Oct. 14, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - There has been no Miami hangover on the Florida State practice field this week, leading up to Saturday's next Atlantic Coast Conference game. The Seminoles have seemingly put the 45-17 win over the Hurricanes behind them and turned their full attention to Boston College.
"My opinion is, `Now let's go and beat BC,'" said FSU senior defensive end Markus White. "I don't want to get trapped up in the victory over Miami. Now a lot people might be on our side or whatever, but I think it's a trap because we still have to go beat the next team on our schedule. It means nothing if we lose the next game. Everybody is focusing on the next game."
White's words fall directly in line with the mindset first-year FSU coach Jimbo Fisher has instilled in the Seminoles. Fisher doesn't want to see any difference in the way his team prepares, whether they're a 21-point favorite - as they are against the Eagles - or squaring off in a high-stakes, rivalry game, as they did last week.
"Our kids have taken that approach," Fisher said, following Thursday's practice. "Miami's over with and we've got to move on. That's the next game. Our kids are doing a good job of keeping their focus. They seem to be anyway. With how we've prepared, I'm very pleased this week."
When asked whether he was surprised at how quickly his team has embraced the attitude he has attempted to instill, Fisher chose another word to explain himself.
"I'm very appreciative," he said. "We're starting to have success. Guys are understanding why we're having success and that's the important thing. ... It's because of them - what they're doing and how they're doing it.
"As of right now, I like the personality of our team."
Collectively, the 16th-ranked `Noles (5-1, 3-0 ACC) are approaching the Boston College game (12 p.m., ESPN) with purpose.
"It's kind of like the Wake Forest thing where they had beaten us a couple years in a row and then we wanted to get revenge," White said. "BC has beaten us three out of the last four years so we are on our home turf, we have our fans with us and we are going to try take this one back."
A victory over the Eagles (2-3, 0-2) would give the Seminoles a 4-0 start at Doak Campbell Stadium; something they have not enjoyed since the 2005 season.
Based on a week of preparation that left Fisher pleased, he sees a team moving forward with plenty of room to grow, both individually and collectively.
Sophomore receiver Rodney Smith, who caught his first career touchdown pass last week against the Hurricanes, may be the best, most recent example of a player whose confidence has been impacted by FSU's success both personally and collectively. "He's had a little bounce in his step; his hands were well," Fisher said. "He made a mistake or two, but he bounced back from a mistake better. He's got a little confidence in him and hopefully it will keep coming."
Fisher also noted that the coaching staff is finding new ways to teach on the field.
"In the past we've corrected effort," he said. "Now we're correcting assignments, or details or technique. ... I've been very pleased with that part of it."
Still, as the Seminoles begin the second half of the regular season - leading the ACC's Atlantic Division and carrying the top ranking among state schools - there's still room for growth.
"If we're going to get to where we're going, there has to be a lot of development between now and each game and each week," Fisher said. "We've got some great opponents down the road and a great one this weekend. We're going to have to continue to get better each and every game. You know they will. When you have the youth we have, you have a lot of room to grow."