April 3, 2004 - by
Seminoles Wrap Up Spring Practice With Annual Garnet & Gold Game

April 3, 2004

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State football team concluded four weeks of spring practice with the annual garnet and gold game at Gene Cox Stadium Saturday afternoon. Senior rover Jerome Carter had the play of the day when he returned a deflected pass 88 yards for a touchdown. The only other score came on a 23-yard pass from Chris Rix to Lorne Sam.

Sophomore tailback Lorenzo Booker led all rushers with 53 yards on six carries and also had two catches for 22 yards. William Rutledge was next on the rushing list with two carries for 12 yards.

Tight end Paul Irons had the longest reception of the day, a 26-yard pass from Rix. Dominic Robinson added two catches for 15 yards and Robert Hallback caught two passes for 14 yards.

Rix finished the day 5-of-14 for 77 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wyatt Sexton was 5-of-14 as well for 33 yards with one interception.

Linebacker Ray Piquion led all tacklers with five, including two for loss and a sack. Cornerback Bryant McFadden had three tackles and an interception and Leroy Smith had a tackle and a pair of pass break-ups. Defensive end Chauncey Davis recorded two sacks while Chris Bradwell, Clifton Dickson, Alex Boston and Kamerion Wimbley had one sack apiece.

The Seminoles held a kicking scrimmage prior to the spring game as senior Xavier Beitia went 5-for-5 (37, 37, 42, 47, 47). Chase Goggans went 2-for-4, connecting from 42 and 47 yards out and missing on kicks of 37 and 42 yards.

At halftime, three Seminoles were honored for the performances during spring practice. Rix was named offensive MVP and Ernie Sims was named defensive MVP. A.J. Nicholson won the Hinesman Award, given to the most dominant player of the spring.

The Seminoles open the 2004 season on Monday, September 6th against Miami in the Orange Bowl.

Quotes from head coach Bobby Bowden:

It was a good scrimmage. They (offense) were very solid. They didn’t run any wideouts or anything like that. They stayed in the basic formation the whole day and they did better than I thought they would. They haven’t done this well all spring.

I thought the first offense did real well when Chris Rix was in there running it. He made two crucial third down throws to keep drives going and that doesn’t usually happen during the spring as you know.

The thing that is very deceiving is that you didn’t have (Craphonso) Thorpe, didn’t have Willie Reid, (Chauncey) Stovall, Chris Davis. We’ll make some of those catches that some of the walk-ons are not making.

I thought (Lorenzo) Booker showed a lot of class today. He’s going to be a dangerous football player if we get that ball under his arm at the right time. We’ll get all of these offensive linemen back in the fall and we’re kind of excited about it.

Defensively, we played a lot of people. I think Mickey (Andrews) mixed up his defense a lot. Probably played pretty solid, I am sure he didn’t do a whole lot just in case. But again, I noticed he had some of his second-teamers mingle with his first-teamers and vice-versa, so I am sure he got what he wanted out of it.

I thought we had a real good spring. The weather was beautiful. We had no rainy days, no cold days. Everything was beautiful and I thought the kids made the most out of it.

Now, what they (players) want to do is bear down on academics, be sure to protect themselves in that area. We don’t want any surprises there. And that’s it. They need to get away from football now and enjoy themselves but put everything on academics.

Chris Rix, I think he’s matured. I think he’s where he ought to be. I think he’s gone through the normal growing process, being a freshman quarterback, a sophomore quarterback and then a junior. Now he’s a senior and he acts like a senior and plays like a senior and I am very pleased and I think the kids recognize it. Wyatt (Sexton) got exactly what he needed which was a lot of work. We gave him most of the work as far as numbers are concerned. We had a hard time protecting him at times, especially when you’re behind the second team offensive line, which has got several walk-ons starting. I thought he made some progress. He’s the second best quarterback and you play with what you’ve got.

(on former Seminoles)

It’s always good. We like to have them hanging around. They spoke to the team last night, a bunch of them. At least five or six first-rounders were talking to them. I understand they had a good session.

(on opening game at Miami)

We haven’t forgotten about Miami. It’s a great opening ball game, because the kids are going to be motivated to play them and they will be motivated to play us. It’s not like you’re playing somebody where you are heavily favored and you can’t get your kids up to play them.

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