Monday's Premium Football Notebook

The No. 11 Seminoles took to the turf field Monday night in shorts and shirts to begin preparations for this weekend's match-up at Duke. The Tribe is 13-0 all-time against the Blue Devils since joining the conference in 1992.


One of the positions that has taken the most heat since Saturday's upset has been the offensive line. The already thin unit lost Matt Meinrod a week before the Virginia game and now is facing more adversity with the suspension of Cornelius Lewis for "violating team policy".

Still, coach Bobby Bowden wasn't all too dissatisfied with the group's performance in the loss.

"When you realize you threw the ball 59 times and you were probably harassed about five times overall than you did a pretty darn good job," Bowden said. "They did a good job of picking up the right people. Now, they got beat a couple of times, got pushed back into the quarterback into his feet. But overall, it was pretty good."

But it was still the constant pressure put on by the Cavalier defense that forced quarterback Drew Weatherford into three costly interceptions.

"They had the three man front and you don't ever know where that fourth guy is coming from because they've got four linebackers back there," Bowden said. "Maybe you're thinking they will come here and all of a sudden he comes there. So they used (Ahmad) Brooks. He got pressure on us a couple of times and did a good job.

Now with the loss of Lewis – who rotated in for every third series at right guard – the Seminoles must rely on strong play from John Frady. The Jacksonville native was given his first collegiate start at the RG spot in place of Meinrod and proved to be somewhat of a positive on the maligned squad.

"It's good," Bowden said. "I thought that he did a good job filling in the first ballgame."


Florida State's leading wide receiver De'Cody Fagg will miss this Saturday's game against Duke. His status for next week will be determined next Monday.

At the time of the incident, many onlookers may have thought the worse but Fagg says it's just a grade two AC sprain.

"I am doing alright," he said. "I went in and got an x-ray today and I just got a little AC separation. They put it at a grade two. They said they are gonna give me about a week to heal and I will go in next Monday and get another x-ray and they will let me know if I am out (for the Maryland game)."

The injury – which occurred after Fagg posted five resceptions for 42 yards early in the ballgame – likely resulted after he fell on an already tender spot of his shoulder.

"I already had an AC sprain from the Boston College game and I was playing through it," Fagg said. "I just landed on it again."


The first BCS poll has been released and the 'Noles find themselves at No. 11 in the much-talked about rankings. Coach Bowden was not sure exactly where his team would have wound after the loss but he still knows there is plenty of season remaining.

"I didn't know what it would be," Bowden said. "We were tenth in some of the polls and in that one, we were 11. There are still plenty of people ahead of us that can knock each other off. We still are in the chance to move up which is what we want to do."

With the drop in the polls, the Seminoles – who had been the beneficiaries of some potential National Championship hype because of their strong play – now must refocus their season goals to adapt to the recent developments.

"We didn't lose as much ground as I thought that we would," he said. "We just have to redirect our goal now. Our goal now has to be to win our division. Everything else…win this division and try to get into the (ACC) championship game."

In retrospect, coach Bowden sees the championship picture as the same despite his team's outcome Saturday.

"If Southern Cal don't lose and Texas don't lose, that's pretty cut and dry," he said. "That's cut and dry unless Georgia or somebody can get there."


Following practice, caught up with junior linebacker Ernie Sims to discuss Saturday's match-up, including the late hit he was called for on 'Hoo quarterback Marques Hagans.

Renegade Report: What is your reaction to the game? It seems like you were all over Hagans the entire time but he just seemed to make the plays.

Ernie Sims: "The main thing that he was doing was just making big plays. A couple of times we lost contain there but a lot of times we had him pinned down and he just threw it up. If he did that a million times, you would think he'd only get it twice. I don't want to say that it's luck because he made a lot of good plays."

RR: Coach (Mickey) Andrews said that he probably played the best game at quarterback that FSU has seen in a long time…

ES: "We've got to give props to him. He played a great game. We should have done a better job of containing him."

RR: What about the late hit that they called on you against him? Can you talk about that?

ES: "I can see if I like really laid out and put my head into him and really tried to hurt him but I was coming full speed and I was trying to put a little pressure on him. I barely even touched him to be honest with you. I mean, when you are going against an opponents crowd and everything, you really gotta watch out because the refs are going to be looking for that kind of stuff."

RR: On a play like that where there is such a shift because you lost an interception, does that affect the younger guys morale?

ES: "No, I mean as veterans we just have to make sure to keep their heads up and we did that. We all learned from it and we just gotta move on now and take this as a learning experience."

TB Leon Washington (hip) will be held out of practice until Wednesday.

TB Lorenzo Booker (bruised collarbone) will be held out of practice until Wednesday.

LB Jae Thaxton (concussion) will not play this weekend and as time goes by, a redshirt seems more and more likely.

CB Trevor Ford (nerve) is not expected to play this weekend but his status after that has yet to be determined.


"I have seen that happen before. A team loses a couple of games they are not supposed to and then you play a top ranked team and they rally. Same thing (with Maryland last year)! They were having a miserable year." – Coach Bowden on Virginia's victory after an overall disappointing start to the season.

"We started to put the other guy in the game. When we went to about, I would say, the first of the fourth quarter or the end of the third, me and Daryl (Dickey) were talking and I said, "It's about that time to put Lee in the game." (Daryl) said, "Let's go with Weatherford one more time," and he took it all the way down for a score. I never got him in. If we had gotten ahead, our plans were to get him in the game." – Coach Bowden on Xavier Lee's near entrance into the ballgame.

Of note: The October 29 game against Maryland is scheduled for kick-off at 3:30 p.m.

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