April 8, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Wednesday the FSU football team held its last practice of the spring. The coaches decided to get one last full pad practice in and the second half was spent scrimmaging on the practice fields. The team worked on down-and-distance situations and then in the 4:00 and 2:00 offense.
· Justin Mincey started things off recovering a fumble. Corey Eddinger had a pass tipped at the line but Avis Commack was still able to haul the pass in. Christian Ponder connected with Louis Givens for nine yards before Nigel Bradham turned in a great play breaking up a deep pass intended for Jermaine Thomas on a wheel route. Ponder and Bert Reed connected on a 50-yard TD pass. The big hit of the drill was turned in by Dionte Allen who read a screen perfectly.
· Moses McCray had a QB pressure and then Kendrick Stewart recorded a sack. Ponder threw a 17-yard pass to Richard Goodman and then went to Jarmon Fortson in the end zone but Patrick Robinson was there to break up the pass. Thomas turned in a nice seven-yard run after breaking a tackle in the backfield and then on 3rd-and-3 Markus White had a tackle for loss.
· Craig Yarborough recorded a QB pressure before Eddinger found Corey Surrency for a 36-yard gain. The defense followed by turning in back-to-back stops for no gain but Givens was able to finish the drive with a TD as he broke a tackle deep in the backfield and scored around the end.
4:00 (offense runs out the clock)
· The defense made stops on first and second but on 3rd-and-10 Ponder and Thomas connected for 20 yards. Korey Mangum blew-up his blocker and took down the back way behind the line but the offense responded again as Thomas went for 25 yards on 3rd-and-13. The offense was able to run out the clock and keep the defense from getting the ball back.
· The defense seemed to be falling into a similar pattern when the second team took the field. On 3rd-and-8 Eddinger hit Commack about four yards short of the first but the receiver carried two defenders past the marker to move the chains. The defense did finally get a stop though on 3rd-and-14 getting the ball back with over 1:00 on the clock.
1:30 (need a score)
· Thomas broke off a 30-yard run but a holding brought the play back. The offense ran the exact same play on the next snap and Thomas picked up 13 this time. Ponder and Goodman had a 12-yard gain wiped out by a hold and then the pair connected again on the next play. On third down White pressured the QB forcing an incompletion and a win for the defense.
· Ty Jones picked up a three-yard gain but it was impressive as he broke two tackles in the backfield to get positive yards. Ponder then went to Commack for 70 yards and a TD despite what looked like a Brandon Jenkins sack right before Ponder got rid of the pass.
· The offense was 2-for-4 from inside the five. The first play was a pass into the endzone broken up by Jamie Robinson. Nigel Carr then had a big hit in the backfield on a handoff from the one stopping the back from scoring. Eddinger guided the twos in on both his tries. The first was a pass to Daniel Gard and the second was a one-yard run by Jones.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“That wraps it up, 15 days. We challenged our kids before spring training started to see how many of them can make all 15 days without missing a drill. It will be interesting to see how many of them finished up like that. I think it’s going to be more than we normally have. We’ve made strides, but we still see question marks out there. They’ve have to be solved by getting better or hoping that some of your freshman can come in and give you some support in that area.”
On what he was happiest with
“I thought the attitudes were good all spring. I didn’t see them dread practice and I didn’t hear a lot of griping.”
On Christian Ponder’s spring performance
“I thought that he gained some ground and learned some things. He began to pick out receivers and read coverages better and when you get to a point that’s the only way you get better is seeing what’s happening over there and doing something about it.”
On freshman coming in and having an impact
“You hope they can. It might be that one or two guys can give you some strength in an area where you don’t have strength and that sure would make a big difference.”
On finishing spring practice
“I’m very pleased especially offensively. We got a lot of things ironed out and we progressed. I’m very pleased with what happened this spring and where we are now.”
On the freshman coming in
“I think there are a lot of great guys coming in and I think there are a lot of great opportunities for guys to play early. We’ll be looking for them to jump right in and having the older guys teach them and be the leaders that they need to be.”
On going into the spring as the starter
“It was very different. It helped me to be comfortable with everything knowing that I’m the guy. I relaxed a little bit, but still pushed myself. It helps to build that chemistry with the rest of the team and made things a little easier.”
On summer workouts
“It’s tough but fun, we enjoy it. The summer is when you can get away from football for a bit, but also get in great condition and great shape. It’s tough be we all have fun with it.”
On finishing spring practice
“I feel like we got better, but we’ve still got a long ways to go. We were up and down a lot this spring, but if we work hard this summer and two-a-days we should be pretty good.”
On the teams attitude
“I feel like everybody came out to do what we had to do. We were enthusiastic about it and got some of our tenacity back and I feel like we have a lot of team chemistry. People were flying around and playing like a Florida State defense.”
On the incoming freshmen
“It’s going to be vital for the whole football team and the defensive line especially. We’re going to need them to come in and learn the plays because we’re going to have to use a lot of young guys for depth in a lot of positions. They’re going to have to come in and make some major strides.”
On goals for the summer
“Everybody has to get bigger, faster and stronger at every position. I think everybody can improve this summer.”