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Suspended FSU players staying focused

TALLAHASSEE — LB Dekoda Watson is still adjusting to life on the outside.

He and his teammates serving suspensions for their involvement in the academic misconduct scandal sat in the Doak Campbell Stadium stands Saturday watching the Seminoles rout Chattanooga 46-7.

"It was a different experience," he said Sunday. "I never watched a Florida State game from the stands. It was real exciting. People thought I was crazy because I was real expressive. For once, I felt like a student, an actual student."

He cheered, admitting he stomped so feverishly when LB Kenny Ingram delivered the game's highlight hit that he thought he'd break the bleachers, and went home afterward.

"It was a nice feeling, but I'm not going to sit here and say that I don't miss football because I really do," he said. "It's going to be very difficult (watching again Saturday when Wake Forest comes to town). It's been difficult this whole time as far as playing Western Carolina and Chattanooga, just sitting down and watching the game and not being able to contribute. Not being able to stand on the sideline really hurt. It's going to be tough. All I can say is one more week, one more week of depression."

Coach Bobby Bowden has consistently praised the suspended players for the way they've worked as part of the scout team.

"One of the amazing things," he said, "is the effort that those boys have given in practice. You would have thought they were going to start every week. The effort's been unbelievable. They've actually had a good time, going over on the scout squad and imitating the opponent for the next week. They've worked hard."

Fueling the run: Redshirt sophomore QB D'Vontrey Richardson looked like he would be stopped with DB Buster Skrine hanging onto his ankle. But Richardson broke free and sprinted about the last 25 of his 55 yards for a touchdown Saturday. "I think it was my anger," he said. "I was kind of mad. I was messing up too much, and coach (Jimbo) Fisher was riding me. I just really wanted to score."

Parker returns: WR Preston Parker will be back after a two-game suspension for his offseason arrest, but was that his second strike? Bowden said he's never said that. Well, is he on his last chance? "How fast is he?" Bowden said, laughing.

Numbers game: The Seminoles had no offensive holding penalties through their first seven quarters, then had three on one series in the fourth quarter Saturday. Said Bowden of the miscues (including some dropped passes): "Any time we do wrong or bad, it gives you a coaching point for the next week."

Poll watching: The Associated Press media poll moved FSU in at No. 24 and the USA Today/coaches poll at No. 25.

Suspended FSU players staying focused 09/14/08 [Last modified: Sunday, September 14, 2008 7:33pm]
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