By Bob Thomas
Associate Sports Information Director
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Don’t expect Florida State to commission any statues or throw a parade after collecting its school-record 18th consecutive victory Saturday night at home against The Citadel.
The Seminoles took down the old standard, which ran the length of the 1999 team’s 12-0 run to the national championship and through the first five games of the 2000 season. The previous mark of 17 consecutive wins was snapped on Oct. 7, 2000 with a 27-24 loss at Miam.
“That’s great,” Fisher said, when asked about the record following the 37-12 victory. “Hopefully, that can keep going. We’ve got to worry about where we’re going to get better. We’ll look at that at the end of the year. It’s great to have the knowledge we’ve done that and we’ve played with consistency.
“That’s the thing. We keep doing things well. That’s what sports is. How many times in a row can you do it over and over and over again and not get bored? That’s what we’ve got to keep going.”
Clearly, Fisher has set the bar higher for the Seminoles.
Florida State’s current win streak began on Dec. 1, 2012, when it dispatched Georgia Tech 21-15 for the ACC Championship, and it has not looked back, running the table en route to the 2013 national championship.
Records are nice, but these Noles don’t plan to hang their hat on the current number.
“No, we go day-by-day, and we get better and better,” FSU quarterback Jameis Winston said. “We can’t really celebrate for something that three different teams accomplished. So we got to get some more victories for this program.”
Youngsters step up on defense
The FSU coaching staff was intent on expanding its interior defensive line rotation against The Citadel Saturday night, but what transpired was equal parts plan and necessity.
First half injuries to Eddie Goldman, Justin Shanks and Nile Lawrence-Stample fast-forwarded the process as true freshmen Derrick Nnadi and Demarcus Christmas and redshirt freshman Keith Bryant saw action early in the second half, along with end Desmond Hollin.
Redshirt junior Derrick Mitchell, who played in consecutive games for the first time since his senior season at Jacksonville First Coast high school, was one of several players who praised the newcomers for their efforts.
“Guys like Eddie and Nile do a good job of setting the tone at practice,” Mitchell said. “Younger guys like [Nnadi and Christmas] pick up on that type of stuff and they don’t want there to be a huge drop-off when the coaches go in there and see the film.
“After Nile went down I went in and Nnadi played next to me and we held it down. Except for a couple mistakes. We handled our business.”
Count sophomore defensive back Jalen Ramsey among those who was impressed by what he saw from the youngsters in front of him.
“I really didn’t feel a difference when they came in,” Ramsey said. “They stepped in, did their job and their roles. … From what I saw, I didn’t feel like we really took a step back at all from the younger guys coming in. I’m really glad they got their feet wet. We’re really going to need them down the line in the season.”
Northrup rises to the challenge
Junior linebacker Reggie Northrup knew what was coming his way given the triple-option attack of The Citadel. Even Fisher joked that the Bulldogs, “fed him a lot of fullback.”
Northrup was up to the challenge, leading the Seminoles with 10 tackles in his second career start.
“I felt like I responded fairly good to their formations,” said Northrup, whose primary responsibility was stopping Bulldogs fullback Tyler Renew, who carried 15 times for 41 yards. “There were a couple of things I could have done differently. I still have stuff I have to improve on…It was difficult. I have to train my eyes fast knowing I have a cut blocker coming at me nearly every play. It was a challenge.”
“He did well…When you’re running those dive plays right up inside, that’s what it was schemed up to do. He’s going to have to play it from depth and then get over the top running that alley.”
Bobo happy to be back
It didn’t take long for sophomore receiver Jesus “Bobo” Wilson to have an impact on the FSU offense following his return from a one-game suspension.
Wilson’s first catch of the game – and just the fourth of his career – was a 12-yard touchdown strike from Jameis Winston, which pushed the Seminoles’ lead to 14-0.
“It was great to be back with the team,” said Wilson, who thanked the coaching staff, his family and teammates for standing beside him through the off-field incident which led to his suspension. “I’m happy to be back out there.”
Wilson and Winston seemed as if they were on the same page right away.
“I was still practicing through the whole situation and we still had that chemistry, so it was nothing new; just another good play,” Wilson said.
“He’s such a dynamic player,” said Winston. “It’s good to have a guy like him and Kermit [Whitfield] out on the field. You can give them the ball, and they can make something happen. We were very glad to have him back.”
And speaking of Kermit…
Winston joked about his lone incompletion in the first half against the Bulldogs, which came on a shovel pass to Kermit Whitfield and snapped a string of 15 consecutive completions to start the game.
“That incompletion, come on now,” Winston said, breaking into a wide smile. “That hurt even more. I’ve got to give it to him right. That’s my fault, too. I didn’t realize I was pitching to a shorter guy until he flashed across my face.”