April 13, 2013

Notebook: FSU defense very vanilla in spring game

After three weeks of instillation, Florida State's defenders were excited to showcase their new defensive scheme during Saturday's spring game.

But as expected, the defense for both the Garnet and Gold teams on Saturday were very vanilla during the annual spring game.

They showed a few blitzes and a more aggressive style that Jeremy Pruitt has brought to Tallahassee, but head coach Jimbo Fisher said his defense hasn't shown anything yet.

"You ain't seen blitzes yet," Fisher said. "That was just base, normal blitzes. We had those blitzes last year. That was just our normal stuff."

"Man that wasn't anything," added safety Lamrcus Joyner. "When I say that 1 percent of the defense. I mean but just knowing that you can do the basics, because you have to have the base foundation for the defense and to know that we can execute the basic things that was a great feel out there today."

Both defenses gave up at least 360 yards of total offense, but each side also made plenty of plays. The Gold defense (which was the first-team defense) recorded six sacks, including 3.5 by Nile Lawrence-Stample, and had three interceptions. The Garnet defense recovered a fumble and recorded three sacks.

P.J. Williams returned his fourth quarter interception 35 yards for a touchdown. Karlos Williams and Lamarcus Brutus brought down the other interceptions.

"The pressure up front was great," Karlos Williams said. "Those guys are really getting after the quarterback. Really shrinking the pocket and that allowed us to sit back there and see the receivers and see everything and just break on the ball."

After getting just a taste for what life with the new aggressive defense will be like this fall, Christian Jones said he couldn't

"We really did do just basic stuff," said Jones, who had seven tackles and a pass breakup. "We put in so much stuff this spring with blitzing, I can' t tell you how much blitzes we have. People saw just a little sample of it so the fall should be exciting when we starting put that stuff in and game planning."

Receivers put on a show

With just one scholarship running back available for Saturday's annual Garnet and Gold game, both teams aired the ball out all afternoon.

Each side eclipsed the 300-yard mark through the air, with a host of receivers putting up big numbers.

Kenny Shaw led the way with 12 receptions for 205 yards and a touchdown for the Gold team. Shaw's teammate Kevlin Benjamin hauled in eight catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.

On the Garnet team Rashad Greene hauled in 11 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Christain Green added six grabs for 70 yards.

"I thought our receivers caught the ball well inside," Fisher said. "Got banged three or four times inside and caught some throws, got hit, which when you go across the middle that's part of it."

Shaw said that Fisher has asked the wideouts to step up as a group at the end of the spring will all three running backs out due to injury.

"That's just something that coach asked me to do and I'm going to get the job done," he said. "Whether it be five of us or whether it be one of us, I'm going to get the job done. We knew coming in as a wide receiver group that we was limited and we had to make plays."

Fisher said he was extremely pleased with the strides the wideouts made throughout the spring, including Benjamin who bounced back from an offensive pass interference call.

"KB really came on," Fisher said. "He had that little push-off but he made some nice plays, just consistency underneath running routes being dependable. I really was pleased with him."

Greene said the emergence of multiple receivers this spring will be a huge plus for the offense in the fall.

"That's what you need," Greene said. " You always need your coaches to have options. You can count on this guy and this guy. As a receiver you don't want to get doubled. Whenever we are out there on the field they can't double one of us because the other guy will get open. It creates opportunities for all of us."

Fisher likes progress of all four QBs

While it was redshirt freshman Jameis Winston who stole the show on Saturday with 205 yards passing and two touchdowns, Fisher said he liked what he saw from all four of his scholarship quarterbacks.

Redshirt junior Clint Trickett, who played for both teams, finished the game 22 of 32 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Redshirt sophomore Jacob Coker, who also played for both teams, was 15 of 26 for 186 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Redshirt freshman Sean Maguire was 6 of 13 for 113 yards and a touchdown for the Gold team.

"We had some nice plays out there," Fisher said. All of them made nice throws and all of them had a touchdown at one point. Very pleased with the progress."

Trickett, who started off slow but led two scoring drives late in the game said he felt he was too inconsistent on Saturday.

"There were times when I threw a good ball and then there were times when I was like 'What are you doing?'" Trickett said. "Especially with the pick, but that's part of it. You've got to try and manage it, you can't force things."

Maguire said the spring was very competitive between the four signal callers, but he feels like they each made positive steps.

"Someone is always trying to get that extra edge," he said. "But honestly the way reps are split up in practice, the way we practice we all rotate. We all have our own aspects of the game."

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