Wednesday Football Notes

Florida State DT Travis Johnson knows he has a big task ahead of him when undefeated Virginia roles into Tallahassee on Saturday. Johnson's line will go against one of the top of the nation in UVA, which is led by C Zac Yarbrough and G Elton Brown. Coach Bobby Bowden said he expects the play of the line to determine much of the outcome this weekend.


Florida State DT Travis Johnson isn't underestimating the importance of Saturday's showdown with undefeated Virginia. How big is it?

He says bigger than Miami.

So, he's taken this week of preparation seriously because he understands the challenge the Cavaliers present. His line has the duty of slowing down Virginia's multi-back ground attack, which is ranked at the top of the ACC with 275 rushing yards per game. They'll also lead the charge against versatile QB Marques Hagans, who's been sacked just twice through five games.

To have success Johnson's crew will need to plow their way through an experienced offensive line, anchored by veterans C Zac Yarbrough and G Elton Brown.

"Elton (Brown) is one of the players that has been instrumental in fusing passion and intensity into the personality of this team," Virginia Coach Al Groh said. "Zac (Yarbrough) is a very athletic person for the offensive line who's kind of gotten himself big and strong enough to be an offensive lineman."

Johnson describes Brown, a preseason All-American, as the cornerstone of the Cavaliers success up front. Last season, Brown's performance earned him the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC's best blocker.

"He's big, nasty and physical," Johnson said of Brown. "He's been doing it for a while so he's got a lot of experience, too."

Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden said he expects the front line to play an important role in the game, since most of the skill position match-ups are relatively equal.

"Can you block them and can they block you," Bowden said. "There are some excellent match-ups there and whoever wins those battles will be important."

WEDNESDAY INJURY UPDATE:

WEATERFORD STILL ON THE MEND

Land O' Lakes stand-out QB Drew Weatherford continues to nurse the effects of a high-ankle sprain suffered during the first collegiate play of his career against Clemson.

Weatherford said the soreness and the swelling around the ankle have gone down, but his Achilles tendon is still heavily bothering him.

"It's getting better, but it's taking a lot longer than they thought, I think because the Achilles is a little more serious than the ankle," Weatherford said.

HALL WANTS HARDSHIP:

Senior S Kyler Hall said he expects to sit out for the rest of the 2004 season and apply for a medical hardship after struggling with a lingering neck injury suffered against Miami.

Hall has never had a redshirt year and has played under the allotted number of games required to apply for a hardship.

Quick Update From The Practice Field

No. 7 Florida State (4-1, 2-1 ACC) continued to prepare for Saturday's game against No. 6 Virginia (5-0, 2-0 ACC) with a 20-period workout in shells Wednesday afternoon. In 11-on-11 scrimmaging, quarterback Wyatt Sexton completed a 15-yard pass across the middle to Dominic Robinson while tailback Leon Washington broke a 20-yard run. The defense did not allow the offense to get into field goal range during the one-minute drill. Defensive end D.J. Norris recorded a sack on the first play of one-minute. Saturday's game is scheduled for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff and will be nationally televised by ESPN. Five of FSU's first six games have been on national TV.

FSU Sports Info Contributed to this Report

Nole Digest Top Stories