Week 5: Florida State

Florida State (3-1, 1-1) is still one of the nation's elite programs, boasting a roster loaded with quality experience and talent.

Florida State Quick Facts

Location: Tallahassee, Fla.
Enrollment: 38,886
Nickname: Seminoles
School Colors: Garnett & Gold
Stadium: Doak Campbell (83,000)
Conference: ACC

Head Coach:
Bobby Bowden
Record at FSU: 289-76-4 (.788) • 31st Season
2005 Record: 8-5 (5-3)
2005 Bowl: Orange vs. Penn State (L)
2006 Record: 3-1 (1-1)
2006 Ranking: No. 17 (AP)

Florida State Notables

• Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden is 11-5 against NC State in his career with a 10-4 record at Florida State and a 1-1 ledger at West Virginia.
• NC State head coach and alum Chuck Amato is 3-3 against Florida State. Amato served as an assistant to Bobby Bowden from 1982-1999.
• Saturday's game is the earliest the two teams have played since they met on Sept. 18, 1999.
• FSU All-American candidate Buster Davis set a career high for tackles in last season's meeting with NC State. Then a junior, Davis recorded 13 tackles, which is still a single game high.
• After winning eight of nine meetings with the Wolfpack from 1992-2000, the Seminoles have lost four of the last six games to NC State.
• The first two times FSU lost to NC State in Tallahassee (1957 and 1967) the Seminoles won the next meeting between the teams in Raleigh (1963 and 1968). The only time Florida State lost at home to the Pack and then also lost on the follow-up trip to Raleigh was in 2002.
• FSU has either trailed or been tied with NC State at the half in each of the last five meetings. FSU has come back to win two of those games (2003 and 2004).
• The Seminoles and Wolfpack combined for 635 punting yards on 18 punts in last year's game.
• Since 1992, Florida State has not lost to NC State (6-0) when it has a running back go over 100 yards: 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003.
• Florida State has yielded 100 yards to a Wolfpack back in 10 of the 14 conference meetings between the schools. Coming into the 2005 game, FSU had gone two straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher but Andre Brown broke that streak with 194 yards in the game.
• In conference action, the Seminoles are 4-1 vs. NC State when a receiver pulls in 100 or more yards. The lone loss came in 2001 when Javon Walker had 121 yards.
• The very first two bowl games that Bowden lead WVU to were both against NC State. The Mountaineers lost the 1972 Peach Bowl 49-13 to the Wolfpack, but came back to win the same bowl 13-10 in 1975.

Florida State Scouting Report

Drew Weatherford, QB -- Through four games, Weatherford has completed 65-of-106 passes for 715 yards. He's thrown three touchdowns and two interceptions, and he is coming off an 8-of-12 performance against Rice where the Seminoles lit up the scoreboard for 55 points.

In 2005, Weatherford led all freshmen nationally in passing yardage (3,208) and passing touchdowns (18) after starting all 13 games for Florida State.

Drew Weatherford
A preseason All-ACC selection and a preseason All-American candidate, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound standout has a huge arm, plenty of mobility, and the intangibles you look for in a quarterback. Also, he might have the most offensive talent in the ACC at his disposal in stud tailbacks Antone Smith and Lorenzo Booker, tight end Brandon Warren, and wide receivers Greg Carr, De'Cody Fagg, Chris Davis, and Richard Goodman.

The Seminoles are more of a passing team this season, so a lot of the offense's success will depend on how well Weatherford plays.

Antone Smith, RB -- As Florida State's leading rusher through four games, sophomore running back Antone Smith has gained a single-season career-high 203 yards on 38 carries (5.3 ypc).

He has already earned more rushing attempts (38-36), gained more yards (203-188) and scored nearly as many touchdowns this season as compared to nine games during his freshman season in 2005.

At 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, Smith might be the fastest tailback in the ACC.

Greg Carr, WR -- Carr might be the x-factor, as he was Weatherford's top weapon in 2005. Also a sophomore, Carr was a second-team All-ACC pick in 2005 after leading all Florida State receivers in yards per reception (20.6) and receiving touchdowns (9), while placing second in yards per game (51.3) and third in receiving yards (618).

At 6-foot-6 and 203 pounds, Carr is a huge target in the redzone, and often Weatherford looks his way when he's in trouble.

Andre Fluellen, DT -- A preseason All-ACC selection, Fluellen started every game last season opposite first-round pick Brodrick Bunkley. He entered the year as the No. 6 DT in the country according to The Sporting News.

Fluellen has registered seven tackles, one tackle for loss, and a pass breakup through four games.

Geno Hayes, LB -- Hayes has started all four games at weakside linebacker, and he is emerging as a dominant force. He has already tallied 26 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups, and an interception.

Buster Davis

Buster Davis, LB -- Senior Buster Davis has set one of his goals as averaging 10.0 tackles or more per game during the 2006 season. Through the first four games, Davis is coming close with 35 total tackles for a 8.75 tackles per game average. Davis had a career-high 12 tackles in the Seminoles' victory over Miami, eight against Troy, a team-high nine against Clemson and was second among FSU players with six stops against Rice.

The last player to average 10.0 or more tackles per game was linebacker Bradley Jennings in 2001 who averaged 10.1 tackles (121 tackles in 12 games).

Only two players – Jennings in 2001 and Marvin Jones in 1990 (11.1 tackles per game) – have averaged in double figure tackles since 1990.

Florida State Game Notes

Florida State trailed at halftime in each of its first three games this season and had scored just three first half points against Miami, none against Troy and nine against Clemson (all defensive). However, the FSU offense broke out early against Rice rolling up 26 first half points and scoring on five of seven first half possessions. Going into the Rice game, FSU had averaged just 19 rushing yards, 67 passing yards and four points in the first half so far this year. By halftime of the Rice game FSU had 150 rushing yards, 130 passing and 26 points.

Freshman defensive end Kevin McNeil had a whirlwind week like few others but it ended with him playing against the Owls and even causing a fumble. McNeil was not cleared by the NCAA until last Friday and he rapidly enrolled and spent last week getting in something close to football shape. He was credited with two tackles and the forced fumble in his first action as a Seminole.

According to research by the University of Illinois SID office, Florida State trails only Temple and is tied with Illinois in terms of the most true freshman to play this season. Temple has played 19 true freshman and Illinois 16. Ole Miss and USC have both played 14 true freshmen to round out the Top Five.

Florida State is 3-1 to start the season for the 10th time in Bobby Bowden's 31 years as Florida State head coach and the third time in the last six seasons. The Seminoles have been undefeated (4-0) 17 times since Bowden took over in 1976. FSU has stared 2-2 twice in the Bowden era, 1-2-1 once and 1-3 once. Looking at the fifth game of the Bowden era for FSU shows a 22-8 overall record (73.3%). FSU has most often played Miami in the fifth game of the season and have gone 2-5 against the Hurricanes in that spot.

True freshmen rover Myron Rolle and redshirt freshman defensive end Everett Brown both got their first career starts against Rice. Rolle started for Anthony Houllis who is out with a knee injury. Coaches selected Brown over D.J. Norris who missed most of the practices leading up to the Rice game with a shoulder injury. Rolle finished his first-ever start as the team's top tackler with eight tackles (three solo). Brown was credited with an assist in the game.

Sensational freshman linebacker Marcus Ball learned on Monday, following the Rice game, that he will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. Ball had an interception which he returned 54 yards against Rice and was seeing lots of playing time before the injury suffered on special teams.

Florida State rushed for a season-high 287 yards in its victory over Rice, the most yards rushing in a game since recording 321 yards against West Virginia on Jan., 1 2005 in the Gator Bowl. FSU actually rushed for more yards (287) and scored more rushing touchdowns (five) in its victory over Rice than it had in its first three games (148 yards and three rushing touchdowns) combined.

Led by sophomore running back Antone Smith (career-high two rushing touchdowns) and junior fullback Joe Surratt (also a career-high two rushing touchdowns), the Seminoles scored five rushing touchdowns in their victory over Rice. It marked the first time since Nov. 16, 1985 in a 50-10 victory over Western Carolina that Florida State scored five rushing touchdowns in a game.

Florida State, which has won over 89 percent of its ACC games since joining the league in 1992, is the all-time winningest team in ACC football history. The Seminoles game against Clemson earlier this season was a battle for the ACC team with the all-time best winning percentage (.903) and the team with the all-time most conference wins in league history (214). Since joining the ACC, Florida State is 12-3 against Clemson including 5-3 in the Bowden Bowl which began with a 17-14 Bobby Bowden victory over Tommy Bowden in 1999.

Florida State was a perfect six-of-six (4 touchdowns, 2 field goals) on scoring chances inside the redzone against Rice and have scored on 14 of 15 chances (.933 percent) when they have entered the red-zone over the first four games of the season. The only team to stop Florida State when they have entered the red-zone was Clemson on Sept. 16.

Florida State recorded 21 offensive plays of 10 or more yards in its victory over Rice. The Seminoles had managed just 18 plays of 10 or more yards over their first three games combined.

Florida State's defense once again ranks among the national leaders following the win over Rice. The Seminole defense is ranked 15th nationally (2nd in the ACC) against the run giving up an average of just 72.50 yards per game. Opponents are not finding much more success through the air as FSU's pass efficiency defense ranks 23rd nationally (4th in the ACC). FSU ranked 19th overall in total defense the week following the Rice win.

The Seminole defense had forced their first two opponents to 14 drives of three plays or less, but Clemson managed three drives of 80 yards or more, including an 85-yarder that ended with the gamewinning touchdown with eight seconds left. The Seminole defense got back on track against Rice allowing the Owls to gain more than 40 yards on just three drives the entire game. Rice gained 65 yards on five plays on their first drive of the game that resulted in their only touchdown. They gained 42 yards on 12 plays on their next to last drive and 70 yards on 11 plays on their last drive. So, Rice gained 134 of their 241 total yards over their first and last drives of the game.

Gary Cismesia had never attempted a field goal of more than 49 yards in his Seminole career and he made the most of that first opportunity. His career-long 53-yarder against Rice ties for the fourth longest in FSU school history and he was the ACC Special Teams Player of the Week (9/25).

Sophomore kicker Graham Gano enjoyed a strong game kicking off against Rice as five of his 10 kickoffs were received as touchbacks by the Owls' special team's unit. In his first full season as the Seminoles' kickoff specialist, Gano has steadily improved on booming his kickoffs and not allowing a return by the opposition. After Miami was able to return all four of his kickoffs in the season opener, FSU's last three opponents have returned just two of his 15 kickoffs.

A survey of the national magazines covering college football shows that a number of Seminoles are well respected and were tabbed as pre-season All-ACC first or second team selections. Defensive back Tony Carter and wide receiver Greg Carr were both unanimous first-team selections while linebacker Buster Davis, quarterback Drew Weatherford and defensive lineman Andre Fluellen drew first and second team mention. Running back Lorenzo Booker was a second-team All-ACC selection and tabbed as the ACC's pre-season Most Valuable Player by Lindy's. Offensive lineman Mario Henderson was a unanimous second team All-ACC selection by the national magazines.

The Sporting News named Florida State's Antone Smith the ACC's fastest running back and the Seminoles' Michael Ray Garvin as the league's fastest defensive back. Both players participated in track and field for FSU last spring.

Florida State has just six seniors on this year's team who were scholarship freshmen when they started. The Seminoles actually list nine seniors now including walk-ons and former walk-ons who have earned scholarships. But the team is even young in its junior class that has only 18 members. This year's Seminole squad has 23 sophomores and 32 freshmen (true and redshirt), so of the 81 players on scholarship at FSU this year 55 are underclassmen.

Florida State Depth Chart


WR 81 De'Cody Fagg 6-3, 214, JR .... Tied his career-high with seven recep. vs. Troy for 93 yards...led FSU in catches in first three games.

80 Joslin Shaw 5-10, 180, JR .. Had three catches for 30 yards vs. Troy...named the most improved receiver by coaches in the spring.

12 Damon McDaniel 6-0, 192, FR ... True freshman who played for the first time vs. Clemson...ESPN's No. 3 rated prep WR last year.

86 Rod Owens 6-0, 170, SO ... Coming back from knee surgery, will probably redshirt...nickname is "Old School."

LT 75 Mario Henderson 6-7, 304, SR ... Has seven career starts...a preseason Sporting News second team All-ACC selection.

62 Cory Niblock 6-4, 307, SR ... started at right guard against Clemson two weeks ago...played left tackle last year.

76 Daron Rose 6-5, 310, FR ... True freshman who could see early action if injuries forced a shuffle in the front five.

LG 68 Jacky Claude 6-4, 292, JR ... One of only three players on offense to start all 13 games in 2005.

74 Geoff Berniard 6-8, 340, SO ... Has seen limited time as a reserve at both guard and tackle...also serves on the FG and extra point teams.

C 67 John Frady 6-4, 310, JR ... Has started the first four games this season...started five games last year at center and guard.

-or- 58 Dumaka Atkins 6-4, 310, SO ... Served as the primary back-up to David Castillo in 2005...brother, Baraka, plays DL for Miami.

RG 79 David Overmyer 6-5, 304, JR ... Started at right guard last three games (Troy, Clemson, Rice)...started 13 games at right tackle in 2005.

62 Cory Niblock 6-4, 307, SR ... One of four seniors on offense...most experienced lineman with 21 career starts (10 at left tackle in ‘05).

RT 73 Shannon Boatman 6-7, 312, JR ... Junior college transfer who has started all four games in 2006..enrolled at FSU in January ‘06.

79 David Overmyer 6-5, 304, JR ... Started all 13 games at right tackle last season but moved to right guard in 2006.

TE 1 Brandon Warren 6-2, 230, FR ... Only true freshman to start for FSU at Miami...has had three catches in each of last three games.

45 Charlie Graham 6-3, 240, FR ... Was limited in preseason practices by an ankle injury but played in UM game...redshirted last year.

19 Caz Piurowski 6-7, 260, FR ... True freshman who has seen plenty of action the first two games...father, Paul, played linebacker at FSU.

WR 5 Chris Davis 6-0, 180, SR ... Recorded a 15-yard touchdown catch to tie the Troy game 17-17...three catches for 21 yards at Miami.

89 Greg Carr 6-6, 203, SO ... 5 catches for 107 yards and two TD's against Rice...tied ACC freshman TD record in 2005 with nine.

85 Richard Goodman 6-0, 178, SO ... Had two catches for 27 yards in Troy win...played in eight games last year as a true freshman.

84 Robert Hallback 5-9, 186, SR ... Former walk-on who earned a scholarship in 2005...led all receivers in the spring game (4-68, 1 TD).

QB 11 Drew Weatherford 6-3, 220, SO ... Recorded fourth career 300-yard game with 336 yards in Troy victory...8-of-12 for 102 yards vs. Rice

9 Xavier Lee 6-4, 227, SO ... Went in on FSU's third possession vs. Rice...5-of-11 for 111 yards and one touchdown vs. Owls.

FB 32 Joe Surratt 6-1, 254, JR ... Has scored TDs in all four games...had a career-high seven carries vs. Clemson...first year starter.

40 Matt Dunham 6-2, 257, FR ... True freshman who enrolled at FSU in January...broke Herschel Walker's state of Georgia TD record in HS.

41 Seddrick Holloway 5-10, 245, FR . Local product from Tallahassee Lincoln HS, which produced last year's first round NFL pick Antonio Cromartie.

TB 28 Lorenzo Booker 5-11, 195, SR .. Named captain for the offense by Bobby Bowden...13 carries for 115 yards and a touch vs. Rice.

6 Antone Smith 5-9, 188, SO ... Teams leading rusher so far...12 carries for 137 yards vs. Rice...named the spring's most dominant player.

33 Jamaal Edwards 6-0, 214, SO ... Redshirted 2005...physical runner with a good combination of size and speed...played in five games in ‘04.

Special Teams

PK 12 Gary Cismesia 5-11, 208, JR .. Hit career-long 53-yard FG vs. Rice and 44 vs. Troy...hit game-winning 33-yarder with 8:01 left vs. Miami.

43 Graham Gano 6-1, 189, SO ... Starting punter who is averaging 37.8 yards per punt...had two punts over 50 yards vs. Clemson

37 Chase Googans 5-9, 170, SR ... Converted on only extra point attempt of his career vs. The Citadel last season.

DS 65 Garrison Sanborn 6-1, 221, JR ... Taken over as deep snapper for Myles Hodish...handled the deep snapping on punts vs. Florida in ‘05.

HO 16 Brent Moody 6-2, 178, JR ... Transfer from Louisville who is battling for the starting job at punter...punted in HS at Tallahassee Lincoln.

KO 43 Graham Gano 6-1, 180, SO ... True sophomore who has had only two of his last 15 kickoffs returned (over last three games)

12 Gary Cismesia 5-11, 208, JR .. Handled kickoffs during the early portion of the ‘05 season.

P 43 Graham Gano 6-1, 189, SO ... Starting punter who is averaging 37.8 yards per punt...had two punts over 50 yards vs. Clemson.

-or- 16 Brent Moody 6-2, 178, JR ... Punted for Louisville in ‘04 and ‘03...averaged 40.8 yards per punt in ‘04 with the Cardinals.

KOR 28 Lorenzo Booker 5-11, 195, SR .. Starting tailback has four kickoff returns for 66 yards, including a long of 19 yards.

80 Joslin Shaw 5-10, 180, JR .. Named the most improved receiver by coaches in the spring...excellent downfield blocker.

6 Antone Smith 5-9, 188, SO ... Homerun hitter who spent time with the FSU track team in the spring.

33 Jamaal Edwards 6-0, 214, SO ... One of five new kickoff returners for the Seminoles this season.

PR 5 Chris Davis 6-0, 180, SR ... Only Seminole with any significant punt return experience...has returned nine punts for 35 yards.

15 Tony Carter 5-9, 162, SO ... Did not have a punt return last season as a true freshman.


LE 99 Everette Brown 6-4, 245, FR ...... Redshirt freshman who started against Rice... blocked a Troy field goal and has two tackles on the season.

82 D.J. Norris 6-3, 252, SO ...... Started first three games and has one tackle...played in all 13 games last year with one start (at Clemson).

59 Neefy Moffett 6-1, 260, SO ...... Excellent pass rusher who has recorded six tackles and a tackle for loss.

NG 96 Andre Fluellen 6-4, 286, JR ...... Started 12 games last season alongside Brodrick Bunkley...Sporting News' No. 6 rated DT in the country.

56 Kendrick Stewart 6-2, 272, FR ...... Redshirt freshman who is in the mix for starting role.

91 Emmanuel Dunbar 6-5, 291, SO ...... Played against Miami, but injured back against Troy and did not dress for Clemson or Rice

72 Budd Thacker 6-2, 275, FR ...... Powerful interior defensive lineman...ranked as the No. 11 strong-side HS defensive end in the country as a senior

DT 98 Alex Boston 6-3, 262, JR ...... Started last two games at DT...played in all 13 games in 2005, including seven starts.

93 Letroy Guion 6-4, 296, SO ...... Slowed last two weeks by ankle injury but played agianst Clemson...appeared in 12 games last year

94 Justin Mincey 6-5, 275, FR ...... Originally a member of FSU's ‘05 signing class...ran a 4.7 40 at this year's Hargrave Combine.

RE 92 Darrell Burston 6-2, 249, SR ...... One of just two senior starters on defense along with Buster Davis...started seven games last season.

82 D.J. Norris 6-3, 252, SO ...... Could see time at either end position...played in all 13 games last year with one start (at Clemson).

SLB 83 Lawrence Timmons 6-3, 227, JR ...... blocked Clemson FG which was returned for TD...named most dominant defender in spring.

52 Jeremy Franklin 6-2, 210, SR ...... Walk-on who saw action last year mainly on special teams...former member of the U.S. Navy.

MLB 7 Buster Davis 5-10, 246, SR .... Team's leading tackler...recorded first career INT in Troy win...ACC POW 9/5...defensive team captain.

-or- 55 Derek Nicholson 6-2, 235, SO ...... ...played in all 13 games last years as a true freshman...sees a lot of playing time every game.

51 Jae Thaxton 6-3, 233, SO ...... Played as a true freshman in ‘04, redshirted last year...also sees time on special teams, 2 blocked kicks in ‘04.

WLB 10 Geno Hayes 6-2, 211, SO ...... Named ACC Player of the Week 9/5...had first career INT in Troy win...had sack vs. Rice

-or- 7 Buster Davis 5-10, 246, SR .... Named the defensive team captain by Coach Bowden...tied Paul Griffin as the strongest Seminole this summer.

36 Dekoda Watson 6-2, 225, FR ...... One of 15 true freshmen playing...saw playing time at end vs. Rice and had a sack.

LC 29 Michael Ray Garvin 5-8, 185, SO ...... Speedy sophomore who played last year in some nickel situations...sealed the UM win with a fourth-quarter INT.

21 Patrick Robinson 5-11, 169, FR .... True freshman who blocked an extra point against Clemson

injured 15 Tony Carter 5-9, 162, SO ...... Freshman All-American last year...started all 13 games in ‘05...top cover corner...inj. knee vs. Rice

FS 8 Roger Williams 6-0, 200, JR ...... Had three tackles against both Troy and Rice...ranks seventh on the team in tackles.

24 Darius McClure 5-11, 200, SO .... Stood out on special teams in his first year of action in ‘05...blocked a punt in FSU's win at Boston College.

RV 3 Myron Rolle 6-2, 217, FR ...... True freshman who enrolled early this January...got first career start vs. Rice and led team with eight tackles

31 Toddrick Verdell 6-3, 215, SO ...... Moved from linebacker to safety to help with depth after starting rover Anthony Houllis was lost after Clemson.

RC 20 Jamie Robinson 6-2, 190, FR ...... Redshirt freshman who broke up two passes vs. Rice... recorded four tackles, including one for loss in UM win.

18 J.R. Bryant 6-1, 181, JR ...... Third on the team with 17 tackles, including two tackles for loss.

22 Korey Mangum 6-0, 185, FR ...... Another young defender who will see action this season.

Forida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden

Florida State media relations contributed to this report.

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