Nov. 19, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews will share the stage with 17 seniors prior to Saturday’s kickoff against Maryland. The Seminoles’ final home game of the season is also their last at Doak Campbell Stadium.
There will be an ample supply of emotions during the pre-game sendoff, but as the retiring Andrews has said many times, it’s not about him.
Senior wide receiver Rod Owens, who has battled back from a knee injury early in his career to enjoy a breakout campaign, puts the meaning of the game in perspective.
“The pressure is on,” Owens said. “Since I’ve been here – since all the new coaches came – every time I go to practice, everything that we do, they put us in a pressure like setting so it feels normal. It feels normal. It’s nothing new. When pressure comes you just stick to fundamentals, stick to basics and stay focused and play football.
“I try not to think about the emotional aspects which is it being the last (home) game. … I’m just trying to focus on the game so it can be a happy time when I do look back on it.”
That’s the approach Andrews has continued to preach, just like the offensive staff.
There’s plenty to get excited about. A victory over Maryland will deliver FSU its sixth win of the season, pushing the program’s nation-leading streak of consecutive bowl appearances to 28. It would also move the Seminoles another step closer to extending their nation-leading streak of consecutive winning seasons to 33.
Andrews, undoubtedly, would be proud to be a part of the last 26 winning seasons when he closes his career.
“It’s the final home came for not only the seniors but Coach Andrews and I think that is just saying a lot,” said senior linebacker and defensive captain Dekoda Watson. “I know it’s my last game, but I’m going to be playing more for him. I know it’s going to be the last time for him walking on the field. … As far as the defense, we really want to go out and go out with a bang and make a statement.”
The other seniors who will be honored in the pre-game ceremony, which will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m., are: Zach Aronson, Louis Givens, Richard Goodman, Korey Mangum, Kevin McNeil, Justin Mincey, Daniel Parvin, Caz Piurowski, Jamie Robinson, Patrick Robinson, Kendrick Stewart, Jeff Taccetta, Budd Thacker, Jeremiah Thompson and Recardo Wright.
“We definitely want to end up on a good note,” Watson said. “Playing in a bowl game, that’s just going to be very vital that we do that. … We’ve got a great opportunity but we’ve just got to seize the opportunity.”
VETERAN FSU WRITER STEVE ELLIS PASSES
Steve Ellis, who spent nearly 30 years covering Florida State athletics, died Thursday at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital from complications following a recent heart attack.
Few in the journalism business could match Ellis’ passion and tireless work ethic. He was a fixture around the Florida State athletic department since his arrival in 1981. Ellis, 54, spent nine years working for The Osceola, the independent newspaper covering FSU athletics, before joining the Tallahassee Democrat staff. He was the unquestioned senior writer on the football beat and had held that status for well over a decade.
“He was kind of like a son to me,” said FSU football coach Bobby Bowden, who learned of Ellis’ death during Thursday’s practice. “When he first came here he wrote for the Osceola and I took a liking to him and used to give him a lot of tips on stories so he could get the story first.
“[He was] one of the best I’ve ever seen – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it better – of finding out what’s happening before I found out. That guy, he was like a detective. I hate to see it, I really do. I’m sad about it. … He didn’t play favorites. He told it like he thought it was. Of course, I got a lot of grief out of it but still, I knew he was doing a job.”