Practice Report

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden expects to face an improved North Carolina team Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. At the moment, however, Bowden remains more concerned about his team, which practiced under hot and sticky conditions Monday. There was good news to report, however, as receivers Dominic Robinson and Chris Davis returned to practice. Also, Bowden believes quarterback Chris Rix also has made strides this preseason. Click here for all the news.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden expects to face an improved North Carolina team Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

At the moment, however, Bowden remains more concerned about his team.

The Seminoles practiced Monday in hot and sticky conditions, and at least three players -- receiver Craphonso Thorpe, offensive guard Bobby Meeks and nose guard Jeff Womble -- experienced heat-related issues. Also, starting tackle Alex Barron and a few others missed practice due to class.

On the injury front, tailback Leon Washington sat out as he continues to recover from a thigh bruise he re-aggravated in last Friday's scrimmage. There was good news, however. Receivers Dominic Robinson (hamstring) and Chris Davis (ankle) returned to practice.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Washington said.

"I got kind of dinged up in the last scrimmage – my thigh bruise again. Probably a day or two, a little rest, get back into the flow and I will be alright."

Bowden said one key to his team's preparations this week hasn't changed -- injuries.

"Well, I think if we can get through this week without any injuries – we had two offensive linemen miss today, because of classes and class changes," Bowden said when asked if his team was ready.

"We had one or two other guys – it really kind of messed up our offense. We were having to use kids that didn't know what to do in there, just to try to get some kind of teamwork going. Tomorrow we should be in a little bit better shape – should have everybody else back out there."

Bowden also continues to be impressed by the Tar Heels, who are coming off a disastrous season a year ago. Still, they have a veteran quarterback in Darian Durant and eight returning starters on defense.

"They're going to be like us," Bowden said.

"They're going to be an improved football team. They've got most of their kids back. They'll be starting a quarterback against us that didn't play against us last year, and he's the quarterback that ripped us two years ago. You'll see a much-improved football team, and a quarterback that's probably about as good as anybody's."

And, speaking of quarterbacks, Bowden believes Chris Rix has made positive strides this preseason.

In our scrimmage the other night, I told him the next morning, you did two things in that scrimmage you didn't do last year," Bowden said.

"Number one, when you got trapped on the sideline, you threw the ball away instead of running it and losing yardage. Number two, you ran the ball to the line of scrimmage, then dumped the ball to a back and let him run it. That's something last year that he didn't do. So, again, it comes with experience."

Rix completed over 50-percent of his passes as Davis, Thorpe and Chauncey Stovall each hauled in several deep passes during Monday's practice. Bryant McFadden and Antonio Cromartie recorded pass breakups as B.J. Ward added an interception during 11-on-11 drills to spark the defense on the afternoon.


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