Tuesday's Premium Football Notebook

A bye week will do wonders for the body though it may tease the mind. Sixth-ranked Florida State (3-0, 2-0 ACC) has this weekend off after using an inspired fourth-quarter performance to outlast Boston College 28-17 last Saturday.

"We we're talking about (the bye) on the plane ride home," quarterback Drew Weatherford said. "We kind of wish we were playing again this week the way we got it going late."

Easy for him to say. Weatherford and the rest of the Seminoles' offense had to spend just over 22 minutes on the field against the Eagles because the BC offense was sustaining drives with ground game. BC had nearly four times the offensive snaps that FSU did.

The defense, meanwhile, gutted out a tough 37:37 to stave of the Eagles and allow the FSU offense to find its rhythm. They capped off the performance by finding the gas to deny the Eagles entrance to the end zone seven times from within their own 2.

"We knew going in that it was going to be a game of toughness and courage, and that's exactly what it was," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "We're going to have to sit some people down and kind of let them have a week off and try to recover. That's three games in (13) days. Our guys need a rest."

Among the wounded are linebacker Ernie Sims (ankle/foot), defensive tackle Andre Fluellen (ankle) and Brodrick Bunkley (ankle). The injuries aren't serious but the bye week does provide opportune reprieve. All three sat out of Tuesday's workout.

The weekend off will also provide the rest of the unit a chance to regain their legs. Despite the frequent rotation of personnel, Andrews said that several players were forced to play over 70 snaps. Rover Kyler Hall had to play almost 90.

"When there is an open date, I do try to get people healthy and rested," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "Then I try to get a three-day head start on who we have to play next. That's the way we've done it the last 20 years or so."


Center David Castillo and wide receiver Willie Reid both indicated Tuesday that they will be ready to go next Saturday against Syracuse. Both sat out against The Citadel and Boston College.

Reid tweaked his knee in the opener against Miami when Devin Hester delivered a blow on punt coverage. The injury is minor - Reid has been taking part in minor conditioning and has been held out as a precaution.

"I'm feeling a lot better now and I'll definitely be ready to go for the next game," Reid said. "Us having a bye week was a big factor in deciding on (my return). It just have be another week to rest things and get back to where I need to be."

Castillo had hoped to play against Boston College but unexpected surgery on his sore foot forced him to sit out against the Eagles. The off week should allow adequate time for recovery.

"I'm just dealing with a little soreness right now," Castillo said. "I'll be ready to go next week." THE GUY?

For the first time in three games, Bowden elected against playing backup quarterback Xavier Lee though Weatherford started the game 5-of-14 before getting on track. Weatherford said Tuesday that he feels confident that the job is his to lose.

"I think the guys around me think that I am the guy and have a lot more confidence in me now," he said. "They are ready to go out there with me and trust me and that gives me all the confidence in the world."

ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe pointed out that Lee appeared visibly detached from the offensive huddle on the sidelines Saturday, something Bowden said he did not notice.

"I want to keep Xavier's head in the ball game," Bowden said. "He needs to keep an 'I've got to be ready to go mentality.' I'm not ready to give up on that yet. You never know what's going to happen.

"You want to have your (backup) guy in a state of readiness at all times. I hope to get him some playing time as quickly as I can."

Weatherford has completed 53.5 percent of his passes for 652 yards so far this season. He is eighth in the ACC in passer efficiency.

At times the Land O'Lakes native has struggled with accuracy but he was victimized by six drops against the Eagles.

Weatherford said he wasn't looking over his shoulder.

"I'm so in tune to the game that I don't even think about being pulled," he said. "I feel like I've earned the respect of my teammates and coaches. At the same time Xavier brings a lot to the table and there might be a situation where that can be put to use."


After being named ACC Defensive Back of the Week and Walter Camp National Player of the Week for his performance against the Eagles, LB AJ Nicholson earned recognition Tuesday as the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week.

Nicholson has been added to the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The award will be presented by the Football Writers Association and the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the best collegiate defensive player on Dec. 5.


Rouse's lone reception (54 yards) came in the waning quarters of the blow-out 62-10 win over the Citadel. He's returned six punts with an average of 17.3 yards per return, but the unorthodox one-handed style he sometimes uses to carry the ball has unnerved coaches.

Although occasionally brash and overflowing with bravado, Rouse's energetic style of play and magnetic personality has made a good impression on head coach Bobby Bowden.

Rouse said he isn't worrying about why he hasn't seen as much playing time as he would prefer in the first three games.

"I'm just going to try to keep working," said Rouse.


"If we play four quarters like we did in the fourth quarter against Boston College we are going to put a lot of points up." -- Weatherford

"Miami did nothing that I expected them to do. Boston College did everything that I expected them to do. They just played really well out there." – Weatherford

"It wasn't a touchback. I tell you, it wasn't a touchback at all. If anything and if it was their ball, it should have been on the 1. That's what we saw and that's kind of crazy and that's the game, but we were able to bounce back." --senior tailback Leon Washington on the third-quarter goal-line fumble by Lorenzo Booker that was ruled a touchback.

"That defense on the goal line, man. Our defense is playing hard and if we can just give them a little bit more rest on offense and sustain a little bit better drives, it's going to get real ugly." – Washington on the seven-play goal-line defensive stand by the Seminoles.

"We practice goal-line a lot at practice. We always say that if they get down there it is our job to keep them out. They won't score if we won't let them and that's what happened last night." – redshirt freshman cornerback Trevor Ford on the seven-play goal-line defensive stand by the Seminoles against the Eagles.

"The (sacks) that we have given up have been coverage sacks. Granted a few times it's been a few miscues here and there not picking up twists or whatever. We are protecting good. It may look ugly with some pressures here and there with Drew (Weatherford) getting nailed a few times but a lot of those times that Drew is getting put on his back, he's sighting off somebody. It's been positive so far because we are going against BC and Miami with two really good defenses. We are a much smarter line than we have been in the past three or four years." – senior guard Matt Meinrod on the play of the offensive line thus far.

"It's pretty obvious what it is. We've got the freshman quarterback and they (the defense) are going to stack eight or nine in the box and you can't run in that. So we have check-outs to get out of running plays so we just can't run. It's unfortunate but there is nothing we can do as a line because even if we are getting our assignments done and everything is perfect, there still is a guy or two free. If he's worth a crap, he's going to make a tackle." – Meinrod on the lack of a running game.

"With the second-half against Citadel and this game (against Boston College), teams need to start respecting him or we are going to start to kill people. If they don't than we are going to be in Pasadena because we can throw it." – Meinrod on Drew Weatherford and the passing game.

"I don't ever remember being this happy heading into an off-week." – redshirt senior rover Kyler Hall.


- Brodrick Bunkley, Andre Fluellen and Ernie Sims did not participate in Tuesday's workout but are expected to return tomorrow. - Several players left practice early to attend an induction ceremony for the Gold Key Honor Society

Other newcomers Rod Owens and Greg Carr have gotten ample opportunities, combining for 173 yards on nine catches.

Bowden said that he plans to practice Wednesday and Thursday and give his team Friday through Sunday off.

The Seminoles host Syracuse Oct. 1.

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