Dec. 18, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There is just one more practice left in Tallahassee for the 2008 season and ironically the second-to-last practice seemed a lot like the first one in back in August. With temperatures once again above 80 degrees the Florida State football team spent 12 periods in full pads on the practice fields and then another six inside Doak Campbell Stadium.
· Florida State practiced for 18 periods in full pads and spent a majority of the practice versus Wisconsin scout teams.
· The last six periods took place inside the stadium.
· E.J. Manuel got extended reps and completed a lot of passes. He went deep to Bert Reed and Carr, completed two passes to Jarmon Fortson and also found Cameron Wade, Taiwan Easterling and Richard Goodman.
· In pass rush Ryan McMahon won a couple battles for the offense. Andrew Datko, David Spurlock, Antwane Greenlee, Rhonne Sanderson and A.J. Ganguzza also got wins. Everette Brown, Kendrick Stewart and Kevin McNeil were the defensive linemen to win multiple rounds. Benjamin Lampkin and Markus White had sacks as well.
· In 7-on-7 Patrick Robinson had a break-up as did Myron Rolle. Christian Ponder and Bert Reed continued to click in practice Thursday as they hooked up four times. Ponder also swung a pass out to Antone Smith and went deep to Carr. Richardson connected twice with Wade, one of which was on a deep ball.
· Ponder completed two passed during 11-on-11 but both were deep balls. He went long to Reed and Carr for TDs. Richardson completed a pass to Givens. For the defense, Brown had a sack while White had a tackle for loss and a QB pressure.
· Practice finished up with short yardage. Derek Nicholson opened things up with a stuff at the line on a 3rd-and-2. Carlton Jones picked up a first on the next carry but it was wiped out by a precarious spot. On the next carry, 4th-and-1, Jones didn’t allow for any confusion as he ripped off a huge gainer that he was almost able to break for a TD. On the next 4th-and-1 Jermaine Thomas absolutely blew up a defender at the line and pushed forward for a three-yard gain. On the last play the offense went wide to pick up a yard but was unable to move the chains.
Head coach Bobby Bowden
“Well, we will go in the morning (Friday), our last practice before we send them home. I think our preparation has been good so far. The kids had a lot of enthusiasm out there today. A lot good hits, a lot of good catches out there. We had a pretty good 11-on-11 too.”
On the warm weather continuing to hit Florida:
“It is warm. I put my sweat shirt on earlier this morning expecting it to be cooler. Our boys are working out in hot weather. It’s supposed to be 80-something today I believe. I wish it would stay that way, it would work to our advantage.”
On the bowl game giving Florida State some extra time to practice:
“It’s a benefit because you realize that your spring training only lasts 15 days and we practice 14 days. So, it’s like getting through spring training, its valuable. The teams that don’t play in a bowl, their advantage is that they can recruit. They spend all their time recruiting; we can’t spend that much time on it with the bowl.”
On his biggest concern about playing Wisconsin:
“Can we get the ball back? They are a big, strong, north-south running football team. They are kind of like Boston College. The biggest concern is if you can get the ball. They will take that stinking ball and eat up the clock.”
On watching the team practice while being injured
“It’s a lot of watching, but when you’re watching it’s better than just sitting there. When you’re coming out and helping you feel like you’re still practicing a little bit and it makes you feel good. I just go in [the training room] and work hard, because [my teammates] are our here working hard trying to get better.”
On helping the other wide receivers
“I’ve been trying to give them little tips, but not trying to tell them everything so they can get better and I can get better and at the same time just go out there and play.”
On finishing the season with a bowl win
“It would let everyone know that we’re back. We’ve won eight games and to get another win it would let us know that we can bounce back and practice hard and when you practice hard it will show on the field and it did this year.”
On practicing in the warm temperatures
“The weather kind of changed up on us with the heat, but practice has been going pretty good.”
On what the defense is working on
“We’re doing very good as a unit, we’ve been studying a lot of film. We’re planning on being more aggressive against [Wisconsin]. They like to pound the ball and we’ve been practicing for that.”
On Wisconsin’s running backs
“We haven’t really faced an offense that likes to pound the ball. They’ve got a very talented and very big back, there smallest back is like 230 pounds so we’ve been practicing on being aggressive all week long.”
On this being his last game
“I’m just looking to come out and play hard and make plays all game.”