Scrimmage Update From Wednesday's Practice

FSU completed its second half-scrimmage of the spring Wednesday. After Saturday's scrimmage saw the first-team defense pitch a shutout against its offensive counterparts, the offense countered Wednesday. Chris Rix led the starters on a scoring drive, culminating in a touchdown pass to WR Craphonso Thorpe, a perfectly-placed lob on a fade route, which Thorpe snagged after making a diving effort. Click here to read more of the story.

After Mickey Andrews ripped the defense for a lack of emotion Saturday, Wednesday's scrimmage was marked by plenty of chatter from both sides. After practice, Bobby Bowden singled out the defensive spirit, particularly in goal-line work.

"We had a good scrimmage out there," Bowden said. "We had good spirit – I liked that. We had a lot of enthusiasm on the goal-line. The defense really had a good day out on that goal-line."

The scrimmage also saw a new solution to the lack of depth at defensive tackle. The Seminoles went through their first five practices with walk-ons manning both positions on the interior line. For the scrimmage, however, senior Kevin Emanuel and junior Charles Howard moved inside from defensive end, providing more quality depth at the position. Bowden was hasty to say that he did not expect either move to be permanent.

"We'll get four tackles back this fall, so we shouldn't have to put them back in there," Bowden said. "It sure does help out in the spring. And it's good for them. If they can play that position, they can play that other one. It'll help them playing that other one."

Emanuel started every game last season for FSU, including 12 at defensive end. He moved inside for the Sugar Bowl, thanks to the absence of Darnell Dockett, Jeff Womble, and Brodrick Bunkley. Howard was a medical redshirt in 2002.

FSU's run of good health during the spring came to an abrupt end Wednesday, as sophomore fullback Torrance Washington went down with what appeared to be a knee injury in the early going. After lying facedown on the field for several minutes, Washington was carted off the field by trainers. No news on his condition was available after practice.

Joining Washington on the injured list was senior linebacker Michael Boulware, who was held out of action thanks to a nagging shoulder injury. Boulware and head trainer Randy Oravetz suggested that the shoulder might need arthroscopic surgery, which would sideline FSU's second-leading tackler for the remainder of the spring.

Prior to the injuries to Washington and Boulware, FSU had not had a player seriously hurt in practice – good news, since the ‘Noles entered the spring missing 11 players who started at least one game in 2002. Both injuries come at deep positions – Washington was replaced by sophomore B.J. Dean, and sophomore A. J. Nicholson filled in for Boulware.

Bowden also singled out the wide receivers for praise. FSU is replacing three of its four top wideouts from last season, but so far the segment has been outstanding in the spring.

"We did lose some good receivers, but I tell you what, these kids are mighty talented," the head coach said. "Some of these kids are very talented, and I felt real good about them this spring, these receivers. Moving Willie Reid helped a little bit, and of course (Chris) Davis can't scrimmage or anything, but he looks mighty good in drills. And then (P.K.) Sam's catching the ball better, had a couple of nice catches out of Dominic (Robinson) today, and (Craphonso) Thorpe. The tight ends caught the ball pretty good. I'm encouraged. I think the key will be the offensive line."

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