Sept. 12, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It’s been a bit of a taboo subject to broach the last few weeks but the time has officially come for Jimbo Fisher and EJ Manuel to talk Florida State-Oklahoma and all the hullabaloo that comes with it.
Through the first two weeks of Fisher’s and Manuel’s weekly press conference with the media, subtle questions about the Sooners were mixed in with inquiries about Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern, respectively.
The response from FSU’s leaders was always the same: one game at a time, no overlooking of opponents, game-by-game approach, etc.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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Well, it’s finally time to talk ‘Noles-Sooners and one of the main talking points — as it was at Monday’s press conference — will be FSU’s ability this Saturday to avoid the same fate as a season ago.
“You know more of your team,” Fisher said about his 2011 Seminoles compared to the one that lost to Oklahoma 47-17 in the second game of the season. “Last year being the second game we played, it was still a very interesting thing going on the road; a big game on the road. We know our players better. I think they know us better [and] they know our scheme better. We know what they can do in our scheme better. So hopefully we will be able to coach them better and hopefully we have gotten better as a football team throughout that time, which I think we did as the year went on last year. And hopefully we will be better early this year.
“[It’s] a great opportunity.”
Manuel said Monday that he is looking forward to that very opportunity. It will be his first chance to play in a game against a top-five opponent since starting in place of the injured Christian Ponder against Florida in 2009.
For FSU’s redshirt junior signal-caller, the monumental matchup with Oklahoma will provide the first chance for him this season to show off his development as the Seminoles’ quarterback against a top-notch opponent and in front of a national audience.
“I had some good games; I made some mistakes and made some good plays at the same time,” Manuel said. “Definitely excited that we got those [first two games] out of the way and played well. Two good games to get prepared for this game.”
REED EXPECTED TO BE OK
Redshirt senior wide receiver Bert Reed has had a fantastic start to his final year in the garnet and gold.
The Panama City, Fla. native has posted three touchdowns through the first two games and is now tied with former FSU receiver Greg Carr for fifth all-time in career receptions with 148. Reed needs just 18 more catches to tie E.G. Greene for fourth place.
But whether or not he would get the chance to further ascent up the FSU record books was in doubt after the win over Charleston Southern. Late in the ballgame — after he caught a career-best two touchdowns — Reed had his ankle rolled over and had to be helped into the locker room after the game with a large bag of ice on his leg.
Fisher said Monday, however, that Reed is still experiencing a bit of swelling but is expected to be ready for the game against the Sooners. Manuel echoed that sentiment as well.
Another receiver that FSU hopes to have back is Willie Haulstead, who has missed the first two games while still feeling the effects of a fall-camp concussion. Like Reed, Fisher expects Haulstead to return this week.
REID IS BACK
Superstar return man/corneback Greg Reid served his one-game suspension for “violation of team rules” against Charleston Southern and will be back in the lineup against Oklahoma.
While Reid is listed as the first-team punt- and kick-returner for Saturday on the depth chart that was released during the press conference, he is currently listed as the backup at field corner to Mike Harris.
Still, his placement on the depth chart isn’t indicative of much. With the way the Sooners throw the ball around, the Seminoles are going to utilize a lot of defensive-back heavy packages so Reid, Harris and the starter at boundary corner, Xavier Rhodes, will all be on the field together quite a bit.
Middle linebacker Telvin Smith, who was also suspended, is back in the lineup as well.
OTHER DEPTH CHART NOTES
Reid’s placement back on the depth chart was the only change this week.
There was some speculation that Bryan Stork and Fahrenkrug would switch left guard and center spots, respectively, but that wasn’t the case on paper. Last weekend, Stork and Fahrenkrug switched with the game out of hand and the Seminoles experienced a bit of an uptick in the running game afterwards.
Whether or not it was as a direct result of that personnel switch remains to be seen.
Fahrenkrug starred as a guard in the junior college ranks and switched to center when he enrolled at FSU. He is a first-time starter in the middle as the replacement to four-year starter Ryan McMahon.
Moday’s press conference was just the first stop on the whirlwind journey that this week will be leading up to Saturday’s 8 p.m. game on ABC.
ESPN announced Monday morning that its GameDay set will be placed on Langford Green outside Doak Campbell Stadium. That mean’s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will appear on camera all morning with FSU’s home stadium in the background.
Seminoles.com will be here to guide you through the week and up to game day. As we do every week, expect video features, stories, the Wednesday release of Chop Talk and much more.
Also, if you are going to be in Tallahassee for the game, don’t forget that Corey Smith will be playing a live show at the Friday Night Block Party at Kleman Plaza. The concert and all the festivities surrounding it is free and ESPN cameras will be there to shoot highlights of the excitement and fanfare leading up to a game that has national championship implications.
The FSU-Oklahoma game is sold out but tickets are still available on StubHub, which is the official fan to fan ticket marketplace oif Florida State Athletics.