JagNation ran into Jaguars scout Tim Mingey at Saturday evening's Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, FL. Mingey was looking at some of the talent on the field between the Wisconsin Badgers and Florida State Seminoles. Although the outcome was lopsided in FSU's favor, as the Noles crushed the Wisconsin Badgers 42-13, there were plenty of prospects on both sidelines.
"The fun thing about bowls is playing somebody that you don't know anything about," coach Bobby Bowden said. "They don't know anything about you, you don't know anything about them. Now you study film and you know what they're doing, but their boys don't know your boys, and your boys don't know their boys. That's exciting."
The first half was hardly a thing of beauty as the offenses combined for just 10 first half points and the star of the half was Seminoles kicker/punter Graham Gano, who dropped three punts inside the three-yard line. Gano finished as the game's MVP. Pro prospects Antone Smith, Myron Rolle, and Everett Brown had a quiet first half.
A few players that did show up big for the Noles were senior middle linebacker Derek Nicholson and senior wide receiver Greg Carr. Nicholson scored the game's first touchdown as he took a tipped backwards pass and scampered 75 yards to paydirt to put the Noles on top 7-0. Nicholson finished the first half with 3.5 tackles.
Noles 6'6" receiver Greg Carr made a lasting impact as he was the leading receiver for Florida State as he caught four first half passes for 33 yards, including the only offensive touchdown of the game on an acrobatic one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone.
Wisconsin tailback P.J. Hill was the star of the half for the Badgers as he rushed for 85 yards on just 10 carries. Hill's 46-yard scamper set up Wisconsin's only three points of the half which came on a Phillip Welch 31-yard field goal. Junior tight end Garrett Graham caught two passes for 46 yards, including a 43-yard catch and run on a big third down.
With Florida State up 14-3 at the half, Wisconsin took the opening drive right down the field, fueled by the running of P.J. Hill. Hill ripped off a 45-yard run to set the Badgers up deep in FSU territory, which eventually led to a Welch 41-yard field goal to trim the Noles lead to 14-6.
On the ensuing possession, the Noles decided to go to their 6'6" target, Greg Carr. Carr caught four more passes for 45 yards on the drive, including a big 20-yard strike on a third and 18 play. Senior running back Antone Smith finished the drive with a six-yard touchdown run and the Noles were up, 21-6. The Florida State drive encompassed 7:43 off the clock while covering 85 yards on 16 plays.
Derek Nicholson was not done with his big plays as the undersized 6'2", 233 lb. linebacker recovered a P.J. Hill fumble on Wisconsin's ensuing possession. FSU took advantage of the big play as Carlton Jones ripped off a 31-yard run on a third and two, then went untouched for a 14-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach at 28-6.
The explosive size and speed of defensive end Everett Brown struck on the ensuing Wisconsin possession as he sacked Wisconsin quarterback Dustin Sherer who fumbled the ball, and junior linebacker Dekota Watson scooped and scored from 51 yards away to make the score Florida State 35, Wisconsin 6.
In their final games as Seminoles, FSU seniors Greg Carr, Myron Rolle, Antone Smith, and Derek Nicholson all played well. Carr caught eight passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, Rolle tallied four tackles, .5 TFL, Smith ran 16 times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and Nicholson had 4.5 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown.
Wisconsin prospects include senior defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (currently projected as a second-round pick), running back P.J. Hill (late-round pick), tight end Garrett Graham (first-day pick), guard Kraig Urbik (third-round pick), and tight end Travis Beckum (second-day pick). Shaughnessy had two tackles, one TFL, Hill ran for 140 yards on just 15 carries, Graham caught three passes for 62 yards, and Beckum did not play.
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