By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher touched on a variety of topics in his weekly press conference. Among them were thoughts on the national polls, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson and his own quarterback, Jameis Winston.
Here are five takeaways from Fisher’s meeting with the media.
1) He’s not worried about Jameis Winston’s status, both for the Notre Dame game and the rest of the season
Midway through the press conference, a reporter asked Fisher for his “concern level” about Winston’s availability following another round of off-field headlines surrounding the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
“None,” Fisher said.
The reporter then asked, why?
“I know the facts of the case,” Fisher said. “The facts haven’t changed in the case. We know the report and we know everything that’s out there. There’s nothing new that’s been out there. We’ve been through this.”
“I think we’ve got to be very careful in today’s society to (not) convict people before the actual due (process) in court or anywhere else.”
2) He’s got no qualms with Mississippi State’s ascension to No. 1 in the polls
Five weeks ago, the Mississippi State Bulldogs were unranked. But a series of wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn have vaulted MSU to the No. 1 spot – at FSU’s expense.
Fisher, though, is fine with a No. 2 ranking for now.
“Those things will all wash themselves out as the season goes on,” Fisher said. “You can go up and down. If we go win (against) Notre Dame, does that put us back up there again?”
“…We have an excellent opportunity to showcase our ability this week against Notre Dame.”
3) Key injured players are working their way back
Fisher said that running back Karlos Williams (ankle) and defensive tackle Derrick Mitchell (knee) will each practice Monday in hopes of returning to the lineup.
Reserve quarterback Sean Maguire (hand) has resumed throwing the ball, but might not yet be a full participant in practice.
And Mario Pender, who twisted his ankle at Syracuse, may be held out today, but Fisher didn’t sound too concerned.
Mitchell’s return would be a big boost for an FSU defensive front that has been hit hard by injuries this season.
“That’s going to be very critical,” Fisher said. “I think Derrick was playing very well – adds depth, adds quality, experience, size. I think (his return will help tremendously).”
4) Matthew Thomas could be back against the Irish
An NCAA-related suspension has kept Thomas, one of FSU’s most promising young defensive players, on the sideline this season. But Fisher is optimistic that Thomas could be eligible and active against the Fighting Irish.
“Haven’t got official word, but anticipating that,” Fisher said. “That’s got to come from (the NCAA), but we think it will be.”
Thomas’ return would serve to bolster FSU’s pass rush, which is good news because …
5) Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson will be a handful
The Irish’s senior quarterback has been mostly excellent in guiding Notre Dame to a 6-0 record and No. 5 national ranking.
The 6-1, 200-pounder has thrown for 1,683 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also throwing just four interceptions.
Golson is also a threat on the ground, having run for at least 40 yards on three separate occasions, including a season-high 71 in last week’s win over North Carolina.
“We’ll have to definitely contain him because he can beat you with his legs, he can beat you with his arm,” Fisher said.” His competitiveness, his toughness, I mean … he’s a heck of a football player.”