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Florida State Spends Christmas Eve Day Practicing For 18 Periods
Justin Mincey and the FSU defensive line will have their hands full with the Badger running backs.

Justin Mincey and the FSU defensive line will have their hands full with the Badger running backs.

Dec. 24, 2008

  • PHOTO GALLERY
  • ORLANDO, Fla.  – Today was the last heavy work day for the Seminole football team as Wednesday usually caps off the instillation of the game plan for the weekend’s opponent. Florida State spent 18 periods practicing in the shadow of the stadium they will play in on Saturday as the final pieces were put in place for the Champs Sports Bowl. The team will spend the afternoon at Universal’s Island of Adventure and then have Christmas Eve to themselves.

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    PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

    ·          The first 12 periods of practice were spent working versus scout teams.

    ·          During 4-on-5 Christian Ponder completed passes to Caz Piurowski twice and he also found Bo Reliford, Louis Givens, Seddrick Holloway and Antone Smith. Drew Weatherford hit Marcus Sims, Reliford twice and Givens once. D’Vontrey Richardson completed passes to Reliford and Jermaine Thomas. Jamie Robinson recorded an interception off a deflection.

    ·          7-on-7 was fairly uneventful with the lone highlight coming on a 40-yard pass from Weatherford to Rod Owens.

    ·          The team worked on red zone situations as well. From the 5-yard line Ponder and Piurowski connected for a TD. Ponder hit Surrency with a pass from the 15 and then had TD strikes to Bert Reed from 10 yards out and Jarmon Fortson from five yards away.

    ·          Ponder and Weatherford combined to go 5-of-7 in 11-on-11. Reed, Givens, Fortson, Thomas and Cameron Wade all caught passes. Weatherford’s completion to Fortson was on a deep ball. The defense recorded a pass deflection and had a sack during the drill.

    ·          Practice ended with 1:00 drill and the defense got the better of the drill. Neefy Moffett had a sack and Myron Rolle thwarted the offense with an interception.

     

    QUOTES

    Head Coach Bobby Bowden

    About Myron Rolle focusing on game with everything he’s been through in the last month:

    “I think he’s been able to keep things in prospective.  He’s that kind of guy.  He doesn’t wander off and then all of the sudden here’s a football game.  He’s probably organized well enough as well on this game as he would be even if he wasn’t going with that Rhodes scholarship.  This is probably his last college football game.”

     

    On Graham Gano being one of the guys you are really going to miss after this season:

    “Graham Gano is probably the most valuable player we’ve got right now. He’s probably the most valuable player out there right now.  If you’ve got to pick one of them you hate to lose the most, he’d be a pretty good place to start.”

     

    On favorite Christmas gift:

    “The one I remember most is boxing gloves.  I was probably nine or 10, very young.  Back in those days, you didn’t have television so you had to have ways to entertain each other.  You had five or six guys and you go get the gloves out and everybody would box.”

     

    On getting a ninth win:

    “You love to see improvement.  No matter what, you love to see improvement.  Eight … nine … nine and a half … 10, you just love to have that improvement and then it just gives you something to build on.”

     

    QB Christian Ponder

    On what he is usually doing on Christmas Eve:

    “Normally Christmas Eve is about hanging out with the family. We usually have a nice dinner on Christmas Eve. Each one of the boys, me and my brothers, get to open one present. I won’t be able to do that this year obviously.”

     

    WR Jarmon Fortson

    On what his first bowl game experience has been like:

    “It has been fun but basically I just want to get a win and end the season on a good note. Come out ready for next year.”

     

    On what he is usually doing on Christmas Eve:

    “Usually Christmas Eve for me has meant being around family and eating good food. This isn’t bad though because I get to be with my teammates and it allows us to continue to build camaraderie.”

     

    On his favorite part of the bowl trip:

    “Hopefully today will be as much fin as I think it will visiting Universal’s Island of Adventure. I am looking forward to going on some rides.”

     

    RB Jermaine Thomas

    On what his first bowl game experience has been like:

    “It has been fun. I am out here working hard during practice and then trying to relax when we get some time off. I am trying to treat my down time like a vacation. I feel like we have worked hard and deserve to enjoy ourselves while we are at the bowl.  We are grateful to be here and will try to use this time to our advantage.”

     

    On if he expected to have such a big role in the offense as a true freshman:

    “I didn’t come in to Florida State expecting to have this type of season. I just stuck with the offensive plan and when my number was called I feel like I stepped up. I was happy to make an impact in a short time. I want to keep doing that and make my coaches, teammates and fans proud.”

     

    On what he is usually doing on Christmas Eve:

    “Christmas Eve is sitting around with the family, joking around, playing games, drinking egg nog and getting ready for a big dinner. We usually open our presents Christmas Eve but I am with my teammates, all my brothers. We are going to have fun together.”

     

    LB Nigel Bradham

    On what his first bowl game experience has been like:

    “So far it has gone pretty well. I didn’t know what to expect since I have never been to a bowl game before. I am just trying to work hard so we can finish our season with a win.”

     

    On his favorite part of the bowl trip:

    “I think today’s trip to Islands of Adventure will be great. Everyone is looking forward to that. I like rides sometimes, depending on the ride because I am a little scared of heights. I don’t like the drops.”

     

    On what he is usually doing on Christmas Eve:

    “Most of my Christmas Eve memories have to do with the presents. That is what every kid remembers about Christmas.”

     

    LB Toddrick Verdell

    On practicing at Christmas time:

    “It really doesn’t seem like Christmas Eve, mainly for me because of the weather.  But it’s nice to be out here preparing for a bowl game.”

     

    On Wisconsin:

    “Wisconsin is a very good team, very big, very physical up front.  They have good coaches and they are a pretty good team.”

     

    On what he wants for Christmas:

    “A win.  A ninth win would just be great for this program.  It would mean we were headed in the right direction.  For the seniors, it just means going out with a bang.  We lost the last game so to come out and win this ball game would be good for the seniors. It lies upon us as seniors to put it all on the line on Saturday and just show everybody that we’re here fighting and this is where this program is headed.”

     

    CB Tony Carter

    On the bowl experience so far:

    “It’s been fun.  We’re down here and we’ve got nice weather.  We’ve got Disney World, nice things around here that we get to see.  For the guys who aren’t from this part, they get to see things they haven’t seen before.  We’re just enjoying ourselves.”

     

    On staying focused:

    “We’ve definitely been able to stay focused.  The coaches are not going to allow us to stray off and not focus.  We came down here to win a game and we wake up every morning and watch film and do what we’ve got to do and have fun later on in the day.”

     

    On the importance of this game:

    “It’s your last game and something you’re going to be remembered by and add on to your memories here at Florida State.  You always want to go out with a bang.  To get this ninth win would show that this program is headed in the right direction and give the young guys something to build off of.”

     

    On it being Christmas Eve:

    “You don’t even think about it really.  You get so used to practicing and being away on holidays. I didn’t even know it was Christmas Eve until my mom called me this morning.”

     

    On what he wants for Christmas:

    “A win vs. Wisconsin.  They’re a big, physical team, hard nosed and we’re more of a speedy, fast and quick team.  So each team has talent, it’s just who’s going to get it done.”

     


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