Parker trick-play pass pumps up Bowden

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published November 5, 2007

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - In the days before Saturday night's showdown at Boston College, coach Bobby Bowden excitedly watched his offense work on some trickery: a reverse pass by receiver Preston Parker.

"You'd say to yourself, 'Oh, man. This could be a real good play if we execute it,"' he said.

Then he watched the players run it again.

And again. And again.

"That's one of the strengths of this offensive staff," he said the day after the Seminoles' 27-17 win. "They demand that you do it correctly. If you don't do it correctly, you might have to go over it five times in practice until you get it right and they're getting the results of that."

Parker hit a leaping De'Cody Fagg for a 17-yard gain.

"Did you see him rifle it in? He looked like a rightfielder throwing you out at third," Bowden said.

"I saw the safety coming down so I had to drill it in there," said the sophomore, whose first option on the play was Greg Carr.

While FSU didn't score on that drive, that kind of play affects a defense and, in a far larger sense, underscores how the players have taken to the new system and new coaches and vice versa.

"I don't know how many times you put stuff like that in and it doesn't work," Bowden said. (In fact, FSU tried a similar play with Parker throwing to Carr against Miami and Carr dropped what would have been a touchdown.) "It's just a flop. Watching that thing (unfold) the other night was just like you practiced it."

THE NEXT STEP: Although the win against a team that was No. 2 and undefeated was huge, Bowden stressed FSU has to sustain that kind of success. As luck would have it, up next is a trip to No. 11 Virginia Tech. "It's been so long since we've been able to mingle successfully with the upper crust, that there's no reason for us to get a big head," he said. "We haven't done anything yet. ... You've got to do it every Saturday."

UNSUNG HEROES: They might have been easy to overlook, but Bowden said punters Graham Gano and Brent Moody were critical Saturday. Gano averaged 49.5 yards on four punts, including a career-best 65-yarder that was downed at the 2 and a 61-yarder. Moody put both of his pooch kicks inside the 20.

INJURY UPDATE: The only significant injury reported involved starting left offensive tackle Daron Rose (Jefferson), who sprained his left knee. He was replaced by right tackle David Overmyer.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.