Pre-game Notebook

Florida State and Miami will open the 2006 season on Labor Day, the
schools announced on Thursday.
ESPN will televise the game, which will be played in the Orange Bowl,
and plans to use it as a lead-in for the following week when it takes
over Monday Night Football from ABC.
"The Seminoles and Hurricanes rivalry is one of the greatest in
college football and having these teams showcase their talents in
front of a national audience to kickoff the season is tremendous,"
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said in a
released statement.
The two schools originally agreed to open the 2004 and 2005 seasons on
Labor Day, but the 2004 game was pushed back because of Hurricane
Florida State also announced on Thursday that it has agreed to play
West Virginia on a home-and-home basis in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
The school has previously released non-conference games against Troy
State (2006), Colorado (2007, 2008), Nevada (2008), BYU (2009, 2010)
and Oklahoma (2010).
Bringing the noise
Florida State coaches had crowd noise blasting at Doak Campbell
Stadium on Thursday as the Seminoles' offense practiced. This
weekend's game at Boston College, which will be the site of ESPN's
GameDay broadcast, is expected to attract a rowdy crowd.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford said he hoped
Thursday's practice helped him prepare for the crowd noise in what
will be his first road start.
"I hope I'm loud enough that [teammates] can hear me," Weatherford
said. "There are a lot of things I have to say, but that's typically
to the linemen. The receivers won't be able to hear me."
Weatherford may also get his first chance to fight the elements as the
weather forecasts in the Boston area call for rain this weekend.
"I've lived in Florida my whole life so I know what rain's all about,"
Weatherford said. "I don't think that will affect me."
Williams at full speed
Roger Williams practiced most of the preseason as the starting free
safety. Then a hamstring injury knocked him out of the final
preparations for the Miami game.
Williams bounced back, though, and said he played nearly 40 snaps
against the Hurricanes.
"It twitches every now and then but I won't let that hold me back,"
Williams said. "The only thing I can do is keep getting treatment. I'm
full speed on the field. The last two games, it didn't give me any
Though he's just a redshirt sophomore, Williams is a standout on
special teams where he started last year. Though he is officially
listed as the backup to senior Pat Watkins at free safety, FSU
defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews refers to Williams as "another
"Roger picked right up where he left off," Andrews said. "Of course he
was limited with that hamstring. The biggest thing was his
conditioning. You can't condition when you're hamstring is acting up.
But he looks like he's back to where he was."
That's reassuring to Williams, who said he first injured the hamstring
during a conditioning drill. He said he also understands he will
continue to play a big role on this defense – whether he's a starter
or not.
"I was working with the 'ones' before I got hurt," Williams said. "I
can't really tell where things would be right now if I hadn't gotten
hurt, but I know Coach Andrews has a lot of trust in me and I still
would have gotten a lot of time on the field."
Mini Q&A with De'Cody Fagg (by Pat Flynn)
Q. Do you think that you guys can go out and throw all over
Boston Colleges pass defense, like you did against Citadel?
A: We just talked about treating this game the same as we treated
Citadel. They've got us as the underdogs. They've got us going in
there and losing. We just want to show everybody what we're capable
of doing by going out and jumping on them from the start.
Q. Is it motivating being the underdog for a change?
A: We don't like being the underdog, but by them calling us the
underdog it's just pumping us up, getting everybody motivated to go
out there and show everybody what we can do. We're 2-0 and got Miami
behind us, and they're telling us we're underdogs, so we are just
going out there motivated and getting ready to win.
Q. Boston College is known for having big, strong guys. What do
you see on that defense.?
A: We watched film on them. They're pretty short, but they're
thick. We just need to go out there and be ready for battle, and see
what's going on on the field
Injury update
Sophomore linebacker Jae Thaxton, a standout on special teams, will
not play this weekend after sustaining a concussion against The
Citadel. Center David Castillo (foot) and receiver Willie Reid (knee)
are also out.
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