Dec. 20, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With one final practice remaining before the Florida State football team breaks from bowl preparation or the holiday, Jimbo Fisher isn’t concerned that the Seminoles don’t have their minds in the right place.
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“I was pleased with it,” Fisher said of Monday’s workout. “The guys were not looking for the Christmas break, at least mentally, not with football. They came out and got their work done and did what they were supposed to do on both sides of the ball. We kicked well, too.”
The Seminoles wrapped up their final workout in full pads late Monday and will go through the equivalent of a Thursday game week workout on Tuesday before heading home. While a large number of players will fly together with the FSU travel party Christmas afternoon, the balance of the squad will meet them in Atlanta later in the evening, where the final preparations for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl with South Carolina will take place.
For the 23rd-ranked Seminoles, there remains some unfinished business at hand. A victory over the 19th-ranked Gamecocks will give FSU its first 10-win season since 2003; no small feat for Fisher’s first season at the helm.
FSU quarterback Christian Ponder has not yet returned to practice, but with a protective brace removed from his right arm, he appears to be on track for his scheduled return to the practice field when the Seminoles reach Atlanta.
“We’ll probably let him throw some a bit the next three or four days before he goes up there, then turn him loose on the 26th and see what happens,” said Fisher.
Over the past three days the Seminoles have focused their attention on preparing for the Gamecocks, who will provide a significant challenge.
“They’re very well balanced,” Fisher said. “They’ve always done a great job on defense; have great players, create a lot of negative plays. … On offense, they’ve got big-play guys, the receivers and the back; the quarterback does a great job. They’ve got a good, sound kicking game. They’re a very complete football team. You don’t go to the SEC Championship unless you’re a good football team.”