Tallahassee, FL - Florida State grinded through its final on campus workout Thursday capping off preparation for its primetime showdown with Virginia Tech Saturday night in Charlotte, N.C. in the 2010 Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game. The Seminoles and Hokies have both spent the week prepping for the right to represent the conference in the Bowl Championship Series and the Discover Orange Bowl.
“It’s been good,” said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, referring to his team’s week of preparation. “Guys have been into it and locked in. They’ve forgotten last week. Now, they’re looking forward to the opportunity. I’m anxious to see how they handle it.”
FSU makes a return a trip to the ACC Championship Game where they face Virginia Tech again. The two teams met back in the 2005 game where an unranked, 7-4 Florida State team knocked off the No. 5 Hokies, 27-22, to win its 12th league title and advance to the Orange Bowl.
This time around, the Hokies are No. 11 while the Seminoles are No. 20. Saturday’s game will mark the fifth time in the series in which Virginia Tech is ranked higher than Florida State. In the four previous meetings when the Hokies have been ranked higher, FSU still owns a 3-1 record with the last time coming in that 2005 title game. Florida State is 30-8 in the state of North Carolina and 43-15-1 against teams from the state of Virginia.
While the Seminoles are back in the ACC spotlight after winning the Atlantic Division, Fisher said he wants his team to focus on Saturday night’s game before switching gears to the Bowl season.
“You put it all into this,” said Fisher. “You go full speed. You play for the championship and you have time to regroup. I count the Bowl season as another season. I don’t count it into the regular season, because there’s such a big gap between games. That’s the thing that makes college unique. This is more like a regular season game as far as preparation. You don’t have time to heal. It’s normal week preparation.”
Fisher also said last week’s win over rival Florida didn’t affect game week preparation for Virginia Tech.
“They’re not still dwelling and talking about the game,” he said. “It’s like a game during the year. If you’re playing well, you continue to play well. If you play poorly, hopefully, you fix it and do what you got to do mentally. I think mentally from the standpoint of how they played, I don’t think they’ve forgotten it, but from the standpoint of who they played and the joy of beating Florida, I think they’ve pushed past that.”
Pushing past last week’s win over rival Florida is a good thing to hear as the Seminoles defense spent the week prepping for 2010 ACC Player of the Year, Tyrod Taylor. However, Fisher said stopping Taylor isn’t the only area of concern.
“Special teams,” said Fisher, when asked what else concerns him about the Hokies. “They’ve got great returners. They cover well. They do a great job on special teams. They can throw the football. They have big play guys. Tyrod’s ability to pass and run, everyone talks about his running but he can throw the football. He has a strong arm. He can get it down the field. He’s learned to be a pocket guy.”
“On defense, they create turnovers. They win that field position. That’s the one thing there defense does that’s really outstanding. I say that but they do everything extremely well. Those things affect the game. They really affect the game – the turnovers - and they do a great job of getting them.”
The Seminoles will travel to Charlotte Friday morning. Saturday’s game time is 7:45 p.m. from Bank of America Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN and have an ESPN3D telecast. Below is a list of events sponsored by the Seminole Boosters and ACC for FSU fans making the trip to Charlotte this weekend:
Fri., Dec. 3
6-9 p.m.--Reception at Whisky River-210 East Trade Street (704) 749-1097 (Get Directions)
Appearances by President Barron, Marching Chiefs, and FSU Cheerleaders
9:30 p.m.--ACC Pep Rally-Courtyard between Whisky River and Omni Hotel
Sat. Dec. 4
Noon--ACC Fanfest-Free w/game ticket Mint Street Bank of America Stadium
5:30 p.m.--Montgomery Gentry-Free Concert for ACC fans at Fanfest!
7:45 p.m.--ACC Championship Game-Bank of America Stadium
For a complete list of ACC Events, visit www.TheACC.com.