Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida State Seminoles defense makes noise in spring game

TALLAHASSEE

The wait was worth it for Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. After pushing and prodding his players to produce more turnovers all spring, Andrews finally saw some results in Saturday night's spring game. The Seminoles defense recovered five fumbles, returned one for a touchdown and intercepted a pass to defeat the offense 39-27.

The game featured a modified scoring format in which the offense and defense could score points based on a predetermined set of criteria.

"We challenged them to play the best they've ever played here in this stadium," Andrews said. "Some of them took us up on it."

The only touchdown scored by the first-team offense came on a 65-yard pass from Christian Ponder to Jarmon Fortson.

Sophomores slump

TBs Jermaine Thomas and Ty Jones were the stars of the first three weeks of spring practice, breaking off several dazzling runs. But both sophomores struggled Saturday — they combined for 61 yards on 16 carries.

Jones, in particular, had a woeful night. He fumbled four times, including one that LB Nigel Bradham scooped up and returned for a touchdown.

"It seemed like it might have been stage fright," coach Bobby Bowden said. "I saw some kids do things that they haven't done all spring."

Mister Robinson

Senior FS Jamie Robinson, right, started the turnover onslaught by snaring a pass that QB Christian Ponder intended for junior WR Louis Givens. He picked Ponder off again in situational drills after the main portion of the scrimmage.

"We needed these turnovers a lot," Robinson said. "Just to show that we're more than just a run-stopping defense. The last couple of years, we haven't been getting a lot of interceptions. So it was good for the defense to turn that around."

Robinson was inconsistent as a part-time starter last season, but defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said the senior has made major strides in recent practices.

"Jamie had two great interceptions," Andrews said. "The last two scrimmages we've had, Jamie started to look like a safety."

Better now than later

Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher was angry about the number of turnovers his unit committed, but he wasn't totally surprised. Although the offense has dominated for much of this spring, Fisher pointed out that several starters were playing for the first time in front of a crowd.

The attendance was estimated at 36,000.

"This was more of a game situation," Fisher said, "and it's better to find out now."

Not done yet

Although the spring game typically signifies the end of practice, Florida State will work out three more times this week. The schedule was adjusted to accommodate for spring break dates.

Florida State Seminoles defense makes noise in spring game 04/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter