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The Florida State offense finally sputtered to life during a Tuesday morning scrimmage, with Drew Weatherford providing the first twist in the competition for the starting quarterback job. Click here for the latest on the competition at quarterback and kicker and for other notest on Tuesday's scrimmage.

Seizing a chance opportunity, Weatherford unofficially completed 24-of-37 passes for 455 yards while fellow signal caller Xavier Lee sat nursing a sore throwing shoulder for most of the scrimmage.

Lee completed one of his three attempts for eight yards before having to exit halfway through his first series of the day.

Weatherford then made a thunderous entrance, finding Richard Goodman for a 62-yard catch-and-run on his first attempt in relief of Lee. The gain is by far the longest in an FSU preseason camp that was previously dominated by the defense.

"It was uplifting to get in there and make a play right off the bat," Weatherford said. "I owe that one to the line for giving me time and to (Goodman) for doing the rest. He made a great grab and rode out."

Weatherford started the first series of the day and was shaky before giving way to Lee's short stint. His fifth pass was intercepted and returned 79 yards for a touchdown by free safety Pat Watkins.

Once Lee was unable to go, Weatherford ripped off a stretch in which he connected on 10-of-12 attempts and piled up 274 yards.

"It is important for him to have some success and he had some today," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "I saw some good strides (on offense) today and we must continue that in every scrimmage.

"He must have played 85 snaps out there instead of 40 today. You wish you could get him that (much work) every day. That's what both (quarterbacks) need right now. They are both going to get better and better."

Bowden said Lee has been bothered by shoulder soreness for the past few days and that and MRI earlier in the week revealed no serious damage. It is uncertain whether Lee will be able to participate in the final scrimmage of preseason camp on Friday evening.

"He tried to go today but it started hurting him," Bowden said "A couple days of rest and he'll be okay."

Lee and Weatherford will remain co-first teamers until further notice. Bowden said that two will split reps with the first team on Friday is Lee is able to participate.

SEXTON SPOTTED

Junior quarterback Wyatt Sexton watched his teammates practice for the first time this fall on Monday and attended a quarterbacks meeting on Tuesday.

Sexton, who started seven games for FSU in 2004, will miss this season as he recovers from the symptoms of Lyme disease.

"I saw him in the training room, gave him a big hug and told him that my family and I had been praying for him," Weatherford said. "We're glad to have him back.

"He's in good sprits…he's definitely the same old Wyatt Sexton. He's a funny guy that always has a way to lighten up any situation."

FSU is seeking a sixth year of eligibility for Sexton, who redshirted as a true freshman in 2002.

WATKINS REELS IN A PAIR

Though the offense ruled most of Tuesday's workout, free safety Pat Watkins turned in a trio of impressive plays. In addition to his interception return, Watkins added another pick later in the workout and helped force fumble from Lorenzo Booker. Watkins put his 6-4' stature to good use on both interceptions by snaring passes that were intended for reciever Chase Walker (listed at 5-11') on each occasion.

"Drew usually stays away from me at practice but he decided to pick on me a little bit today," Watkins said. "I decided if was going to do that, I'd pick right back."

Weatherford might have been able to make a touchdown-saving tackle on the Watkins return, but apparently decided that wasn't a good idea with the season 12 days away and pulled off of his pursuit.

Watkins said that the change of fortunes for the offense on Tuesday was bittersweet.

"I love it. I feel like we have one of the better defenses in the country so the way they played today made me proud. At the same time, we realize we have some work to do."

"THE WEED" STOPS PULLING

Gary Cismesia thinks he has things figured out. The lone kicker on FSU's roster with game experience said that a mental issue led to mechanical flaw that caused him to struggle last week and led Bowden to open up the kicking job.

Former FSU kicker Bill Capece quickly identified Cismesia's flaw in a consultation on the practice fields over the weekend.

"After two kicks, he knew what I was doing wrong," Cismesia said. "He knew beforehand that I was missing them from the right. He told me to keep my head down and follow through straight. When you are in a slump, you have a tendency to want to look up to see if the ball is going through (the uprights). He said that I just need to have confidence and let the ball go."

Cismesia booted a pair of 38-yarders straight down the middle on Tuesday.

"That's the way it was supposed to be in the beginning," Bowden said. "I think he's found his problem. It's like a pitcher who can't find the strike zone or a batter who has gone 0-for-13. He has to find out what the problem is and correct it to get his confidence back.

ETC

-- A.J. Nicholson (sprained ankle) and Kenny O'Neal (groin) did not practice.

-- Chase Goggans was the first kicker out on Tuesday. Goggans hit an extra point after Lorenzo Booker's touchdown run. When coaches put Goggans to the test, he missed a 41-yard field goal attempt just short.

THE VETERAN AND HIS APPRENTICE

Tuesday's scrimmage seemed to mark a coming out party for the Seminole passing attack. Led by Drew Weatherford, it marked the first time since preseason camp began that the aerial game outshined the ground game.

Paving the way was veteran WR Chris Davis, who notched 3 receptions for 91 yards, and surprising standout freshman WR Richard Goodman, who had 2 receptions for 90 yards. Included in Goodman's stats was the day's longest play from scrimmage; a 62 yard catch and run that nearly resulted in a score.

Davis, who returned to practice Monday after missing time last week with a slight hamstring injury didn't miss a beat or appear to still be hampered by the injury.

"I am feeling better now," Davis said. "It was never serious; I just had to rest it (the hamstring). Today it felt good to be out there and helping this team get better. I just want to keep improving."

While Davis has been expected to step into a leadership role since the 2004 season ended, before arriving in Tallahassee, Goodman was thought of as a work in progress with a redshirt all but guaranteed his first college season.

If the preseason is any indication as to what the Ft. Lauderdale native can do on the football field, however, a prominent role in the offense this season appears to be a certainty.

"I am just out there trying get better everyday," Goodman said. "It's a blessing to be here at Florida State and I want the coaches, the fans and my teammates to know that I have been working hard. All the freshmen have (worked hard).

AERIAL EXPLOSION

To say that Tuesday's scrimmage was different from many of the past few years would be an understatement. The Tribe seemed to move the ball through the air with ease on several occasions, something that has been quite uncommon to say the least.

Despite throwing two interceptions (both recorded by Pat Watkins, who returned one for the 79 yard score), Weatherford was on fire, unofficially going 24-46 for 450 yards.

"I made a few throws that I would like to have back but I was pleased with how I played," Weatherford said. "There is definitely more room for improvement and I just have to keep getting better and better."

The strong offensive play is welcome news to a team that struggled mightily on that side of the ball last season. Still, as inspiring as the performance was, the players are still looking for improvement.

"It's gonna take a while but once everyone knows their assignments and gets on the same page we are going to be good," Chris Davis said. "We just have to keep working hard."


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