December 30, 2005 - by
Friday’s Orange Bowl Practice Report

Dec. 30, 2005


The No. 22 ranked Florida State (8-4) football team continued preparation for Tuesday’s Orange Bowl against No. 3 Penn State (10-1). The Seminoles held meetings Friday morning before getting on the buses and heading to Nova Southeastern for an 18-period practice.

The team flexed and worked on special teams before doing individual drills and scrimmaging. In 11-on-11, the offense started off hot with an 18-yard run from Leon Washington and a pass from Drew Weatherford to Chris Davis for 24 yards. On defense, the stars of the day were freshman Everette Brown who recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown and junior linebacker Buster Davis who recorded a tackle for loss and a sack on quarterback Xavier Lee. On the final play of the day, quarterback Xavier Lee had a touchdown run of 42 yards.

After Friday’s practice the team headed out to Ft. Lauderdale beach for the Orange Bowl beach bash. The Seminoles will return to practice on Saturday morning at 11:30.


(on practice changing as the game gets closer)

“We start off curfew at a certain time and then work it down each day. We tighten up on it a little bit. A bowl game, listening to Joe (Paterno), if you make it all work and no play they won’t want to come to bowl games. They could go home like those other students. Because when you are getting ready for a bowl you are talking another two or three weeks of practice. I think you have to let them have some freedom.”

(on his team’s confidence level)

“Do I sense confidence? Not enough. I would have a lot more if we weren’t playing Penn State. Well you hope. The last game built up our confidence and now you are facing (a team) ranked higher.”

(on Penn State’s turnaround this season)

“Two years ago these guys were freshmen and sophomores. Last year they were sophomore and juniors. This year there are a bunch of seniors out there that know what they are doing. They have been through the bad days. That is usually what happens. You get kids for four years and so many of the teams will recruit here and get beat with those guys but by the time they are seniors if you keep them together you have a pretty dang good outfit. I can’t speak for Joe but last year he probably felt they were on the verge of something good and it paid off.”


Running Back Leon Washington

(on the Orange Bowl experience so far)

“It is a lot warmer weather down here and the guys are enjoying their time. Coach Bowden does a great job of coaching us and mixing business with pleasure. We get practice done with and it allows us some time off. That lets us have some fun.”

Quarterback Drew Weatherford

(on his preparations)

“I feel like I will be really prepared when the game comes around. I have been working really hard, studying a lot of film so hopefully I won’t feel overwhelmed.”

(on the offense’s confidence)

“(The Virginia Tech win) really helped. On offense we peaked way too early in the season. During a long season like we have in college football you have your peaks and your valleys. We peaked too early. We started to play really bad towards the end of the season but we peaked once again against Virginia Tech and I think we can continue that.”

Wide Receiver Willie Reid

(on the Penn State defense)

“They tackle really well. They do a lot of good things. The secondary is very solid, quick and hard-hitting. We have our work cut out but we are willing to take the challenge.”

(on the team’s confidence)

“We have our confidence back. We know we can move the ball against a great Virginia Tech team. We have to go out and do the same thing against Penn State.”

(on who the Penn State defense reminds him of)

“They are a mix between like NC State, Miami and Virginia Tech as well. They are a mixture between all of them. They are big and strong as well as quick in the secondary. We need to be on our toes at all times against this defense. We have our work cut out for us but it is going to be a great game I think.”

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