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    State Of The Seminole Union - Vol. 3

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    What a difference a week makes - and what a difference this Saturday could make.

     

    All the hullabaloo surrounding the Florida State football team's thrashing of No. 7 BYU last weekend in Provo, Utah is still raging strong among Seminole fans from coast to coast. And if you saw the game or watched the highlights right here on Seminoles.com you know why.

     

    The offense was dynamic as quarterback Christian Ponder was spectacular and the running backs truly lived up to their self-imposed nickname, the "Ground Pounders."

     

    The defense - albeit porous at times - made plays when it had to and true freshman cornerback Greg Reid once again proved he might be the best freshman in the Atlantic Coast Conference with his pick-six on Cougars quarterback Max Hall.

    No doubt these are good times for FSU football as the team made everyone forget about the nail-biter against Miami and the sloppy Jacksonville State contest.

     

    Now let' see what they can do this week.

     

    The hype surrounding the trip out west to face off against top-10 BYU was justified, but in many ways this Saturday's game against USF could be bigger. It is so important for FSU to come out of the tunnel onto Bobby Bowden Field and perform very well against an undefeated Bulls team.

     

    The most important thing for the Seminoles is to prove that the win out in Provo was not a fluke. If FSU can knock out a team as highly ranked as BYU there is no reason they should not be able to do that against USF.

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    By defeating the Cougars, FSU answered a lot of critics' questions and returned to the top 25 in both polls. A loss to the Bulls would push the Seminoles all the way back to .500 and you can guarantee it would take at least two wins in the weeks following in order for the Seminoles to sniff a ranking again.

     

    I wrote earlier this week about the team's focus on avoiding a letdown. And that is a good thing that the coaches and players are so conscious of what would happen if they take USF for granted. A big-time win over BYU means nothing if you can't follow it up the next week. In order for everyone to believe that FSU has truly turned the corner in its journey back to greatness, up and down weeks are not acceptable.

     

    Saturday's game is also important on a state level.

     

    USF has been making up ground in the intense recruiting battle in Florida and if FSU wants to keep them at bay they need to make a statement. The Bulls have made it a point of recruiting the players that are right on the border in terms of their recruitment by the Big Three in the state: FSU, Florida and Miami. In fact, several players that will suit up for USF this weekend are from the Big Bend area and were not actively recruited by the Seminoles.

     

    A big win the 'Noles would not only keep them in good standing with recruits that may be interested in being a part of the building of the Bulls program but it would also go a long way towards proving that USF is not yet on the level of the Big Three.

     

    Make no mistake about it, FSU needs all the recruiting advantages it can get - especially considering the fact that Florida is the most talent-rich football state in the country - and a victory over a state opponent certainly helps.

     

    Saturday might not be easy for FSU as the Bulls will be looking to prove they can hang with the big boys and the Seminoles will need all the help they can get in making Doak Campbell Stadium a challenging place to play as an opponent.

     

    This is where you, the fans, come in. I encourage everyone to get to the stadium early and be as loud as possible - much like you did when Miami came to town. USF quarterback B.J. Daniels will be making his first-ever start and he will be doing it in his hometown. Let's make his homecoming as uncomfortable as possible.

     

    Also, don't forget that it's a White Out game and everyone is encouraged to wear white like the team will be doing.

     

    Since it is a noon game, all of the highlights will play repeatedly throughout the day as the college football schedule plays itself out. Think about how cool those highlights will look if everyone is decked out in their coolest white FSU shirt.

     

    Thing of how much cooler it will be if FSU blasts the Bulls, too.

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