Practice Report

FSU continued preparations Tuesaday for its home-opener against the humbled Maryland Terrapins at Doak Campbell Stadium in four days. FSU coach Bobby Bowden is very concerned about the Terps depsite their stunning overtime loss to Northern Illinois. Plus, click here for quotes from Leon Washington, Willie Reid and Darnell Dockett. "It's totally different from receiver. It's something I 've got to adapt to, something I've got to get used to. I'm taking the challenge a day at a time," Reid said.

As a fierce rain began to pelt Florida State's practice fields Tuesday, injured tailback Leon Washington headed into the Seminoles' training room for treatment on his swollen right elbow.

Washington, who suffered a grotesque dislocation on a punt return in FSU's victory at North Carolina Saturday, says his elbow/arm feels much better than it looks.

"I've been icing it as much as possible, trying to get the swelling down. Trying to get my range of motion back," Washington said as he lifted his arm up and down, a wide smile spreading across his face.

"When I am at (home), I keep it elevated to keep the blood flowing towards my heart. Honestly, I am pleasantly surprised how I am doing compared to the way it looks (laughing). I have pretty good motion. I can write with my (right) wrist and stuff like that. I can move it pretty good."

While Washington expects to miss anywhere from two to four weeks -- he is scheduled for an MRI Wednesday -- his teammates continued preparations for Saturday's home opener against the Maryland Terps (1-0). The Terps have spent the past couple of days trying to get over their humbling season-opening loss to Northern Illinois.

The Seminoles (1-0), meanwhile, have seemed to always play well against Maryland, leading the all-time series 13-0 with an average margin of victory of 32.2 points. FSU upended the Terps 37-10 last season as Chris Rix threw for 227 yards and two scores. He also rushed for another touchdown.

"I don't know, but I hope it holds up again," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said.

"It's amazing how we have played against Maryland. Last year, Maryland – I thought we had one of the best football teams in the country, and then for some reason we played our best game. At the half, I think it was 30-0. We hit on the long passes, caught long passes, didn't drop ‘em. Talman Gardner makes a sensational catch on a takeoff (route) – he couldn't even catch one in the Sugar Bowl, or against North Carolina State. I don't know -- I just hope it'll hold up again."

The Terps' secondary was suspect in the season-opening loss to Northern Illinois, allowing wide receiver P.J. Fleck 13 receptions for 116 yards, and giving up the game-winning score on a 20-yard pass in overtime. Plus, the Seminoles have riddled Maryland's defensive backs for the quick strikes that have sparked a pair of blowout victories.

Bowden says he wouldn't be surprised if the Terps covered deep and made the Seminoles attack underneath the defense. FSU's game plan last Saturday was to spread out the Tar Heels and use its speed.

It worked from the start as Rix was able to hit receivers or running backs with early swing passes or short routes that turned into big gains. Receiver Craphonso Thorpe finished with a team-high seven catches for 83 yards.

"We have, and we wish it would continue," Bowden said of FSU's past big plays against the Terps.

"But they might take the approach, and probably will, of ‘let's don't let Florida State have anything big. Keep in front.' We must be able to do whatever they let us do. That means if we have to go in front, we go in front."

With Washington out due to injury, Willie Reid continued to work with the tailbacks Tuesday. Reid turned in a solid game against the Tar Heels, finishing with 48 rushing yards and 50 passing yards on three catches.

"It was a totally different part of the game," Reid admitted.

"Mainly just getting everything down, steps, reads, blocking assignments, pickups on blitz, stuff like that. It's totally different from receiver. It's something I 've got to adapt to, something I've got to get used to. I'm taking the challenge a day at a time."

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

During 7-on-7 (no offensive or defensive lines), the defense continued to look sharp, according to FSU's sports information office.

Claudius Osei, Sam McGrew and Bryant McFadden all recorded interceptions. Marcello Church added a pass break-up. The offense's top plays were a 15-yard pass from Chris Rix to Dominic Robinson in 7-on-7 and Willie Reid's long run up the middle in 11-on-11.

The Seminoles have one player that hails from the state of Maryland. Senior defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, who is FSU's all-time leader in tackles for loss, was regarded as one of the nation's top defensive lineman coming out of Paint Branch High School in Burtsonville, Maryland.

"Maryland has gotten better each year that we've played them since I've been here," said Dockett.

"They are keeping some of the good athletes from up there. Right now we have to approach every game like it's Miami no matter who we play. We have to stay focused this week because doing the little things are important when you play Maryland."


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