Saturday's Premium Football Notebook

For the second scrimmage in a row neither Xavier Lee nor Drew Weatherford did anything to distinguish himself as a frontrunner in the competition to become Florida State's starting quarterback.

That's because coaches didn't give them much of chance to.

Working mostly on short-yardage situational exercises, the Seminoles held an abbreviated workout in Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday after spending the first half of morning on the practice fields.

Lee tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to tailback Lorenzo Booker and completed 2-of-8 passes. Weatherford, meanwhile, was 4-of-6 and found tight end Matt Root for a 3-yard score in goal line drills.

"You really don't get the feel or benefit of momentum," Weatherford said. "It's three plays and get the heck off the field.

"In a regular scrimmage you're marching the team down the field. In situationals you get three plays like a third-and-2 or fourth-and-1. They are just trying to get you used to situations that you know are going to come up in the games."

As has been the case throughout camp, both signal callers split reps with the first and second team offenses.

"I was just worried about executing the plays they were calling," Lee said. "My goal is to get more comfortable working things everyday and I think that's happening."
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden hinted after practice that both would play in game situations until it became clear that a frontrunner had emerged. Only Weatherford has game experience (one snap in 2004); punter Chris Hall and tailback Lorenzo Booker are the only players on FSU's roster that have attempted a pass in their careers.

"If one guy was ahead today, the other guy could take it over the next day," Bowden said. "It's going to be a situation where (both of) those two guys are going to be number one. It's not like you are starting the game and you are first team, we aren't going to do that. These two guys are too close."


In addition to short yardage work, the Seminoles put considerable effort into the field goal unit Saturday.

That included getting all three of their kickers into the mix. Chase Goggans impressed by hitting all four of his tries while Graham Gano was 3-of-4. Gary Cisemsia, the only kicker with game experience continued his struggles by missing from 32 yards out and having another blocked by safety Pat Watkins.

"All three of us know the job is open," Goggans said. "All three of us want it. At the same time we are all friends and we're going to do whatever we can to help each other out."

Bowden's only concern was that both Gano and Cismesia's range is about 10 yards longer that that of Goggans.

"It's the short ones that have given us troubles, though," Bowden said. "It's not like missing 55 yarders have been hurting us."

Gano said that he and Goggans usually spend a period or two of practice every day kicking in the stadium to get used to the game climate.

"It's competitive, but we are not focusing on that," Gano said. "We're all just trying to get better. It would be cool (to get the job as a freshman) but we'll see what happens."


Florida State found itself in an unfamiliar place when the AP college football rankings were released Saturday morning – at the 14th spot.

The ranking – which seems fitting considering the Seminoles have to address many question marks and did in fact finish No. 15 in the AP poll at the conclusion of the 2004 season – is the lowest preseason ranking for the Tribe since 1985.

"We are not where we would like to be because we want to be at the top," Bowden said. "It's fitting though and if you are in the top 15 or in the top 20 you have a chance to play well and be in it (the national championship hunt) at the end of the season."

The preseason AP Poll is as follows:

1. Southern Cal 2. Texas 3. Tennessee 4. Michigan 5. LSU 6. Ohio St. 7. Oklahoma 8. Virginia Tech 9. Miami 10. Florida 11. Iowa 12. Louisville 13. Georgia 14. Florida St. 15. Purdue 16. Auburn 17. Texas A&M 18. Boise St. 19. California 20. Arizona St. 21. Texas Tech 22. Boston College 23. Pittsburgh 24. Fresno St. 25. Virginia

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