Wednesday's Premium Football Notebook

Bobby Bowden says that he is becoming increasingly confident with freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford's ability to call audibles at the line of scrimmage.

That bodes well for the Seminoles (3-0), who will face a Syracuse defense that thrives on confusion and unpredictability Saturday afternoon.

First-year coach Greg Robinson – formerly the defensive coordinator at Texas – has implemented several different coverage schemes and blitz packages in his first three games leading the Orange (1-2).

"They will give you some overages that you haven't seen," Bowden said. "They are good at taking away what you do best."

Weatherford created a touchdown with a check-off in FSU's last outing, a road victory over Boston College. Noticing single coverage on receiver Greg Carr, Weatherford changed an interior run into a fade to Carr, who snagged a scoring pass that gave FSU a 14-0 lead.

Bowden praised his quarterback's progress after Wednesday's practice.

"We're a lot further along where we thought we would be and we are a lot further along than we were in the first game where we were reluctant to do that," he said.

SEMINOLE UPRISING

Bowden, his players and his wife, Ann, all had plans after dinner to attend Seminole Uprising, a pep rally designed to teach new students about FSU's athletic traditions. The event - held in Dick Howser Stadium - was supposed to take place before the Miami game but had to be postponed due to inclement weather.

"I'm anxious to see their reaction because we haven't done anything like this in years," Bowden said. "I'm all for anything that generates school spirit."

The event included a performance by the Marching Cheifs and an introduction of all of the FSU's teams.

"Student Boosters hosted a pep rally very similar to this last year," said Allin Hedge, Seminole Student Boosters member at large, "But only the athletes and coaches attended. It had so many rave reviews from the athletes, staff and administrators that we decided to expand it this year to the entire student body."

FSU hopes to turn it into an annual event.

"This pep rally comes at a time when both our football and women's soccer team are having incredible seasons," said Kelly Alvarez, Seminole Student Booster president. "We as students need to unite and celebrate the Seminole triumphs and victories we have achieved thus far and recognize the athletes that continue to make FSU a premier power-house in athletics."

WATKINS MINOR INJURY

Pat Watkins walked away from Wednesday's practice with his left arm in a sling and bandages securing his left shoulder.

He suffered the injury, which he said was not serious, when he was hit awkwardly on a collision.

HELPING HAND

When mistakes happen in a game, getting an earful from the coaches isn't high on CB Tony Carter's list of things he wants to hear as he comes off the field.

So, in times of trouble, Carter turns to one of his own: Antonio Cromartie.

"He's the one, the peer, who pulls all of the corners to the side and tells us what the coaches have said or what we should be doing because he's been out there and he knows what's really going on and because his status is so high, we're going to looking up to him," Carter said.

Since his season-ending knee injury during the summer, Cromartie has lingered around the practice fields and taken up a coaching role in the games.

"All his life he's played ball," said Bowden. "He probably wouldn't know what to do with himself if he couldn't go out on the field every afternoon. His presence is very noticeable."

BACK TO SECOND TEAM FOR FRADY

With the return of sixth-year senior David Castillo to the lineup, redshirt sophomore John Frady – who started the last two games without a hitch – must return to the second team unit.

After practice yesterday, coach Bowden stated it is likely that Frady will see increased first team action with the hopes of preventing anymore set-backs for the oft-injured Castillo.

To Frady's knowledge Wednesday, however, there is no definite plan to get him onto the field sooner, stating: "I have no idea what the plan is. We are all going to have to see on Saturday."

With the likelihood still strong that Frady will see some action, the question of confusion in regards to cadence and timing with the quarterback comes to fruition. Starting quarterback Drew Weatherford has stated that whoever is in the ballgame, he is confident and comfortable with both.

The easy going Frady is just ready to play.

"It's just a matter of going out there and getting the job done," he said. "If (the coaches) want to roll us then they are going to roll us. I am there in case anything happens and David and the coaches know that."


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