Wake Forest Game Summary

FSU 48<br> Wake Forest 24</p> <p>Bobby Bowden 339<br> Joe Paterno 338 <p>The stage was set when the final score of the Iowa-Penn State game was announced. This was Bobby Bowden's moment in college football history. The victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons moved OUR COACH to the very top of the charts of NCAA 1-A football coaching history.

Those FSU fans that were around in the 1970's and before should certainly realize the enormity of what Coach Bowden has accomplished here. Little old FSU, the team that dared to play anyone, anywhere, now can boast that our coach has eclipsed the legends of all time. Of course, Bobby Bowden is correct that this is something that is just this week and everything can change if we should lose some games and Penn State gets things turned around, but my money is on Bobby to prevail in the current Clash of the Titans in college football that we are privileged to be here to witness.

Those that remained in attendance through the conclusion of this game, that participated in the chants of "Bob-by Bow-den", that were there to see our coach given a victory ride with this level of meaning and importance behind it, got to witness a once in a lifetime moment that nearly every fan of the sport would explode with envy to see for the coach of their team. Those that left early just don't get it.

As for the game itself, FSU's offense showed up ready to put points on the board on a day where the defense didn't play to it's recently elevated standards. Our touchdown at the end of the first half really served to deflate the Wake Forest team that had just gotten back in the game just a few moments before then. That one was vital to the victory. Had we gone in at halftime only up 20-14, it may well have been a very different ball game in the second half as Wake Forest would have come out with a lot more confidence only down by six.

NEGATIVES:

1. Chris Rix did have a few problems in this game, mostly with passes sailing on him again. He had an excellent game, but took a little while to heat up. The lowlights for the FSU passing game included:

--Chris Rix missed Craphonso Thorpe on a flat pass where he threw outside and Thorpe curled inside.

--Chris Rix with a 4 yard run on a scramble avoiding pressure allowed by Alex Barron. He had Leon Washington wide open in the flat and I'd call this one a bad decision to run.

--Chris Rix badly overthrew Craphonso Thorpe on a slant pattern.

--Chris Rix badly overthrew P.K. Sam and was nearly intercepted.

--Craphonso Thorpe dropped a pass on a deep post pattern. This one was a good recovery by the DB. Chris Rix put a bit too much loft on this pass to let the DB back in to make the play. This one was catchable though, so I put it as a dropped pass.

--Chris Rix missed Dominic Robinson on a jump ball attempt after he rolled out on a scramble after pressure was allowed by David Castillo and Ray Willis. This was an ugly play.

--Chris Rix overthrew Craphonso Thorpe but Wake Forest was flagged for interference. I think we were lucky on this play as I don't think the ball was catchable.

--Chris Rix underthrew a deep post pattern to Craphonso Thorpe after a rollout.

--I didn't like the play call of the bubble screen to Dominic Robinson for 2 yards on a 3rd and 12 play. This was another third down pass thrown short of the marker and Robinson hasn't yet shown the explosiveness you'd want from a receiver to run a play like this to him trying to pick up 12 yards.

--Chris Rix had a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. This one was nearly intercepted deep in our territory.

--Chris Rix overthrew P.K. Sam on a deep route. This pass was also behind Sam.

--Chris Rix was intercepted on a 3rd and 4 slant pass to Dominic Robinson. This one was returned 43 yards. Rix did not read the safety coming up into the play at all as he was hurried by a two linebacker blitz.

--Leon Washington dropped a flare pass. This one was thrown low by Rix but it was catchable.

--Another bad play call was a 3 yard out pattern to Craphonso Thorpe on 3rd and 8. He had nowhere to run after the catch on this one.

--Fabian Walker threw short on a pass to Chris Davis.

--Lorenzo Booker with no gain on a flare pass, then he fumbled. Fabian Walker put too much loft on this pass and Chris Davis missed a block to kill the play. Booker really needs to stop fumbling so it won't interfere with him getting more play time when we need his speed. That's his third fumble on the year.

--Lorne Sam misjudged a deep pass from Fabian Walker for an incompletion.

--Fabian Walker had a pass to Chauncey Stovall in the end zone that was broken up by a good play by the Deacons' CB King.

2. Our running game took something of a back seat to the passing attack in this one, largely due to Wake Forest entering the game as the #104 pass defense in the country. Actually, I thought we were running a bit too much early on in the game considering that fact, as I thought the ticket to success this week would be to air it out as we did against Colorado. On the day we had 9 unsuccessful carries for -2 yards. Here are the lowlights for us running the ball:

--Greg Jones with a -1 yard run: James Coleman with a decleater, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford needed a better block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block. This was just a great tackle by their DB in the open field. Ordinarily Jones would beat one guy like this, especially a smaller guy, but this was a great effort by the DB.

--Leon Washington with a -1 yard run: B.J. Dean missed a decleater, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo was beat to kill the play, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, Paul Irons knocked his guy down.

--Lorenzo Booker with a -2 yard run on a 3rd and 2 play from the three yard line: James Coleman with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod was beat to help kill the play, Alex Barron was also beat to help kill the play. Booker needed to try to beat the guy to the outside instead of stutter-stepping in the backfield.

--Greg Jones with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford pulled and knocked a guy down, David Castillo fell down, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, P.K. Sam missed his block.

--Leon Washington with a -2 yard run: James Coleman with a pancake, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo was beat to his right to kill the play, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block.

--Greg Jones with a 2 yard run: James Coleman with a block, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis and Bobby Meeks with a double-team block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron fell down to kill the play as he didn't pick up a stunting DT.

--B.J. Dean with a run for no gain on 2nd and 1: Paul Irons with a block but fell down, Ray Willis with a block but fell down, Ron Lunford knocked his guy down, David Castillo needed to sustain his block longer, Matt Meinrod needed to sustain his block longer, Alex Barron with a block. This was a good play by a Wake Forest linebacker to stuff the hole.

--Greg Jones with a run for no gain on 3rd and 1: B.J. Dean with a block, Donnie Carter needed to sustain his block longer, Ray Willis was beat badly to kill the play, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod pulled and got a block, Alex Barron and Paul Irons with a double-team block. Meinrod should have hit the guy that Willis missed. Meinrod did do his job though, as he shouldn't have to anticipate that Willis was going to get beat, but he did have a chance for a block that could have got us the first down and opted for a downfield block instead. This was a terrible job by our backs and OL to not be able to pick up one yard on two successive running plays.

--Marlon Napier with a -1 yard run: Chad Canfield and Andrew Henry-Kennon with a double-team pancake, Paul Irons with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, Bobby Meeks knocked his guy down, Cory Niblock with a block, Mario Henderson with a block. Napier ran too slowly to get by the safety to daylight on the outside.

3. Our pass protection had some problems in this one.

--Alex Barron allowed a pressure that forced Chris Rix to scramble for 4 yards.

--Ray Willis allowed a pressure that forced Chris Rix to scramble for only a 1 yard gain on a designed rollout play. The pressure was allowed when Willis didn't sustain his block and just stood there. This was likely a good decision by Rix to just eat the ball for the minimal gain as I couldn't see the receivers in the pattern, but it seemed like they were likely covered by the way everything looked early.

--Chris Rix sacked for -10 yards. Greg Jones was beat by a blitzing LB and made a poor block resulting in the sack as Rix was expecting the block to be made and couldn't get away in time when he saw that it wasn't.

--David Castillo and Ray Willis allowed a pressure that caused an incompletion.

--Ron Lunford let his guy through unblocked to create a near sack situation where Chris Rix was able to get rid of the ball to Craphonso Thorpe for only a 2 yard gain.

--Chris Rix was crushed on a pressure allowed by Alex Barron who was beat badly to the outside by a LB. Rix threw incomplete to Craphonso Thorpe here. It would have been short of a first down on 3rd and 8 due to Rix having to get rid of it so quickly. The pass was broken up by a good defensive play.

4. Our run defense surrendered 230 yards on 52 Wake Forest carries, with the bulk of their success coming on the QB draw play. Surprisingly, they really didn't play as much of the "hide-the-ball" offense (as I call it) as I expected to see in this game. In past games with them, it seemed like every play was an exercise in figuring out which player actually had the ball in his hands. In this one, they utilized far less misdirection in their scheme than they have in the past. I'm glad that was the case actually. The lowlights for our rushing defense included:

--11 yard run allowed by QB Randolph on a QB draw play: Allen Augustin was blocked, Michael Boulware and A.J. Nicholson were tied up in coverage.

--41 yard run allowed by QB Randolph on a QB draw play: Allen Augustin was blocked and took a bad angle, Michael Boulware ran out of the play blitzing to the outside, A.J. Nicholson was blocked, Jerome Carter was blocked and took a bad angle, Bryant McFadden was blocked, B.J. Ward slipped trying to come up early in the play. McFadden and Ward saved the TD on this play.

--13 yard TD run allowed by QB Randolph on a scramble: A.J. Nicholson missed a tackle, Allen Augustin and Michael Boulware were occupied in coverage.

--15 yard run allowed by WR Davis on a reverse: Bryant McFadden was taken out of the play by coverage, Ernie Sims and Jerome Carter failed to stay at home on the play. Sam McGrew was blocked.

--25 yard run allowed by RB Bryant: Sam McGrew was blocked, Ernie Sims ran himself out of the play taking a bad angle, Marcello Church was blocked. Pat Watkins took a bad angle initially but showed great speed to recover and get in on the hit. Bryant McFadden did force a fumble at the end of this play that we recovered, but the early part of the play qualifies as a negative for our run defense.

--11 yard run allowed by RB Birgs: Nate Hardage was blocked and missed a chance at the tackle, Pat Watkins and Claudius Osei were late with run support, Marcello Church took a bad angle initially.

--15 yard run allowed by QB Taylor on a QB draw: Ernie Sims was blocked, Nate Hardage was blocked, Pat Watkins and Claudius Osei were late with run support again.

--20 yard run allowed by RB Birgs on a pitch play: Claudius Osei took a bad angle, Sam McGrew was late getting over, Ernie Sims was late getting over, Rufus Brown was blocked. It was obvious on this play (and this whole drive) that our defense had it's mind elsewhere as we were more interested in celebrating Bobby's 339th win than in finishing the game properly with a defensive stop. It was an understandable lapse in focus, but one that allowed Wake Forest to get a junk TD that made it to where we gave up more points in this game than in any other this season.

--3 yard TD run allowed by WR Davis: Chauncey Davis was fooled by the reverse and lost containment, Antonio Cromartie was tied up in coverage, A.J. Nicholson and Sam McGrew were blocked. It will be a shame if this score ends up costing us a shot at the #1 scoring defense for the season. I doubt it will come to that though.

5. While our pass defense did hold Wake Forest to under 100 yards passing on the day on only 15 attempts by the Demon Deacons, WR Jason Anderson was able to get loose occasionally to do some damage to us. The problems with our pass defense on the day included:

--22 yard catch allowed by WR Anderson beating Bryant McFadden (who was giving way too much cushion) and Jerome Carter.

--38 yard TD catch allowed by WR Anderson on a sideline pattern beating Bryant McFadden and B.J. Ward. I have no idea what McFadden was doing here as he was six yards behind Anderson covering nobody (just sitting in no man's land). B.J. Ward didn't get over quickly enough with help and took a terrible angle allowing Anderson to blow by him for the score. On the sidelines, Mickey Andrews was blasting McFadden after the play.

--14 yard catch allowed by WR Anderson on a curl pattern beating Leroy Smith and Kyler Hall in zone coverage.

--Jerome Carter and Rufus Brown were beat deep over the middle but we were fortunate that the WR dropped the ball for an incompletion.

--13 yard catch allowed by WR Anderson for a 3rd and 4 conversion beating Leroy Smith.

6. Antonio Cromartie fumbled a kickoff. He had to cover 20 yards of ground to come up to try to field a pooch kick.

7. FSU was penalized ten times for 89 yards.

--Illegal procedure penalty on Donnie Carter. I thought the TE could move in this situation.

--Holding penalty on Lorne Sam on a punt return. Dominic Robinson looked very slow on this return as he was run down from behind.

--Holding penalty on Craphonso Thorpe at the end of a run by Lorenzo Booker negated a 7 yard gain.

--Delay of game penalty on the field goal unit.

--Holding penalty on a punt return. I couldn't see who this one was on.

--Holding penalty on Antonio Cromartie in coverage to give up a 3rd and 10 conversion.

--Holding penalty on Antonio Cromartie on a punt return. Late flag on this play.

--Pass interference penalty on Antonio Cromartie.

--Holding penalty on John Frady. I think it was Frady, but it's possible that it could have been on Matt Meinrod or Mario Henderson).

--Kickoff out of bounds penalty on Xavier Beitia.

8. Confusion on a field goal attempt led to a delay of game penalty. We seem to have a lot of confusion on plays where you wouldn't expect to see it. Then after the delay of game, we had a bad snap that was wide of holder Joey Kaleikini. Terrible execution all-around here and in addition to missing the field goal, we lost 24 yards of field position on the bad snap.

9. Our offense again snapped the ball and Chris Rix took a knee when we thought Wake Forest was offsides, but we just threw away a down. That's the second time we've done that this year.

10. Antonio Cromartie was stuffed at the 18 yard line on a kickoff return.

11. FSU wasted a timeout starting a drive on the first play after the kickoff. More confusion again.

12. Terrible job by ABC missing Bobby's dunking during what seemed to be an unnecessary commercial break, then botching the attempted interview with Terry Bowden during the closing moments of the game.

13. I was extremely disappointed with the number of people in DCS that decided that they had better things to do than to watch the end of this game and show your appreciation for what Bobby Bowden has accomplished. To those that had *real* reasons that you had to leave, I can understand that. But for those that simply wanted to beat traffic or get a head start on Saturday night partying, all I can say is you simply do not deserve the team you are watching. Leaving for the latter reasons was an absolutely pathetic display as fans. The moment was still magical without your presence, but it could have been that much better with a fully packed house and greater enthusiasm. I'd also add that I was disappointed in the university for not getting some sound happening to where we could hear what Bobby Bowden had to say during whatever the ceremony entailed.


POSITIVES:

1. Xavier Beitia's kickoffs were very good as he was able to put four deep enough into the endzone to force a touchback. On the pooch kickoffs into the wind, he was able to get very good height on them to greatly limit the potential for a return.

2. Our defense was able to record eight three-and-outs against the Wake Forest offense.

3. Our defensive line did a good job of clogging up the middle to take away from the effectiveness of the first option in Wake Forest's offensive attack. Outside of their effectiveness with the QB draw play, there was little running room available for the Deacons ground attack. Our defensive line also recorded five sacks on the day. Early in the game, our pressure wasn't what we'd want to see, but we gradually turned up the heat as the game progressed. Broderick Bunkley should be singled out for a job well done in his first start for FSU, filling in for the injured Jeff Womble. The highlights up front for the defense included:

--Broderick Bunkley and Allen Augustin stuffed a 3rd and 3 run by RB Barclay for only a 2 yard gain.

--Kamerion Wimbley with a -1 yard TFL on a run by RB Barclay. Chauncey Davis was also in on the hit.

--Broderick Bunkley with a -4 yard sack!

--Chauncey Davis and Kamerion Wimbley with a pressure to help force an incompletion.

--Kevin Emanuel with a tackle to hold a run by QB Randolph to only 1 yard.

--Broderick Bunkley with a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage to force an incompletion to complete a three and out series for our defense.

--Kevin Emanuel with a tackle for no gain on a 3rd and 1 QB sneak by Randolph to force a punt. Emanuel had an excellent jump off the snap and was in very quickly to make the play.

--Broderick Bunkley with a nice tackle on an option pitch to RB Barclay to hold the play to a 1 yard gain. Michael Boulware, Chauncey Davis and A.J. Nicholson were also in on the hit as we swarmed to the ball here.

--Eric Moore with an excellent -8 yard sack! He corralled the QB on a bootleg and pulled him down for the sack.

--Eric Moore with an -8 yard sack! Broderick Bunkley was also in on the hit.

--Darrell Burston with a -13 yard sack! Burston beat a double team here. Great job by the freshman. Charles Howard was also in on the play.

4. Our punt return game was exceptional when we were able to avoid penalties. Leon Washington set a new FSU record for punt return yardage in one game with 159 yards on seven punt returns, including an exceptional 65-yard touchdown for our first return for a score since Peter Warrick's return in the 1999 national championship game against Virginia Tech. Dominic Robinson had a nice 17 yard return and Chris Davis added an excellent 27 yard return where he made a really good decision to field a ball inside the 5 yard line that looked like it was going to die instead of going into the end zone. This was a really good play by Davis to go against conventional wisdom on that particular punt. In addition to Leon's 65 yard punt return, he also added a 20 yarder earlier in the game and a 21 yarder later in the game. On the touchdown, Leon Washington showed explosive speed running north/south here. I didn't get to cheer this play as I thought the flag thrown on Eric Moore was going to negate the return with a running into the kicker penalty as I couldn't tell the punt was tipped from where I was in the stadium at the time.

5. We did have quite a few bright spots running the ball. I liked the addition of some planned running plays for Chris Rix on bootlegs. We ran the ball very effectively particularly in the fourth quarter on the touchdown drive with Fabian Walker at QB. On the day, we had 24 successful carries for 153 yards. We also had 9 unsuccessful carries for -2 yards. That totals to 33 carries for 151 yards on designed running plays. We had a very strong 72.7% success ratio and averaged a solid 4.58 yards per carry on our designed running plays. That looks a lot better than it seemed at the game and better than it seems when looking at the final rushing stats that include the sack and the 24 yard loss on the botched field goal attempt. I still think we could do better if we could just get to where we can count on springing at least one long run per game (50+ yards or so). We should emphasize that as a priority IMO. That's the element we're lacking too often, even on a good day rushing as this one has shown to be. Our longest run of the day against Wake Forest was a 17 yard run by Chris Rix. Here are the highlights on the ground:

--Chris Rix with a 5 yard run on a bootleg: Greg Jones with a block, Ray Willis and David Castillo with a double-team block, Ron Lunford with a block, Matt Meinrod didn't block anybody, Alex Barron with a block. I think this play was a designed run with a pass option if it was there.

--Leon Washington with a 10 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Donnie Carter with a block, Chris Rix with a block, P.K. Sam with a block, Ray Willis didn't get his block, Bobby Meeks with a pancake, David Castillo and Matt Meinrod with a double-team block, Alex Barron with a block but got away with a holding penalty here. This was a great run by Leon reversing his field to find daylight.

--Leon Washington with an 8 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block, Craphonso Thorpe with a block.

--B.J. Dean with a 6 yard run: Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis missed his block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block but his guy made the play, Alex Barron with a decleater.

--B.J. Dean with a 3 yard run: Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block before getting knocked down, Matt Meinrod doubled with Castillo for a block, Alex Barron with a block before getting knocked down.

--Chris Rix with a 1 yard TD run over the top: Donnie Carter didn't get his block, Ray Willis with a pancake, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block (I think), Paul Irons with a block. It was tough to tell the blocking on this play due to the ABC camera angles.

--Chris Rix with a 17 yard run on a bootleg: B.J. Dean with a block, Matt Henshaw with a good downfield block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford didn't block anybody, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod and Alex Barron with a double-team block.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 7 yard run: James Coleman with a pancake, P.K. Sam with a block, Matt Henshaw with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block. This play was negated by a holding penalty on Craphonso Thorpe at the end of the run, but I think the yardage counts for Booker.

--James Coleman with a 3 yard run: Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a pancake.

--Greg Jones with a 5 yard run: B.J. Dean needed a better initial block but then ended up getting a block and helped Jones surge forward for additional yardage, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron with a block. Good push by Jones (and Dean) here to turn a bad play into a positive one.

--Greg Jones with a 10 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block but needed to turn his guy inside, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Alex Barron knocked his guy down. Jones showed great speed here to get around the corner.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 6 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block but his guy made the play, Alex Barron with a block, Chauncey Stovall with a block. Booker had a nice subtle stutter step that froze a DB to get four extra yards on this run.

--Greg Jones with a 5 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Ray Willis didn't get a block, Ron Lunford with a block, David Castillo with a pancake after getting beat initially, Matt Meinrod with a block and late pancake, Mario Henderson with a block, Chauncey Stovall missed a block. Jones bulled through a Wake Forest LB for the yardage gained on this run.

--Greg Jones with a 9 yard run on 3rd and 1: James Coleman with a decleater, Donnie Carter missed his block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a pancake, David Castillo with a block, Matt Meinrod needed to sustain his block longer (his man was there for the play but Jones bulled through him), Mario Henderson with a pancake, Donnie Carter with a block. ABC's announcer said it all after this run: "That's a powerful man."

--Greg Jones with a 3 yard TD run: James Coleman with a pancake, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis and David Castillo with a double-team block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a pancake, Matt Meinrod with a decleater, Mario Henderson with a block, Paul Irons with a block. This was an easy run for Jones and a great job by the OL. I was very pleased to see Bobby Meeks do such a great job pulling on these two consecutive runs.

--Leon Washington with a 9 yard run: James Coleman with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod didn't get a block, Mario Henderson with a block.

--Leon Washington with a 6 yard run on a misdirection pitch: James Coleman executed the fake and didn't get a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Mario Henderson missed a decleater but did get a bit of a block.

--Greg Jones with an 11 yard run: James Coleman missed a decleater, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block (I think), John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Mario Henderson with a block, Lorne Sam with a block, Chauncey Stovall with a block.

--Greg Jones with a 7 yard run: James Coleman with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Chauncey Stovall with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Mario Henderson with a block.

--Greg Jones with a 7 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a block, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a pancake, Mario Henderson with a block.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 4 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks missed a decleater, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Mario Henderson with a block.

--Fabian Walker with a 2 yard run on a 3rd and 1 QB sneak: Donnie Carter with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Ron Lunford with a block, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a block, Mario Henderson with a block. Fabian did his best impersonation of a bulldozer on this run pushing the pile forward.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 6 yard run: James Coleman with a decleater, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks pulled and got a pancake yet again, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod and Mario Henderson with a double-team block, Henderson also got another late block, Joey Kaleikini with a block.

--B.J. Dean with a 3 yard run: Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Bobby Meeks with a pancake, John Frady with a block, Matt Meinrod with a pancake, Mario Henderson with a pancake.

6. Chris Rix definitely had one of his better games in this one, lighting up the Wake Forest defense for 339 yards on 22 of 34 passing with 1 INT and 2 TDs. Fabian Walker got some good work in completing 3 of 6 passes for 28 yards and 1 TD. FSU totaled 367 passing yards on 25 of 40 passing, with 1 INT and 3 TDs. We were able to complete passes to nine different receivers in this game. Game ball to Chris Rix for leading the offense effectively and putting up 339 yards to secure Bobby Bowden's 339th victory in the game's most ironic twist. Rix also moved into second place on FSU's all-time career passing yardage list, passing Gary Huff. The highlights in the passing department included:

--Leon Washington with an 18 yard catch and run on a flare pass for a 3rd and 5 conversion. Dominic Robinson had a good block on this play.

--Dominic Robinson with a 15 yard catch on a slant pattern.

--Chris Davis with a 21 yard catch and run on a slant pattern. This one was thrown slightly behind Davis who made a beautiful adjustment to the ball to spin, catch and continue running without breaking his stride, then he broke two tackles for additional yardage. Chris Rix threaded this ball between two defenders and his putting it slightly behind Davis turned out to be advantageous in allowing Davis to avoid a hit.

--Matt Henshaw with a 46 yard catch over the middle. He was wide open on this one. Great play call.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 9 yard catch on a flare pass. Dominic Robinson had a good block to get him more yards after the catch.

--Chris Rix with a good job dumping the ball off to Craphonso Thorpe for a 2 yard gain on a scramble and near sack. I put this in the positive plays section because Rix actually saw a dump-off option here.

--Chris Rix with a great job of scrambling to buy time in avoiding another pressure and finding P.K. Sam as an interference penalty on Wake Forest here got us a 3rd and 8 conversion.

--Chris Davis with a 23 yard catch on an out and up pattern.

--Chris Rix with a 16 yard strike to Craphonso Thorpe.

--Chris Rix with a 22 yard strike to Chauncey Stovall over the middle. Rix stepped up in the pocket nicely and fired a total rocket to Stovall, getting the ball just over a CB that was ready for the interception, deftly using Stovall's height advantage.

--Craphonso Thorpe with a 25 yard TD catch. Chris Rix did an excellent job eluding pressure from a blitzing LB, spotting Thorpe wide open in the end zone, and throwing against his body, showing tremendous arm strength to get the ball there for the score. This was huge for us to score here just before the half. I have to give us credit for effectively marching down the field with only one minute to go in the half. No major clock management issues here (although Rix did waste 10 seconds before one snap).

--Craphonso Thorpe with a 9 yard catch on a curl pattern.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 15 yard catch and run on a flare pass. This one was a bad throw by Rix as he didn't lead him properly and Booker had to stop to make the catch. That allowed the defense to close in on him, but Booker made a sensational run all the way across the field (Peter Warrick style) for a 15 yard gain, making three guys miss badly then getting past three more along the way. He was helped by big blocks from Willie Reid, P.K. Sam and Chauncey Stovall. Ray Willis, Alex Barron, Bobby Meeks and Matt Meinrod also had blocks to help Booker find daylight.

--Chris Rix with a 20 yard strike to P.K. Sam over the middle.

--Craphonso Thorpe with a 10 yard TD catch and run on a short drag route. Game ball to Craphonso Thorpe for his 6 catches for 66 yards and 2 TDs on the game.

--Lorenzo Booker with a 14 yard catch and run on a flare pass.

--Matt Henshaw with an 11 yard catch. This was a nice leaping grab by Henshaw to bail out Chris Rix who made a terrible decision to throw this pass up for grabs into triple coverage while under pressure. Equally puzzling as why Rix threw this ball as he did was why Wake Forest had three men assigned to cover our tight end on this play. We were lucky that Matt Henshaw had the athleticism to go up and get this ball that really had no business being thrown IMO.

--P.K. Sam with an excellent 36 yard catch on a crossing route. This pass was a total strike by Chris Rix after a rollout. Beautiful play. David Castillo did get away with a hold though.

--Chauncey Stovall with a 9 yard catch and run on a quick out pass.

--Lorenzo Booker with an 11 yard catch and run on a flare pass from Fabian Walker. This one went in the rushing stats because it was ruled a lateral from Walker.

--Chris Davis with a 13 yard catch on a curl pattern from Fabian Walker. This was a nice play by Fabian avoiding pressure to make a good throw.

--Joey Kaleikini with a 15 yard TD catch! Excellent grab by Kaleikini despite being interfered with on the play. Nice pass by Fabian. The Joey Kaleikini fan club within DCS got to cheer wildly for this score, at long last.

7. Xavier Beitia was good on field goals of 48 and 43 yards, which should be another solid step forward for his confidence level. I believe the 48 yarder tied a career long for him.

8. Our linebackers played a mostly solid game, save for their absence in stuffing the QB draw play a couple of times. A.J. Nicholson did a great job filling in for injured Kendyll Pope for his second start of the year, leading FSU in tackles for the game with nine. Here's the list of good plays turned in by the LBs:

--A.J. Nicholson with an excellent tackle to hold a run by RB Barclay to a 1 yard gain.

--Sam McGrew with a tackle for no gain on a run by QB Randolph. Ernie Sims had the initial hit on this play.

--A.J. Nicholson with an excellent tackle to stuff a 3rd and 4 run by RB Barclay for only a 2 yard gain to force a punt.

--Michael Boulware with a -5 yard sack!

--A.J. Nicholson with an awesome tackle for no gain on a QB draw by Randolph to force a field goal after Wake Forest took over possession deep in our territory after their interception return.

9. Our DBs played well in holding Wake Forest's passing attack to only 96 yards on 8-15 passing. The high points for the secondary included:

--Antonio Cromartie with a great job stopping a 3rd and 5 flat pass to WR Davis for a 4 yard gain to force a punt.

--Jerome Carter with an immediate tackle to hold a 3rd and 15 flat pass to TE Warren to a 5 yard gain to force a punt.

--Rufus Brown with a pass breakup on a low throw for an incompletion.

--Claudius Osei with a pass breakup on a slant to WR Morton for an incompletion.

--Jerome Carter with an excellent -2 yard TFL on a flare pass to RB Birgs.

--Bryant McFadden with good, tight coverage on WR Anderson to get a pass breakup for an incompletion.

--Claudius Osei with an excellent pass breakup for an incompletion on a halfback pass to the end zone. Bryant McFadden was beat on this play. Osei saved a touchdown with this effort.

--Leroy Smith with perfect defense to stuff an option pitch for a -3 yard TFL. A.J. Nicholson was also in on the hit.

--Bryant McFadden with a forced fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Leroy Smith.

10. Antonio Cromartie with yet another excellent job on punt return coverage with an immediate tackle for a 1 yard loss. Pat Watkins had another immediate tackle on another punt return later in the game.

11. Antonio Cromartie had a nice 29 yard kickoff return.

12. Jesse Stein continued his excellent job punting with a 4 punt day for a 48 yard average.

13. Chris Rix had a good 5 yard run on a scramble that looked to me like it was a good decision to run as he didn't have space to set to throw.

14. Great to see Coach Bowden get the victory ride for win #339!!! "See what happens when you get old" was his classic line to Wake Forest Coach Grobe when the two met at midfield after Bobby was carried out on some players' shoulders. The post-game celebration of the victory was a great thing to be a part of, despite not being quite as strongl as it could/should have been. Some lucky member of the Marching Chiefs got a tremendous souvenir as Bobby walked the length of the field (to a thunderous applause from those remaining in the stadium) to toss his hat to the band.

Standing ovation and 339 game balls for Coach Bobby Bowden's achievement of becoming the winningest coach in NCAA 1-A history. Thank you for all the memories, Coach, and here's hoping for many more before you ride off into the sunset.

PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Offense: Chris Rix

Defense: A.J. Nicholson (with a tip of the cap to Eric Moore and Broderick Bunkley)

Special Teams: Leon Washington (with a tip of the cap to Xavier Beitia and Jesse Stein)

(C) 2003 Kenny Moore. All Rights Reserved.


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