March 23, 2002 - by
Seminoles Conduct First Full Scrimmage of the Spring

March 23, 2002

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State football team conducted its first full scrimmage of the spring on Saturday in Doak Campbell Stadium. The Seminoles scrimmaged for approximately an hour and 45 minutes after opening the work out with position drills.

“It was a good old-fashioned scrimmage,” FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden said. “I told them that’s the way we used to scrimmage. I don’t think we got anybody hurt, at least seriously hurt, and that’s the best part. The hitting was real good. Again, it reminded me of the old days.”

The scrimmage began with the offense on their own 35-yard line, with the first team offense against the first team defense. All four quarterbacks got in plenty of action throughout the practice, but were working with a limited number of receivers. Anquan Boldin, Robert Morgan and Talman Gardner, who has a left knee bruise, were held out. Tailback Greg Jones was also held out with a right shoulder contusion.

Adrian McPherson led the QB’s, going 3-of-8 for 24 yards. Chris Rix was 2-of-8 for 16 yards and one interception, Fabian Walker went 2-of-5 for 13 yards and Matt Henshaw was 3-of-7 for 11 yard and one interception.

The defense shined as they did not give up a touchdown until the team got to the red zone and short yardage situations and then the offense got in a couple of times. Rufus Brown (Rix) and Leroy Smith (Henshaw) recorded interceptions while O.J. Jackson, Donnie Carter, Robert May and Stanford Samuels all had sacks.

“I’ll tell you a guy that ought to be pointed out and that’s O.J. Jackson,” Bowden said. “We moved him to tackle and he was very happy with it and he’s in there making plays and hustling and fighting and providing a lot of leadership in there for them right now. The last two weeks, he’s really given us a lot.”

McPherson was also the leading rusher with 14 yards on two attempts. Lemar Parrish had 12 yards on nine carries and had a 16-yard reception – the longest of the day for the Seminoles. Travis Smith had two catches for 22 yards, including one for 13 yards in the red zone. Craphonso Thorpe had two catches for 15 yards and a nine-yard touchdown from Walker in the red zone drills.

“We are limited on receivers now with Gardner out so we’ve got a lot of walk-ons and they’re good, but we don’t have the proficiency we’ll have in the fall,” he said. “I don’t know how you can have a scrimmage when your offense is going up and down the field and you can say, ‘Boy we are really going to have a good ball club next year.’ You’d like for them to be able to score and they will be, but the best sign is that your defense can stop people, which is something we couldn’t do last year.”

According to Bowden, the star of the offense was kicker Xavier Beitia, who hit a 27-yard field goal and was two-of-two on extra point attempts.

“That’s not a good sign when the kicker’s your star but he did kick well,” Bowden said. “There were some good things, we just got to look at it. The main thing is that the kids can correct the mistakes they were making. The quarterbacks were not necessarily sharp. They had the yonder, but not they didn’t have the towards.

“The team is so much different now than it was a year ago. The depth – you’ve got competition at nearly every position. That’s better. If we can stay injury-free, there’s no reason we can’t improve every time we walk onto the field to practice.”

Alonzo Jackson suffered a right shoulder contusion in the scrimmage. There were no other injuries to report. The Seminoles will resume practice on Monday afternoon.

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