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Question Marks In Tallahassee

Wanted to point everyone to this story from the Orlando Sun-Sentinel on Noles bowl preparations. I mentioned yesterday how their QB situation is very murky (not because of injury issues but more because of being ineffective and mediocre) and as of right now the QB situation is still uncertain in Tallahassee:

Some nagging questions have carried over -- Weatherford still doesn't know whether he will start the bowl and coach Bobby Bowden said the decision won't come until closer to the game.

The Seminoles also learned they'll be without starting fullback Joe Surratt (right shoulder) and special-teams captain Mikhal Kornegay (right knee) for the game. Both had surgery in the past several days, necessary for Surratt, Bowden said, to have him ready for spring practice in March.

It's also unlikely tailback Antone Smith (dislocated elbow) will be healthy for the bowl. Smith watched practice Friday with his elbow in a brace and said he still had slim hopes of returning for the game, but that he wouldn't jeopardize his recovery to play.

The biggest question is the one that has distracted the 'Noles -- and fractured their fans -- all season. It even attracted the attention of former FSU quarterback Charlie Ward on the day of his College Football Hall of Fame induction at New York this past week.

"For me, on any team, the quarterback is the biggest stability spot," Ward said. "If you have a stable quarterback, the team is going to run efficiently. ... If you look at all the top teams, they have quarterbacks where they were able to have some stability. And right now we don't have that."

The 'Noles will prepare for the bowl with uncertainty hanging over the entire offense. Coordinator Jeff Bowden will coach his final game at the Emerald Bowl, and his formal departure the next day will set off long-awaited changes on the coaching staff.
Again, given how our defense stepped up in the last three games of the regular season, it shouldn't matter who is going to start for FSU. One thing to note is the injury to tailback Antone Smith. Statistically at least, it seems somewhat of a significant blow to Bowden's troops, as Smith had rushed for over 450 yards and scored 5 TDs, averaging more than 5 yards a carry (although his big games came against Rice and Duke).

In any event, as of today, this game is shaping up to be a total mismatch between the FSU offense and the UCLA defense. It will be up to Walker and his boys to make sure the Bruins close the deal on December 27.