BOWDEN TALKS BARCLAY/RANDOLPH
While Wake Forest has struggled in the passing game (they are currently ranked No. 11 in the ACC with only 147.8 yards per game), the Deamon Deacons have excelled at running the football as they lead the conference with 211.0 yards per contest.
Leading the way is talented senior running back Chris Barclay; a player that is very familiar to the Seminole defense.
"He's an outstanding running back, he's very durable not to be any bigger than he is," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "This is the fourth year that he has played against us and he's a very dangerous back. He doesn't like to go down and he'll fight for yards, he's got good speed and good hands so he has just done an excellent job for the four years that he's been up there."
With his slight stature (the Louisville, Ky. native measures in at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds) and quick feet, the comparisons to former FSU great Warrick Dunn seem to pop up from time to time.
Coach Bowden sees a key difference, however.
"All backs are different…all of them are different," Bowden said. "He doesn't run sideways as much as Warrick does. He's a slasher it's surprising how many tackles he breaks at his size. You'll get in the pile and you think you've got him and all of sudden he's coming out of there."
In addition to a steadfast running back, the Demon Deacons have once again handed over the signal calling reins to Cory Randolph – who had made the switch to wide receiver in the offseason after spending three years at the position.
Randolph replaced starter Ben Mauk the last game and promptly went
20-of-25 for 222 yards and three scores.
"This will be the fourth year...I am not sure if it's the fourth year he's started against us but we have played against him for four years," Bowden said. "We know what kind of ball player he is and what he can do. They have kind of gone back to their old stuff so we've got a lot of film on that."
NICHOLSON STAYING FOCUSED
In a recent release on ESPN.com, NFL draft guru mel Kiper Jr. ranked senior FSU linebacker A.J. Nicholson as the No. 12 ranked NFL prospect for the 2006 draft. The Winston-Salem, NC native skyrocketed to the lofty status after an impressive performance against Boston College.
With a possible distraction being evident as a seemingly large NFL paycheck awaits on the horizon for the boisterous defender, Nicholson says he is staying focused on priority No. 1: the Seminoles.
"It's something that's further down the road right now," Nicholson told RenegadeReport.com. "Me, myself I just gotta keep working hard and striving towards perfection. (The NFL stuff) will come and it's a blessing. But right now, you have to stay focused on the team because it's a long season and lots of things can happen. You've just got to stay focused and motivated. I've got that intrinsic motivation."
Interestingly enough, Nicholson also let it slip that Seminole fans just may get to see a new defensive swim-move from himself this Saturday.
"(The move) is kind of like Dwight Freeney's," he said. "It's a work in progress though. We will see how the game goes but I am working on it – I have been at practice – so I am going to try it in the game and see how it works."
"We've been hit with it. Last week, I think it was successful against us twice and we hit it one time – one time we saw it and we hit it.
It's something that you have to be looking for or either have a blocking scheme that will take care of it. We've worked on it. We expect (the quarterbacks) to see it and the older you get, they better you become at recognizing it." – Bowden on the corner blitz.
According to FSU coach Bobby Bowden, adaptability will determine how successfully his Seminoles (4-0) handle a Wake Forest (2-3) team they have traditionally struggled with.
The Demon Deacons have showcased two very distinct offensive styles thus far this season - Wake has favored its traditional option attack over an experimental short passing attack in recent weeks.
Defensively, Wake coach Jim Grobe likes to keep the opposition guessing with an array of creative blitzes from three and four-linebacker sets.
"You have to play assignment offense and assignment defense in order to be effective against them," Bowden said. "We have had to work a lot on assignments this week, especially on offense. In pass protection, you really have to know who is coming over there. When they start moving, you better see who is moving where."
STATE OF THE RESERVES
Florida State will be without starting DE Darrell Burston against Wake Forest and his timetable to return, for now, is uncertain coach Bobby Bowden said Wednesday.
Alex Boston is set to move up in Burston's absence, but injuries to other defensive ends have left the Seminoles short on backups.
"Everybody is kind of beat up a little bit," defensive ends coach Jody Allen said.
DE Anthony Kelly, suffering from an injured hip flexor, is probably in the worst shape of the remaining reserves. Allen said that he doesn't know when Kelly will be back to full health.
Willie Jones (arthritic right hip) and Kelly may only be available for a limited number of snaps Saturday.
Allen added that DE Kamerion Wimbley, who will start opposite Boston, could shift sides if necessary.
Unless things continue to change, the plan will be for Boston to handle most of the work as he did when Burston left the on the third play of the Syracuse game.
"We were in the same situation last week that we're going to be in this week," Allen said.
Wednesday's Premium Football Notebook
Nole Digest Top Stories
History On FSU's Side With Top-5 RankingFlorida State was ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP Poll, and their history says that's a good sign for Seminole fans.
FSU No. 4 In Preseason AP PollFlorida State will start the season as a preseason Top-5 team.
FSU QB Malik Henry SuspendedFlorida State will be without quarterback Malik Henry indefinitely.
FSU 8/20 Practice Report and HighlightsFlorida State went through their first practice of Saturday's two-a-days in pads.