I'm not sure if it was so much that we learned a lot from the football trip to Provo last week or if was more of being reminded of some things that maybe were not so fresh in our memory.
Despite the number of times the coaches hammer it home, we were reminded that the game is usually won and lost at the line of scrimmage. FSU's offensive line had a great game especially in terms of carrying their blocks to the second line of defense - the linebackers. FSU running backs, and there were a bunch who played in the game, deserve a lot of credit for the ground performance. They consistently bounced potential short gains into longer ones instead of plunging into gaps with their heads down.
I suspect we were reminded of just how far exceptional quarterback play can take you. FSU's team believes in Christian Ponder and he was determined to do everything he could to win that game.
We were reminded what our defensive staff can do with a full week of preparation and a few scouting tapes on their opponents. The Seminoles were reacting to a new offense almost the whole game against Miami then only had one solid practice for Jacksonville State. The secondary improved dramatically against a sophisticated BYU system and would have looked even better had it not been for some unbelievable catches by Cougar wide receivers.
FSU fans who attended the game were reminded of what being hospitable really means. Greeters outside the stadium made a point of welcoming Seminole fans and our travel party reports that everyone from the grounds crew to ticket takers to concession workers seemed to be trying to "out polite" one another. It is an atmosphere we would like to revive here at Doak Campbell. We are determined to return to a better atmosphere among our work force and to promoting good sportsmanship and just plain appropriate behavior in the stands. After all, hearing a student body chant an expletive used to be something we heard at "other" stadiums.
The volleyball team won a tremendous match against Notre Dame on Sunday before a nice crowd of better than 1,500 in Tully Gym. These Seminoles are also climbing the national polls and second year head coach Chris Poole, who built Arkansas into a national power, has done a terrific job of returning the program to a national contender in a short amount of time.
Television was a hot topic over the last week or so with FSU's football game available only on VERSUS. Good news in that area on the men's basketball front for those FSU fans who absolutely cannot get to Tallahassee and sit in the stands for home games. We need a home court advantage and it's the fans who create that, but for those who are in traction or just too far away, all 16 of the Seminole's ACC games will be televised this year. The women's schedule will also feature a number of television dates. Go to the individual sport sections of Seminoles.com and click on schedules to see the menu for TV this winter.
Speaking of the media, there is a nice feature on the new Osceola from a Birmingham, AL television station. The newest rider is Drake Anderson, a freshmen from Calera, Alabama, hence the attention from Birmingham T.V. It can be seen on their website cbs42.com just type in Osceola in the search area.
Military Appreciation Day has truly become a special occasion every year at a home football game. Tomorrow is no exception as we will have a mobile Veterans display at Langford Green prior to the game. The Army will swear in 50 cadets at Langford Green prior to the game and the Marching Chiefs' pregame show will be geared towards the four military branches. The flyover will be by the Air Force and a joint Army/Air Force ROTC cadet march-on will occur during the National Anthem. We will recognize two Wounded Warriors along with 15 current FSU students who recently returned from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. We actually have a veteran on our team in walk-on defensive back Ricardo Cannon. The Athletics Department offered reduced price tickets to the game at a number of military installations in north and central Florida.
Remember to log on to Seminoles.com each and every day for all the up to date information on Florida State athletics and watch Seminole Sports Magazine every Saturday morning on Sun Sports.
Your humorous note for the week comes from men's basketball. Tony Dawson was one of FSU's best ever offensive players which was remarkable as his right leg was nearly two inches shorter than his left. Dawson was struck twice by cars as a child and the resulting surgeries resulted in the shorter leg. During his senior year, the FSU charter bus got into a tight squeeze in a restaurant parking lot on the road. The driver eventually asked if someone would go out and stop traffic so he could back down into the street. You can probably guess the joke here, but rising from one of his teammates in the back of the bus came "for God's sake, don't send Tony!"
Don't forget to wear white tomorrow and get to your seats early...it really does make a big difference.