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)

Preliminary signs strong for Seminoles

FSU quarterback Christian Ponder runs in the second quarter as Chattanooga’s Rodney Beamon, right, tries to close in.

Associated Press

FSU quarterback Christian Ponder runs in the second quarter as Chattanooga’s Rodney Beamon, right, tries to close in.

TALLAHASSEE — For the Florida State Seminoles, the dress rehearsals are over.

Okay. Maybe that's a bit unfair to the Chattanooga Mocs, but the Seminoles didn't exactly have to hit every single mark on Saturday afternoon to roll to a second straight easy win against a Division I-AA lightweight, this time 46-7. They beat Western Carolina 69-0 in the opener.

"Overall, it's pleasing, but it doesn't mean a darn thing because we have not played a I-A school yet," coach Bobby Bowden said.

That changes this coming weekend. FSU (2-0) opens ACC play against Atlantic Division rival, No. 20 Wake Forest, in a primetime, nationally-televised game on ESPN2.

"This Saturday," Bowden said, "we'll have a chance for it to be pleasing or either unpleasant."

Lately against Wake Forest, it has been the latter.

In case any FSU fan has forgotten, the Demon Deacons (2-0) have won the past two in the series. In 2006, they came to Tallahassee and embarrassed the Seminoles, 30-0, a loss that prompted offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden to announce his resignation. Last year, Wake Forest rallied to beat the visiting Seminoles, 24-21, a game that derailed a seemingly improving bunch.

"It's definitely a team we've been looking at this whole summer," redshirt sophomore quarterback Christian Ponder said.

"We've had these first two games and we've done a lot of substitutions, and we tried a lot of different things, but now everybody has their feet wet and it shouldn't be new," added redshirt junior defensive end Everette Brown, who had two sacks on Saturday. "It's time to go out and play Florida State football."

Are they ready to do that in this next game when they will still be missing about 10 key players for their involvement in the academic misconduct scandal?

Hard to say. The Mocs (1-2), who lost their opener at Oklahoma 57-2, aren't the best measuring stick of what the Seminoles will see on Saturday — when defensive tackle Budd Thacker and receiver Preston Parker will be back from suspensions — or, for that matter, on any Saturday the rest of the way.

"I'll be anxious to see how they go forward during the year and how good they are," Chattanooga coach Rodney Allison said. "I think they have some work to do."

Unlike last week in his first college start, Ponder showed no nervousness and started hot. He led FSU to touchdowns on its first three drives (that was 12 straight going back to the Western Carolina game) and finished 13 of 22 for 180 yards and three touchdowns (44- and 39-yard passes to junior Corey Surrency and an 8-yarder to senior running back Antone Smith) before D'Vontrey Richardson took over after the opening series of the second half.

Richardson then showed his dynamic abilities again, running 55 yards for a touchdown — a record for an FSU quarterback — then throwing a 36-yard strike to redshirt freshman receiver Bert Reed to close out the scoring.

It came against I-AA teams, but the Seminoles have a total of five touchdowns of 40 or more yards. They had just four such plays in 2007 and two in 2006.

"When you play good teams, you've got to make some big plays somewhere," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "It's hard to drive the ball up and down the field on good teams. … That can also allow you in time, if people start trying to take them (big plays) away, if you have patience when they're not there, you can control the ball with 5-, 6-, 10-yard plays too, so I think it opens up different avenues."

Against anyone?

The young Seminole players believe they can.

"That's probably the best thing that can happen to them is confidence," Bowden said. "Now the best thing that can happen to us is we've got two games to tune up and see if the car will run. Now the car will run. It's, will it run fast enough to play at that next level that we're fixing to get into?"

Brian Landman can be reached at or (813) 226-3347.

Florida State 46

Chattanooga 7

Preliminary signs strong for Seminoles 09/13/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2008 3:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  5. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)