Defense shut down the running attack during Saturday's annual Garnet and Gold game. Florida State's backs were held to 43 yards on 24 attempts, and only managed one run over 10 yards during the scrimmage.
Coach Bobby Bowden said he wasn't disappointed with the Seminoles production on the ground. He felt that a few missed blocks probably contributed to their lack of success.
Lorenzo Booker was held out of the game so coaches could observe some of the other tailbacks. Antone Smith took the majority of the carries, but gained just one net yard. Offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden said Smith had only two other bad practices this spring.
"He's been spectacular with the exception of two (other) scrimmages," said Jeff Bowden. "I didn't see anything spectacular today and maybe scrimmage six and seven they shut him out. You say that your runners are only as good as your blockers and I thought that was what it was. The defensive line whipped us a little today."
Russell Ball led the running backs with 27 yards on six carries. Ball had to be carted off the field at the end of the scrimmage with an unknown injury.
Although the running game was lackluster in the finale, Jeff Bowden was otherwise pleased with their results on the ground this spring.
ON A ROLLE
Myron Rolle always seemed like he was a little stronger, quicker, and smarter than the rest of the field. Rolle's father, Whitney, had waited a long time to see his son playing against level competition. Finally, he got that chance Saturday and Rolle still looked a step ahead of those around him.
Rolle returned an interception 64 yards for a score, nearly nabbed two more picks, and in situational drills forced a fumble. Role also worked some repetitions with the first-team for the first time this spring.
"We had to build his confidence so that he could learn to play at this level," said defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.
Bobby Bowden said that Rolle's stock had definitely elevated after Saturday's Garnet and Gold game, but Bowden added that he didn't know if it was enough for the freshman to overtake starter Anthony Houllis.
"I was trying to make big plays and make people happy," said Rolle. "Now that (my family) sees me excelling on the college level, I know that they're proud of me. I'm just trying to get ready for that game against Miami. That's my focus right now."
SCORE ONE FOR HALLBACK
It looked like an easy catch as Robert Hallback watched the ball sail into his hands. The only defender near was Korey Mangum and he had mistimed his jump, leaving Hallback wide open. Maybe it was a little too easy.
The pass slipped loose from Hallback's grasp and he juggled it through the air. Hallback kept his concentration and managed to regain control for Florida State's only offensive touchdown of the scrimmage, a 49-yard pass from backup quarterback Tommy Keane.
"I think I tipped it up about seven times before I pulled it in," said Hallback.
With Chris Davis, De'Cody Fagg held out of spring camp, Hallback has been given an opportunity to make a push for more playing time in the fall. He is currently listed as a starter in the four-wide set.
"We can get it done, and those guys are going to do nothing but help us out," said Hallback, referring to the injured players that haven't practiced.
Wide receiver Greg Carr won't be at the brunt of locker room jokes anymore.
Prior to Saturday's Garnet and Gold game, Carr was chided and prodded by his Florida State teammates after a big hit and a concussion knocked him from a scrimmage earlier this spring.
Retribution came when Carr leveled safety Roger Williams after his interception of Drew Weatherford. Weaving through traffic as he eluded several tacklers, Williams was blindsided by the lanky Carr before he even saw the 6-7 receiver.
"After all that, the best hit of the day came from the offense," FSU coach Bobby Bowden chuckled afterward."
Carr also caught a 22-yard pass from Weatherford and had a 24-yard gain nullified by penalty.
"It was me getting even a little bit out there," Carr said of his hit. "But I know there might come a time when the tables are going to turn and I am going to have to make a play like that in a game."
HANDING OUT THE HARDWARE
For the first time in recent memory, the highest spring honor was split among two players. The Hinesman Award – given to the most dominant player in spring camp – was shared by sophomore tailback Antone Smith and junior linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
Smith shared offensive MVP honors with senior tailback Lorenzo Booker while Timmons was the sole defensive MVP. Sophomore linebacker Eugene Hayes earned the Big Otis trophy for best hitter.
Both placekickers floundered in the kicking workout the preceded the scrimmage. Incumbent Gary Cismesia made a 47-yarder and a pair of 20-yarders but missed from 37 and 47. Graham Gano was just 1-of-4, making his try from 20 yards but missing from 37 (twice) and 47.
Gano will battle Brent Moody for the punting job into fall. Both were lackluster Saturday in the windy weather.
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