June 17, 2014 - by


 Gator Bowl Game Day Information
  Florida State
   West Virginia
 Date:  January 1st, 2010 – 1:00pm   6-6, 4-4 ACC   9-3, 5-2 Big East
 Location:  Jacksonville, FL
  Ranking: Not Ranked
  Ranking: #16 BCS
 Stadium:  Jacksonville Municipal
  Last Game: 37-10 (L)
  Last Game: 24-21 (W)
 Tickets:  Sold Out | Seating Chart   HC:  Bobby Bowden   HC:  Bill Stewart
 Parking:  Parking & Shuttle Info
  Schedule & Results   Schedule & Results
  TV:  CBS   Roster   Roster
 Radio:  Seminole ISP Sports   Stats | Game Notes   Stats | Game Notes
 Satellite:  XM: NA, Sirius: NA          Media Guide   Media Guide
 Internet:  Live Chat | Live Stats
 Live Audio |   
Game Week News:    


Final Practice

The Seminoles conduct final practice of the season Wednesday morning.

Dec. 30, 2009

JACKSONVILLE< Fla.- Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles conducted their final practice Wednesday morning at Jacksonville University in preparation for Friday’s 1 p.m. meeting with the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

Coach Bowden’s final practice as head coach of the Seminoles brought out the warm weather, plenty of sunshine and plenty of fans.  Bowden signed autographs before practice and after and had the opportunity to visit with some of his former players who have trickled into practice all week long.   

Fans will have one more chance to see Coach Bowden before game day at the Gator Bowl parade Thursday afternoon in downtown Jacksonville.  Bowden will serve as Grand Marshal of the annual parade and will be accompanied by his wife Ann.


Head coach Bobby Bowden

On his final time on the practice field:

“I haven’t really thought about it until you just mentioned it now.  It is really not on my mind.”

On all the events (guest speaker, Grand Marshal of the Gator Bowl parade) surrounding the bowl game that is set up to honor him making things that much more unpredictable:

“As long as it don’t lead to the cemetery.  Is there a cemetery out there some where?  This is something that will be different.  At first, I had preferred not to do it but these people have just been so gosh darn good that I felt like I needed to do everything for them I could.  I certainly appreciate everything they are doing, but if we were playing for the national championship I would probably say I could not do all this.  But the coaches are organized, I told them before we got here that they (the city of Jacksonville) have a lot of events planned for me, since it’s my last game, so I want you all to prepare your practice like you’ll never see me.  But I do get to see the practice.  They are good enough to get it done.”

Assistant Head Coach Rick Trickett

On the emotional ties playing against West Virginia:

“It’s a different feeling, but a good one.  You have to enjoy the moment and enjoy the friendships.  Come Friday you have to turn that off.  Like I have always told people, if my mom was on the other sidelines I still want to win the ball game.  It’s just the competitive nature inside me and they want to do the same.  But I have enjoyed it; it has been a lot of fun.” 

On some of the problems the Mountaineers will present to Florida State:

“The 3-3 stack, they have done a great job of changing a little bit, going to a four down line on third down and they are doing some great things with that.  They have really done a good job on their defense.  I haven’t studied their offense but I’m just lucky to a point that I was able to go against that (style of defense) for six years and have an idea of what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it.  They have probably changed some things since I have been there but I can’t image having only three or four days to get ready for that thing.  I have seen the problems other teams have had.  We will find out Friday.”

On this being the last game with Coach Bowden:

“I don’t think it really hit us until one day at practice when they told the offense that they could go get their picture taken with Coach Bowden.  Then the next day the defense could do the same.  Then it was like ok, this day is coming.  Life is kind of a journey, I will be able to sit there and say that I worked for Nick Saban, I worked for Jackie Sherrill, I worked for Bobby Bowden and I worked for Rich Rodriguez.  I will be able to sit there and look back and ride off on my Harley and be able to enjoy all those things.  They are all good memories.”

 Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews:

On preparing for Friday’s game against West Virginia:

“The one thing that shows up defensively more than anything is the way you tackle…for a bowl game, you have a few more days to put something in than you do for a normal game day preparation.  But the energy, the chemistry, just doing things together, the execution, that’s where it affects you the most.  It’s funny, I don’t care if you’re playing in a bowl game or just in the regular season, but execution and how well you do with the fundamentals will go along way.”

On the toughness of the West Virginia offensive players:

“There is no doubt about it.  They got some guys at the skill positions that are better than any one else you’re going to play against.  The thing we have struggled with all year defensively is holding gains to a minimum.  We have lacked in consistency to go out there and win first down, go out there and do it again on second down.  We have got to go out there and win those situational battles.  We have got to come through with a great team effort.” 

On the desire of the Florida State players heading into Friday’s game:

“We have had a good bowl preparation, better than what we have had in years.  After today’s practice it is all going to be mental, how is our mental preparation?  Can we out prepare them on a day we don’t go to practice, which will happen tomorrow (Thursday) and then Friday it’s about performance.  It’s a very strong challenge, but that is the way it is supposed to be when you are in a bowl game.”

Rod Owens, Redshirt Senior, Wide Receiver

Thoughts on his last day of practice:

“Get mentally ready; get physically ready for the game.  We put the game plan in motion now it’s a matter of executing and getting ready for the game.  For me, it’s a matter of doing the right thing all the time.  Knowing where everything is, being detailed oriented on my routes and off the ball blocking, blocking is going to be key.”

Greg Reid, Freshman, Cornerback:

On the defense and whether they have improved during the bowl game preparation:

“We are trying to improve every week.  We are going to come out and have some fun which is something we didn’t do all year, so that is what I am going to focus on now.”

On playing under head coach Bobby Bowden:

“He is a great man and a legend.  That’s all I really have to say about that.  We want him to go out with a `W’.” 

On the excitement of his first bowl trip:

“It’s been great; riding go carts, playing laser tag and staying in a beautiful hotel in a beautiful place like Jacksonville has been great!”

Jacobbi McDaniel, Freshman, Defensive Tackle

On his first bowl game experience:

“We have been going pretty good.  Everybody is coming out here and practicing really hard, preparing for the bowl game.” 

On what it is going to take to defeat West Virginia:

“We have to go out play hard and play as a team.  Everybody will have to be discipline and execute our assignments.  The offensive will put up points like they have all year, but the defensive will have to come out and stop the offensive threat.”






Former ‘Noles Stop To See Coach Bowden


Many anxious for last look at FSU under his direction.

Dec. 29, 2009


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A parade of former Florida State players made their way to Jacksonville University for Tuesday’s Gator Bowl practice; many just hoping to share a moment with retiring Seminoles’ coach Bobby Bowden.

Former ‘Noles Todd Fordham and Sam Cowart, both of whom call Jacksonville home after lengthy NFL careers, talked about the importance of bringing their sons to meet their coach at practice or Friday’s Gator Bowl game against West Virginia.

“I just wanted to come and at least experience one more Florida State practice under his tutelage,” said Fordham, an offensive lineman for the ‘Noles from 1993-96. “To get to go to his last game, I told my (four) boys I was taking them to the game. ‘We’re going to the game somehow. This is coach’s last game and I want you to be a part of that.'”

“I’m going to bring my son out tomorrow to have the opportunity to meet Coach Bowden for the first time,” said Cowart, a Jacksonville native and FSU linebacker from 1993-97. “I tell a lot of people, just the experience of playing for Coach Bowden, Coach (Mickey) Andrews and Chuck Amato … if I had the opportunity to do it over again, knowing what I know now, I’d go right back to FSU.”

Martin Mayhew attended Tallahassee Florida High, but doesn’t get the chance to visit too often as general manager of the Detroit Lions. Mayhew was a standout cornerback – and outstanding student – for the Seminoles from 1984-87, which put him at the forefront of FSU’s dynasty years and later enjoyed an eight-year NFL career.

“I had the chance to spend a little time with Coach Bowden … to just thank him for being an inspiration to me,” said Mayhew. “I’ve been watching him from afar the past few years, but I have seen this program really take root during the time I was here and shortly thereafter, to become a great program. It’s tough to see him go, but I just have tremendous respect for him and everything he’s done from the school.”

Bowden keynote speaker at FCA breakfast

Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden was the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast, which was held at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and included the entire FSU and West Virginia teams.

“I’m studying for my finals,” Bowden said, holding up his bible. “I’m not as young as you all. I don’t know when graduation is coming, but I’m trying to be ready.”

West Virginia coach Bill Stewart spoke, as well as several players who offered testimonials.

Bowden has a long-standing relationship with the FCA. The organization annually presents the Bobby Bowden Award to a college football player who excels on the field, in the classroom and serves as a “faith model” in the community. 

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Sun Shines On ‘Noles During Day 3 In Jacksonville


Fisher, Manuel discuss importance of bowl work.

Dec. 28, 2009


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  The sun finally popped through the clouds Monday morning at Jacksonville University as Florida State held its third practice in preparation for the Jan. 1, 2010 Gator Bowl meeting with West Virginia.

In their final full-pads practice before Friday’s sold out game, the Seminoles worked for 19 periods. Practice culminated with a five-minute period of scrimmaging from the 10-yard line, followed by a five-minute goal line period.

Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback EJ Manuel, who will make his fourth consecutive start against the Mountaineers, was the topic of discussion in the 20-minute interview session prior to the start of practice. Manuel has led the Seminoles to a 2-1 record since replacing Christian Ponder, the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in passing and total offense, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Clemson.

Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has been largely pleased with Manuel’s performance and growth over that stretch and hopes that the additional 15 days of bowl preparation will serve the Virginia Beach, Va., native well against West Virginia.

“You never know what you have until you go out there and have success,” said Fisher.  “Then you say, ‘You know, I can do this.’ Then the confidence grows and grows.  He had two great games to get us into this bowl.  He played great at Wake (Forest), had a couple mistakes against Maryland – a few that were not his fault, others that were. He then battled back and led us to a two-minute drive.  That kind of experience is invaluable.  We had a tough situation at Florida … but he played well in the second half.

“I think his growth each week and the situations he’s been in has helped him progress along the way.  You can only get it by being out there and I think he handled it well.  He realizes now that he can play this game. He knows how to play it and now its just time for him to be consistent and play on a down-in, down-out basis.”

Though Manuel is a dangerous runner, not unlike West Virginia quarterback Jerrod Brown, he prefers to stand tall in the pocket and access all of his weapons.

“I can run if I have to,” said Manuel. “I would rather sit in the pocket and let my receivers, running backs and tight ends do the job of running with the ball.  But if the pocket breaks down, I can get out of there.”

Learning when to escape the pocket and make plays on his own, or stand in and deliver the ball at the last second, is part of the learning process. Fisher sees Manuel making those strides – “knowing where you’re going and why you’re going” – with every practice.

“The big thing for him is understanding why he is doing what he is doing,” Fisher said.  “Finding the extra meaning behind why is so important.  Coming out here is kind of like having another spring (practice).  No matter how you look at this – sure it’s a bowl game and you want to win – but for those (young) kids’ development and growth and to where they are going, it’s a whole another spring they get.  So you get to ask them the why?  Why do you do this?  Why do you do that?  The more they understand why than they can become better players.”

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Cold Greets ‘Noles On Second Day In Jacksonville


Fisher reminds players what led them to Gator Bowl.

Dec. 27, 2009


Overcast skies and a damp cold greeted the Florida State football team as it unloaded for Sunday’s, 18-period Gator Bowl practice in full gear at Jacksonville University.

“It’s cold out here!” said sophomore receiver Bert Reed, huddling among teammates in an attempt to stay warm before practice began. “It’s

an important day for us as far as getting everything together.  We’ve been practicing for a couple of weeks now so everything should be pretty sharp.  With it being cold out here right now, we just have to focus on tuning everything up and tightening things up.

“As far as the game, we still have a long way to go in terms of our game plan and what we’re going to be doing.  Right now, we’re just getting what we’re going to be doing down pat and what we’re going to be seeing in the game.”

Reed’s comments didn’t stray from the message FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has been driving home every day as the Seminoles prepare to take on West Virginia in the 65th Gator Bowl. Fisher, who is a stickler for details, does not want the players to get caught up in the hype of playing in head coach Bobby Bowden’s final game.

“That is our job as coaches to remind them – remind them why they are here,” said Fisher, Bowden’s successor.  “That is the first thing we did when we got here. We pulled them together and had a meeting.  I told them, ‘You are here for a football game. Remember that.  We are going to have a good time, we are going to enjoy ourselves, but remember you are here for a football game.  Conduct yourself with class, don’t get into a bad situation and when its time to work and prepare, prepare and when it’s time to have fun, have fun, but remember you are here for a football game, that’s what got you here.'”

It’s a message the ‘Noles have seemingly embraced, despite the cold that has settled over North Florida and will likely stay right up until Friday’s kickoff.

“You really don’t expect it to be this cold in Jacksonville but I guess Tallahassee has crazy weather, too,” said senior free safety Jamie Robinson.  “We just have to come out here and continuously focus and keep in mind what we want to do in the bowl game.  We want to get a win.  It’s Coach Bowden and Coach Andrews’ last game and my last game as a senior and we really want to focus on getting that win.”

Bowl is a blessing for youngsters like Jenkins

The past 12 months have flown by for freshman defensive end Brandon Jenkins, who this time last year was preparing to enroll at FSU in January fresh out of Tallahassee Florida High.

Jenkins grabbed the attention of the coaching staff with a productive spring practice, which he used as a springboard to get into the rotation among ends throughout the season. The back-up to junior Markus White at right end, Jenkins saw action in 11 of 12 games this season. He finished the regular season with 10 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage and also tied for the team lead with three quarterback hurries.

With starter left end Kevin McNeil no longer with the Seminoles, Jenkins is getting additional repetitions at both end positions and should play a more prominent role against the Mountaineers. Naturally, he’s trying to make the most of the additional practice time to position himself for both the immediate and long-term future.

“The intensity has really stepped up,” Jenkins said before Sunday’s practice. “I treat every practice like it’s my last, which it is for my freshman year. I’ve just been working hard, trying to turn the page and get as good as I can.”

Jenkins doesn’t know if he’ll get the starting nod in McNeil’s absence, but he does know his performance on the practice field will have something to do with that decision.

“That’s for the coach to decide,” Jenkins said about the possibility of starting the Gator Bowl against West Virginia. “I just have to practice hard and show them I deserve to start.”

Between the morning practices, he plans to enjoy his first bowl trip with his teammates.

“We had a little free time (Saturday night), so went to the (Jacksonville) Landing, chilled, ate – just had fun,” said Jenkins, who along with his FSU teammates braved the cold Sunday afternoon during a trip to Adventure Landing amusement park.

The Seminoles will return to the practice field Monday morning at Jacksonville University.






‘Noles Arrive in Jacksonville

Bowden wants team to be focused on Mountaineers.

Dec. 26, 2009


From points near and far, members of the Florida State football team trickled into the Jacksonville Omni Hotel Saturday to begin final preparations for the 65th annual Gator Bowl, set for Jan. 1, 2010 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

After a brief orientation meeting – with all 110 players in attendance – the team headed out to Jacksonville University for a light, 12-period workout, where they were greeted by a couple dozen media members anxious to chronicle coach Bobby Bowden’s final game as the Seminoles’ head coach.

FSU senior defensive captain Dekoda Watson said Bowden has made a point to down-play putting too much emphasis on this being his final game.

“I don’t think there’s been that much talk between the players because Coach Bowden has said, ‘Don’t worry about me. I’m going to be all right,'” said Watson. “He’s been very reassuring and has made it feel like it’s going to be all right. That’s one thing he’s said. Just worry about playing for each other and not worry about playing for him.”

Bowden said getting the team focused on the task at hand – preparing for No. 18 West Virginia – is the top priority in the days leading up to the game.

“Once you hit the field and start your warm-up all of that (talk about his retirement) is behind you and they can concentrate strictly on the ballgame,” Bowden said. “We’ve had good practices (in Tallahassee). Now we’ve got to pick it up and be sure the kids have their mind on what they’re supposed to do.”

While preparing the challenges the Mountaineers pose is the prime concern, Bowden will have a few new challenges of his own once he returns to Tallahassee, thanks to a couple new Christmas gifts.

“I got a computer,” said Bowden, who has never used one with any regularity. “That’s going to be a good experience. I’m getting a cell phone. I’ve had one, but all I can do is turn it on and off. I’ve got to learn all of that stuff.

“The main thing I want to do is see what’s happening in the world. The main thing is I want to get it where I can set up speaking engagements and things like that.”

After a Gator Bowl welcome dinner at the team hotel Saturday night, the Seminoles will return to the practice field Sunday morning.




Bowden Reflects

Bowden Oversees His Final Workout in Tallahassee

Dec. 22, 2009


When it comes to shear numbers, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden’s 388 victories, 34 seasons and two national championships are indisputable evidence in support of a legendary career.

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, Bowden watched over the Seminoles final workout at the Al Dunlap practice field, a routine he’s repeated an estimated 4,250 times over the course of his career. FSU wrapped up its in-town preparation for the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, which will mark the final game of Bowden’s Hall of Fame career.

Before driving off the field in his golf cart for the final time, Bowden – as has been ritual – stopped to visit with the media throng on hand, where he reminisced about the past and talked about the future. Here is a transcript of his final post-practice interview:

“I thought practice ended up pretty good. We got in about an hour and had a big meeting about what we’re going to do when we get over to the bowl game. I couldn’t tell any difference with this preparation and any other years we’ve had. It seemed like everything went good. We got in all of our practices. The kids will meet us over in Jacksonville. We’ll meet with them, go over our plans and practice with them that afternoon. It’s a game week leading up to the ballgame.”

What was that ride like over here, knowing that it will probably be the last time your riding in this golf cart off the practice field?

“I didn’t think about that. I did think this might be the last time I’m on this field.”

When do you think it will hit you hardest?

“I don’t know. I have never tried to make football my God. I think the coaches that make it their God have a struggle and have a hard time taking lickings and things like that. To me, I’m just fixing to start a new life. That’s the way I look at it.”

Is there some excitement about it, too?

“It’s going to be different. It’s going to be a change, but at my age it’s the direction I should be going.”

By my account you’ve presided over more than 2,000 practices out here:

“I’m tired (laughing). You’ve reminded me, I’m tired. That is a lot dadgum practices, but they’ve all been enjoyable. The kids here, they’ve really worked hard. I’ve heard fewer complaints than I can ever remember.”

Did any of the assistant coaches say anything to you today about this being your last practice out here?

“No.  They might have said something in meetings.”

Coaches aren’t as sentimental as the rest of us?

“In the years I’ve worked I’ve had great relationships with the press. They’ve been very fair to me; all of you all have been very fair to me. The only thing I wish, I wish I could have done better. You’re never satisfied. You’re never satisfied, because that’s one reason you stay in it as long as you do. You always think there’s one more chance; one more chance for having a big year. That’s the way life is.”

You’ve had your fair share coach:

“Yeah, we did. Just like I’ve told you, I look at it for 56 years, not what happened last year, or the last four years or five years.”

Are you going to miss anything about this place?

“I’m sure I will. I’m sure I will. After you’ve graduated from college in January, you went immediately to graduate school and got your masters degree, immediately came back to that school and started coaching – that was 56 years ago. All of a sudden, that’s not your life any more. I don’t know what that means as far as emotions are concerned. I hope it doesn’t mean a darn thing. Like I say, I didn’t make football my God, so it’s not like, ‘I’m through, I’m going to cut my wrists.’ No, there’s too many big things in life for that. That’s not your No. 1 priority in life.”





Final Ride

Tuesday marked Coach Bowden’s final practice at Florida State.

Dec. 22, 2009

After 34 years at the helm, Coach Bowden arrived on Tuesday morning in his golf cart for his final practice with the Seminoles at Florida State.  Seminoles.com caught up with the legendary head coach after practice to get his thoughts about the bowl game and his final time on the practice fields.

Check out the full practice recap below.




Right On Track

The ‘Noles got back to work on Monday morning.

Dec. 21, 2009


It was a normal Monday practice for the Noles as Florida State got back to work on the practice fields. Seminoles.com caught up with EJ Manuel and Rod Owens after practice to see how the Florida State offense is progressing during these bowl practices.

Check out the full practice recap below.






Fisher: Contract Will Help Smooth Transition

Philosophy of Seminoles’ next coach fits incentive-based deal

Dec. 19, 2009

Jimbo Fisher made a point to let his Florida State offense know Saturday that signing a contract as the Seminoles next head coach won’t change his expectations in the least.

 The Seminoles’ defense had its way with the offense when the units moved inside Doak Campbell for the second half of Saturday’s 18-period practice. Fisher, who on Friday signed a five-year contract as Bobby Bowden’s successor, then had his way with the unit he has been directing the past three seasons.

“The way we’ve practiced the last two days, we need more focus,” said Fisher. “I didn’t like it today. We’ve got too many guys who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk – only when it’s convenient for them.”

Florida State will continue its on-campus preparation for the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl date with West Virginia through Tuesday before earning a brief holiday reprieve. The Seminoles must report to Jacksonville at 12 noon on Dec. 26.

Fisher will head into the holiday a little more at ease, now that his contract has been completed. He will earn a base salary of $1.8 million a year, but incentive bonuses could push the figure as high as $2.4 million annually.

“It’s a very good contract and now I’ve got to go live up to it and earn those bonuses,” said Fisher, who will officially become Florida State’s head coach on Jan. 5, 2010. “You tell your players you’re incentive-laden: you play well and do well, you get more reps and more balls. I think it’s very fair. I like the whole idea and concept.”

By settling his contract, Fisher will focus on preparing for the Mountaineers, finish assembling his staff and brace for the final recruiting push leading up to national signing day. 

“It’s very good just to get it over with so you know when you get back (from the bowl) you finish up hiring your coaches and get ready to hit the road,” Fisher said. “It’s good to get that out of the way so I can keep focusing on getting ready for this ballgame.”

“Everybody knows the future and what’s going on. … The more clarity you give the players of the future, the better it is.”

Fisher has been juggling quite a few balls since the Nov. 28 conclusion of the regular season. In addition to his offensive coordinator duties, much of his time has been spent assembling his staff and pursuing future Seminoles. He has tackled the multiple tasks much the way he does his weekly preparation for an opponent.

“It’s just work,” he said. “You organize it, structure it and move

netitor.com/javascript/wysiwyg/tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js”> on. It’s stressful because you want to make sure you make the right decisions, just like calling the game. Calling the game is fun, but it’s stressful because you want the kids in the right plays to have success. It’s the same thing here. You want to make sure you pick the right guys and get the right chemistry within the staff and also the right knowledge with good football coaches and great recruiters. …

“You don’t get second chances in this business. You need to make sure you’re right and the people (you hire) have the same principles, values and core thoughts as you have.”




Practice Inside Doak

The Seminoles went inside Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.

Dec. 19, 2009

It’s always a special opportunity to practice on Bobby Bowden Field, and the Seminoles did just that on Saturday afternoon. Mickey Andrews’ defense enjoyed one of their best practices of the fall, and Seminoles.com caught up with Jamie Robinson, Kendrick Stewart, and Jimbo Fisher afterwards.

Check out the full practice report below.




Wacky Weather

The Seminoles have practiced in different weather every day.

Dec. 18, 2009

It wouldn’t be a normal week of Seminole football practice without a rainy day in Tallahassee, and Friday was no exception.

Click below to watch Friday’s practice report from the FSU band field.




Joyful And Triumphant

Coach Bowden praises freshman running back Lonnie Pryor

Dec. 17, 2009

Freshman running back Lonnie Pryor’s demeanor has caught the attention of head coach Bobby Bowden.  Thanks to his smile and attitude, Bowden told reporters that he makes coaching a pleasure.  Pryor was pleasantly surprised to hear what Bowden had to say and has been equally shocked at the amount of playing time he has received this season.  

On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Nigel Bradham has become a significant playmaker for the Seminoles during the last month of the season.  The Crawfordville, Fla., native credits his improvement to thinking less and reacting more on the field.  For the complete practice report click on the video below.




Picture Perfect

Players relish opportunity to take photos with Coach Bowden.

Dec. 16, 2009

With the Gator Bowl being Coach Bowden’s final game with the Seminoles, players have taken the opportunity to take pictures with their legendary head coach each day after practice this week.

Click below to watch Wednesday’s practice report from the football practice fields.




Ties That Bind

Honors Stacking Up for FSU Players

Dec. 15, 2009

It’s impossible to ignore the ties that connect the Florida State and West Virginia football programs entering the historic Jan. 1 Gator Bowl showdown between the Seminoles and Mountaineers.

That begins right at the top with Bobby Bowden, whose 10-year run on the West Virginia staff included six seasons as the Mountaineers’ head coach. Then there’s Jimbo Fisher, the man who will succeed Bowden as the Seminoles’ head coach. Born and raised in Clarksburg, Fisher grew up in the shadow of Morgantown. So did FSU line coach Rick Trickett, a native of Masontown, whose father – like Fisher’s – was a coal miner and who also served on the Mountaineers coaching staff.

“Rich Rodriquez, Nick Saban, Jimbo and me – we’re all (from) within about a 35

-mile radius,” said Trickett. “John McKay is from there, too.”

As a coaching staff, Bowden and his assistants with West Virginia prefer to look at the game as any other – one they want to win. Their West Virginia ties are merely a footnote.

That, however, doesn’t mean they don’t expect anything but a tussle with West Virginia coach Bill Stewart’s staff, which figures to have plenty of fan support at sold out Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

“They love their Mountaineers,” Trickett said. “Their fans travel. … They just love to travel and they love to travel because they love their team. You’ve got coal mines and gas wells and that’s about it up there; coal, oil and gas are their main (industries). They’re people who work hard. My dad was a coal miner most of his life.”

Preparing for West Virginia and its 3-3-5 defensive alignment presents a tough challenge for the Seminoles; a challenge FSU began tackling in earnest Tuesday during the first full pads workout of the postseason.

One Last Exam

Finals are over, but preparation for a Jan. 1 test is underway

Dec. 14, 2009

There is one last final exam left on the schedule for the 2009 Florida State football team and the Seminoles began their cramming Monday morning on the practice field, following a two-week layoff.

Though the classroom work is completed, preparation is underway for the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl showdown against No. 18 West Virginia at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. It figures to be a historic moment in Florida State history on several fronts, not the least of which it will mark the final game of legendary coach Bobby Bowden. As a result, the ‘Noles figure to play in front of the largest crowd in the school’s history of bowl game appearances.

Bowden, however, is trying to downplay the significance

of the event, which has already drawn media credential requests in excess of 300. When asked what he thought of his final game on the FSU sideline, Bowden offered very little.

“I don’t think about it too much,” Bowden said, following Monday’s 18-period practice. “I don’t want to think about it too much. I just want to go out there and play the best we can play. … I don’t want [the players] to go out and play for me. I want them to go out and play for themselves and everything else will take care of itself.”

The Seminoles (6-6) have plenty to play for, not the least of which is to send Bowden out with a victory to secure his 33rd consecutive winning season. FSU currently holds the longest active streak of bowl appearances at 28, which ranks third in NCAA history.

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Going To The Gator

Seminoles will meet West Virginia in Bowden’s farewell

Dec. 6, 2009

Florida State has accepted an invitation from the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl to meet West Virginia on Jan. 1, 2010 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in what will be the final game of Seminole coach Bobby Bowden’s historic career.

“It excites me to know that we’re going to the Gator Bowl,” said Bowden, who has won 388 games over the course of his 44 season as a head coach, including the last 34 at Florida State. “The first bowl I was associated with was as an assistant coach at Florida State in 1964 when we played Oklahoma in

tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js” type=”text/javascript”> the Gator Bowl (Jan. 2, 1965).

“And of course the first bowl in our 28-bowl streak was against West Virginia in the (1982) Gator Bowl.”

The Seminoles (6-6 are making their nation-leading 28th consecutive bowl appearance under Bowden, who has guided the program to 31 bowl appearances in 34 season. The is the 21st time Florida State will play on New Year’s Day, or later, under his guidance.

“It excites me that we’re going to play West Virginia, we I coached for 10 years; six as the head coach,” Bowden said of the 17th-ranked Mountaineers (9-3) out of the Big East Conference. “I’ve seen West Virginia play two or three times this season and I’m very impressed with them.”

Bowden and the Seminoles are no strangers to the Gator Bowl. Florida State is 5-0-1 all-time in the game – 4-0 under Bowden – including wins over West Virginia at the conclusion of the 1982 (31-12) and 2004 (30-18) seasons.

“We are extremely excited to go back to Jacksonville,” said Florida State director of athletics Randy Spetman. “They’ve been great partners with Florida State. It is also a wonderful opportunity for coach Bo

wden to have

his final game in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia and it gives our fans the chance to be there for this historic event.”

Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett could not agree more.

“I don’t think that there are many icons left in the sporting world and obviously Bobby Bowden ranks right up there, above being one of the greatest coaches of all time,” Catlett said. “To have an opportunity to give him a farewell party with 80,000 people watching is something the Gator Bowl will be very proud of.”

Tickets are currently available at www.seminoles.com for current year members of Seminole Boosters and football season ticket holders. Phone order will be accepted beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m. by calling 888-6653. The priority order period for boosters and season ticket holders will take place through Thursday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. Because of the expected high demand, orders during the priority period will be “request only” as ticket limits may be imposed based on availability.


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