TALLAHASSEE — Coach Bobby Bowden wanted his players to enjoy their opening win and saved the speech that, rest assured, he will deliver today.
You know, the one that begins: Fellas, Western Carolina (1-1) is a Division I-AA team.
"The big thing we'll have to watch this week is that the kids don't get full of themselves because of what happened," he said the morning after his Seminoles' 69-0 rout. "That wasn't Miami."
Nor is the next opponent, Chattanooga (1-1), another I-AA from the Southern Conference.
"It was really what we needed," he said. "How long's it been since we finally beat somebody? I know the opponent was Division I-AA, but it's seemed like the last few years, if we won, it was close. … We had a lot of young guys."
In all, 22 true freshmen played.
"You've got to feed them baby food before you start giving them steaks," Bowden said. "We're not ready for steak yet."
RB CONCERNS: Senior RB Antone Smith had a nice, albeit limited, day's work. He had 46 yards on seven carries, including a 5-yard touchdown run.
''I wish we could have played him more where he could have got (more) yardage, but that position is getting mighty thin right now," Bowden said.
Transfer Tavares Pressley, the projected backup, is out for the year with a knee injury. The No. 2 tailback, freshman Carlton "Ty" Jones, a former Middleton High star who rushed for 24 yards on two carries (he mishandled a pitch that he recovered for a 6-yard loss), sprained an ankle. Freshman Jermaine Thomas, who missed time as FSU tried to clear him academically, came on and had a game-high 91 yards on 13 rushes and two touchdowns.
"We're going to have to pace that position for a while," Bowden said, adding that it's possible WR Preston Parker, suspended for the first two games for an offseason arrest, could split time at running back.
CLASS ACT: Bowden couldn't get over the way fifth-year senior QB Drew Weatherford has dealt with going from a three-year starter to third string behind redshirt sophomores Christian Ponder and D'Vontrey Richardson. He said Weatherford hasn't pouted and has stayed engaged on the sideline.
"Not many people could handle it like Drew," Bowden said. "The guy is a strong guy as you can tell. As I told Drew the other day, I said, 'Hey, Drew. We've got 13 ball games and a lot of things can happen.' You don't have to tell him that. To me, he is an example of a guy (who knows) that life is bigger than football. A lot of these guys in football think it's the only thing there is, 'That's all I live for. If you take it away from me, I'll die.' That's not his motivation."