TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Returning to the practice field for the first time since Saturday’s disheartening loss, No. 13 Florida State got down to the business of preparing to achieve one of its primary season goals on Monday – winning an Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
The Seminoles (10-2, 7-1 ACC) will meet Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3) Saturday in the eighth edition of the ACC Championship game, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ACC.
FSU is gunning for its 13th ACC title and its first since the inaugural title game in 2005 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, when the Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech, 27-22. This marks the Seminoles’ second championship game appearance under third-year head coach Jimbo Fisher, whose team fell to the Hokies in the 2010 title game.
Fisher said Monday that his team was ready to turn the page after its stinging 37-26 loss at home to Florida in the regular season finale.
“I think it hurt them yesterday, but I think they’re ready to flush it because they understand what they have to accomplish – win a conference championship and still have a phenomenal year and play very well,” Fisher said. “I look forward to them doing that. I expect them to do it. That’s the way the talk has been. They’re disappointed. They know they didn’t play as well as they could have, but we still have a great opportunity to do some great things here.”
The ‘Noles have no time to wallow in despair as they must prepare for the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense, which churns out a league-leading 320 yards a game on the ground.
“It’s such an unorthodox thing from the time you see it,” Fisher said. “The simulation in practice, the more times you see it the better you’re going to be at it. We have a lot of skill guys that are athletic that can hopefully simulate that. You just have to do the best that you can. We’ll have a plan to get the best possible people and teach it to them the best we can.”
Werner, Hopkins claim ACC Player of the Week honors
Florida State’s Bjoern Werner and Dustin Hopkins closed out the 2012 regular season with each earning ACC Player of the Week honors for the second time this year. Werner was selected Defensive Lineman of the Week after matching his career-high with 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in FSU’s loss to Florida. His play also earned him National Defensive Lineman Performer of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards.
Hopkins shared Specialist of the Week honors with Maryland’s Stefon Diggs after converting his only two field goal attempts – from 50 and 53 yards – against the Gators. It marked the first time an FSU kicker had booted a pair of 50-yard field goals in a game since Derek Schmidt in 1985. The two field goals also gave Hopkins 87 for his career, which ties the career NCAA FBS record previously held by Georgia’s Billy Bennett.