"It was a very good day for the offense, a terrible day for the defense, and a bad day for FSU overall. (because of the injury)" _ Someone who watched practice today.
I'm told that the beatdown given by the offense today was similar to the drubbings administered throughout the spring. Christian Ponder looks very good, and that is in no small part because the pass protection is there. A pocket is forming. There were fewer long runs than in the spring, but the passing game more than made up for it. Let's link to Andrew Carter at the Sentinel today, as he had the first practice report up.
Justin Mincey injured his knee. I spoke with three people who attended practice and their responses were "definitely not good", "it looks like a big one", and "let's hope for a miracle." That's not encouraging to say the least. Mincey is important for the 'Noles because they have very little depth on the defensive interior, and he really came on at the end of last season. I am sure they will know more when the swelling goes down but Mincey definitely can't walk right now.
The offense did a great job attacking the middle of the field today. They picked on middle linebacker Kendal Smith and Strong Safety Korey Mangum. Of course, Mangum plays the rover, which FSU uses too heavily in run support, thus leaving that player vulnerable to the pass. Nobody has outplayed Mangum, however, so for now the spot is his. The defense played better against the run today than they did in the spring, but as Andrew points out, there were many many big plays made in the passing game. It appears the defense is really selling out to stop the run, and over-committing their secondary to help stop it. Of course, teams have to do that when their front-7 isn't capable of handling the run by themselves. I've heard from someone who was not keeping official stats, that there were "probably 10 or more 20+ yard passes." That's encouraging for the offense, but the defense must play better than that. To be honest, however, we've told everyone for months now that this offense, which was already the best in the conference, was going to be very good. The main question in the minds of coaches who had watched FSU's film, and undoubtedly FSU's coaches, was the pass protection. It appears that at least on the first day in pads, the protection was there.
Go read Carter's article and then come back. We'll comment on some of the tid-bits and update when more info trickles in.