Oct. 26, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In one of the rare moments since Florida State football opened camp nearly three months ago, head coach Jimbo Fisher left the Al Dunlap Practice Fields largely unhappy with what had transpired over the previous 2 ½ hours, at least on the offensive side of the ball.
“The defense had a really good day,” Fisher said at the conclusion of Wednesday’s workout. “I was really proud of the defense. The offense was very – it was surprising. We had two very good days and were not as good today. We were not very sharp. Hopefully we’ll pick it up tomorrow.
“We didn’t execute. … We were very erratic. It was very disappointing.”
It was clearly not the performance Fisher was either anticipating or hoping for as the Seminoles (4-3, 2-2 ACC) wind down their preparation for Saturday’s game against NC State (4-3, 1-2). The game will kick off at 12 p.m. and be televised on ESPNU.
Like the Seminoles, Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack have strung together consecutive victories. The two teams have done so in similar style, capitalizing on big plays offensively while creating opportunities with an aggressive defense. In NC State’s case, its defensive pressure has created 22 takeaways, including 15 interceptions. Cornerback David Amerson leads all FBS players with eight interceptions.
Fisher is keenly aware of the problems the Wolfpack’s blitz-heavy defense can create.
“They’re getting in a groove and playing better,” Fisher said, noting that State’s performance in last week’s 28-14 win at Virginia may have been its best yet. “Vrginia had been doing some good things offensively. They hammered them pretty good. They played well; very well defensively.”
The Wolfpack limited the Cavaliers to 249 total yards and forced four turnovers.
Of course, State can generate some big-plays offensively as well, thanks in large part to the quarterback-receiver tandem of Mike Glennon and T.J. Graham. Glennon has thrown 19 touchdown passes this season, which ranks second in the ACC, while Graham has collected four of those and is averaging 21.4 yards with each reception. A dangerous kick return threat as well, Graham leads the nation in all-purpose yardage (185.7 ypg).
“They’ve got speed and athleticism, and they can throw the ball,” Fisher said of the Wolfpack. “When you can do that you can make them. They’ve sure made a bunch of them.”
Glennon’s accuracy – he’s completing nearly 63 percent of his pass attempts – and strong arm are his greatest assets. Graham, an All-ACC sprinter, has ball skills and running skills to go with his raw speed.
Rashad Greene suffered a setback as he continues to rehab from an ankle sprain suffered at Wake Forest. One day after drawing Fisher’s praise, Greene didn’t take a snap at practice and the coach said: `I’ll doubt if he’ll even play.”
Former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell will handle the color commentary for the ESPNU broadcast on Saturday.
The Seminoles are expecting a large turnout for Saturday’s game at Doak Campbell Stadium against the Wolfpack as the school celebrates Parent’s Day weekend.