Nov. 26, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – While most of America is preparing for a long holiday weekend, the 22nd-ranked Seminole football team is working through thanksgiving in preparations for the second-ranked Florida Gators. The Seminoles finished installing most of their game plan for Tim Tebow and the high octane Gator offense on Wednesday but the coaches know Urban Meyer’s offense isn’t the only concern. Florida will bring one of the nation’s best defenses to Tallahassee as well.
· The team practiced for 21 periods in shells. Due to thanksgiving, the squad was able to hit the practice fields 45 minutes early on Wednesday.
· Both the offense and defense worked versus scout teams for the first 17 periods.
· In pass rush Everette Brown, Kevin McNeil and Neefy Moffett each recorded multiple sacks. Justin Mincey, Ben Lampkin and Markus White also got sacks. Ryan McMahon won a couple battles for the offensive line. Rodney Hudson, David Spurlock, Zebrie Sanders, Rhonne Sanderson, Andrew Datko and Antwane Greenlee also got wins.
· In 1:00 drill the defense was all over the Seminole quarterbacks. Brown had two sacks while White, McNeil and Moffett also registered sacks. Jamie Robinson, Roosevelt Lawson and Toddrick Verdell broke up passes. The biggest offensive play was the biggest for the defense as well. Weatherford converted a third-and-long to Parker but Michael Ray Garvin stripped the ball and the defense recovered to end the drill.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
On preparation for Florida
“I think we’ve done about everything that we can do to prepare for this ballgame. There’s been a lot of preparation.”
On what a win over Florida would mean
“It’d be a big win naturally, thy’re our big rival. We’ve had a lot of catching up to do and it’d be a great thing.”
On this week of practice
“I haven’t talked to the coaches, but I thought yesterday was good. I didn’t see anything out of line, the kids worked hard.”
Offense Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
On the week of practice
“It’s been a pretty good week. I thought on Monday we were a little tired, but I think that came from getting back so late. When you get back from a Saturday night game you get in at four or five in the morning you still have some lingering. Tuesday and Wednesday has been pretty good, they’ve been sharp and we’ve had a pretty good week.”
On the offensive line
“They’ve been very solid, we’ve gotten the running game going and we’ve done it a lot of different ways and I’ve been very pleased with their progress especially with a lot of the situations those guys were put in. Every week we’ve been on them and they’ve responded very well, they’ve had a good solid year.”
On film study of Florida
“Their offense is tremendous, but when you score 47 points a game you score them in a lot of different ways. Their special teams get field position and the turnovers their defense creates not only scoring, but putting them down there to score. They score with their team, their whole team scores and like I said their offense is so dynamic and everyone talks about it, but their defense is just as dynamic and they make a lot of plays to set them up.”
Quarterback Christian Ponder:
On his younger teammates:
“They have been fine. They have been reliable all year and are not changing this week. Everyone is preparing well. We’re thinking of this as a normal game. We are not making it anything more than it actually is.”
On our running game:
“It has been important all year. We are not changing what we are doing. The running game is a big part. We are going to have to do a good job of starting. Florida has a good defense so we will have to push extra hard to get things moving.”
On Florida’s defense:
“I don’t think we have faced a team that is as athletic as Florida. Miami was, but Florida is very athletic as a team. This is going to be the biggest test all year. I think we should be able to handle it. They play a lot of man and that is something I think we can match up against. We can create a lot of opportunities for big plays. We are not changing what we’re doing. We are going to be able to stick to our normal stuff.”
His impression on Florida’s defense:
“I remember going in this year and hearing their offense would be good and defense wouldn’t. Their defense is top six in the country and they are doing a heck of a job. They play really well as a team. They have a lot of athletes and a lot of play makers. They are doing one heck of a job.”
On the senior class beating Florida:
“They haven’t experienced a win against Florida. It definitely would mean a lot. It would be a good going away present.”
Cornerback Tony Carter:
On thinking about his last home game:
“I haven’t given it much thought. I probably will when I get out there when my parents are out there. I will try to take it as just another big game.”
On what I would be like to beat Florida:
“It would mean a lot not only to me, but to the program. If we would get the win, we would knock off one of the top teams in the country. It would give us the chance to beat another team in the state of Florida.”
On if this game impacts recruits, specifically if he attended this rivalry game when he was a recruit:
“It does impact. I did go to the game. It was in the swamp when I went. I was on the Florida recruiting visit so I couldn’t cheer for Florida State. Florida State came out with the win when P.K. Sam caught the ball in the end zone. That is when I said ‘I think I’m going to Florida State’.”