Dec. 23, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. – The goal for the Seminole coaching staff going into any game is to keep the week as routine as possible. Even if the city and practice fields are different, the process stays the same. That is fairly easy to do for the Champs Sports Bowl since the game will be played on a Saturday. That meant Tuesday’s practice at McCracken Field was just like a Tuesday practice in Tallahassee. The team spent 18 periods in full pads with a majority of the time spent focused on their opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers.
· The first 12 periods of practice were spent working versus scout teams.
· At the start of period 13 the two sides came together to run inside drill and 1-on-1. All four FSU quarterbacks completed passes in the drill. D’Vontrey Richardson found E.J. Manuel Hit Jarmon Fortson twice, Avis Commack once and Richard Goodman as well. Bert Reed caught a deep ball from Manuel and Corey Surrency made a great leaping grab. Drew Weatherford completed a pass to Commack who had the catch of the day when he leapt over the top of a DB to haul in a ball thrown by Christian Ponder. The FSU starting QB also completed a pass to Fortson. For the defense A.J. Alexander broke up a pass while Tony Carter had a PBU and an interception.
· In pass rush it was all about the defensive linemen as 10 guys got a win. Paul Griffin, Budd Thacker, Neefy Moffett, Jamar Jackson, Everett Dawkins, Kevin McNeil, Benjamin Lampkin and Everette Brown all got a win while Markus White and Kendrick Stewart each got two. For the offense Rodney Hudson and David Spurlock had multiple wins and Andrew Datko and Ryan McMahon each got a victory.
· In 7-on-7 Ponder kept up his connection with Bert Reed as the two hooked up three times. Ponder also hit Caz Piurowski. Richardson had single completions to Fortson, Wade and Richard Goodman. Commack turned in a nice run after the catch following a hook up with Drew Weatherford. Kenny Ingram and Jamie Robinson recorded pass break-ups.
· Ponder and Reed remained in sync in 11-on-11 when they connected for a deep TD. Ponder also completed a pass to Louis Givens as did Richardson. Toddrick Verdell and Nigel Bradham both had QB pressures.
· The Seminole offense went 2-of-4 in goal line. Antone Smith scored from the three and Weatherford ran in a TD from the one. The defense recorded a stop right at the line on a run from the three but the biggest play of the drill was turned in by Derek Nicholson who blasted the ball carrier in the hole and knocked him backwards.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
About Everette Brown being double-teamed this year:
“You have to earn that. They’re not going to chip you unless they’re scared of you. This is his third year of playing and now it’s starting to happen to him and he’s going to find out what the real world is like. It’s a part of growing up, it’s a part of getting better and people saying we better put a couple of people on him.”
About his friendly competition with Joe Paterno:
“Who said it was friendly? (laughs). Well, it’s there and it’s an amazing thing. It’s something you never count on. In another words, when I got into coaching and I’m sure Joe was the same way, we didn’t say oh boy, one day I hope I win more games than anybody. All of the sudden, it’s just there. You’ve got two old men that stayed in it so long and both of them have had a lot of wins. It’s interesting. Joe doesn’t pay much attention to it. I wouldn’t lose one minute of sleep if it doesn’t end of being me.”
About the weather:
“I love it, love it. You couldn’t draw up better weather. It’s cool enough that you don’t faint and it’s cool enough that you can be comfortable and still get done what you’ve got to do.”
About Best Buy shopping spree:
“That was the first time I’d been there (Best Buy). I didn’t know what Best Buy had. I looked around there, went around the store several times. I had to get something for my wife. I got a microwave and I had a little money left over so I got a shaver so both of us will be happy.”
On keeping team focused at Bowls:
“Once you come out here (to practice), everything’s business. Once you starting practicing, everything’s focused on practice. When you get through with practice, they’ve earned a chance to be in another town and be able to enjoy it as long as they behave themselves. You give them a curfew that’s little later and as you get down closer to the game, then you restrict that curfew down to normal.”
“Today, it’s starting to warm back up and getting close to 80 degrees. We are really starting to roll. We got in yesterday and got situated and we need to have a good practice today preparing for Wisconsin. We have a couple of activities as a team later in the week. So far, the Champs Sports Bowl has been really good and really taking care of us. Last night at Best Buy, it was a really good experience. Better than any in the past as far as gifts go. Being able to go out to Best Buy and get what you want is a pretty neat deal.”
“The warm weather will definitely be to our advantage. I’m pretty sure in Wisconsin right now it’s in the teens, if that. There’s a difference when you’re running in the hot weather vs. the cold weather. Usually it’s easier in the hot but it’s not as easy to adjust when it seems pretty humid to you. It should be to our advantage and speed and quickness is going to be our game and will be an advantage come Saturday at the game.”
How important the game is:
“This game is huge for us. The seniors haven’t had a nine-win season and I know I haven’t had a nine-win season since I’ve been here. The opportunity to finish the season strong and get nine wins will be a huge step forward in the right direction to where the program is going and will be.”
How bowl practice varies from regular practice:
“It’s a different environment, a different atmosphere. Bowl games are fun. It’s a business trip but at the same time, it’s fun. When we come out here to practice, it’s all business and we fly around and get after each other but afterwards, you have time to relax and you go play games with each other and go visit the theme parks. Bowl games are always fun especially being in a different city and it not being about football all of the time.”
On the defense and playing Wisconsin:
“Wisconsin is a good team. Very similar to Boston College in that if you let them start running the ball, gain confidence and get momentum, they’re a tough team to stop. It’s going to be very important for us to come out and get off to a fast start and really not give them any confidence or any momentum as far as their offense. That’s going to be a huge key coming out in this Champs’ Bowl.”
On the Wisconsin defensive line and the challenges the Seminoles will face:
“They are an older group of guys and well coached. They are strong, so we are going to have to use our coaching and our technique to go up against theirs.”
On how the Seminoles are preparing for Saturday’s game:
“They are very similar to Boston College and they are going to be where they are supposed to be (in their coverage). They are going to play hard and everything but we will just have to use our right technique. We have to do that not only on Saturday but today at practice and tomorrow at practice.”
WR Bert Reed
On the team’s preparation for Wisconsin:
“It’s been just like camp. The guys are coming out and working hard. The coaches are making sure that we are ready and in shape for this game. We are going to be ready because last week we hit a lot, we banged heads a lot. So now we are smoothing the game plan out, smoothing some of the wrinkles out. I really feel like this game we should come out and be really detailed oriented and know what we are doing. There shouldn’t be as many mistakes because we have more time to prepare. Hopefully it will be a good game for us on the offensive end.”
On staying in Florida to play in a bowl game:
“I think it’s going to be a really big deal because with the bowl game being so close to home. Fans in Orlando and all throughout Florida have a chance to come to this game. I really feel this game will be like a home game for us.”