March 28, 2007

Scrimmage Insider: Defense rules the day

Defense rules the day (By Gene Williams,

If there were any surprises in the first two scrimmages, it's that the offense more than held its own against Mickey Andrews' defense. With a new group of coaches and players trying to learn a new system and new terminology, the early success by the offense was somewhat unexpected.

Things returned to normal and as expected on Wednesday with the defense dominating all aspects of the team's third mini-scrimmage.

"The defense really got the best of it," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "The quarterbacks were not sharp. They had people open at times and really missed them. It was really one of those days we were not sharp. Then they'd make a good play and get a penalty. It was one of those days. On the goal line, we must have had three or four fumbles between the center and the quarterback. We are working new people in there and you will get some of that. The offense was not sharp - but the defensive secondary played much better."

As Bowden noted, the play on offense was sloppy. One reason for that was starting center John Frady did not participate leaving former defensive tackle and redshirt freshman Ryan McMahon taking the point with the first team offensive line. On the second team, another redshirt freshman, Brandon Davis was making all the snaps.

"McMahon was … one of reasons the snaps are inconsistent," Bowden said. "We are working the freshmen a lot in there."

Bowden also wasn't happy with the play of the quarterbacks. Both signal-callers split time with the first and second team offenses, but neither distinguished himself in the race for the starting job. Xavier Lee finished 6-for-11 for 51 yards and had a 5-yard touchdown pass, while Drew Weatherford hit only 5-of-13 for 67 yards and was intercepted once by rover Myron Rolle.

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