Brian Landman, Times Staff Writer

Brian Landman

Brian Landman covers Florida State athletics and college basketball. He joined the Times in 1986 after receiving his master's degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California.

Phone: (813) 226-3347

E-mail: landman@tampabay.com

Blog: Seminole Report

  1. Florida State's Rodney Hudson an AFCA all-American

    Blog


    Florida State senior offensive guard Rodney Hudson, the two-time winner of the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Award, was named to the American Football Coaches Association all-America team. The AFCA has picked a team since 1945.
     

    Offense

    Pos Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)

    WR Justin Blackmon 6-1 205 So. Oklahoma St. Mike Gundy Ardmore, Okla. (Plainview)...

  2. Florida State Seminoles' Ochuko Jenije snuffs out Florida's fake punt

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State redshirt senior S Ochuko Jenije said it was instinct.

    With the Florida Gators down 10-7 and facing fourth and 5 from their 36-yard line in the second quarter, P Chas Henry tucked the ball and started racing to his right for the first-down marker.

    Jenije, a starter at cornerback last year who changed positions and has seen most of his time on special teams, raced toward Henry and brought him down a yard shy. Urban Meyer had been successful on eight of his fake punts in his UF tenure....

    Florida State’s Ochuko Jenije stops Florida punter Chas Henry short of a first down on a fake punt during the second quarter.
  3. No. 22 Florida State Seminoles pound Florida Gators 31-7

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — With their fans chanting as loudly as they had in years, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and quarterback Christian Ponder shared the quietest of moments.

    They hugged, their eyes welled up and despite the din of a sellout crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium, they told each other how special the ride has been, culminating with Saturday's 31-7 win against Florida.

    "Obviously, Coach Fisher has helped me out a lot," Ponder said. "He developed me as a quarterback. He's done an unbelievable job in his first year as a head coach. And for us to beat Florida, that moment is definitely special."...

    left: Florida State cornerback Mike Harris picks off John Brantley’s pass intended for Andre Debose, who also was defended by cornerback Greg Reid, on Florida’s final possession of the second quarter.
  4. Military life prepared Florida State Seminoles forward Bernard James

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — When Florida State junior forward Bernard James would get off work, he'd head to the only court around, an outdoor one, to hone his basketball skills.

    The concrete floor was as slick as an ice rink, so you couldn't make hard cuts in sneakers.

    And then you had to deal with the wind.

    "Half the time, you had sand blowing in your face at 15, 20 mph," James said. "So that kind of made shooting the ball hard. But it would usually die down a little bit around dusk. Regardless of how hard it was to play there, you still had people playing there trying to show off for their friends."...

    FSU’s Bernard James, who didn’t play high school basketball, is averaging 8.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, and has 16 blocks.
  5. Stakes are lower between Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles, but the desire to win is not

    College

    TALLAHASSEE

    It is not a de facto playoff game, as it has been so often in the past.

    Not with the Gators still fighting something of a hangover that was predicted for the first year after the Tim Tebow era. And not with the Seminoles still trying to re-establish themselves as prime-time players in the first year under coach Jimbo Fisher.

    But today's renewal of the Florida-Florida State showdown is, as always, a game with great implications, if not nationally, then certainly within the Sunshine State's expansive borders....

  6. Florida State Seminoles' uneasy transition from coach Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — T.K. Wetherell realizes the decision to tab Jimbo Fisher as the designated successor to iconic coach Bobby Bowden will define him like no other he made as Florida State's president.

    "If they win, it'll be good. And if they don't," he said with a laugh, "I'll be a goat."

    Well, no one is fitting him for horns.

    Fisher's debut season is nearing an end — his team plays rival Florida (7-4) in Saturday's regular-season finale — and his Seminoles (8-3) have taken unmistakable strides:...

    Though it was not official, Jimbo Fisher, front, was hired as Florida State offensive coordinator in January 2007 with the idea he would eventually replace Bobby Bowden as coach.
  7. Florida State soccer faces Stanford Friday in NCAA Elite Eight

    Blog

    As they gathered back in August, the Florida State women’s soccer players could have collectively shrugged an “Oh well, that’s the ball game’’ and changed their goal of reaching the national semifinals and winning an NCAA title.

    The news was that bad.

    Star forwards Jessica Price, who had 16 goals and 10 assists for a team-high 42 points in 2009, and Tiffany McCarty, who had a team-leading 17 goals and seven assists for 41 points to earn the ACC freshman of the year and ACC offensive player of the year awards, were both lost to season-ending medical issues....

  8. Florida State Seminoles seniors survive turbulent era

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State will recognize a fairly small group of seniors before Saturday's regular-season finale against Florida, and players such as QB Christian Ponder, G Rodney Hudson, C Ryan McMahon, DE Markus White, LB Kendall Smith and S Ochuko Jenije deserve the praise like no other class that has come through the program.

    No, they didn't lead the Seminoles to a national title. ...

    Seminoles senior defensive end Markus White, bearing down on West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown last season, has at least half a sack in seven consecutive games and has 7.5 this season after entering the year with three for his career.
  9. FSU men, women 2nd in NCAA cross country

    Sports

    The Florida State men's and women's cross country teams each finished second at Monday's NCAA championship meet in Terre Haute, Ind., chasing down some history by stamping the overall program as the best ever from the state.

    "It was a great race (for the men), and the girls did a great job again," men's coach Bob Braman said. "It was just a great day to be a Seminole."

    The FSU men's team had never been better than eighth (1981) and was coming off a 30th-place finish out of 31 teams in last year's 10K finale. No team from Florida had finished higher than sixth (Florida in 1990)....

  10. Fisher questions Reid penalty

    Sports

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher isn't against trying to protect players, but he would like to see a call like the personal foul against CB Greg Reid that nullified a game-changing play against Maryland be reviewed.

    Reid came in shoulder-first and leveled RB Da'Rel Scott as Scott was trying to make a catch out in the flat. CB Michael Harris intercepted and returned it for an apparent touchdown. But officials, in keeping with a point of emphasis about hits above the shoulder (or even on a hit that looks to be targeting the head), threw a flag. Maryland scored moments later to tie the score....

    unitas finalist: FSU’s Christian Ponder, running against Maryland, is a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
  11. Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder a finalist for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

    Blog

     
    Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder is one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The others Andy Dalton (TCU), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Ricky Stanzi (Iowa) and Scott Tolzien (Wisconsin). The winner will be be presented the award on Dec. 10 at a ceremony in Baltimore.

     

  12. Florida State's Rodney Hudson finalist for the Outland Trophy

    Blog

    Florida State senior guard Rodney Hudson is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which recognizes the nation's best interior lineman. The other two finalists are Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi and Colorado's Nate Solder.

    The winner will be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 9 at Disney's BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort.
     

  13. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher would like to see replay used on personal foul calls

    Blog

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher isn't against trying to protect players, but he would like to see a call like the personal foul against Greg Reid that nullifed a game-changing play against Maryland be reviewed.
       Reid came in shoulder-first and leveled Terrapin RB Da’Rel Scott as he was trying to make a catch out in the flat. CB Michael Harris grabbed the ball out of the air and returned it for an apparent touchdown that, with the extra point, would have put FSU up 17-3. Instead, the officials, in keeping with a point of emphasis about hits above the shoulder, threw a flag. Maryland scored moments later to tie the game.
       "I don’t think it was a penalty,'' Fisher said Monday afternoon. "It was his shoulder, engaging in the shoulder and then working up, which is a clean hit. Je’s making a play on the ball, if they say that’s wrong, I disagree with it.''
       He added he was upset a hit "twice as blatant'' on his WR, Rodney Smith, later in the game wasn't called, but that's football and he understands how an official can make a mistake.
       "If you get hit, his head’s going to snap,'' he said. "You push a guy and his head snaps. So review it. I think they ought to be reviewable (plays). That would clear it up. You could see where the hit is, what goes on, if it was helmet to helmet. If it was legal or not. It would take some pressure off of them.''
       Interestingly enough, Reid was later involved in a play that was reviewed -- an interception he came up with that looked as the ball had hit the ground first but the call was upheld and went FSU's way.
       "We scored a touchdown (on the former play); I would have swapped them, I promise you,'' Fisher joked.
       What he and every coach, for that matter, wants is consistency.
       "I know they don’t do it on purpose ... but it affects our livelihood, it affects futures, it affects kids’ lives, it affects championships, it affects schools,'' he said. "I’m accountable. Kids are accountable. ... Anything that would enhance that (consistency) I’m for because I don’t want to point fingers. I wish they got every call right. They’ve got a tough job. ... But now that we have replay, ... we can help them and I think it should be part of it because the ultimate thing is to get things right.''...

  14. Florida State men and women both finish second at NCAA cross country finale

    Blog

    The Florida State men's and women's cross country teams each finished second at Monday's NCAA championship meet in Terre Haute, Ind., chasing down some history by stamping the overall program as the best ever from the state.

    "It was a great race (for the men) and the girls did a great job again,'' men's coach Bob Braman said. "It was just a great day to be a Seminole.''

    The FSU men's team had never been better than eighth (1981) and was coming off a 30th place finish out of 31 teams in last year's 10k finale. No team from Florida had finished higher than sixth (Florida in 1990). But Braman's team was healthy, loose and confident....

  15. Florida State safety Nick Moody earns ACC player of the week honor

    Blog

    Florida State safety Nick Moody, who not only had a career-high 13 tackles but returned an interception 96 yards to seal his team's 30-16 win at Maryland, was named the ACC's co-defensive back of the week.

    The other winners were:

    Offensive back: Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
    Offensive line: Brandon Washington, Miami
    Defensive line: Luke Kuechly, Boston College
    Co-defensive back: Moody and Mario Butler, Georgia Tech
    Specialist: T.J. Graham, NC State
    Rookie: Lamar Miller, Miami

    In the interest of full disclosure, here's my ballot:
    Williams, Washington, Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers (defensive line), Moody, Graham and Virginia Tech's Tariq Edwards (rookie).
     ...