Oct. 10, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- On the heels of a trio of consecutive losses, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher told the media Monday afternoon that the buzz word surrounding his team is "consistency."
Fisher said that the Seminoles have to learn how to play better in all phases of the game at the same time rather than having a strong performance by a particular unit in one game and not the other and vice versa.
"We just don't play with the three 'I's," which I say all the time," Fisher said. "We play with some immediacy at times, intensity -- we play intense -- and don't play with intelligence sometimes. We play some situations poorly on some third downs and things will go and a couple things, as I said, the ball got tipped and things like that happen. But you've got to learn to overcome them."
The Seminoles get that chance this Saturday against a Duke team that has won three games in a row but is 0-16 all-time against FSU.
One of the scariest news items that came out of last Saturday's loss at Wake Forest was the updated status of starting running back Chris Thompson, who had been carted off the field in the first quarter.
Fisher told the gathered media in Winston-Salem, N.C. that Thompson had sustained T5 and T6 compression fractures in his back and had been taken to the hospital for further evaluations. On Monday, Fisher shared that Thompson has since returned to Tallahassee Sunday night and doesn't need surgery but will instead be in a brace for at least the next 12 weeks.
"There is unstable and stable in the way the doctor explained it to me when I went to the hospital after the game," Fisher said. "You have stable and unstable breaks. In other words, unstable means surgery; it can be neurological and things like that. Stable, there's breaks but they can be healed without surgery being in a brace probably up to three months."
The injury is certainly season-ending but when asked if it was in fact career-ending, Fisher said it's going to be a "wait and see" approach before a determination like that is made.
"It just depends on how it heels; it could still be OK," Fisher said. "Down the road you've got to see. That's not the plan as of now."
Thompson had the chance to start the game against the Demon Deacons but left tackle Andrew Datko didn't have the same luxury.
FSU's four-year starter on the left side was in uniform but did not play in the loss because of an injured left shoulder that needs to be operated on again. Datko was replaced by 17-year old Bobby Hart and the youth-look on EJ Manuel's blind side could continue into the near future.
"He definitely won't play this weekend and I don't want to say he won't but I doubt he will play the rest of the year," Fisher said about Datko.
As for Manuel, Fisher said that he was surprisingly healthy at the conclusion of the game after not starting because of risk of further injury to his left shoulder while it heals.
Manuel then stepped to the podium shortly thereafter and echoed his head coach's comments.
"I woke up the next morning and my shoulder didn't hurt," Manuel said. "I felt a lot better. There was just a little bit of soreness from not playing in three weeks and things like that. It felt good."
Manuel's improved health could result in a more open offense this Saturday at Duke.
"As far as me taking off, that probably won't be a problem," Manuel said about potentially running more in his next game.
Among the many other questions that Florida State fans had after the loss to Wake Forest, one was asked more than many of the others: What happened to James Wilder?
FSU's big-bodied freshman tailback posted his first collegiate touchdown late in the first quarter against the Demon Deacons but did not play much thereafter.
Fisher said that Wilder's lack of playing time simply came down to the fact that the Seminoles got into a fast-paced, throwing offense in the second half and the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder is quite adept to pass blocking yet like the other FSU running backs are at this point in the season.
"It's not that he can't, I am talking about doing it at a [high] level of execution," Fisher said. "We have been very pleased with his development."
NO MORE SOCIAL MEDIA
Despite early-morning reports that Fisher had banned the FSU players from using Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, Fisher said Monday that he has never forbidden his team from such practices before and didn't this time. Instead, he has always preached being careful with the medium.
Manuel told the gathered media that the players took that warning to heart and decided as a group on Sunday to remove themselves from social media outlets.
"Twitter and Facebook is just extra stuff that we don't need right now," Manuel said.
During the press conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that FSU's Oct. 22 game at home against Maryland has been placed in a six-day hold. This Sunday, TV and game time will be officially announced for the Seminoles' first home game since Sept. 17.