March 28, 2009 - by
Givens And Jones Come Up Big But Defense Rules The Day At Scrimmage

March 28, 2009


TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – Friday the threat of serious weather caused the Seminole coaches to cancel practice. On Saturday the threat of bad weather was even worse and the coaching staff adjusted again moving practice up three. The move paid off, despite dark skies and high winds, there was no rain or lightning and the team was able to get in a two-hour scrimmage Saturday morning.





·          The biggest storyline of the day was the defense’s intensity right from the start. The first team offense went three-and-out twice on its first possession. It started with Ochuko Jenije laying a big hit on a screen pass. Patrick Robinson broke up a pass intended for Avis Commack and then Kendall Smith held up Jermaine Thomas in the backfield on third down. Jarmon Fortson picked up a few yards on a pass from Christian Ponder but Nigel Carr helped stall the drive with a sack. The final play was a nice run by Ty Jones who leapt over a would-be tackler but did not pick up enough for a first.

·          The Second team offense had a nice day and picked up two first downs on their first drive. Although things didn’t start well as Jamar Jackson had a tackle for loss for five yards, Jones broke off a 17 yard run on the next play. The drive ended as quickly as it started as Everett Dawkins jumped on a loose ball. Louis Givens caught a six-yard pass from Corey Eddinger and got one of his numerous carries on the next play and picked up 24 yards.

·          The one’s came back out and moved the ball better picking up two first downs. The drive started with Ponder hitting Richard Goodman for 41 yards. The next first down came on a pass interference call on a ball thrown to Bert Reed. After that though another fumble by the offense, this one inside the five, ended the drive. Carr had his second sack on the first play from the 35 and then Kendrick Stewart and Kevin McNeil crashed the pocket and McNeil registered the sack. The series ended with Thomas going for 38 yards.

·          The two’s moved the ball well again on the next series picking up three first downs. Brandon Jenkins made a stop at the line on the first play. Eddinger hit Rod Owens for seven yards and then Givens picked up a first down on a five yard run. Corey Surrency caught a 19 yard pass and then an offsides penalty wiped out a huge play by Jenkins who stayed home on a double reverse and recorded a tackle for an 11-yard loss. Thomas then had back-to-back runs for nine up the middle and nine more after that.



·          Thomas came up short on 3rd-and-2 despite some nice moves to get past a few would-be tacklers. Thomas did pick up a first on the next play converting a 3rd-and-1.

·          Eddinger almost converted a big play on 3rd-and-2 as he had Bo Reliford wide open downfield but the two could not hook-up. Jones converted the first on the next play on 3rd-and-1.



·          Kicker Brian Elkins was good from 30 with the wind and from 43 against it. Sean Graham and James Esco each were 1-for-2.



·          Following the break the first team offense came out and picked up a couple firsts. Ponder opened up hitting Goodman for 11 but Korey Mangum broke up a pass on a deep ball on third down to halt that penetration. Givens lost four yards after slipping on first down but Thomas picked up 12 yards on the next play to set up 3rd-and-2. Givens then moved the chains with a seven yard run.

·          The two’s got into the endzone on their first crack at the defense from the 50. After a three-and-out to start, Jones hit a 42-yarder that he took to the house for six.

·          The TD by the two’s seemed to spill over as the one’s picked up three first downs and got a TD of their own on their next possession. Thomas got things off to a good start with a 39 yard run. He ran for three more before Givens finished things off with a TD run. Thomas had another nice run for 16 but the defense took over after that highlighted by Markus White’s sack.

·          The two’s were unable to do much on their final chance from the 50 but there were two nice runs. Jones turned in one for 13 by breaking tackles and Thomas had another going for 15.



·          The first team offense went 3-and-out on its only possession from the 20 thanks in large part to the drive starting with Nigel Bradham sacking Ponder for a loss of 13.

·          The two’s once again moved the ball and got into the endzone. Thomas ran for eight and then four to give the two’s a first-and-goal. Maurice Harris had a tackle for loss and then Thomas was rounded up by a group of defenders behind the line as well. On third-and-goal from the six Eddinger swung a pass to Daniel Gard for a TD.



·          The defense had their way in goal line allowing just one TD in eight tries. The one’s went 0-for-4. Kendall Smith tackled Ponder on a run from the three, Ty Jones was stopped from the one by Kendall Smith and others, Ponder ran for two yards from the three and then Jones was stooped from the one on a pitch.

·          The second team offense didn’t fare much better on their first three plays. A bad exchange on the first play had Eddinger falling on a loose ball. Then a bad pitch and a defensive recovery stopped the try from the one. Terrance Parks had a tackle for loss on a pitch out from the three before Seddrick Holloway finally pierced the goal line for the lone TD.



Head Coach Bobby Bowden


Opening statement:

“The offense made first downs but they didn’t make that many touchdowns.  Carlton Jones broke one about 40 something yards then Louis Givens got one on a reverse – and when they got down on the goal line (Daniel Gard) caught a touchdown pass.  But the offense – we are making first downs, not bad, but they couldn’t sustain a drive for a touchdown.  The defense has a lot to do with that. 


“In the second half of the scrimmage I thought the offense moved the ball better.  They were hindered by bad snaps, they were hindered by a fumble, and they were hindered by penalties.  I thought our pass rush was better; we got a little bit better of a pass rush.  They had more sacks then they did last week.” 


On the goal line drills:

“The defense really won the goal line.  They might have stopped them all but that last play.  They did force some turnovers.  I’m not sure how many.  The offense drove all they way down to about the nine and they fumbled the football – that’s something you can’t do.”


On a couple of fumbles by Carlton Jones

“Probably more today than we have seen in the past.  Can’t do that.  You can’t fumble.” 


How did you feel about the play of Jermaine Thomas?

“Jermaine had some nice runs.  They had some nice stops on him, too, on the goal line.” 


Richard Goodman seems to be playing well.

“Richard doesn’t surprise me.  I think he’s ready to go into his last year with a good attitude and he brings a lot a speed to the table with experience.  We are going to have to count on him; he is going to have to get it done.” 


Louis Givens continues to play well.

“Louis Givens continues to do good and he can really help our football team.”


Nigel Carr seems to be playing well

“I’m sure he did.  I don’t watch him play after play after play I don’t know how often he did that (got to the quarterback).  They had a bunch of them (linebackers) that got around that ball and made some plays.  No doubt about it.  Tacking was probably better.  They punished the runners pretty good today.” 


Quarterback Christian Ponder

Opening statement:

“I think we could have done real well (today) but I think we came out with the wrong attitude.  We started off slow; we made a lot of plays but it wasn’t close to where it should have been.  We made a lot of mistakes and it just came down to attitude. A lot of guys didn’t want to work today. 


“I think there was a little encouragement (from the coaches) but it just took us time to get in and get focused.  We came out not focused and it really wasn’t good.  We finally came around and started making plays.  At the end the defense stopped us every time at the goal line and that can’t happen.” 


On the defense:

“The defense played well; they brought a lot of pressure.  They had a lot of guys in the right spots and they played a heck of a scrimmage.  A lot of times it comes down to us (the offense) just making mistakes.  The defense is looking really good right now.”


Linebacker Nigel Carr

On his play:

“It’s slowing down a lot for me.  The first week it was kind of – I was running with the ones and I was not used to doing that – but now it’s slowing down for me and I am going to try and get better.  Us three – Nigel Bradham and Vince Williams – we are really close off the field, too.  We want to bring Florida State to where it is supposed to be at with the violent linebackers so we a trying to do that. 


“Coach Amato keeps preaching to us to work hard so we just try to work hard.  When you work hard good things happen so that ‘s what we are trying to do.”


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