Wednesday Football Notes

There won't be any changes in the way that Florida State will cover kickoffs, just the expectation that things must improve drastically this Saturday against North Carolina.


Last weekend, Clemson's Justin Miller single-handedly kept the Tigers in the game, returning six kicks for an NCAA-record 282 yards and a school-record two touchdowns. Miller tripped over a teammate in the open field on another.

There were several culprits that led to Miller's career day.

"We weren't getting the ball kicked properly, and we weren't getting the execution out of our coverage people," said defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, who is in charge of the unit. "It's a shame that you've got to give up 14 points and a safety before you get some things straightened out. We've worked harder on kicking and spent more time on it this year than we ever have. We've got to be more effective there or it's going to get us beat down the road."

Clemson special teams actually scored 15 points, a safety on a block punt included. Compare that to the seven points and 163 total yards the Tiger offense managed against the FSU defense.

Said coach Bobby Bowden: "Really it is just a breakdown and it is very seldom you do that but every now and then you do. I don't know why it hit us all at one time but at least it shows us what we are doing wrong and what we need to correct and I expect to get it corrected."

WEATHERFORD READY

The injury situation at quarterback leaves the Seminoles with a true freshman in Land O' Lakes native Drew Weatherford as its first option off the bench.

Weatherford now has three practices under his belt as the second-team quarterback and has found teammates on scoring strikes in scrimmage situations three times thus far. Weatherford received the nod over fellow freshman Xavier Lee because he receives snaps under center with greater ease and has exhibited greater command of the playbook since arriving on campus.

"That's why I worked so hard in the summer," Weatherford said. "I came in with the attitude that I wanted to start but I knew that was a long shot. I knew something like this was going to have to happen in order for me to get a chance. I really tried to stay in the film room and pay attention during practice. I just have to get used to everything that happens at the line of scrimmage."

Weatherford committed early last fall to FSU and actively lobbied to over recruits on behalf of the Seminoles during camps and unofficial visits.

Bowden said he has been pleased with Weatherford's quick progress but remains realistic given the nature of the situation.

"The big thing that I noticed today was when you take a quarterback that you have worked with for five years, then you take a quarterback that you have had for three years and then go with one you have had for one year, you see how much work you have to do to catch up," he said. "You have to be very patient and trying to increase what they take on and see what happens."

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