St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Blitzing D keeps Louisville flustered

FSU harasses QB Dave Ragone in a perfectly executed plan.


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000

TALLAHASSEE -- One, two, three, hit.

The Florida State defense played a flawless game Saturday during the 31-0 victory over Louisville.

Led by two sacks from defensive end Jamal Reynolds, the Seminoles defense unleashed a blitzing attack that flustered quarterback Dave Ragone throughout. Ragone, who entered ranked third in the nation in passing efficiency with 181.2 points, was sacked three times and had four passes batted down.

"Our defense played as good as they can," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "Any time you shut someone out, if it's 3-0 or 30-0 or 50-0 or 10-0, the nothing just looks good."

FSU shut out an opponent for the first time since a 48-0 win over Clemson on Oct. 17, 1998.

Despite playing from the shotgun, Ragone was forced to avoid FSU's blitz throughout the night. The defensive scheme disrupted the quarterback as he completed 24 of 44 passes for 207 yards.

With 4:41 remaining in the second quarter, Tommy Polley stepped in front of a Ragone pass and returned it 4 yards to give FSU a 17-0 lead. The touchdown marked the fourth straight game the Seminoles defense had scored.

"We kept putting pressure on the quarterback," linebacker Brian Allen said. "We knew they were throwing the ball pretty quick, getting it off kind of fast. We kept staying in his face and getting our hands up. That's the main thing, keep him rattled."

FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews designed a perfect game plan to put Louisville's offense in third-and-long situations throughout the night. With the defensive line in constant pursuit of Ragone, and the cornerbacks in tight one-on-one coverage, the Cardinals connected on 5 of 18 third-down conversions.

"When you put (an opponent) in second and long, then they got to come out and throw the ball through the air," Allen said. "I think that's to our advantage because our secondary is playing great football this year."

FSU cornerback Tay Cody shadowed Cardinal wide receiver Arnold Jackson, holding the All-America candidate to 27 yards on five catches.

Louisville had not been shut out since a 19-0 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 19, 1992.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk
  • Dashing, daring, driven
  • Key'd up!
  • Rays find stranger method for losing
  • Mizell's Mailbag
  • Sports briefs
  • Gymnasts shaming U.S.
  • Highs and lows
  • Vaughn goes home after family illness
  • McGriff matches HR feat
  • Baseball briefs
  • Games begin to count soon
  • Olympics roundup
  • Pole-sitters fret over slippery start on bricks
  • Auto racing briefs
  • Captain's corner
  • How, when, where to use artificial baits
  • Weekes unlikely in net Tuesday against Florida
  • Rams use knowledge to cruise to victories
  • Outsider routs field at Bishop
  • Shorecrest surprises opposition and itself
  • Tampa Bay top 10
  • Ewing is shocked, resigned
  • NHL briefs
  • Northeast, PHU win PCAC titles
  • Former Pasco star inspiring Cowboys
  • NFL games
  • King a bargain, but likely not for long
  • Game gives CBS a Super practice
  • Chalk up another for the frozen tundra
  • Learning that special something
  • Bucs chat
  • Best and worst: game 4
  • Season's cooking for Lynch
  • Bucs TV analysis
  • Martin: The Jets' propulsion
  • Palmer points the way
  • Look for Spurrier in center of storm
  • USF drops big chance
  • FSU rides a new style
  • College football around the nation
  • Big play for Gators? Must be Sheppard
  • Alex Brown remains ineffective
  • UF extra points
  • USF extra points
  • Baylor settles secret battle
  • College football around the state
  • PAC-10 briefs
  • Most of goal raised for upgrades
  • Blitzing D keeps Louisville flustered
  • FSU extra points

  • Marion can save the Games
  • Fast facts: swimming
  • Olympics highlights
  • Chilly dipper earns his salt Down Under
  • Japan's Takahashi stays the coolest
  • Greene makes fast work of gold in the 100
  • Fast facts: women's track and field
  • Victorine's kick puts U.S. men in semis
  • For 2002, NBC says less is more
  • Olympics notes

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts