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:
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
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
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
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
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