Rain Forces a Sloppy Day

The Florida State football team held a 12 period practice followed by 1/2 scrimmage under rainy skies Wednesday afternoon. The offense and defense both had good and bad moments during the scrimmage while the coaching staff still believes there is much to be improved on.

The weather couldn't prevail on its plans to halt yet another practice as the coaching staff lobbied until 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on whether or not to cancel practice. The coaching staff decided that they would work through the weather and get in as much as they could under dark clouds all around Tallahassee.

The practice began followed by a 1/2 scrimmage. The offense and defense had their moments in an all around sloppy scrimmage on both sides of the ball. While the weather might have been a factor in the sloppy play during the scrimmage, head coach Bobby Bowden says there is still much to improve on.

"The defense played better and the offense was sloppy at best," Bowden said following the scrimmage. "They had quite a few fumbles and dropped balls, more I think than usual. Jimbo (Fisher) was wanting to look at a couple of new things and the kids couldn't execute as good as they needed to."

Despite the sloppy play and bobbled balls, the offense did show glimpses of what could be as on the second play of the scrimmage from the opposing 11-yard line, sophomore running back Jermaine Thomas took a simple hand off and turned it into an 81-yard rush down to the 8 yard line. Though he was chased down by Patrick Robinson, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher thought that was the highlight of the scrimmage.

"That really was a great play," Fisher said. "The offensive line cleared the hole and Jermaine took it as hard and as fast as he could. It was also a great play by Robinson to chase him down like that. Boy he's fast. It was just a great play, probably one of the better ones this spring."

While Thomas took the second play from scrimmage almost the distance, the defense buckled down and really shut down the run from there on out. The next big play happened from the opposing 28 yard line as Christian Ponder sat in a cushy pocket and hit Rod Owens over the top in single coverage over Ochuko Jenije for a 72-yard touchdown. Ponder also hit Louis Givens on a play later in the scrimmage from the 20-yard line for a TD. The offensive line gave him a wide-open pocket by blowing out the defensive tackles and running the ends up field. Ponder finished the scrimmage unofficially completing 9-of-13 passes with the two touchdowns.

When asked about his progression in his deep ball mechanics, Ponder says though there is still room to improve, the spring has been very beneficial.

"We've made a lot of progress this spring, I think," Ponder said. "There's still some things we can work on and iron out but so far it's been pretty good. I think it really shows that we've improved on the deep balls over the past two scrimmages. We hit a couple the last scrimmage and the one today to Rod that he took to the house. The offensive line is really giving me a lot of time and we really are a lot further along then when we first started this spring."

The Seminoles will be off Thursday and pick up again on Friday before hosting the annual Garnet and Gold spring game Saturday night at 7 p.m. Florida State will also participate in three practices the week following the spring game, something they had planned on doing.

"We had planned on leaving ourselves with two practices after the spring game," Bowden said. "Now with the weather forcing to cancel a practice earlier, we have three practices next week that we can really focus on next year's opponents and get some work done there."

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