Monday Football Notebook
PLAYING SHAPE: One challenge for some players following a long layoff is getting back into shape after three weeks of putting exams first, and football second.
"I think it is harder for some players more than others," center David Castillo said. "I was doing stuff on the side I was running with a friend of mine who is not a football player that lives next to me. I ended up staying in pretty good shape."
Castillo said strength and conditioning coach Jon Jost held workouts twice a week for players who could fit them in between exams.
FSU padded out for the first time Monday and engaged in contact drills for the first time since the week leading up to the UF game.
Linebacker Ernie Sims said the extra work would pay dividends into next season, as well.
"We'll have our edge," he said. "We wont be as rusty as other teams next fall. Really the schedule is the same as during the season but were more focused with no school to think about."
The extra time on the practice fields will also give coaches additional opportunities to evaluate the younger talent on the team.
"You're going to work the younger guys more than we normally would during the season," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "That's one advantage of a bowl - your getting two weeks of practice the teams that aren't going a bowl are going to get."
URBAN LEGEND: Bowden said Monday he "thought he'd met" new UF coach Urban Meyer at some point in his career.
"I think Tommy has communicated with him," Bowden said of his son and Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. "I think he'd have a little bit more to do with Tommy. Thier offenses are very similar."
Bowden also said that he expects that Meyer's wide-open offensive attack will be met with success in the SEC.
"I think his scheme is an excellent scheme," he said. "His offense will translate."
Kicker Xavier Beitia will end his career between the hash marks instead of on the sideline. FSU head coach Bobby Bowden said Monday that we would give the starting nod to his Beitia, a senior, over freshman Gary Cismesia Jan. 1 in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia.
Beitia – benched following FSU's 20-17 loss at Maryland in October – came on in relief of Cismesia Nov. 20 against Florida. He hit a career-long 52-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter.
"We'll go with Xavier," said Bowden, who opened the position to competition over the weekend. "It's kind a like: What have you done for me lately? Xavier hit a big one for us against Florida."
Cismesia claimed the starting role against Duke and responded by tying a school-record with five field goals against the Blue Devils. The freshman didn't miss a kick until he wavered against the Gators, missing from 32 and 39 yards out.
Enter Beitia. The senior connected from long range with just under four minutes to play, narrowing the UF lead to 20-13 and giving the Seminoles a chance for a potential game-tying drive.
"I felt good out there and knew it was going in," Beitia said of the kick.
Beitia has connected on 13 of 22 attempts this season and is the second-leading scorer in school history.
"In my mind this is a big game for me," he said. "I didn't have a good season this year."
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