Sept. 10, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s football coaching staff isn’t taking Saturday’s opponent – nationally-ranked Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) foe Jacksonville State – lightly.
Extra hours of staff preparation has been the norm during a shortened week of preparation due to Monday’s game with Miami. The Seminoles will even participate in a light practice on Friday; a rarity during the Bobby Bowden era.
With dramatically different schemes than Miami and a handful of one-time Bowl Championship Series (BCS) players on the Gamecocks’ roster, the coaching staff wants to assure that the Seminoles have all the bases covered. After all, upset wins by FCS teams are becoming more common each season. In fact, there were two in the ACC last week.
“It’s a big challenge,” FSU senior linebacker and defensive captain Dekoda Watson said. “They might be a smaller team, but we definitely have to respect them, and I do respect them. The quarterback (Ryan Perrilloux) came from LSU, and I’m going to have to get Coach Jimbo Fisher and try to get some pointers from him. We’re going to have to respect him and contain and make sure we don’t over-pursue this week because he can throw, he can run, and he’s very mobile.”
Perrilloux isn’t alone. One of his favorite targets is former Georgia Tech receiver Greg Smith. Defensively, the Gamecocks have added former Florida tackle Torrey Davis.
“We don’t normally do anything on Friday other than study tape and meet,” FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said, regarding the decision to practice on Friday. “The way you prepare in a short week is pick up your intensity of preparation.”
Andrews said it is imperative that players make the most of studying scouting report and crib videos.
“This team can beat you just like Miami could, if we go out there and help them like we did Miami,” said Andrews, adding that there “will likely be a few changes” in defensive personnel against Jacksonville State.
Sophomore linebacker Nigel Bradham is hoping something positive comes from Monday night’s loss to the Hurricanes, and with a season in front of the Seminoles, a strong performance against the visiting Gamecocks would be a good place to start.
“We’ve got a chance to redeem ourselves,” Bradham said. “We play Jacksonville State this week and then BYU at BYU. We’ve got a lot of great teams coming up. People will see what we’re about.”
On Thursday, the Seminoles practiced for 2 1/2 hours in shells, primarily against scout teams simulating the Jacksonville State offense and defense.