March 25, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Monday the Seminole coaching staff felt the running backs were too banged up to hold a full pad scrimmage. That wasn’t the case on Wednesday. After starting the day with 11 periods on the practice fields, the squad moved into Doak Campbell Stadium for the second full scrimmage of the spring. The hour-long scrimmage was highlighted by big plays on both sides of the ball.
ONE YARD LINE
· The scrimmage began with the first team and the second team each taking one snap in the shadow of their own goalpost. Jermaine Thomas got the carry for the ones and the sophomore busted out with an 11-yard run. Toshmon Stevens, one of the stars of the scrimmage, got off to a fast start as he busted up the middle and recorded a safety on the play for the twos.
· Each unit took a couple snaps in short-yardage situations. The defense stopped the first team offense on 3rd-and-2 and 4th-and-1. Ty Jones picked up a first down for the two’s after a false start ended the series.
FROM THE 35
· Stevens continued his big day when he recorded a sack of Ponder on the first play. The junior QB picked up a good chunk of those yards back on the next play as he connected with Richard Goodman. The pair moved the chains on the next play as Goodman spun out and picked up a first. The first team offense was unable to pick up another first as Markus White got into the backfield and jumped up to bat down a Ponder pass on 4th-and-1. On the final play Patrick Robinson recorded a pass break up.
· The second team offense started with a short run by Jones and then Avis Commack picked up a first with a nice run. Jones then turned in one of the highlights of the day as he broke a 54-yard TD run. Before the offense could settle down on the sidelines, they were back on the board. This time Corey Eddinger hit Louis Givens on a short slant and the speedy senior took the pass to the house for a 65-yard TD.
FROM THE 50
· Jermaine Thomas started off with a 10-yard run. White once again pressured Ponder on the next play but the junior was able to get off a pass to Bert Reed for a short gain. Ponder looked like he had a completion on the next play but Korey Mangum made a great play to pry the ball out for an incompletion. Patrick Robinson followed with a PBU of his own on a big hit. Thomas picked up a few yards on a pass and then the series ended with an incomplete pass that was hurried by Nigel Bradham.
· Eddinger and Givens hooked up again on the first play for the twos and then Thomas gained seven yards thanks to a few broken tackles. Givens picked up 12 more yards as he made the defense miss on numerous tackles as he picked his way down the sideline. Eddinger then went up top to Corey Surrency for a 23-yard TD. The ball was moved back to the 50 after the TD and Jamar Jackson had a big tackle for loss but the play was wiped out by a defensive penalty. Marcus Sims finished this set when he busted a first down run up the middle.
· With the ball placed at the 12 Ponder’s first pass was incomplete partly due to a pressure from Kevin McNeil. The next play went for a TD to Fortson in the corner of the endzone but was called back due to a penalty. With the ball back on the 27, Moses McCray got into the backfield and forced an incompletion.
· Stevens re-emerged again when he pressured Ponder into an incompletion on the first play from the 12. Ponder, playing with the twos, took advantage of Givens and hit the speedy receiver for 11 yards down to the one. Jones finished the drive off pounding it in from inside the one.
· Thomas scored a TD from the three but was stopped behind the line from the one.
· Terrance Parks wrapped up Jones in the backfield on his carry from the three and then Maurice Harris laid a big lick on the running back to keep the offense from a TD at the one to end the scrimmage.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“It was kind of a different scrimmage. We had some long plays, which we haven’t had that much of this spring. Ty Jones and (Louis) Givens broke a couple of sixty-yarders back-to-back, you don’t ever see that happen. We didn’t catch the ball today as good as we have. We had quite a few drops. Some of it was the ball was knocked out of there by the defense. Kids still working hard and got a lot of enthusiasm. But there is too many breakdowns right now, of course we’ll study the film and see what the problem is. Usually it’s one man. I thought (Christian) Ponder did a pretty good job, threw the ball well. Corey Eddinger had two touchdown passes which is good to him. Hitting was pretty good. We’re still not as sharp tackling as we would like to be. We’re not as sharp tackling.”
WR Louis Givens:
On his performance and touchdown in today’s scrimmage:
“I played alright today. I feel like I could have done a little bit better. It was a good scrimmage today. I felt good, I’m feeling a lot more better out there now. I’m a little bit more familiar with the offense so I’m good. It (his touchdown) was a slant route, he (Eddinger) kind of threw it behind me a little bit. When I caught it, I focused on it and I grabbed it in. I was behind the safety so no one else was going to be able to catch me.”
On his difference in last year’s spring practice to now:
“I think I had a pretty good spring last year. I think as far as getting more plays and just making bigger plays. Knowing the offense, I didn’t really know what to do last year, I was kind of running around trying to get in whenever I could get in. I feel more comfortable this year.”
On the progress the defense has made since last week:
“The only thing about it is last scrimmage we let a couple plays open up and they got up on us. We slimmed that down and we’re making the big plays come to a minimum right now. All we have to do is let the rust out and tighten down the screws before we can become a lockdown defense and that’s going to help us out in the fall.”
On the progress of the young guys:
“The young guys are stepping up like juniors and seniors. That’s what I like. Right now it’s not about seniority, it’s about who can step on the field and make plays. As of right now we have a lot of young guys who are stepping on the field and making plays and that’s what we need, players to make plays, before we can become a winning defense.”
On the scrimmage
“I think the stats probably don’t show it, but I think we actually improved a lot. Problem was we had a drop ball here, a missed assignment there, but overall we had a lot of opportunities to score. It’s tough when you miss by inches, but I think we looked better than last time.”
On execution overall
“I think most of the team has it down. What happens is it’s just a play here or there, but the problem is it only takes one guy to ruin it for the other ten. So that is the problem now, but 99% of the guys are on the same page, we just have to get the last couple of guys to get there and we will be a good team.”
On Louis Givens
“It’s crazy. He puts all his heart out here, and his blood, sweat, and tears. He cares, and that is the biggest thing that makes a difference. He will make a lot of plays and has a lot of speed. He is hard to find because he is so small, but he looks great.”