Tallahassee, FL - Exactly one month has passed since the Florida State football team suffered a humbling loss at Oklahoma. In the aftermath of that defeat the Seminoles have reeled off four consecutive victories and seized early control of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division race.
After overcoming a defeat, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher has spent the last three weeks helping the Seminoles (5-1, 3-0 ACC) learn how to deal with success. It’s a lesson he will continue to engrain in his 16th-ranked team as it prepares for Saturday’s home game against Boston College.
“We are halfway through the season, so we have played 30 minutes of football and still have 30 minutes more to play,” Fisher said during his Monday press conference. “We have to look at it that way. … Boston College has been a very good team, has always played us well, (is) very well coached, very tough, very physical and it will be a hard fought game this weekend. We have to do our best to prepare and remember why we have had success and how we keep preparing for it; get our kids minds right and I think they will be.”
The Seminoles have an opportunity to extend their winning streak to five games – something the program has not enjoyed since starting 5-0 in 2004 – but must exorcise a few demons against the Eagles to get there. Division rival Boston College has won consecutive games in the series, including a 2008 victory which prevented FSU from playing for the ACC Championship.
That kind of memory may help the Seminoles deal with the potential letdown that could follow their 45-17 throttling of Miami, especially with the Eagles (2-3, 0-2) in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
Only a handful of players on the FSU roster, which includes just five senior starters, have experienced a victory against the Eagles.
That is not lost on the players.
“Coach Fisher doesn’t really have to say too much because outside of this (university) we don’t get the respect that we deserve,” said sophomore receiver Rodney Smith. “So we are all just hungry and going to keep fighting and keep working to show everybody we are the best team out there.”
The success the Seminoles have enjoyed to date goes directly back to preparation, staying in the present and prioritizing the importance of the immediate task at hand.
“It’s just us staying together as a family, knowing our goals and the things that we’re trying to reach and what’s ahead of us,” said Jermaine Thomas. “We’re trying to take each team one at a time and not trying to think about the ACC Championship or anything like that.
“Doing the same preparation we do every week really plays a part in that. … Team chemistry, us being on the same page, and everybody knowing what is the bigger picture kind of helps us stay focused on what we need to do and not get (full) of ourselves.”
To that end, Fisher is also mindful of his teams’ health and well-being. After six consecutive weeks of play with a seventh on the horizon Saturday, he lightened Monday night’s practice load. The Seminoles worked out in shorts and helmets, deviating from their normal routine.
“I already had that planned coming in,” Fisher said, noting that six consecutive weeks followed by an early-morning plane flight arrival from Miami, requires additional rest.
“We got our work done and got our same reps and strided,” Fisher said. “We just didn’t want to bang and clang. We’ll be in full pads tomorrow and ready to go.”
Hudson, Reid claim ACC honors
Senior guard Rodney Hudson and sophomore return specialist/cornerback Greg Reid earned ACC Player of the Week honors for their significant contributions to Saturday’s 45-17 victory at Miami.
Hudson collected his second Offensive Lineman of the Week honor of the season – and eighth of his career – as he helped pave the way for the Seminoles’ 471-yard total offense performance against the Hurricanes. Hudson matched a season-high be grading out at 94 percent, registered two knockdowns and did not have a missed assignment or a penalty. He was part of a unit that cleared the way for FSU to rush for 298 yards, which marked the first time since 1995 that the ‘Noles have rushed for more than 200 yards in four consecutive games. The Seminoles’ offensive line has collected four ACC Lineman of the Week honors in the first six weeks of the season.
Reid was equally important to the victory as a specialist, returning four kickoffs for a career-high 145 yards, while adding 16 more yards on two punt returns. His season-high 55-yarder in response to Miami’s first touchdown led to an FSU field goals and a 24-7 halftime lead. He also added a 50-yard return in the second half to lock up ACC Specialist of the Week honors. On defense, Reid contributed six solo tackles, including a tackle for loss and tacked on a pair of pass breakups.