Sept. 9, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Unranked but undaunted, Florida State returned to the practice field Wednesday for the first time since Monday night’s crushing, 38-34 loss to Miami at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles don’t have time to sulk over the loss because Jacksonville State, a nationally-ranked Football Championship Subdivision team led by former LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, brings challenging offensive and defensive schemes to Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday night (6 p.m., ESPN360.com).
“It’s very difficult,” FSU coach Bobby Bowden said of the short turnaround. “You’re really rushed for time.”
The No. 21 Gamecocks, who are coming off a 37-17 loss at Georgia Tech, figure to benefit from Perrilloux’s return following a one-game suspension.
Offensively, Jacksonville State spreads it out, mixing option work with Perrilloux’s big-play passing ability. Defensively, the Gamecocks show a three-man defensive front.
“I’m not sure you can ever get a loss like that out of your system, but you’ve got to close the door to it,” FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said, following practice. “I’m surprised (the game) was as close as it was, with as many mistakes as we made. We had more missed assignments, we had more missed tackles, than any game around here in years.”
Correcting those mistakes while preparing for an offense that requires a lot of assignment work is never easy. Doing it on two less days of preparation, after yielding 476 total yards and 38 points doesn’t make it any easier.
“Mostly it was stuff where you’ve got to get lined up and go play football,” Andrews said of the miscues. “(The short week) puts you in a bind. They’ve practiced two days more than we have. It’s a whole different type of offense than we played last week.
“You’ve got to find a way to do it. You’re just two days short.”
Hinting that the ‘Noles could make some personnel changes in the starting lineup, said the team showed “the right attitude” as it got down to business.
Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher didn’t specifically address changes on his side of the ball, but he did praise the performance of quarterback Christian Ponder, whose last-play pass for the win, slipped through the hands of wide receiver Jarmon Fortson.
Fisher said the Ponder, who passed for a career-high 294 yards and two touchdowns – and added a rushing score – graded out between 87 or 88 percent off the game film. He was especially impressed with Ponder’s final pass of the night.
“He went all the way to the third progression,” Fisher said. “It was the perfect read.”
Yet getting ready for the Gamecocks takes precedence over the Miami defeat. And time isn’t on the Seminoles’ side.
“Boy it’s tough,” Fisher added. “They ought to institute a rule where you can’t play on a Saturday-Thursday or a Monday-Saturday. That’s tough on these kids. … They’re banged a bruised.”
Niether Fisher or Andrews will allow their players to use aches and pains – physical or mental – as an excuse this week, regardless of prep time.
“That’s the hand we’re dealt with,” Andrews said. “You can’t do anything about it. We’ve just got to go and get ready to play another game and find out someway where we can be better than we were last week. The best place to start is with accountability. … You’ve got to be accountable, not only to yourself, but to your teammates.
“That starts with your assignments, responsibility, technique and consequently your effort. We weren’t great at any those things and consequently we gave up enough points that we weren’t able to win the football game.”