December 30, 2004 - by
Seminoles Conclude Practice For Gator Bowl

Dec. 30, 2004

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The No. 15 Florida State Seminoles (8-3) held a light 15 period workout in shorts at Jacksonville University Thursday afternoon as they wrapped up preparations for Saturday’s game against No. 23 West Virginia (8-3). David Overmyer will make his first career start at tight tackle in place of Ray Willis, who is questionable with an ankle sprain. Head athletic trainer Randy Oravetz stated that cornerback Leroy Smith is questionable as well. Smith had surgery on his knee and arm following the Florida game. Antonio Cromartie will start for Smith at cornerback on Saturday. Both the offense and defense worked against the scout teams for the majority of the second portion of practice.


Head Coach Bobby Bowden

“We’ve had good practices. You keep your fingers crossed that nobody will get hurt. The only starter right now that probably doesn’t look he’ll play is (Ray) Willis. He’s a three-year starter at strong tackle and has hardly practiced because of his ankle. I think everybody else has a chance to go.”

(on West Virginia’s offense)

“They do a great job of sucking you out of position. He’s got a lot of good misdirection. You could defend them pretty good and their quarterback can still make something out of it.”

(on importance of the start of the game)

“I’ve never put too much stock to my players about the start of the game. We’ve gone out before and scored on the first play of the game and then done nothing. We’ve had that done to us the same way. I don’t talk to my kids in terms of scoring first or second. If we score first, play it like its nothing-nothing. If they score first, play it like its nothing-nothing.”

Fullback B.J. Dean

(on week of preparation for bowl)

“The week has gone well. We’ve worked really hard. I think going against our defense the last couple weeks has made us better. We were having problems at the end of the season with things like pad level so we just tried to get back to the basics.”

(on West Virginia’s defense)

“They remind me of Wake Forest from a year ago. They run the same defense which is called a tiger. It’s more like a 3-4 look. They do a lot of blitzing, especially from the mike linebacker. They play really hard.”

(on getting a win)

“I think it would give us a good start for spring drills, going into next season. I want the season to end on a good note for the seniors as well. A lot of them are close friends and I don’t want them to go out with a loss.”

Offensive tackle Ray Willis

(on injured ankle)

“As of right now, it’s still a little sore. It looks like David Overmyer will start and I think he’ll do a heck of a job for us. If they need me, I’m there.”

(on senior year)

“This was my last practice at Florida State and it has been an honor to play here. I’m ready to move on to the next phase.”

Cornerback Bryant McFadden

(on West Virginia wide receiver Chris Henry)

“He’s very tall, fast and athletic. He has exceptional soft hands and plays the ball very well. I don’t see why he wouldn’t be a top NFL pick. He runs, catches and blocks with intensity. Another thing I like about him is that he plays with a little bit of dog in him. You see that come out when he is competing. He has fun out there which is something I like to do also.”

(on talking to receivers during game)

“I’m not really a talker. Sometimes I do, to get my teammates riled up. As far as talking to other receivers, I would rather just go out there and do my thing. If someone is talking to me, I have to defend myself.”

(on best receiver he’s faced)

“The best guy I’ve had to cover would be Anquan Boldin. Whether it’s running plays or passing plays, you are going to be in for a fight. He plays with a lot of emotion and a lot of heart. A guy like that is always tough.”


OT Ray Willis (ankle, questionable) CB Leroy Smith (leg and arm, questionable) C David Castillo (hand, probable) DE Eric Moore (Achilles', probable) CB J.R. Bryant (hamstring, questionable) CB Jarrel Simpson (calf strain, questionable)

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