March 24, 2007
For the first time this spring the FSU football team put on full pads and scrimmaged in Doak Campbell Stadium. The team practiced for 28 periods of which 16 periods were spent in the stadium. The last hour inside Doak was spent in the first full scrimmage of the spring.
In run drills the offense got off to a fast start as Antone Smith and Jamaal Edwards each had two big runs. Pat Davis broke a long run as did Marcus Sims. Neefy Moffett recovered a fumble as the defense took charge in the second part of the drill.
In pass skel Drew Weatherford connected with Greg Carr and also on a deep ball to De’Cody Fagg. Xavier Lee hit two passes underneath that turned into big gains to Joslin Shaw and Fagg.
In 11-on-11 Smith broke a few tackles and turned a no gainer into a big run. Pat Davis showed some nice moves on a long run. Myron Rolle and Jamie Robinson combined on a pass break-up but the biggest play was turned in by Letroy Guion who knifed into the backfield, disrupted the hand-off and caused a fumble.
In 3-on-3 drills Budd Thacker forced a fumble, Recardo Wright forced a turnover as well on a big hit and Justin Mincey made a big tackle in the first level of the drill.
Highlights from the scrimmage included:
Jamie Robinson had a pass break up on a third down play.
Smith broke a nice run for a first down.
Weatherford hit De’Cody Fagg underneath and Fagg took it for a big gainer thanks in part to a big hit downfield by Richard Goodman.
Lee had a great series where he led the FSU offense to one of its two TD’s. A key play in the drive came on a deep jump ball to Damon McDaniel that the receiver went over the defender and came up with the catch. Lee than completed the scoring drive when he hooked up with Carr for a TD.
Letroy Guion registered a sack as did Dekoda Watson who not only had the sack but also forced a fumble.
The only other TD came on a 65-yard run by Antone Smith.
The wide receiver blocking downfield continued to pay off later in the scrimmage as Lee hit Shaw underneath and he turned it into another long gain thanks to a block by wideout Preston Parker.
One of the biggest plays along the line came from Jacky Claude who led the way with a devastating block for a first down on third and short.
Lee almost got the third offensive TD of the day on a run when he took the ball all the way into the endzone but was called down at the five.
Darius McClure helped keep the offense out of the endzone though with a pass break up right at the goal line.
Weatherford and Parker later connected on a nice sideline route.
Defensively Jeremy Franklin recovered a fumble, Roger Williams and Geno Hayes combined on a big stop right at the line of scrimmage and Michael Ray Garvin also broke up a pass.
In goal line the defense dominated most of the eight plays holding the ones and the twos out on three of the four attempts but on both fourth and ones Edwards was able to score for the offense.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“We worked about an hour on the practice field and then came out and had a scrimmage (in the stadium). I told the offense – you looked like two different offenses – you went out there at the first of the scrimmage and the first inside drill you couldn’t ask for any better. But all of a sudden it shut down, I mean it shut down. The defense has a lot to do with that. They got to find out why. I already know why but they got to find out why. They got to see what their mistakes are and get them corrected. Again, the big thing that is hurting them is missing assignments – don’t know what to do, don’t know where to lineup, don’t know who to block. We got some bad snaps on out shotgun; ball snapped too high. That’s the stuff you find out when you scrimmage for the first time.
“I thought defense did a fine job under the circumstances. As you know, they are missing some men. They are missing some linebackers and probably some defensive people that are not out there. So, you can’t assume too much.”
(on the quarterbacks)
“That will be Jimbo’s job to make a decision on that. I thought that – were not blind – we saw who made the biggest plays today – it was Lee. He made the biggest plays.”
(on the blocking by the receivers)
“That’s what we gotta have – we are trying to get everybody involved in the running game. To be honest with you we are behind right now in our passing game. We are ahead of last year in our running game but you can tell that’s where our stress has been. We gotta protect our passer better; we gotta get better gun snaps when we are throwing the ball – some things like that. We will work on that.”
(on rotating the quarterbacks with the first team)
“That’s up to Jimmy – he probably wants to see them both under the same circumstances. That’s probably what he’s doing. Probably getting a better evaluation.”
(on missed assignments)
“You hope that when they look at the film they learn. But we are doing so much you can’t hardy blame them. We are throwing so much at them, especially the reserves, and they are having the biggest problem. But even the first group has to be told where to get at times. Again, if you had the same offensive numbering system that you had last year you probably wouldn’t be having problems – it’s normal.”
(on the offensive line)
“They blocked the running game better – blocked the running game better. Still, I’m sure we still have a long way to go with it. It was better than what we have seen.”
(on his assessment of the quarterback decision making in the scrimmage)
“It seemed to be OK. I don’t think we threw too many balls into a crowd. I remember one but I don’t remember who did it. I think we had one but I didn’t see it from the side. It is hard to tell until I go up there and look at the film. I didn’t see any glaring, stupid game management things that will get you beat in a ballgame. We made a few plays when we had to but we got a lot of improving to do. We’ve got a long ways to go.”
(on Xavier Lee)
“He made a couple nice throws. Got one to Greg (Carr), made a nice run but you know we could have had one early. We had a dropped ball early in the first drive that could have went up the sideline for 40 or 50 yards or maybe more that we didn’t. You know sometimes it who gets the play at scrimmage. The guys around them got to make some plays too. (The quarterbacks) both made some plays and Xavier did some real nice things.”
(on the running game being ahead of the passing game)
No doubt, no doubt because of our pass protection and what we are emphasizing the running game. We are going to get back to running the football. That’s the emphasis on what we are doing.”
(on his assessment of the defense)
“If we were keeping score in the ballgame the offense would have scored two touchdowns, I guess an extra point. In the goal line they would have scored two more touchdowns. What I am saying is our objective is to keep them from scoring any points. The ones didn’t give up any. The twos gave up two. If we are going to put them in a ballgame they gotta play…not that the ones are playing as well as we want them to yet but the twos they got to raise their level of play. We still got some growing up to do.”
Xavier Lee, Quarterback
“My mindset was just to try to eliminate the mistakes and go through my reads like I am supposed to and let the practice that we have been doing pay off. I’m getting used to the terminology and used to the plays and used to where everyone is suppose to be. The line was blocking good and gave me time and that helped out a lot. My decision making was pretty good but there is always room for improvement. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks to improving y the skills I need to work on and everyone cooking in the same side”
Drew Weatherford, Quarterback
“I thought (my decision making) was OK. There were times I forced the ball and maybe I shouldn’t have. There was a double post we had where I threw it into coverage I probably shouldn’t have. All in all I thought I did a pretty good job considering it was the first scrimmage.”
(on the wide receivers blocking)
“I didn’t necessarily see them when I was playing but I could definitely hear them. That really is what makes big plays happen when receivers block downfield both in the run and the pass.”
(on not being afraid to throw blocks downfield)
“No I really don’t (shy away from blocking). Coming from a running back it is something I had to do. I never shy away from blocking. Its just second nature to me.”
“We did alright today. We didn’t do as good as we could have. We are a little rusty. We are just trying to get into the feel on the first day in pads. Hopefully we can get this thing together and start to crack some heads.”
The team will return to practice this Monday at 3:30 p.m. For the latest news on FSU football, please log on to the official athletic site for Florida State athletics at www.seminoles.com.