Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Defense Dominant at FSU; Rolle Leads Seminole Defenders to 23-12 Win in Spring Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Defense Dominant at FSU; Rolle Leads Seminole Defenders to 23-12 Win in Spring Game

Article excerpt

Byline: BOB THOMAS

TALLAHASSEE -- Ballyhooed Florida State freshman safety Myron Rolle's progress this spring will make for some interesting stories next month, when he returns to New Jersey to take part in his high school graduation ceremony.

"I feel like I got a lot better," said Rolle, who enrolled at FSU in January. "This is coming from a guy who never played college football before, and on the 15th day I had a pretty good day."

That would be an understatement.

Rolle's 64-yard interception return for a touchdown highlighted a dominating defensive performance during Saturday's spring game. Rolle finished with three tackles, another pass break-up and a forced fumble in the scrimmage-ending goal-line drill.

Interceptions by Rolle and safety Roger Williams, along with a smothering effort against the run, led the defense to a 23-12 victory in front of an announced crowd of 11,200 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"The defense did so much better today against the run," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "That's not a bad sign there. The scrimmage was probably even except for two interceptions, which stacked up for a lot of points, especially the one that went for a touchdown."

Awarded points for three-and-out stops of the offense, fourth-down stops, forced turnovers and touchdowns, the defense overwhelmed an offense intent on improving the run game this spring.

"I think the defense had our script," tailback Antone Smith said. "We couldn't do nothing. Everything we ran, there were basically three or four people there."

Smith, who shared spring MVP honors with linebacker Lawrence Timmons, netted 1 yard on 11 carries. That equaled the team's total rushing yards on 30 attempts in 56 first-half plays.

Third-team tailback Russell Ball led the offense with 27 rushing yards on six carries, but was carted off the field with a right knee injury after Rolle's crunching hit.

"He [Rolle] has raised his stock," Bowden said. "Whether he's raised it enough to pass the guy in front of him [Anthony Houllis], I don't know yet. …

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