Tallahassee, FL - For the first time in well over a month the Florida State football team had the opportunity to get some wet weather work in Wednesday as a shower descended on the field in the later stages of practice.
The weather, however, was the least of FSU coach Jimbo Fishers concerns at the end of what he described as “very average” day.
Fisher was most disappointed with the play of the receivers at the end of practice.
“The other guys are doing a good job,” Fisher said. “The other guys are focused. The defense played really good, the backs played good, the quarterbacks played good. The line played solid.
“[The receivers] have got to make plays. You’ve got to get open; you’ve got to run routes. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
While the Seminoles have featured a balanced offense throughout the season – they’ve amassed 1,659 rushing yards and 1,662 passing yards – the passing game is well off last season’s 300-yard a game average. Fisher made it clear that the issue isn’t solely on the shoulders of quarterback Christian Ponder.
“It’s hard to zip a ball when you’re not sure where somebody’s going to be and throw with confidence,” Fisher said. “You all keep pointing at (Ponder). If everybody practiced like (No.) 7 and played like 7, we wouldn’t have any issues. The rest of them guys need to take his lead.”
Getting the offense on the same page will be critical when the 24th-ranked Seminoles (6-2, 4-1 ACC) take on North Carolina Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The Tar Heels (5-3, 2-2), despite a season of off-field issues that have led to a handful of season-long suspensions to key players, remain a talented team, especially on defense. Fisher rattled off the jersey numbers of approximately 10 UNC defenders who he believes will move on to the NFL at some point.
“They’ve done a good job and recruited well,” Fisher said of UNC coach Butch Davis and his staff. “He’s got a system in there and got his guys in there. … He coached in the NFL and knows the kind of guys who can play at that level.”
To that end, the UNC defense is ranked No. 2 in the ACC in defending the red zone. FSU comes into the game – after leading the league much of the season – ranked No. 3 in red zone offense.
The Seminoles will try and bring all aspects of the game together in Thursday’s final practice before the homecoming showdown with the Tar Heels.