Florida State completed its last full scrimmage before next Saturday's Garnet & Gold Spring Football Game, presented by University Financial Services. The scrimmage was held in Doak Campbell Stadium and lasted more than two hours. Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee each threw for a TD and 100+ yards. Antone Smith went over 100 yards on the ground again and both Smith and Jamaal Edwards broke TD runs of over 50 yards.
SPRING GAME NOTE:
The Garnet & Gold Spring Football Game, presented by University Financial Services will pit the offense versus the defense. There will be a point system utilized to keep score in the game.
Drew Weatherford went 11-19 for 150 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The pick came on a ball dropped by a receiver near the goal line and snatched out of the air by Jamie Robinson. Xavier Lee was 8-21 for 108 yards with a TD and a pick as well. Lee was hampered by numerous drops including a would-be TD where Greg Carr lost his footing in the endzone as the ball was coming down.
Antone Smith continued his big spring. The tailback rushed 10 times for 118 yards and two TD's including a 55-yard TD run.
Everette Brown was the defensive star of the day recording three sacks and two tackles for loss on back-to-back plays.
J.R. Bryant wore number 15 in the scrimmage as a tribute to fellow cornerback Tony Carter who was injured Monday but back out on the sidelines.
The scrimmage didn't get off to the best start for Smith who fumbled and the ball was recovered by Roger Williams. The next time Smith touched the ball though was on third and one. He came around to the right side but saw the defense penetrating and cut it back to the opposite sideline and went 55 yards for a TD.
The next series Edwards one upped Smith when he took his first carry of the scrimmage 65 yards for a TD.
Lee and Damon McDaniel started their next drive off with a short pass that McDaniel turned into a 26-yard gain with some nifty moves. Lee then went up top to Carr who had beaten his man but the receiver got turned around on the play and lost his balance before he could haul in the sure TD. Lee's unit then left the field when De'Cody Fagg dropped a ball that would have resulted in a first down.
Fagg came back and made up for the drop when he and Weatherford hooked up on a pass that Fagg turned into a 15-yard gain by breaking tackles in the middle of the field.
Marcus Sims then turned in a nice run as he gained 14 yards.
Weatherford showed off his running ability later on as he ran for 20 yards and was one tackle away from taking it to the endzone.
That set up Weatherford's 38-yard TD pass to Joslin Shaw.
Defensively Everette Brown recorded two sacks, Eli Charles had a sack as did Neefy Moffett and Rodney Gallon. Moffett also corralled Smith one-on-one behind the line of scrimmage. Ochucko Jenije made a great pick on a deep ball thrown by Lee.
Both kickers had a chance to try field goals in the first part of the scrimmage. Gary Cismesia missed from 48 yards and Graham Gano connected from 42.
When the scrimmage moved into 2:00 offense from the 20, the defense dominated. The offense did not gain a yard as the defense went three-and-out both times. Andre Fluellen had a big tackle for loss on third down on the first series.
The team then practiced the 1:00 offense from the 50. The offense seemed to get off to a better start. Weatherford hit Smith underneath for a 16 yard gain. He then connected with Fagg for 21 more. Back-to-back false start penalties pushed the offense back and then on third down Toddrick Verdell broke up Weatherford's pass. Cismesia came in and missed a 36 yard field goal. In the second series Lee hit Todd St. Louis for 20 yards. He then went back to St. Louis in the end zone but just missed connecting for a TD. Lee got 11 more yards on a dump pass to Sims and finished the drive hooking up with Carr for a 16-yard touchdown.
The scrimmage then moved to 35 yard line starts. Smith scored his second TD of the day on a 31-yard scamper. Gano then hit back-to-back field goals from each hash of 34 and 37 yards. Cismesia connected on both of his tries as well from 47 yards. His third try was not successful though as Moffett streaked in to block the kick. The last points came from Gano who improved to 5-for-5 on the day with kicks from 43 and 32 yards. The field goals were set up by Weatherford's 25 yard connection with Shaw.
Defensively, Brown had consecutive tackles in the backfield on Edwards to go along with his third sack. Alex Boston recorded a tackle for loss, Moffett got another sack and Budd Thacker recorded two big stops on third and fourth down with less than a yard to go.
In red zone, Jamie Robinson picked off Weatherford on a ball that got through Shaw's hands and bounced off his pads and into the air. Thacker also had a big tackle on a Christian Ponder run. Ponder got in to the scrimmage and went 2-3 for seven yards.
The scrimmage finished up with goal line. The defense stopped the offense on five of the eight snaps. Joe Surratt and Lee each ran in a TD and Weatherford threw a TD pass to fullback Antonio White in the corner of the endzone. The biggest hit of the day was turned in by Anthony Kelly who dropped jaw with his jarring tackle in the middle of the field.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
"It was a good scrimmage. We had some big runs for a change. Had some nice long runs out there. They are coming along"
(on Antone Smith)
"Antone broke a big one today and had another one for a touchdown. Antone ran real good. He sure did. In fact all the backs ran pretty good. (Jamaal Edwards) broke a long one too. That is encouraging. We haven't had that in a while."
(on whether the running game is working because the offensive line is improving)
"You can't do anything without blocking. It starts there. Then of course you have to have a runner."
(on the kickers)
"We working them both equal. I think Gano got all of his today. (Cismesia) got a couple of long ones, he missed some too ... We'll let them compete and see what happens."
(on where the team stands with a week left in spring)
"Probably as far as we could be at this time. I haven't seen us backing off of anything. I think we are about as far as we could be at this time. Naturally it is not as far as you'd like to be. We have come a ways."
Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher
(on the quarterback play in the scrimmage)
"Saw some good things. We were careless with the ball one time. Lee made a poor decision down there. We had one turnover that they were accountable for. For the most part seemed to manage things pretty well. We didn't make all the plays and there are a couple things I got to wait until I see on the film to see what happened but made some big plays, converted a couple third downs, hit a couple verticals, made a couple touchdown throws. Could have had one more, I think we had a drop down there. Had a lot of dropped balls today. We weren't catching the football well early in the game. They had a lot of unforced errors as you would say – balls we should catch and we can't catch. We got to do that."
(on if he is happy where the team is at with a week left)
"Heck no. You are never where you want to be. I mean we are making progress but we have to do now – we are making too many silly things on the field from penalties to things that come back to discipline that we have to quit. Too many dropped balls, too many silly penalties, too many little things that as an offense really you are always playing behind the eight ball down and distance wise. That will cause you to make mistakes cause you are trying to make up for a bonehead penalty or mistake. Those are the things I am started to get a little irritated by. It is time to quit those."
Defensive Lineman Everette Brown
(on his scrimmage performance)
"It felt pretty good to get out actually – had good weather – a little rusty, a little rustier than what I thought I would be coming back out after missing a week. It is good to get around, make a couple plays and did some good things out there with my hands and feet."
(on if he wants to be the ‘big play' guy on this defense)
"Most definitely. That's what I dream about. That's what I came here to do, pass rush, get sacks, make big plays so that's what I input in my work ethic every day to come out, get better and make plays."
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