Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Confidence boost inspires FSU offensive line

TALLAHASSEE — The young offensive linemen were told last Monday that the game plan for Colorado was to run the ball. And run it again. And again.

"We felt like, 'We're freshmen and sophomores, and they're trusting us to do this,' '' freshman LT Andrew Datko said. "Knowing that gave us more confidence."

And more incentive to prove they could pave the way. For at least one day, the line did just that as the Seminoles amassed 259 yards on 46 carries in their 39-21 win at Jacksonville on Saturday. But did the Seminoles exploit the circumstances (the Buffaloes seemingly wore down in the Florida heat) or was that a glimpse of things to come?

Here's a stat, perhaps skewed by the 'Noles (3-1, 0-1 ACC) playing two Division I-AA opponents to start the season, to consider:

They are averaging 212 yards on the ground and 201.2 through the air. The last time they averaged more yards rushing than passing was 1987.

"That's good," coach Bobby Bowden said Sunday. "It is surprising, though. When you look at the nature of our offensive football team, where the offensive line is the most inexperienced (group), you'd think the thing you would be less likely to do is run the ball consistently. … That's a good sign because if you can run the ball, you can always fake it and throw it. Now if you can't run it, all that faking don't do any good."

FSU's next opponent, Miami (2-2, 0-1), figures to make that job far tougher than Colorado did. It allows an average of 65 yards rushing, tops in the ACC.

Still, for the first time in a long time, FSU sounds like a bunch that knows it can run effectively against anyone, despite its youth and inexperience.

"That can become an identity for us, just as a hard-nosed football team," said junior TE Caz Piurowski, mentioning that the linemen, receivers and fullbacks understand their role as blockers and have embraced it. "We have the guys to do that and the attitude to definitely do that."

I ain't missing you …: Although Bowden won his first national title in the Orange Bowl, he doesn't miss that stadium. He had more painful memories there. "I'd rather play in Dolphin Stadium," he said, referring to the site of Saturday's game. "That daggum Orange Bowl was tough. Now, Dolphin Stadium is, too. But hey, there was no place in the country like the old Orange Bowl. I'm kind of glad we're not going back there."

The last word: "We really needed that win because if we had lost that game to Colorado, you'd be saying, 'Wait till next year; it looks like the same old deal.' But by winning that game, it still gives us a chance to be better." Bowden.

>>up next

USF vs. Pitt: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, ESPN

UF at Arkansas: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 38

FSU at Miami: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 28

Confidence boost inspires FSU offensive line 09/28/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 12:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  2. Bucs journal: Bucs still high on Vikings RB Dalvin Cook


    TAMPA — Coach Dirk Koetter spent a lot of time before this year's draft evaluating RB Dalvin Cook. At one time, the Florida State star and former teammate of QB Jameis Winston was considered the player the Bucs most likely would draft 19th overall.

    Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook (33), a standout at Florida State, is third in the league in rushing after two games and fourth in average yards per game.
  3. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Ryan Callahan: Brian Boyle will beat cancer diagnosis


    Ryan Callahan has been friends with Brian Boyle for a long-time, the two veterans playing together for seven years between the Rangers and the Lightning.

  5. Taylor Raddysh among first Lightning camp cuts


    Lightning forward prospect Taylor Raddysh was among the first cuts in camp, the team trimming its roster by six on Wednesday.