Sept. 16, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jimbo Fisher expects his Florida State football team to play with an edge Saturday, when Brigham Young makes its first Doak Campbell Stadium appearance in a nationally televised game on ESPNU (3:30 p.m.).
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“Once you get jabbed in the mouth a little bit you’ve got to come back with some feistiness, just like I think they will,” Fisher said. “I think BYU will come in here the same way. I think it will be a couple good teams really getting after it and playing good. That’s what I think will happen and I expect us to do that. I think there’s a lot of character on our football team and a lot of pride.”
Fisher believes he’s seen those qualities from the Seminoles (1-1) this week in the aftermath of last week’s loss at Oklahoma.
“I’m anxious to see how they play Saturday,” Fisher said, following Thursday’s practice. “I think it’s been a good week of preparation. BYU is a hard team to prepare for. … They’re a well-coached football team.”
And like the Seminoles, the Cougars (1-1) are also coming off a one-sided road loss, falling at Air Force. The losses knocked both teams from the national polls, which means this will mark the first time in four meetings between the schools that neither squad is ranked.
As if BYU needed any added incentive, it has undoubtedly not forgotten the 54-28 loss absorbed at the hands of Florida State last season in Provo, Utah.
“I think they’re a very talented team,” Fisher said of the Cougars. “They’ve won 10 games for four straight years, so they understand how to win and will come in here expecting to win.”
Fisher has no reason not to expect a significantly improved effort from the Seminoles. Senior quarterback Christian Ponder, coming off one of his least successful appearances against the Sooners, has vowed not to endure a repeat performance. Ponder has carried that resolve onto the practice field throughout the week.
“He’s come out there very workman-like; very driven,” Fisher said. “He went back to fundamentals and back to basics. … How we play around him is going to be very important, too. He had a good week and I thought our receivers did, too.”
Ponder isn’t the fiery type who barks out orders, but Fisher said he has seen him become more assertive, even if it is in an understated manner. It’s a style that fits his personality.
“He’s always going to take the blame,” Fisher said. “He’s always going to be the guy that says, `Hey, we’ve got to get this.’ He was on those guys in practice. … He was doing what we expect him to do.”
Thursday’s practice was very much a continuation of the earlier workouts this week.
“They’ve gotten better and better as the week’s got on,” Fisher said. “Assignment-wise, I think they’re very sharp and crisp; (they) understand what they’re doing. They know what to do. Today’s practice was pretty crisp. … They’ll be ready.”
Fisher hopes the Florida State fans will be ready as well. He was impressed with the support Oklahoma fans provided their team in recording their school record 70th consecutive sellout.
“That was a really good environment,” Fisher said of the 85,630 in attendance last Saturday. “I’ve been at a lot of stadiums; some of the best ones in America. That was a great environment and atmosphere. It would be great for our guys to have that when they come home.”