Oct. 22, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Trying to stay perfect in the Atlantic Coast Conference this week when it takes on Wake Forest, the seventh-ranked Florida State University football team practice on Wednesday (October 22). The Seminoles (6-1 overall / 5-0 ACC) worked out for 20 periods in preparation for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. showdown on ABC with the Demon Deacons (4-3, 2-2).
Practicing in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts), the Seminoles worked out for 20 periods during the midweek session. After starting the afternoon with individual position drills, Florida State went up against the Wake Forest scout teams.
Following a passing skeleton, the Seminoles ended the day with a one-minute drill. Florida State’s first-team defense, which ranks second in the country with only 10.4 points per game allowed, stopped both the first and second team offenses as they tried to march down the field and score a touchdown.
This Saturday, Florida State will face a much improved Wake Forest squad. After a pair of victories to open the season, including a defeat of No. 11 NC State, the Demon Deacons entered the Associated Press poll at No. 20. It marked the first time since January 1993 that Wake Forest appeared in the top 25.
One of the keys to Wake Forest’s success, and a big focus for Florida State’s defense, is the misdirection that is created by the Deacons’ offense.
“Every play they run we’ve seen this year from other teams, with the exception that they run a reverse motion with everything so about half the time it looks like they’ve got a reverse with the play,” FSU linebackers coach Kevin Steele said. “It’s a lot of misdirection. We have to get the call right and make sure that we don’t under-react or overreact to the misdirection.”
A lot of the responsibility of getting the call right falls on the shoulders of senior linebacker Michael Boulware (Columbia, S.C. / Spring Valley). The defensive captain and the rest of the squad will have to make sure that they are not thrown off-balance by the Wake Forest attack.
“The biggest thing is getting your hat in the right spot, making sure you’re in the gap and knowing your assignments,” Boulware added. “You have to always be reading the keys and not being overaggressive. You have to make sure you know what you’re seeing and then react.”
Even if the Seminoles get that initial read correction, cornerback Leroy Smith (Quincy, Fla. / Shanks) explained that things change very quickly.
“They motion a lot which changes the formation and your assignments,” Smith noted. “They try to keep you off balance with different formations. They may have four receivers and run the ball or go with two tight ends and pass out of if.”
Last season’s 34-21 triumph by Florida State was the closet contest since the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1992. The Seminoles have an 18-2-1 record against Wake Forest. FSU has a 13-1-1 record at home against Wake Forest with the lone tie coming in the inaugural 1956 contest.