April 7, 2008 - by
One Down And Two More To Go As FSU Starts Final Week Of Practice

April 7, 2008




    Tallahassee, FL – Spring football is in its final week in Tallahassee and with all the excitement building up for Saturday’s Garnet & Gold game, players will get plenty of opportunities to exert that energy in full pads. The first of three scrimmages scheduled for this week went off inside Doak Campbell Stadium on Monday. The offense continued to show improvement but the defense made plenty of big plays themselves. 



    • The Seminoles practiced for 26 periods in full pads. The first 10 were spent on the practice fields. The next 17 took place inside Doak.

    • Practice began with PAT/Field Goal. Graham Gano kicked very well hitting field goals of 35, 37 and 44 yards. His 35-yarder was hit so well it cleared the lift used for filming inside the endzone. Zack Hobby went 2-for-3 hitting from 35 and 38 and missing from 44.

    • In punt there were two punts blocked and Tony Carter and Preston Parker, who was fully back from a groin injury, handled the returns.

    • After work in position groups and scout team, the practice moved inside the stadium.

    • Inside Doak the practice started out with 3-on-3 drills for a period. Budd Thacker had a great drill making three stops at the first level. Everette Brown, Paul Griffin, Emmanuel Dunbar and Benjamin Lampkin also had stops right off the bat. Marcus Ball, Vince Williams and Dekoda Watson had multiple stops in the second group. Terrance Parks made two stops at the third level and Myron Rolle forced a fumble with a big hit on a ball carrier.

    • In skeleton Darius McClure had the biggest defensive play with an interception. D’Vontrey Richardson had completions to Parker, Joe Surratt and Rod Owens. Owens second catch was a deep TD pass but the highlight was a juggling catch by spring sensation Louis Gives. Christian Ponder completed passes to Antone Smith, Owens and Bert Reed.

    • In pass rush Justin Mincey and Dunbar had multiple wins while Paul Griffin and Kevin McNeil also won battles. For the offensive line Daron Rose, Antwane Greenlee and Evan Bellamy all picked up more than one win. Ryan McMahon, Will Furlong and Rodney Hudson also kept their defender off the QB.

    • For the first time this spring, the offense began the scrimmage with drives starting at their own one yard line. Richardson got the offense out of the shadow of its own goal line with a 20 yard screen pass to Surratt. Ponder’s group moved the sticks when he was forced out of the pocket and scrambled for a first.

    • Smith picked up a couple first downs in short yardage. One of his runs was for a big gain on 3rd-and-1. The defense had back-to-back stops on short yardage plays and then almost another one as Kenny Ingram put a lot of pressure on Richardson but the speedy QB broke to the outside and hit Surratt for a first.

    • The scrimmage moved up to the 35 next. Smith had a nice run for 7 yards but Dekoda Watson followed with a great stuff of Smith up the middle. The biggest highlight came on a 3rd-and-6 play. Ponder swung a short pass out to Parker. Reed was able to get a key block on Darius McClure and Parker did all the rest turning a 3 yard pass into a 49 yard gain. Neefy Moffett quieted the offense on a five yard sack but Parker again showed his toughness on a bruising 9 yard run after a short catch. The drive ended with points as Ponder hit Caz Piurowski in the back of the endzone for six.

    • The defense stepped up on the next drive from the 35. Brown was held on a sure sack and then McClure recorded a PBU. Aaron Gresham had a big stick on Surratt that lost yards for the offense. Richardson used his legs on the next play to pick up 10 yards. Maurice Harris followed with a QB pressure but Richardson ended the set with a 10 yard run where he was stripped of the ball but managed to fall on the fumble.

    • From the 50 yard line the ones once again were able to get points but it only came after a defensive stop. Kenny Ingram collapsed the pocket and pushed Ponder right into Derek Nicholson to start the first set of plays. Ingram and Moffett then both recorded QB pressures and McClure had a huge hit on Smith at the line. Smith answered though as he broke a 28-yarder on a pitch out. Smith looked to be headed for the endzone on the next play as Ponder flared a pass out to him in the flat but Rolle shed his blocker and pulled the tailback down after a gain of four. The drive ended the same way though with Ponder hitting Piurowski for a TD but this time the tall TE made the catch with Recardo Wright draped all over him.

    • Givens made another jaw-dropping catch on the next series as he had to turn around to haul in a 36-yarder from Richardson along the sideline. Marcus Sims got the twos to the five with an eight yard run and then another TE cashed in as Josh Dobbie caught a TD pass from Richardson.

    • In red zone McClure had another pass break-up and Tony Carter knifed into the backfield to alter Smith’s run and Nicholson was there to take him down for a loss. The only offense came on two field goals, a 42-yarder by Gano and a 37-yarder that just squeaked over the bar by Hobby.

    • In tight zone (from the 12) Richardson got the offense into the endzone when he hit Givens to the five and then Owens for the touchdown.

    • Due to time commitments with the Golden Nole banquet, goal line was cut from eight to four plays. The one’s were unable to get in for the second straight scrimmage as Watson and Nicholson took Smith down from the three and then Smith was tackled for a loss on a sweep from the one. The twos once again scored on all their tries. Sims got in on a three-yard sweep and Surratt plowed in right up the middle.




    Head Coach Bobby Bowden
    “Pretty good contact out there; pretty good hitting.  I think the offense is doing better they picked it up today.  (Caz) Piurowski had a couple touchdown passes.  Be sure to tell all the mothers that have tight ends for sons that our tight ends caught two touchdown passes – first time in the history of the school.  It’s perking up in that line.  It was, I thought, a pretty good scrimmage.  I don’t think we missed any field goals, did we?  I think we got the field goals.  That’s good. 
    “I don’t know of that was planned or if that just happened (allowing D’Vontrey Richardson to scrimmage live).  I don’t think the coaches said go ahead and do it.  It must have been spontaneous.  We thought about it the other day.  Thought about putting him in a white shirt and letting him scrimmage because there are so many times where he is fixin’ to break a ling one and somebody touches him and it’s dead.  But I don’t think they decided on that. 
    “Yes, oh gosh yes.  He (Preston Parker) made one great play out there today.  He made a play that should have made three yards he must have made 40 out of it.  If there is anything we have been lacking the last two years its big plays.  Big plays, especially out of a guy with the ball under his arm.  We can sure use that.  We have got more potential in that area. 
    “I think the good news it that both of them (Richardson and Christian Parker) have got a lot of work that they normally wouldn’t have gotten.  I think they have both improved right along with it.  I could just picture D’Vontrey if he had last spring; if he got the same thing last spring how much further along he would be.  He’s getting a lot of catching up and I think it’s been good in that area.  That’s Jimbo’s call (on the number one quarterback).
    “His (Ponder’s) movement is better than you would expect.  He moves better, moves better in the pocket and he runs a lot better than G-d meant for him to run.  He’s running a lot better than he looks.  He’s doing some good things with the ball.  He looks like he can drill it if he has to and he can lay it up if he has to.
    “We have been very fortunate overall this spring with (injuries).  Our inter-squad game will be a scrimmage.  It will be offense vs. defense.  We just don’t have enough people to put two teams out there with substitutes.  All you have to do is be light at one position and you can’t have a scrimmage.  We are light at guard.  We have got three guards, right now.  But just the fact that you are going at night should be a different atmosphere for it.”
    D’Vontrey Richardson, Quarterback
    “It was pretty fun; I have been wanting that the whole spring (hitting allowed) because I hate getting tapped and they call that down.  I fell like whenever they tap me it’s not like I’m fully tackled.  It felt good to be hit today.  He (Coach Fisher) made the decision.  There was a sack and they tapped me and he knew it wasn’t a sack – he said `alright, green is not a factor; hit him.’  It was fun.  Besides one time, Aaron (Gresham) hurt me; he hurt my neck when he pushed me into the ground.  It felt good, though, to come out here and get hit.”
    Parker, Wide Receiver
    “The injury has gotten better.  I have rehabbed and done a lot of treatments and I just came out feeling a little better.  I’m a little sore right now and I’ll get a little bit more treatment but it felt good out there being back for the first time. 
    “I had to do something (on his long run during the scrimmage) – they were coming they were pursuing at me so I had to get a little escape.  I found a hole and I hit it and just trying to not and tried not to go down.  It came out a big play.  I’m close, trying to get to 100 percent; you see how the linebacker caught me when I broke out.  I was hurting a little bit but I feel good.  I feel good but I can get a little better.  I am gong to come out here and keep practicing real hard.  I am going to play Saturday and Wednesday I am going to practice, too. 
    “I don’t like it (sitting out).  It just seemed like, when I wasn’t here, everybody was down.  I knew I could come out here and just give us a little spark so we can start a fire.  That’s what I did today.  We had fun and made plays.”
    Everette Brown, Defensive End
    “We have good intensity coming into the final week of practice.  Guys are really motivated because we are coming up to the spring game which is a lot to look forward to.  We are doing the spring game a little different this year.  We are playing it at night.  It will be under the lights which brings a whole `nother level of play out amongst the team.  It will also be a big crowd watching the game under the lights.  So, it’s going to be a great environment to come out for the spring game.  Just the intensity that everyone is bringing from the practices already is better than we’ve have had so far.
    “We (the defense) are playing as a solid unit out there.  Guys are where they are supposed to be.  We are trying not to give up the long plays.  We are just working together as a unit.  Everybody is doing they’re job, playing full speed, having high expectations of the person beside you so that everybody can hold each other accountable.”


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