Coach Q&A: Jeff Bowden Part 1

Monday FSU offensive coordinator/receivers coach Jeff Bowden spoke to the media about such topics as his team's performance against Boston College, not using Joe Surratt and much more.

Q: Where does the offense go from here and where do you need to improve?

A: If you go from the last game, just from our approach going in to the last game, which was a heavier pass emphasis because that No. 1 was what has been shown to be Boston College's weakness to this point. I think the improvement with us and our passing game has to again be finding underneath receivers. We have to do a better job of that. I talked to Drew (Weatherford) about that (Monday night) in that I felt like we went through two games that were exact opposites. We went from a Duke game that was a heavy blitz, where there was no underneath coverage to a Boston College team that we knew would "umbrella" us and from looking at what happened it is exactly what we thought we were going to get. I just felt like there were more opportunities to go underneath with some throws. I wouldn't do one thing different. It is just an area of execution that you have got to get better at. With what we did we have probably been averaging in the low 60s for the number of plays that we have had this season and we were able to get our play total into the 70s range. It gave us the opportunity to run more plays and you can't say, "Well, I wish Caz (Piurowski) hadn't fumbled the ball because freshmen are going to make mistakes like that. You have to live and work through things like that. That is something we are going to have to endure a little bit. The (interception) … you can't … that is a total shocker. It was a totally safe call.

Q: Who made that call?

A: I made the call. It was a safe call. Drew felt like he had to throw to the field (side), which obviously it wasn't there but we had what we wanted to towards the boundary (side), which is where I wish he would have gone.

Q: A lot of people are saying that wasn't a very safe call.

A: They are never good calls when they are intercepted. Ever. You don't ever call that a good call. He had a receiver that he could have gone to that was plenty safe and it just didn't work out on that particular play.

Q: Did they change the coverage on that play?

A: They rolled their corner down, which was very typical of what they should do. That is what I full anticipated them doing in that down and distance. It was a 3rd and short range and what we had done is we had shown them a lot of routes with our inside receivers going here, here, and here (motioning with his hands) and that particular call put our receiver there against the sideline. Drew kind of has the choice of where to work - boundary or field - and even had he worked the field he just didn't turn his eyes and look. Had he taken a look he would have thrown it wide and to the sideline to the inside receiver is what he would have done. It was just a poor decision.

Q: Was the plan on that play to stretch the field and get to field goal range?

A: No. The plan on that play was that had they blitzed we had a safe throw on the edge. We didn't anticipate blitz though. We anticipated them jumping the short route and what we had shown to that point is inside receivers going here and they played it exactly how I thought they would. The receiver in the slot working towards the flag is where I would have wished Drew would have gone with the ball.

Q: That was Joslin Shaw?

A: That was Joslin. If you go back and look at it you will see what I am talking about. It is just … you can't explain the decision. You can't explain it. I can't explain my way through it. It is a learning thing that I hope to heck that Drew doesn't make again. I am not going to cut his head off just because of that mistake. I am just not going to do that.

Q: Was the fumble by Caz Piurowski reviewable?

A: The only thing that could had been reviewable was whether or not his momentum had stopped. All appearances on the film was that it was a good strip. The guy pulled (and) yanked the ball free.

Q: What do you tell your players to try to get them to bounce back from this?

A: Well, I specifically think back to my brother calling me three years ago and asking me what do you say. Well, it now becomes a six-game season and there is a lot of pride at stake. The one thing is that we are playing enough young kids that this is where you find out what they are made of and you find out if they will suck it up. We have a lot to play for right now. Pride happens to be a big part of it. To me it is a six game season and it is that simple, you approach it that way.

Q: Lorenzo Booker commented that he had hoped that he would get more opportunities to carry the ball in that game.

A: Well, he probably would say that being disappointed. Two days before the game he was telling me how much he liked being in (the spread offense). He was telling me how he didn't care how he got the ball. Lorenzo got the ball out on the edge a couple times and I wish he would have done a little more in some one-on-one situations. When you get beat there are a lot of (ifs) and hoping. That wasn't Lorenzo's attitude three days before the game.

Q: On the second to last drive it looked like you guys had something but it stalled after a bad snap on third down and a turnover on downs after that. What happened there?

A: It is typical of what has happened to us in the three losses. We have been down in the endzone and we drop a touchdown. We get a big 3rd-and-1 and we don't convert in a game. We get another big drive going in the NC State game and we throw an interception. Then you get down in the redzone on another big drive and you roll the ball to the quarterback. It is just indicative of some of the things that have just bit us. Even down there before we had a little toss sweep check and we fumbled the snap. All of a sudden it is 2nd-and-15. That hurts you. It hurts.

Q: Was John Frady in on that snap?

A: Yes.

Q: On the toss sweep play too?

A: That was Frady. They hadn't done that all year.

Q: What is the problem there?

A: You could search for a 100 excuses but they haven't done that all year. I don't think John and Drew have fumbled an exchange, I don't think - to my memory - I don't think they have fumbled an under-center exchange all year. It just hadn't been an issue. It just popped up … what a time.

Q: Why have you gone away from using Joe Surratt?

A: I think that is something I might go back to and wonder about. When we get in a little bit more of a spread mode I am just more comfortable. I should say that I have enough good short routes working. I had enough calls there where we had the ability to hit a three-yard drag. Now you can go back and look at it again and your're in a little more of your power sets and I-formations and you are in a run or a play-action where you naturally are going to go to your belly type of play or wham type of play. But when I am in a little more of a spread out mode I have got pass calls that have routes built in that are those distances.

Q: Three- or four-yard routes?

A: Right. And they are not plays to where a blitz can keep a back in. These are receiver routes that I am going to call when they are there. That goes back to what I initially said that I wish we had done a better job of finding some underneath receivers.


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