TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said on Thursday he was impressed with the way his team practiced this week leading up to Saturday’s game against undefeated and No. 25-ranked Maryland.
The eighth-ranked Seminoles (4-0) will look to win their ninth consecutive ACC game and third this season against the Terrapins (4-0), who are opening their 2013 conference schedule at noon at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Florida State and Maryland rank 1-2 in total offense in the ACC this season and the Noles come into Saturday with the fourth-highest scoring offense in the nation (51.2 points per game). However, FSU will be looking for a bounce-back performance from its defense after allowing a season-high 34 points at Boston College last week.
Fisher said he saw a controlled edge from his defense during preparation for the Terps this week.
“Every time you don’t play as well, as a competitor, as you know you are capable of or know what you can do or have in the past, I think there is a natural edge that comes to guys,” Fisher said. “They want to play well. And you have to be careful with that – you want that edge, but you don’t want to get it so much that (you’re) trying so hard that overdo it. I liked the way we practiced. I really did. I think there was edge there, but there was some control.”
The Noles’ defense is expected to be bolstered by the return of defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. Fisher said the sophomore had one of his best weeks of practice of his career this week. Edwards missed the past two games because of a hand injury after playing in the first two contests, including a start against Nevada.
Fisher announced FSU will be without junior safety Tyler Hunter (neck) for the second straight game and that senior defensive end Demonte McAllister (concussion) will also sit out.
Fisher said freshman offensive lineman Ira Denson had shoulder surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
Osceola and renegade tradition celebrates 35 years
The best tradition in all of college football, Osceola and Renegade, will be recognized on the field at the end of the first quarter for its 35th anniversary. Since the opening game in 1978, Osceola, in authentic regalia designed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Renegade have opened every home game with the traditional planting of the spear.
Over the last 35 years, there have been five Renegades and 15 FSU students have held the role of Osceola. Many members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and former Osceola’s will be recognized on Saturday.
FSU Injury Report vs. Maryland
Out for Game
DB Tyler Hunter (neck)
TE Jeremy Kerr (knee)
DL Demonte McAllister (concussion)
Out for Season
OL Ira Denson (shoulder)
TE Kevin Haplea (knee)
WR Jarred Haggins (knee)
Jimbo Fisher Post Practice Quotes – Oct. 3, 2013
“It was an excellent Thursday. I really liked today’s focus – (we were) really focused, really detail-oriented – threw and caught the ball well. Defense, I thought was very sharp with its calls. Kicking game, I liked how we practiced. Now we have to go play that way. And we have to do it from the first play on. This is a great football team and they are going to be ready to play so we need to be too, and I think we will be.”
On sophomore defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr., who is expected to play after missing two games with a hand injury:
“He’s good. He has had one of the best weeks of practice he has had since he’s been here. I’ve been very pleased. I think a little bit of it could be fresh legs – rejuvenated. Sometimes you miss something and it reminds you of how much you like it – how much fun it is to be out there. He’s practiced really well.”
On what impressed him about this week’s practice:
“Our attention to detail – everybody, across the board – run game, pass game, checks, blitzes, different things, short yardage, defense, how we are in and out of formations. Just the crispness. You can tell when somebody is mentally focused and understand what’s going on and I’m very happy about that. Our whole approach to things. It was from the first play to the last play. We didn’t start slow. I was very pleased with how we performed. Now we just have to do it on Saturday – carry it to the game field.”
On stopping Maryland sophomore wide receiver Stefon Diggs:
“You have to tackle when you have the chances. You have to make the catches contested. You have to make them make tight throws. They get it to him so many ways. He’s got his hands full. That guy is a heck of a football player. You are never going to stop guys like that – they are going to have their plays. We just have to contain them and make sure there’s not too many.”
On the defense having an edge this week after giving up 34 points at Boston College:
“I think you always do. Every time you don’t play as well as a competitor as you know you are capable of or know what you can do or have in the past, I think there is a natural edge that comes to guys. They want to play well. And you have to be careful with that – you want that edge, but you don’t want to get it so much that I’m trying so hard that overdo it. I liked the way we practiced. I really did. I think there was edge there, but there was some control. There’s ‘We can do this.’ There’s not lack of confidence, or anything like that. There’s just ‘go play.’