Aug. 8, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
The pads were popping and the offense was clicking as the 12th-ranked Florida State football team made it through a full 24 period practice for the first time this season. The two-hour practice saw the first real contact of the fall as the team came out in shells and there were plenty of individual battles all over the three practice fields.
“We were very fortunate today as far as the weather goes. This was the first practice where we were able to get in everything we wanted,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “The only thing we didn’t get to was the sprints. The reason I called them off is because we were out of our allotted time and it was pretty hot also so I was a little afraid.
“You can see they are learning. They did better today than they did yesterday. That is the key. You have to get better every practice and today we did.”
The first hitting of the fall took place as the linebackers and tight ends worked against one another. Paul Irons had a touchdown reception after breaking free down the middle of the field, as did Donnie Carter. Allen Augustin was the star for the defense with two big hits and an interception. The pick-off came after a perfectly timed Michael Boulware hit dislodged the ball and an opportunistic Augustin picked it out of the air.
The offense really flexed its muscle when the wide outs and DB’s squared off in 1-on-1 drills. P.K. Sam, Chauncey Stovall, Lorne Sam, Craphonso Thorpe and Dominic Robinson all hauled in TD grabs. Thorpe’s came on a double move but none was as pretty as Stovall’s one-handed grab while the corner was holding his right arm.
“I think the offense is looking really good through the first few days. We are picking up right where we left off in the spring,” said Thorpe. “As far as everything I am seeing, we just need to pick-up our tempo a little bit in practice.
“Our number one goal every year is to limit our drops but even more so this season. After everyone wrote in the papers about how many drops we had as a group, we are really focusing on that. If we can get our hands on it, we have to catch it. We are so competitive. We have a competition every day to see which side will drop the least passes. I think yesterday we had only two drops and that’s pretty good.”
Stanford Samuels led the defensive secondary with a couple of picks and the defensive line got a chance to rush the passer as they teed off on the tackling dummy as they went 1-on-1 with the offensive line.
Florida State will return to practice Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. Media/fan day is scheduled for Sunday and the team will hold its first two-a-day practice on Monday.