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Running Game Still The Focus For No. 23 FSU's Offense And Defense
Preston Parker could see even more touches this week versus Virginia Tech.

Preston Parker could see even more touches this week versus Virginia Tech.

Oct. 22, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – Tuesday and Wednesday are the two most important days of the week for a college football team in terms of game preparation. On Wednesday, the 23rd-ranked FSU football team finished putting in a majority of its game plan for Saturday’s big game with Virginia Tech. The Seminoles spent 21 periods in shells as they work towards extending their winning streak to four games and keeping pace with three other Atlantic Division teams that are 2-1 in ACC play.

 

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

·          Most of practice was spent with both the offense and defense working versus scout teams.

·          During pass rush Rodney Hudson was once again the star. The mid-season first team All-American won four battles. Center Ryan McMahon won three match-ups while Andrew Datko, Zebrie Sanders, Brandon Davis and David Spurlock also had victories. For the defense Everette Brown and Markus White each had two sacks. Budd Thacker, Kevin McNeil and Moses  McCray also got to the QB.

·          In skeleton Christian Ponder connected twice with Preston Parker and Antone Smith along with a completion to Marcus Sims. Drew Weatherford hit Rod Owens, Corey Surrency and Smith as well.

·          In 11-on-11 the defense was led by Everette Brown who had a sack. Recardo Wright had a tackle for loss and Justin Mincey had a QB pressure. Ponder found Preston Parker twice and Weatherford hit Owens with a nice pass that turned into a big gainer following the catch.

·          The 1:00 drill lasted four plays. After excellent coverage caused Ponder to throw the ball away, the sophomore QB found Surrency for a short gain. Toddrick Verdell broke up a pass on third down and then Korey Mangum broke up another pass on fourth.

 

PRACTICE QUOTES

Head Coach Bobby Bowden

Opening statement:

“Bert Reed, to save a lot of speculation, is suspended because of missing classes. I’m afraid that some people are making too much out of that, it’s missing classes.”

 

On stopping the big plays:

“That will always be the key trying to keep the big play down. This kid [Tyrod Taylor] is a threat to do it.”

 

On Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor:

“He hurt us last year throwing the football. He scrambles and buys time for guys to get open and you can only stay with a guy for so long. You’re scared to run man-to-man because you’ve got to turn your back to the ball and then he starts running and you don’t even know where the ball is.”

 

On the running game:

“It’s a boost when you can run because the other team doesn’t know whether to rush the passer or play the run so it helps in your pass protection and it definitely balances out your offense.  I hope we can keep it up because this team is very tough against the run.”

 

LB Kenny Ingram

On the big game atmosphere at Doak Campbell:

“I’m excited about that because we haven’t had a big crowd yet this season. This crowd is going to be awesome and I’m excited to see what is going to happen.”

 

On stopping Virginia Tech early:

“It’s very important because they have so much talent and depth on their team so we’re going to go out there and try to take it away from them as quick as possible with our play and our crowd.”

 

On Tyrod Taylor:

“He’s another [Michael] Vick, but I think he might have a little something on him.  That boy is ‘bad,’ I like watching him play, he’s exciting.”

 

WR Taiwan Easterling

On stepping up with having Bert Reed out:

“I think I’m still going to do the same things and play the same role. We haven’t really talked about it, but it is probably going to be the same even though Bert’s out.”

 

On the amount of receptions he’s had this season:

“Coach talks about doing the little things that lead up to big things so I’m just trying to focus on the little things and let my play speak for itself.”

 

Defensive Tackle Budd Thacker

On stopping Virginia Tech’s quarterback Tyrod Taylor:

“We must play disciplined. We have to stay in our gaps because he is going to sit back there and wait for us to make a little mistake and take off for a long run. He is the fastest quarterback I have ever faced. We have to play disciplined defensively and if everybody does there job, we should be able to keep him contained.”

 

On playing against Virginia Tech at home:

“We need to have a great atmosphere this Saturday. The crowd can be like a 12th man on the field. If they can’t hear the plays, they will be confused and we can hit them hard.”

 

On NC State’s quarterback Russell Wilson preparing them for Taylor:

“It was awesome that we got to play against a mobile quarterback because it was a warm up for this week. We made a few mistakes, and that is what we are trying to correct this week and go from there.”

 

Running Back Antone Smith:

Importance of the running game against Virginia Tech:

“It’s going to be very important. They have a really good defensive line. If we do what we have to do which is move the ball around, we should be alright.”

 

About injuries on the offensive line:

“We have had to plug in David Spurlock to fill in for Will Furlong. There shouldn’t be too much of a drop off there. If other guys go down then it could become a problem for us.”

 

Is this a run first offense?

“We are a run first offense right now. We still have great receivers and hopefully can get it done passing the ball.”

 

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