Monday's Premium Football Notebook

After a secondary shakeup that saw defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews promote sophomore defensive back J.R. Bryant to the first team in place of Gerard Ross and Michael Ray Garvin to second-team behind starter Tony Carter, the Noles still seemed to struggle against the Terrapins in the first half Saturday.

Still, Bryant – who played in what was easily the most action of his young career – had a relatively solid outing. And shaking all jitters of making his first career start aside, Bryant remained focus throughout the game and was able to improve as the contest went on.

"When I first stepped on the field I was just thinking in my head that this is my chance and I just have to do my job," Bryant said. "I was just thinking do my job, do my job and don't give up the big play. I knew if I did that everything else would fall in line."

And after a first half performance that saw Maryland field their first-ever halftime lead at Doak Campbell Stadium, changes for the Seminoles had to be made.

Those changes came with adjustments that resulted in just six second-half points posted by the Terps.

"The first half I don't think I really played that good," Bryant said. "I made a couple of mistakes but we came in at halftime and made some adjustments and I just tried to come back out and make better plays for my team and as a defense we did that."

The strong second-half showing was capped by a successful game-ending defensive stand against a Maryland team down by just eight points in the final minutes.

"That last stand shows a lot of heart and character and toughness for our defense," Bryant said. "Everybody is saying different things about our defense like we aren't as good as we were last year and stuff like that. We don't listen to that stuff though, because we know that we can get the job done. We do know that we have to keep getting better but that last drive does show the type of character that we have."


Coach Bowden addressed the growing list of Seminole injuries following practice Monday. Below is a transcript of that brief conversation.

On DB Tony Carter (shoulder):

Bowden: "Tony is possible I think."

On WR De'Cody Fagg:

Bowden: "De'Cody worked out there tonight…it might be one of those things better if you hold him out another week but he is okay to play."

On DB Trevor Ford (pinched nerve):

Bowden: "Trevor Ford made some progress and will probably work a little bit. That was the last report I got from Randy (Oravetz) before practice."

On OG John Frady (shoulder):

Bowden: "Frady is probably out."

On RB Leon Washington:

Bowden:"Leon…I think it's doubtful all the way."

Of note: Senior Gerard Ross was held out of practice as he is nursing a slight pull. The injury is not serious and, according to coach Bowden, he should be fine by this weekend's game against NC State.

Bowden also mentioned that freshman Antone Smith is slightly ahead of sophomore Lamar Lewis on the depth chart now, meaning Smith could see some significant action this weekend as the No. 2 guy behind Lorenzo Booker with Washington out of the lineup.

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