The third-ranked Florida State Seminoles are hot, tired and grumpy. But that happens this time of year, when two-a-day practices grind players into a pulp.
"They are beginning to hit a plateau, I can tell that now," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said following Tuesday morning's practice. "Their energy and enthusiasm and everything has kind of. ... that two-a-day thing. Has kind of slacked (off), so we just have to be careful with them."
While accompanied by stifling humidity and 94-degree temperatures by 11 a.m., the Seminoles continued preparations for their season-opener against Iowa State in less than two weeks. Bowden said the team scrimmaged (11-on-11) far less and stressed situations. FSU is expected to scrimmage Wednesday.
Blue non-contact jerseys continue to color the Seminoles' sessions. Starting defensive end Alonzo Jackson (shoulder contusion) was held out of contact drills, while the secondary members Kyler Hall (hand), Stanford Samuels (concussion) and B.J. Ward (shoulder) also participated in drills but were held out of contact.
"The first couple of days you do a lot of hitting and stuff and it's fun, but now the aches and pains are starting to kick in and mentally you start to drag around," said linebacker Michael Boulware, who returned to practice after missing Monday night's session due to heat-related problems. "It's starting to get real hard now, and this is what separates the men from the boys."
The Seminoles also continue to scheme for Iowa State as well as stress technique and fundamentals. Tight end Patrick Hughes, for example, stayed after practice to run routes and catch passes. The weather didn't make it any easier, but that's part of the routine as two-a-day practices draw to a close.
"Today, we weren't as up-tempo as we should have been, and that's why we had to run extra after practice -- at least we got that out of our system," senior offensive lineman Brett Williams said. "It's getting hotter out here, so that makes it a little more rough."
California prep quarterback Tom Grady attended the morning practice with his father. The two hoped to get on the road this afternoon for stops at LSU and then Oklahoma. Grady arrived in Tally Monday at 5 p.m. after a quick visit to Florida. Grady started his Sunshine State tour in Miami.
Randy Oravetz's morning injury report:
"We came through alright today. We kept Alonzo Jackson out with a shoulder contusion. Talman (Gardner) has a little intestinal flu, so we kept him out of a lot of drills. We will look to see how he feels this afternoon. The guys who are on crutches, we kept them inside. We have our hot weather back. I mean, it started cooking here the last 30 minutes of practice - cooking up to about 94 degrees. We are letting Stanford Samuels (concussion) go through the drills without hitting people. Kyler Hall is mixing it up in a blue shirt the same way, got him back out here doing all the drills without hitting people. Michael (Boulware), we gave him some extra breaks this morning, make sure he's drinking and kept a close eye on him. Like afterwards, they (defensive players) went to lift weights but we sent him inside. We aren't going to keep him out here any longer than we have to."