Rainy Conditions

Monday's practice session in the rain could prove to be a valuable one for the Florida State football team. With Hurricane Frances steaming eastward through the Atlantic, the weather could have a substantial impact on FSU's season opener at Miami next Monday. Click here for an update.

Despite periodic downpours in the area, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden elected to practice in the rain rather than use the indoor ‘turf room' in the Moore Athletic Center Monday afternoon.

The practice had been scheduled for the early afternoon but was moved back to attempt to accommodate the weather. But Mother Nature didn't cooperate and about half of the two-hour workout was in the rain.

"This ballgame might very well end up being played in the rain," Bowden said.

"Usually when you practice in the rain the thought is, ‘this might help us down the road'."

Or right away. One projection has Frances making landfall Saturday evening somewhere between Key Largo, Fla. and Brunswick, Ga. That would mean the remnants could effect gameplay or force the game to be rescheduled.

"It's all about preparation," guard Ron Lunford said.

"We are hearing that ‘there's a chance of this or a chance of that'. We just want to be ready."

In full pads, the offense took on the defense in live 11-on-11 situations. The long week to prepare allowed for extensive conditioning afterward.

In each of the past two seasons quarterback Chris Rix has been victimized by opposing defenses in rain-soaked losses. FSU lost to the Hurricanes 22-14 last October in a downpour and was upset at Louisville in 2002.

"Practicing in the rain isn't the most fun thing to do," said Rix.

"But it'll help the offense. The complexion of a game can change very easily."

Bowden said that he'll have the team outside whenever possible. Sessions indoors force the team to forgo contact drills and kicking game run-throughs.

"If it rains and we can practice we'll work in the rain," he said. "It's the lightning that'll scare us inside."

MEEKS AND CASTILLO DOUBTFUL

One obvious strength for FSU heading into the game was it's offensive front. That may change as three of five returning starters may miss the season opener.

Center David Castillo (hand) and guard Bobby Meeks (ankle) have been training room regulars during the past week. Castillo practiced sparingly Monday while Meeks limited his participation to just conditioning.

"I'm going to get out there and work hard but it's the coaches' decision," Castillo said.

"If it's up to me I'm going to be out there. If not I want to help this team in whatever way possible whether its tape ankles or be a cheerleader or whatever."

Lunford, who has played both guard and both tackle positions during his career, would replace Meeks. John Frady, a sophomore, is Castillo's backup.


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