Defense Dominates

Florida State's most immediate concern was obvious in the Seminoles' first preseason scrimmage Wednesday. FSU's starting offensive line featured a walk-on at one point due to injuries. As expected, the Seminoles' defense turned in a dominating performance, recording 12 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and a blocked field goal for good measure. Even so, FSU's offense had its good moments, too, before the threat of severe weather ended the session. Click here for the details

Florida State's most immediate concern was obvious in the Seminoles' first preseason scrimmage Wednesday. FSU's starting offensive line featured a walk-on at one point due to injuries.

As expected, the Seminoles' defense turned in a dominating performance, recording 12 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and a blocked field goal for good measure. Even so, FSU's offense had its good moments, too, before the threat of severe weather ended the scrimmage.

Starting quarterback Chris Rix and backup Fabian Walker each tossed two touchdown passes, and tailback Leon Washington rushed for 67 yards on just four carries. Receiver P.K. Sam continued his solid play from spring drills, finishing with five receptions for 101 yards and two scores.

"If it's anything we need it's sacks because we haven't had a whole lot the last couple of years and that's a good sign," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said.

"But they are working against a very patched up offensive line. So we are really going to have to look at personnel offensively. We have to slip somebody else in there."

FSU's problems are at tight guard.

Starter Eric Broe is expected back after injuring his kneecap in Tuesday's practice, while reserve Bobby Meeks had to leave the scrimmage following an asthma attack. Walk-on John Hamilton filled in briefly before reserve tackle Ron Lunford, who has been plagued by a sore lower back, was moved to guard.

"The injuries are frustrating but we have to get ready and we have to try to stay healthy as possible," starting split guard Matt Meinrod said.

"Our starting five is solid. We have to get the young guys and second string to step it up. I had to do it last year and they will have to do it this year."

FSU was not at full strength at other positions as well. Starting tailback Greg Jones, who has been held out of contact following reconstructive knee surgery, is expected to play in Saturday's scrimmage. Receiver Dominic Robinson (hamstring) also did not play as expected.

Tailback Lorenzo Booker was ineffective as he re-injured his left ankle earlier this week.

The Seminoles' defense accomplished its goal of setting the tone this preseason. Darnell Dockett and Willie Jones each had two sacks. Reserve free safety Pat Watkins had three pass breakups and a blocked field-goal attempt, though he also was beaten on Craphonso Thorpe's 40-yard touchdown pass

"The D-line looks like they stepped it up big time," safety B.J. Ward said.

"Everybody was talking about how they weren't getting much pressure. If that's a sign of what's going to happen this coming year, we have big things happening. That helps us. That turns into interceptions. This is a start to see where we are at, and it looked real positive."


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