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April 08, 2013

Florida State Conducts Brutal Second Scrimmage

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Florida State didn't hold anything back in Monday's scrimmage, the second and final one of the Spring.

After conducting a typical scrimmage at the opening though, Jimbo Fisher decided to challenge his team's toughness at the end by having them run a brutal goalline set at the end. The offense and defense lined up and just pounded on one another.

"Coach has gotten worked up and been like 'it's live' before [in practice]," joked LB Christian Jones afterwards. "But this was completely different."

“That was the biggest practice, scrimmage, everything since I’ve been here," said RB James Wilder. "Towards the end it was just crazy. I mean just straight hard-nosed, no pass plays, just straight hard-nosed up the middle. Even when you don’t get the ball there’s not going to be a play that you just don’t get hit. You’re going to knock somebody’s helmet off or somebody’s going to knock your helmet off. And you’re tired so you just have to dig deep and go. It was definitely the toughest practice I’ve had so far.”

Wilder was the only back toting the ball over the final moments of practice as a result of injuries to Devonta Freeman and Mario Pender (who got dinged earlier in the scrimmage). 

It was a back and forth affair with neither the offense nor the defense consistently gaining the upperhand.

“It was tough, but it’s good for us," said Jones. "We don’t get too many chances to hit like that at practice so it’s good to get that out of the way.”

The point of such a brutal exercise was to try and challenge the team to play a more hard-nosed, smashmouth brand of football from the outset. Fisher wanted to see his team compete at the highest level for as long as they could

“If they don’t want to create [competition], then I’ll create it a bunch of ways," said Fisher. "If you’re the right guy it comes from within. It comes from you. I saw guys doing that today. I think you’re starting to see those young guys grow up.”

“We’re always a physical team but towards the end we were doing goal-line and just straight runs plays, just hard-nose football and he said he didn’t care what the result was he just wanted to see when you’re tired are we going to quit are we going to fake hurt are we going to lay down," said Wilder.

"We really took a lot of reps on the goal line just to show toughness and just execution and just straight competition. I mean he made a point and we all showed a point that we were going back and forth, offense and defense, offense and defense, but the overall thing he said was he didn’t want it to be like we have to get busted in the nose first before we take it to that level and get hard-nosed like that. He wants us to come out like that from the beginning.

"Overall we just looked tough.”

Here are the stats from the second scrimmage:

Passing

Clint Trickett: 17-28, 195 yards, 2 TD

Jameis Winston: 8-15, 129 yards, 1 INT; 2 rush, 16 yards, rush TD

Jacob Coker: 10-17, 162 yards, 1 INT

Sean Maguire: 8-15, 102 yards, TD

 

Rushing
James Wilder Jr.: 13 carries, 69 yards TD; 1 catch, 40 yards
Chad Abram: 5 carries, 24 yards, TD; 3 catches, 31 yards
Mario Pender: 6 carries, 20 yards

 

Receiving
Kelvin Benjamin: 6 catches, 131 yards
Christian Green: 7 catches, 130 yards
Kenny Shaw: 11 catches, 115 yards, TD
Willie Haulstead: 5 catches, 51 yards
Rashad Greene: 2 catches, 63 yards


Defense
Mario Edwards Jr.: 6 tackles, 1 TFL
Nile Lawrence-Stample: 6 tackles
Lamarcus Joyner: 9 tackles
P.J. Williams: 8 tackles, TFL
Karlos Williams: 8 tackles, TFL
Colin Blake: 6 tackles
Eddie Goldman: 4 tackles, 3 TFL
Giorgio Newberry: 3 tackles, 2 TFL

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Tim Jernigan Ready to Lead

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Last season the Florida State defensive line was one of the most veteran units on the team. Seniors like Bjoern Werner, Tank Carradine, Brandon Jenkins, Everrett Dawkins and Amp McCloud were all on the field regularly and the unit performed at a high level all year. They were consistent like a group of veterans should be.

This year the talent level along the Seminole defensive line is just as high but the experience level is not. The consistency level is not.

"It’s so many things that you’ve got to be consistent with, that’s what’s hard about it," said DT Eddie Goldman. "From your stance to what you’re looking at to the plays, when the ball snaps where your hands go, where your eyes go. Doing all of that, day in and day out, that’s the hard part.”

The new coaching staff has been hard at work trying to drive home the right techniques and a good work ethic, but coaching can only go so far.

“I have to step up and I’ve been doing everything to prove to my teammates that I’m a leader and they look at me like a leader," said Tim Jernigan. "Mario Edwards is going to step up big-time, Demonte McAllister, he’s hurt right now but when he’s off of his surgery [he will]. And then we’ve got Jacobbi and guys who’ve played at this level.”

But Jernigan knows above all else, it falls on him to become the leader of the unit.

“I don’t really say too much, I like to lead by example," said Jernigan. "But when it’s time to say something I’m not afraid to come out and tell somebody we’ve got to step it up, or that person’s got to step up. I can be both.”

Over the past two seasons Jernigan has been impressive in his time as a reserve. He's tallied 73 tackles, 14 TFL and 4 sacks in his first two seasons.

Now he has a chance to start and a chance to lead and he plans to make the best of both.

The Florida State defense will be switching things up this year, employing more of an attacking style of defense. They blitz more, they make calls and adjustments at the line.

That should give the linemen some newfound freedom and the ability to impact the game even more, which is just fine with Jernigan. According to him, he's ready to take his game to a whole new level.

“I want to be the best player I can possibly be and I feel like when I work at it and put in the time in the offseason, I really rededicated myself to the game," said Jernigan. "I’ve always been dedicated but this year’s going to be a little bit different for me I really want to do something that hasn’t been done here in a while.

"I want us to be the best.”

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...


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