Oct. 11, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Undeterred by a few squall lines, the Florida State football team pushed through an up-tempo practice Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s game at Duke.
The Seminoles (2-3, 0-2 ACC) are in unfamiliar territory as they head to Wallace Wade Stadium, carrying a three-game losing streak in against the Blue Devils (3-2, 1-0), who have rattled off three consecutive victories.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher actually didn’t mind the practice conditions.
“The weather made it nice,” Fisher said. “The guys could bounce around. We actually had a pretty good practice. We’ll see how we keep getting better.”
As for reversing the Seminoles fortunes, Fisher said he and his staff and players are all on the same page. To that end, he was especially pleased with Tuesday’s 2 ½-hour workout.
“It’s about performance,” Fisher said, noting the key to turning the tide. “It’s about staying together. It’s about being a family and believing in each other. Today was excellent, and that’s not coach talk. … Hopefully we continue to progress.”
FSU is facing a Duke team that is in the midst of its most successful stretch since the 1994 Blue Devils opened the season with seven consecutive victories. Fourth-year coach David Cutcliffe, a long-time SEC offensive coordinator and head coach at Ole Miss, has put together the ACC’s second-rated passing offense around veteran quarterback Sean Renfree.
“They throw the ball extremely well on offense,” Fisher said. “The quarterback is accurate and gets the ball out (quickly); highly efficient.”
While there isn’t a Seminole on the roster that has played a down against the Blue Devils, Fisher did direct the FSU offense in 2007 when the `Noles posted a 25-6 win in Tallahassee. Cutcliffe, however, has made significant strides since coming on board in 2008.
“I think they’re much more athletic (now),” Fisher said. “They run better, and I think he’s done a very good job of getting bigger guys, stronger guys. …
“They’re on a three-game win streak. … They’re playing very well. David’s a good coach.”
Florida State freshman wide receiver Rashad Greene was added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list Monday. Greene, who leads the Seminoles in receptions (26), yards (457) and touchdown receptions (six), ranks among the ACC’s top receivers in the aforementioned categories. The award, named after Florida State legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff, is presented annually by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.
Sophomore wide receiver Scooter Haggins, who was leading the team in receptions when he broke his hand against Oklahoma, has been cleared to return for Saturday’s game at Duke. Haggins had surgery to repair the fracture on Sept. 20 and was expected to miss four to six weeks. “It’s good to get him back in there,” Fisher said. “When you have a strong mind, good things happen to you.”
The ACC announced Monday that its television partners have exercised the six-day option for FSU’s Oct. 22 home game with Maryland. An official announcement, including game time and network television selection, will come no later than Sunday afternoon.