Seminoles defense dominates scrimmage
Posted: Thursday August 21, 2003 9:52PM; Updated: Thursday August 21, 2003 11:21PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida State defense is better than it's been in two years, coach Bobby Bowden said Thursday after a morning scrimmage in which the defense scored twice off turnovers and held the offense out of the end zone.
"They did today like I haven't seen in two years," Bowden said.
The 13th-ranked Seminoles have gone 17-9 in two seasons since advancing to three consecutive national title games. A lot of the teams' struggles can be blamed on the defense, which gave up an average of 235 yards passing per game last season, second most in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The defense scored both touchdowns on interceptions from backup quarterback Fabian Walker. Tackle Brodrick Bunkley returned a tipped pass 43 yards for a score and linebacker Michael Boulware returned another deflection 50 yards.
"I was pleased with what I saw," Bowden said. "The effort is good, playing with a lot of enthusiasm and having a good time. I hadn't seen that in a while."
Still, Bowden said he was happy with the improvement made by the offense. He added that his biggest concern on offense, the inexperienced line, was picking up blocking assignments on the pass rush better than in previous scrimmages.
Tight end Matt Henshaw (left knee) was the only injury reported during the scrimmage.
Fullback Torrance Washington and defensive end Willie Jones both underwent surgery on Wednesday. Jones will miss the season after tearing his Achilles tendon. Head trainer Randy Oravetz would not elaborate on Washington's knee operation. Freshman defensive back Jhermaine McAroy was scheduled to have shoulder surgery Thursday.