Sept. 21, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Fresh off a dramatic and record-tying victory, Florida State returned to the practice field Monday night as the nation’s No. 18 in the Associated Press poll. The Seminoles used Saturday’s 54-28 rout at No. 7 Brigham Young to return to the polls since falling out after a season-opening loss to Miami.
For the first time in quite a while, all three state schools – No. 1 Florida, No. 9 Miami and FSU – are back in the polls simultaneously.
“Isn’t that something,” FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. “I had thought about that. It used to be all of the time. You just got one game where you really performed the way you want to perform and now we’ve got to do it every doggone Saturday and we’ve got to get these kids believing that we’ve got to do that every Saturday. We can’t just now drop back down.”
In order to do that, the Seminoles must first tackle a USF team that has spent plenty of time in the polls in recent seasons, and is currently receiving votes. The Bulls (3-0) are untested to this point in the season and will be without starting quarterback Matt Grothe for Saturday’s 12 noon game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Grothe suffered a season-ending knee injury last week and will be replaced by Tallahassee native and former Lincoln High star B.J. Daniels, who drew rave reviews from FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher for his athleticism.
While FSU got its first look at USF on Monday via some scout team work, they will begin preparing in earnest Tuesday.
Monday, however, was still a time to reflect on one of the program’s biggest victories in recent years.
“We played the (BYU) game with a chip on our shoulder,” said FSU senior defensive tackle Budd Thacker. “Everybody doubted us. We just went out there to do what we were supposed to do … and played to the best of our ability. We just tried to beat them with our speed and quickness and toughness and that’s what we did.”
Fellow senior, tight end Caz Piurowski, put the victory over the host Cougars way up the list of accomplishments during his four seasons with the Seminoles.
“It ranks right up there with the Boston College (in 2007) when they were ranked No. 2,” said Piurowski, who contributed a touchdown reception against BYU. “It was a huge win for us and not only a win, but how we did it. We really went out there and controlled the game the whole time.”
Fisher said the Seminoles “stepped over the line” with the victory over the Cougars. Now the question is whether the team can build on the win.
“We’re trying to do that again this week, because it will be the key to our success the rest of the year,” Piurowski said.
Pair of ‘Noles honored by ACC
FSU junior guard Rodney Hudson and freshman cornerback Greg Reid earned the program’s second and third Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week honors for their performances in Saturday’s 54-28 win at No. 7 Brigham Young. Hudson graded out at 88 percent and was at the point of attack as the Seminoles rushed for 313 yards and four touchdowns, earning Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. Reid’s 63-yard interception return for a touchdown to start the second half gave the Seminoles a three-score lead en route to snapping BYU’s 18-game, home winning streak. He was named Defensive Back of the Week.
Florida State tied its own Atlantic Coast Conference record for most points against a top 10 opponent with Saturday’s 54-28 win over No. 7 BYU. The Seminole set the mark with a 54-7 win over No. 10 Clemson on Nov. 4, 2000. … Freshman running back Lonnie Pryor, whose first two career carries resulted in touchdowns Saturday at BYU, will likely share the fullback duties with Ja’Baris Little. … Pryor’s opportunity for additional playing time comes after walk-on and two-game starting fullback Daniel Gard suffered a left knee sprain against BYU. Defensive tackle Moses McCray also suffered a left elbow sprain in the game and his status for Saturday is unknown. … Defensive tackle Justin Mincey, sidelined with a knee injury since the preseason, returned to the practice field Monday. Mincey’s progress through rehab will be evaluated throughout the week. … ESPN/ABC has exercised its six-day option on the Oct. 3 Florida State at Boston College. One of three entities – ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC – will broadcast the game with either a 12 noon or 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The network has until noon Sunday, Sept. 27 to set the time. … Just in case you missed it, Direct TV will rebroadcast Saturday’s win at BYU three times on the Mountain Network Channel 616. The game will be replayed Sept. 21 (10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.), Sept. 22 (8 a.m.) and Sept. 23 (10 p.m.).