Sept. 20, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Every game is a test.
That's the approach Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher wants his team to bring to every practice and every game. How quickly the Seminoles develop that mindset will go a long way toward eliminating the peaks and valleys the program has endured in recent seasons.
It's one reason why Fisher is anxious to see how the Seminoles respond Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium against Wake Forest in the season-opening Atlantic Coast Conference game. Coming off a commanding 34-10 victory over BYU the `Noles will try and avoid a letdown against the Demon Deacons. That has been easier said than done in recent seasons as FSU has seemingly followed every significant victory with a letdown.
"We will see if we can remember why we had success last week, when we were going back to dotting I's, crossing T's and working hard," Fisher said during his Monday press conference. "We have to do the same thing. It will be the same approach. That is the way we will go about it."
A year ago the Seminoles followed a road rout of BYU with a flat-footed performance at home in a 17-7 loss to USF. It was indicative of the way FSU teams have played in recent seasons - up and down. Fisher and the rest of the coaching staff spent much of the early going in Monday's practice hammering home the importance of consistency in preparation following a big victory.
"Our kids, I think they understand," he said. "They had success, dealt with failure, then dealt with success again. I don't think they want that (failure) feeling anymore. I'm not saying you're going to win the game just because you prepare well, but you've got to prepare well to have a chance. That's what we're trying to instill in them."
Fisher said the Seminoles don't have to look beyond the mirror to avoid being over-confident against a Wake Forest team that was pummeled by Stanford this past weekend.
"We know Wake Forest has won three out of four against us recently," Fisher said. "They are well prepared, well coached, good football team. They are 2-1 and had one bad game (and) didn't play well one game. Well, we didn't either."
He was referring to Florida State's lopsided loss at Oklahoma.
"Use that (as) an example for them to understand. We have to do everything right - prepare right - for us to have success. That is the message we will send."
Redshirt junior wide receiver Bert Reed is in his fourth year with the Seminoles and has never experienced a victory in the opening ACC game of the season. That he's also been around for two losses to the Demon Deacons helps bring clarity to the importance of getting off on the right foot in league play.
"It would mean a lot, because it's a (divisional) game, so that's big," Reed said. "It's also in Doak Campbell, so I really feel like no matter who we are playing, if it's in Doak Campbell, we are going to set a standard to how we are going to play inside our own stadium."
A victory over the Demon Deacons would give the Seminoles a 3-0 home record to open the season; something they haven't done since 2005. They last won their ACC opener in 2006, squeezing past Miami 13-10 on the road.
Hudson adds another ACC honor
Florida State senior offensive guard Rodney Hudson collected ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for the first time this season and the seventh time in his career, following a dominant performance in Saturday's 34-10 win over BYU. He posted a season-high grade of 94 percent as the Seminoles piled up 427 yards in total offense, including 278 on the ground. The 2009 ACC Jacobs Awards winning left guard out of Mobile, Ala., matched a career high with 10 knockdown blocks in a virtually perfect performance. Hudson did not have a missed assignment and was penalty-free on the day against BYU's huge defensive front. He graded out 95 percent on running plays with 39 plus grades on 41 snaps, and 92 percent on pass plays (22 plus plays out of 24 pass plays).
Quarterback Christian Ponder participated in Monday's practice on a somewhat limited basis as he continues to recover from a deep bruise to his right tricep muscle, suffered in the loss to Oklahoma. Fisher said he reduce Ponder's workload early in the week in an effort to allow the swelling in his arm subside. FSU learned Monday that ABC/ESPN and the ACC Network exercised their six-day option before setting the game time for its Oct. 2 game at Virginia. The kickoff time will be announced no later than Sunday by 12 noon. The Virginia Tech-NC State and Miami-Clemson game times are also subject to the six-day option. Redshirt freshmen long snapper Chris Revell, who handled all of the punt snapping duties through the first three games, will be sidelined indefinitely after fracturing his right wrist in Saturday's game against BYU.