Unlike myself, I am sure most of you are up to date with all the latest NOLE happenings. Since I am trying to catch up with all of the weekend activities, I thought I would share with those of you who might also be lagging behind and not had a chance to read up on the final scrimmage results from Saturday, some information and links to bring you up to date. If you are interested in catching up, please continue reading for the Seminoles.com press release, some final thoughts from Jimbo Fisher, and then 3 player stories that you might find interesting.
First let's start with the press release from Seminoles.com.
Goal Line Shutout Caps Improved Day For Defense
Offense sputters at times, but still hits for big plays
Aug. 22, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State closed out its final scrimmage before the start of the fall semester with just enough feel-good plays to be encouraged, yet enough mistakes to understand there is much work ahead before the Sept. 7 opener against Miami.
Quarterback Christian Pondercompleted 12 of 16 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns against the second-team defense, while back-up EJ Manuel went 7 of 13 for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Despite those impressive offensive numbers, the Seminoles were hurt be penalties and lost three fumbles over the course of Saturday's 2-hour scrimmage.
"Their youth and inexperience showed today as a group," FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "It was just very, very inconsistent. What did I tell you was going to happen? I rubbed that crystal ball. ... Then all of a sudden we started making plays.
"(Ponder) played real well today. I was really proud, because we were having some penalties and weren't making plays early and he kept his poise and kept making plays. When he had an opportunity to make plays, he made them."
"The defense started off pretty strong, but it seemed as the game went further they gave up more touchdown passes," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "They weren't giving up a lot of long runs."
FSU's running game was virtually non-exsistent as Jermaine Thomas led all rushers with 24 yards on six carries. The defensive toughness was especially impressive as the scrimmage drew to a close with both the first and second units keeping the offense out of the end zone in both red zone and goal line drills. James Esco did kick a 20-yard field goal for the first-team offense in red zone.
The offense failed to generate a single positive yard in four goal line plays. It marked the first time this preseason that the defense pitched a shutout in the goal line drill.
"We came out real fired up today because we knew that with this being the end of two-a-days that this would be one of the last times that we'd be able to go full speed and hit each other," junior middle linebacker Kendall Smith said. "We just wanted come out and end on a good note. And I think with us taking it to the offense like we did, it'll end up making them better."
"They did a good job down there (on the goal line)," Bowden said. "As a coach, you want them both to do good, but if I had a preference it would always be defense. You have to have great defense to get to the top."
Like Smith, Ponder acknowledged that the better the defense plays, the more helpful it will be to the offense. "They really came out with the right attitude, really wanted to stop us and did good job," Ponder said of his defensive teammates. "It definitely helps a lot. It's more of a game-like situation when they're playing hard. It makes us a better offense. Everything is not going to come easy and we've got to get used to that. We're going to be facing good defenses all season. When they play well it makes us better, too."
Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews saw some progress, but wasn't quite ready to begin handing out laurels.
"It looked like we tried to save ourselves to the goal line instead of extend ourselves to the limit (throughout) and somehow find a way to win on the goal line again," Andrews said. "You can't save yourself to the fourth quarter (in games) because you'll never recover. ...
"Overall (there was) progress, but we still haven't learned to push oursevles mentally and physically to play at the level we want to."
The Seminoles will conduct a kicking scrimmage Saturday evening, then get a two-day reprieve from the practice field as class begins Monday. They will start their in-season routine with Tuesday's practice.
Willie Haulstead26 pass from Manuel (Esco kick)
Rod Owens 27 pass from Ponder (Hopkins kick)
Jamie robinson - 6 tackles 1 tfl
Maurice Harris - 6 tackles
Dekoda Watson- 5 tackles 1 sack 1 pbu
Gerald Demps - 4 tackles
Nigel Bradham - 4 tackles
Ricardo Wright - 4 tackles
Christian Ponder12-16 233 2 tds
EJ Manuel 7-13 112 2 tds
Jermaine Thomas 6-24
Ty Jones 6-12
Rod Owens 5-79 1 td
Bert Reed 3-107 1 td
Click here to go to Steve Ellis' Blog and to read Jimbo Fishers thoughts as preseason practices come to an end. Fisher: Not ready to ready to win Super Bowl last week, skies aren't falling this week
Click here to read Steve Ellis final practice story from Nolesports.com detailing the final practice. What I found most interesting in this story, is that it appears to me that our little boy Ponder is growing up and is assuming the leadership role that is so desperately needed on this team. Read on and see if you agree with my assesment. FSU offense performs sub par at scrimmage
Next there are 3 player specific stories of interest.
In the first one, FSU junior Jenije provides a detailed look at preseason drills and he shares his daily grind with you.
The second one is about Jaime Robinson's nice preseason so far, with some interesting comments from MA at the end. FSU's Robinson looks to make a name for himself
And finally, It's time for FSU's Fortson to step up and deliver.
On a personal note, I got to watch Everette Brown play last night as the Carolina Panthers were defeated down here by the Miami Dolphins. Everette got a little work in, looked pretty good at times and like a rookie at others, but he did manage to get 1 tackle, 1 sack, and one forced fumble. On the sack he basically looked like the same Everette of last year, when he beat his man and hit the Fins QB from behind and knocked the ball loose. Fortunately for my team, a Phins lineman was able to recover the ball. BTW, this is Everette's 2nd sack in 2 preseason games.
Just thought I would share that with my fellow NOLES.