August 16, 2007 - by
DAY NINE: Plenty To Be Excited About On Both Sides Of The Ball In First Scrimmage

Aug. 16, 2007

EXCLUSIVE Terrell Buckley Interview | Scrimmage Highlights | Photo Gallery

Tallahassee, Fla.Florida State returned to two-a-day practices on Thursday. The team had a morning kicking scrimmage and then conducted the first full scrimmage of the season in Doak Campbell Stadium for two hours. Notes, stats, scrimmage highlights and quotes are all available below. The team returns to the field for one practice Friday at 4:00 p.m.



  • Friday morning’s kicking scrimmage began with some position work before the team spent about an hour and a half working on all aspects of the kicking game.

  • Preston Parker, Michael Ray Garvin, Russell Ball and Damon McDaniel all spent time returning kick-offs as Gary Cismesia and Graham Gano worked from the 30-yard line as per the change in NCAA rules.

  • In punt/punt block Ball and Parker worked as the returners. There were no punts blocked.

  • In field goal Gary Cismesia hit field goals from 42 yards on two occasions. He hit the uprights on a 35-yard attempt and missed a 42-yarder. Gano, who punted very well Thursday, was good on two attempts from 26 yards and one from 37 yards. He hit the uprights on a 36-yard attempt.



            Thursday’s scrimmage couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the Jimbo Fisher coached offense. The second group, led by Xavier Lee, moved from the 25 yard line into the endzone thanks to a couple catches by Greg Carr including a 63-yard bomb. Despite plenty of complaints from the defensive side that Carr pushed off to gain separation from Tony Carter, the TD stood.

The first team offense with QB Drew Weatherford took a different approach but ended in the same place. Running back Antone Smith started things with a nice run after the catch on a screen. De’Cody Fagg then caught a pass across the middle and turned it into a 31-yard gain. Preston Parker took another short pass and broke it for a huge gainer as he picked up another 20 yards. Marcus Sims finished the drive scoring a short TD despite the fact the defense had 12 men on the field.

After the first two series the defense started to respond. Defensive end Everette Brown recorded a sack versus Lee and linebacker Dekoda Watson, who had a great scrimmage, tackled Russell Ball behind the line. Ball responded with two nice plays. On the first, he slid between two defenders that converged on him to make a tackle. On the second, he had a big gainer off a screen pass but the offense was unable to produce points.

The first team offense got back on the board later in the scrimmage. The touchdown was set up by a big Parker run and then Weatherford hit Fagg on a medium range pass. The senior had a great cut and took it to the house for a 35-yard TD.

The defense really picked it up though when the ball moved to the 40 yard line. In the first series the first team defense was perfect. Rover Myron Rolle broke up a pass and Neefy Moffett recorded a sack. The big play was turned in by Carter. He read a screen, left his man and hit the receiver right as he came off the ball.

The second team defense held up as well but it was close. Weatherford almost had another long TD but as the receiver was about to bring in the ball and cross the goal line, Korey Mangum just got a piece of the football to knock it loose.

The first team defense was strong in the 1:00 drill as they did not allow the second team offense to do anything. The first group threatened to score though when Weatherford kept the drive alive on a broken play. The junior got to the outside and fund Damon McDaniel along the sideline. The Virginia native not only made the catch but got out of bounds. With three seconds left Weatherford got great protection and plenty of time but his throw into the endzone was broken up by Ochucko Jenije.

After break Weatherford moved in with the twos as the ball was placed at the opponent 40. Russell Ball had a great run in the drive bouncing off tacklers but Derek Nicholson read a screen pass perfectly and busted the play as the pass was delivered. Weatherford then went deep to Richard Goodman but JR Bryant was there to break that play up. The drive ended when Weatherford connected with McDaniel but the play was stopped just shy of a first.

With Lee leading the first team offense, a crucial personal foul penalty on third down breathed new life into their drive and it almost resulted in points. Jamaal Edwards had a great run that seemed to be heading for a TD but Patrick Robinson was able to knock the ball out on his hands on the way in and it skirted out of the back of the endzone.

The defense was even better in red zone versus the second team offense. Guion recorded a sack on the first play, then a tackle for loss on the next. Moffett contributed a sack as well on the third play and then Budd Thacker completed the 4-for-4 on a tackle inside the five.

The first team offense fared better. After a defensive offsides Lee scrambled for a 15-yard TD. He then hit De’Cody Fagg for a 10-yard touchdown on a short pass that Fagg turned into six. Anthony Leon closed the drill with a pass break up at the goal line.

The first team offense went 0-for-4 in goal line and Watson had the biggest play. McDaniel seemed to be heading in on a run to the outside but Watson tracked him down and blasted McDaniel out at the two. Everette Brown recorded a sack but the D was flagged for offsides and then McDaniel was once again stopped on a run.

The second team offense was much more successful. Russell Ball, Seddrick Holloway and Jonathan Hannah all scored TD’s. Hannah’s came on a roll out when Lee found him dragging toward the corner of the end zone. The only stop was turned in by Mister Alexander who tackled Ball at the two.




Head Coach Bobby Bowden

Opening statement

“The offense was good for a quarter and then we began to get sloppy. The defense had a terrible first and second series and then they began to get better and got better and got better. Goal line they about split up half and half. Offense won half the battles defense won the other half the battles. It’s not bad for a first full scrimmage, you know. You see so many mistakes. You look at those films and you’ll see errors they’re making. Of course our success will come if we correct the errors. The two quarterbacks, that’s the big thing, correct those errors.”


On the quarterback’s decision making:

The thing I talked to them before we went out there was no turnovers, no turnovers, no turners. So they didn’t have any interceptions, that’s what we’re looking for. The first thing a quarterback has got to do is not get you beat. Don’t get you beat. If they can do well, that’s good. So that’s a good starting point as far as that’s concerned.


On Antone Smith:

We used (Smith) a little bit the first couple of drives. I thought he ran well and then we got him out of there.


Comparing Drew Weatherford’s comfort level to Xavier Lee:

I think probably nearly every time he gets out there he’ll be a little bit more comfortable. That comes with experience. I don’t know what they are thinking, up inside. His execution is probably a little sharper.


On De’Cody Fagg’s performance:

“I thought he did too. Not only did he catch the ball well, but he had some good runs.


On Dekoda Watson:

“Watson made a great play on the goal line. We had a back run a sweep, it was a touchdown all the way, he chased that thing down and kept it about a yard short.”


Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher

On the quarterback’s play

“We made some plays. Not many dumb plays. Not many stupid things that get you beat. I’ll wait and look at the film. I thought we made some nice checks a couple times. We’ll see. I am going to look at the film and we’ll see.”


On the scrimmage

“I was pretty well pleased for the most part. Not quite enough consistency as I like but we made strides. We took it to the field a little bit more. When you come into the stadium it’s different than that practice field. We did a couple things today we haven’t even done over there yet.”


On evaluating the quarterback play

“I can’t say. Until I see the film, I am serious I am not dodging the issue, it is hard to say guys. I have to look at it and see. The game management, not missing signals, the organizing we did like a game situation. Some of those things seemed pretty good.”


On the receivers

“They made some big plays. They are running after catches that’s the key because you can’t always hold on to the ball and throw it down the field. Them guys up front on their side can rush a little bit. So I was excited we caught the ball and the got some runs and yards after the catch. Part of that too we did a good job of getting them the ball at the right time, in the right place and that’s everybody clicking together.”


Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews

On Greg Carr’s touchdown:

“It appeared that there was a penalty on the play, but apparently it wasn’t seen. But that’s going to happen in a ball game. You’re going to have plays were maybe a guy gets away with something and it’s not called, but you’ve got to fight through it. Tony (Carter) did play physical on the play.”


On the defense:

“We made some big plays, had a fumble, they didn’t up many score on the goal line, which is encouraging after what they’ve done the last two days. We did a good job down in the red zone, we didn’t let them (the first team) score on four tries down there. There were some positive things. We had some guys that did play and couple got banged up so there were a lot of guys on the second and third team who got a lot of reps today.”


Quarterback Xavier Lee

On the scrimmage

“It was a first scrimmage. We had a couple lulls. We did some good things. We did some bad things. We got to work through it and just become a complete team.”


On his TD to Greg Carr

Greg Carr is a good receiver. He is a lot bigger than Tony Carter, no offense to Tony but it was 1-on-1 coverage and I gave him a chance to go up and get the ball. He made a play on it and scored a touchdown.”


Quarterback Drew Weatherford

On how he felt during the first scrimmage of the season:

“It’s been a continually process just trying to get more and more comfortable with the flow of the offense.  The offensive line did a great job today going out and blocking.  When you can run the ball, it’s a lot easier to pass protect.  We were able to mix it up and do both which made things a lot easier for me.” 


On where the offense is right now:

“We’ve improved a lot in pretty much every area, but we still have a long way to go.  We still have a lot of two-a-days left.  We have to continue to work on avoiding those big mistakes.  There were a lot of mental mistakes that we made, which we have to correct”.


On throwing the ball down the middle of the field:

“We are just trying to take what the defense gives us.  We have certain reads that direct us to go certain places.  We were trying to attack the middle because that was what they were giving us.” 


Wide receiver Damon McDaniel

On his big scrimmage

“I am just trying to come out and make something happen for my team. The team needs me, whatever they want me to do I am going to do it.”


On the quarterbacks

They are coming out, every week they are getting better. They are competing for a job so you know the expectations are really high. They are trying to get that starter’s spot. They are both coming out and trying to do what they can do.”


On given the opportunity to get some plays out of the backfield:

“They are trying to work me into the goal line system so I am happy just to be a part of that.  I want to come out and contribute as much as I can.” 


On making plays and making his presence felt after not getting out on the field last year:

“All we needed was an opportunity.  We worked hard, just as hard as we did last year, but the coaches felt like we weren’t ready.  This year, we are just trying to come out everyday and get better.”  


Wide Receiver De’Cody Fagg

On the offense:

“I think at the beginning of practice we started off right, moved the ball well. In between we kind of messed up a little bit, but we straightened that out towards the end of practice.”


On his touchdown:

“It felt real good; hopefully I’m going to get a lot of that. It felt real good going against a good defense, a good fast defense. If we can move the ball against our defense, we can do it against any defense.”


On the cut he made to score the touchdown:

“The last time I did something like that was my senior year of high school. It felt real good moving out there. I lost a lot of weight and I just feel better out there. When balls don’t come to me I try my best to help out my teammates the best way I can.”


On what needs to be improved:

“Stupid penalties. We had a lot of holding penalties, clipping, we’ve got to cut down on that.”


On building confidence:

“This morning everyone saved their legs and we knew we had to come out and work hard, show coach Fisher we’re capable of getting the job done. The second team came out, did pretty good, moved the ball and scored. The first team came out and scored twice. We had that confidence we knew we had to keep going and not let up.”


Tight End Jonathan Hannah

On his first day in pads:

“It felt good.  I felt like I had an extra burst of energy because it has been awhile since I’ve been out here in full pads.  I have to thank my teammates for blocking.  The quarterbacks were throwing the ball and having the confidence in me to get the job done.” 


On where his play is and how much he still has to work on:

“I think I have a lot of work to do.  I don’t think I had a great scrimmage, but I think I did pretty decent being that it was my first day. I’m going to keep working hard, trying to get better in practice.”


Linebacker Dekoda Watson

On how far he has developed as a player

“I feel like I have come a long way. I thought it would be kind of hard coming from Will (weak side) and going to Sam (strong side) but as far as Coach Chuck (Amato) breaking everything down, I believe it came a lot easier. My confidence came back up. I am pretty confident in my game.”


On the defense:

“I believe we did pretty well, as far as the first day. There are still a lot of things we’ve got to capitalize on, a lot of things we’ve got to work on, but I think right now we’re just seeing where we’re at as a team and I believe we’re doing pretty well, but there’s a lot we have to work on.

On the offense:

“They’re doing an outstanding job. The offensive line, the running, the wide receivers, everybody. I believe that it’s not only the defense, I think we can get better as a whole team. We’re getting closer, as a team and working together. It’s going to show during games.


On making big plays:

“I feel like any position you want to make big plays, whether it’s SAM, WILL, defensive tackle I believe we’ve got to make big plays all away around. I don’t think it’s really a position in particular where you have a hot spot, but you want it bad enough you’ll get it.”


On being stronger.

“Coach Stroud came in with the conditioning, the weight lifting and I believe we’ve come a long way as far as a team. I feel very confident as far as my strength and the team strength as whole.”


Rover Myron Rolle

On the play of the quarterback:

“They played okay.  We put a lot of pressure on them so they had very little time to throw.  I think that made it difficult for them.  But for the most part, they are trying to learn and improve.  And everyday they are trying to progress.  I think today we (the defense) did pretty well against them.” 


On the play of Preston Parker:

Preston Parker is a very good player.  He is very agile, he’s got great speed.  He broke his hand, but he’s tough enough to stay out here and continue to work hard.  He is a wonderful player when he gets his hands on the ball, especially when he gets out into the open field.” 


Offensive Stats



Drew Weatherford        16-20    205 yards 1 TD

Xavier Lee                    9-16      143 yards 1 TD

D’Vontrey Richardson   4-8      38 yards 1 Rushing TD


Running Backs

Antone Smith                6 rushes, 30 yards

Preston Parker              1 rush, 29 yards

Jamaal Edwards                        9 rushes, 27 yards

Marcus Sims                 6 rushes 13 yards, TD

Russell Ball                   9 rushes, -7 yards


Wide Receivers

Greg Carr                     3 rec, 82 yards TD

Damon McDaniel          5 rec, 73 yards

De’Cody Fagg              4 rec, 73 yards TD

Russell Ball                   4 rec, 34 yards

Preston Parker              3 rec, 31 yards

Antone Smith                2 rec, 23 yards

Richard Goodman          2 rec, 20 yards

Jonathan Hannah           2 rec, 18 yards

Rod Owns                    2 rec, 9 yards


Defensive Stats:


Aaron Gresham: 6 tackles, 3 TFL for 11 yards

Dekoda Watson: 6 tackles, 2 TFL for 6 yards, 1 sack for 10 yards, PBU, FR

Derek Nicholson: 5 tackles, 1 TFL for 2 yards

Myron Rolle: 4 tackles

Emmanuel Dunbar: 3 tackles, 2 TFL for 5 yards

Marcus Ball: 3 tackles, 3 TFL for 11 yards

Eli Charles: 3 tackles, 1 sack for 8 yards

Budd Thacker: 3 tackles

Jeremy Franklin: 3 tackles

Mister Alexander: 3 tackles

Roosevelt Lawson: 3 tackles

Anthony Leon: 3 tackles

Maurice Harris:3 tackles

Everette Brown: 2 tackles, 1 sack for 7 yards

Alex Boston: 2 tackles, 1 TFL for 4 yards

Letroy Guion: 2 tackles, 1 sack for 9 yards, FC

Neefy Moffett: 2 tackles, 2 sacks for 16 yards

Kevin McNeil: 2 tackles, 1 TFL for 3 yards

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