Spring Ball Sneak Peek: FSU

Today, we begin a look at some of the other teams around the ACC that have already started spring practice. First up, the Florida State Seminoles, who went through their first scrimmage this past weekend.

How does the old saying go?

Something like, "Florida State doesn't rebuild, they reload."

That certainly applies this spring as head coach Bobby Bowden looks to build on the momentum established by another ACC Championship in 2003.

Unfortunately for the Noles, and the rest of the ACC for that matter, it won't get any easier this year with the addition of Miami and Virginia Tech.

This spring, there are several pressing concerns for Florida State, and Clemson fans will find Papa Bowden echoing some of the same sentiments from the practice fields as his son, Tommy.

Getting tougher and finding a quality back up quarterback to Chris Rix are just two of the areas Bowden is looking to improve his team this spring.

Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee, two highly touted quarterbacks in the 2004 class, will be trying to unseat are Wyatt Sexton as the second team signal caller later this fall.

"We are trying to get Wyatt as much experience as possible going into the season," Bowden said after going through the team's first scrimmage on Saturday. "Chris (Rix) has been through four springs and four regular seasons. Wyatt is still getting a feel for it."

Chris Rix returns for his final season as the Florida State signal caller this fall.
Sexton, orginally out of the Tallahassee, completed just 3-of-11 passes in his first scrimmage. Rix, the much maligned rising senior who always seems to competing to keep his job, completed 4-of-8 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Wide receiver Chauncey Stovall, who caught 15 passes for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns last season in a reserve role, is one player that has caught the eye of the Seminoles' coaching staff this spring.

Stovall, a JUCO transfer from Hinds Community College, was ranked as the No. 2 JUCO receiver and the No. 11 overall junior college prospect by Street and Smith's.

Stovall could be depended on early this fall with Craphonso Thorpe recovering from a broken leg and P.K. Sam deciding to try his hand in the National Football League.

Thorpe has been in rehab since breaking his leg against N.C. State last November.

On the defensive side of the ball defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews has been pleased through the first 7 practices.

During the first scrimmage this weekend, Andrews' unit forced six three-and-outs, and six different defenders registered sacks. Linebackers A.J. Nicholson and Ernie Sims continued their strong play with two tackles apiece behind the line of scrimmage.

"More consistent secondary play. Better tackling by the safeties," are two areas of the defense noted by Andrews that need improvement.

"The last three times down in Miami, one touchdown has been too much," he said. "There have been situations where one more play could have done it."

The Noles won't have to wait long to try and payback the Canes after two losses to their in-state rivals last season. FSU and Miami will square off in the season opener on September 6th- a Monday night game on ABC.

For Clemson, the Tigers will get to do battle against FSU in the fourth game of the 2004 sehedule.

After opening up with their first 2 games at home against Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, Clemson will take to the road in week #3 to battle Texas A&M, before heading to Tallahassee in week #4 to tangle with Florida State.

The Tigers upset Florida State last year in Death Valley in a 26-10 win that help set the stage for a 9-4 season. It was the highest ranked team that Clemson has ever beaten.

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