics of blocking and tackling in the off week?
“Just looking at our team through the games we have played. What if we had not had made those mistakes we made? What if we had not made those penalties we get made. You might have won all of your darn games. If we could just eliminate that we get better. That’s what we are trying to do. Fundamentals. Eliminate those darn errors.”
Are you a better 4-1 team this year as compared to starting 4-1 last year?
“We’ve played probably better the first five games than we did last year. There is still a lot out there to find out.”
Are you going to watch Clemson tonight?
“Yes, as soon as I get through with that TV show. I’ll probably miss the first quarter and a half. For us to have a chance in our division, somebody has to get Wake Forest a couple of times.
Quarterback Christian Ponder
“It (practice) was pretty good, it was pretty good. There are still some things that we are trying to work out passing-game-wise. Coach (Fisher) came out and was pretty aggressive on trying to get those things fixed. We are getting there, we are getting there.
Did the day off on Wednesday help you?
“I think so. I think a little bit. I think it gave us a little more rest. All of our guys were tired after the Miami game. It was a long game, a brutal game and we could have used the rest, yes.”
Running back Antone Smith:
On being hurt after the Miami game:
“I have a small bruise, but other than that I’m alright.”
If he is healthier this year:
“From this point, it is great that I am so healthy. About this time last year, I was hurting a bit. It feels really good to be healthy right now.”
If having a week off hurts the team’s momentum:
“That is the hard thing about having a week off. We are looking forward to playing next week. It is hard for everyone to stay in focus, but we have to do it. If we don’t prepare for next week, it may cost us the game. We are going to keep pushing.”
“It is very encouraging that our team is doing well. It is also encouraging that we are running the ball well. The offensive line and quarterback are doing a great job.”
Linebacker Toddrick Verdell:
On the bye week:
“The focus on the bye week is for our guys to rest their legs. Our focus during the bye week is to get better so we can continue to come out prepared. We just want to get 2% better each day.”
If the bye week hurts the team’s momentum:
“In many ways it helps because we have some guys that have gotten banged up. It also helps us to mentally prepare in the long run.”
On the schedule being different this week:
“It not hard to adjust, but you have to be more focused in the film room. The rest of our schedule has big games so we need to prepare. There really isn’t that much of a difference.”
On having a national game next Thursday:
“Ya it is exciting. The whole nation is going to be watching. It is just going to be us on TV. It gives all the guys on the field a chance to show what they can do.”