Applying Pressure

<b>Brodrick Bunkley</b> has heard all the talk surrounding Georgia Tech freshman quarterback <b>Reggie Ball.</b> He has heard how Ball has completed 53 percent of his passes for 296 yards and a touchdown. He has heard how he can scramble out of trouble and make plays. He has heard how Tech fans carried Ball off the field following last Saturday's win over Auburn, and then tore down the goal posts. He has heard how a replica of Ball's jersey in the student bookstore sold out earlier this week.

Brodrick Bunkley has heard all the talk surrounding Georgia Tech freshman quarterback Reggie Ball.

He has heard how Ball has completed 53 percent of his passes for 296 yards and a touchdown. He has heard how he can scramble out of trouble and make plays. He has heard how Yellow Jacket fans carried Ball off the field following last Saturday's win over Auburn, and then tore down the goal posts. He has heard how a replica of Ball's jersey in the student bookstore sold out earlier this week.

"Oh yeah, I have heard all about him," Bunkley said, a wide smile spreading across his face.

"I've heard. Hopefully, we will get a chance to get after (him). It's crazy. We will get after any ol' quarterback (laughing)."

FSU coach Bobby Bowden also has praised Ball this week, saying he reminds him of former Tech star Joe Hamilton.

"This kid has some real good talent and he's got some poise for a young guy," Bowden said. "He's got feet that can get him out of trouble. He can get himself out of a lot of trouble."

Ball the Yelllow Jackets (1-1) are expected to face plenty of trouble at Doak Campbell Stadium. Tech enters as a 23 ½-point underdog and has not beaten the Seminoles since FSU entered the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ball, who has displayed plenty of composure thus far, says he won‘t be intimidated.

"I love to play in front of big crowds," Ball said.

"The spotlight is where I want me and my teammates to be. Because I want everybody to see what we have and what we can do."

Of course, the 10th-ranked Seminoles haven't allowed an offensive touchdown in two games and held North Carolina and Maryland each to fewer than 300 yards of total offense. FSU, which has registered five sacks and 20 quarterback hurries, hopes rattle Ball with constant pressure.

That expects to be a challenge, however. Tech's offensive line is considered a team strength and is anchored by senior center Hugh Reilly. The line also features two-time all-ACC left tackle Nat Dorsey and junior right tackle Kyle Wallace

"It's going great right now, but we need to get some more sacks though," said Bunkley, who was credited with a half-sack in FSU‘s victory over Maryland last Saturday.

"I think we are playing fine. The defense is playing great, but you always want more pressure. How we do improve? Little things, like hustling around. Staying in control of your man. A lot of times, I know for me, you get out of your gap and the quarterback will run straight up the middle. That's what happened at Maryland. We need to get him (Ball) in the backfield and manhandle the linemen a little more."

Bunkley, of course, has settled in nicely his sophomore season. The Seminoles' interior rotation of Darnell Dockett, Jeff Womble, Travis Johnson and Bunkley has worked extremely well. The quartet has combined for 35 tackles -- Dockett leads the team with 13 -- and six quarterback hurries.

"I am feeling great," Bunkley said.

"More like just in high school when they moved me to D-line. Get that one year out of the way to learn everything and when you come back you feel like, ‘Okay, this is my spot.' It feels more natural. I feel great out there. Against Maryland, I don't want to brag, but I felt good out there. I don't want to say too much (smiling)."


Nole Digest Top Stories