TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher met with the media on Monday to discuss last week’s 38-22 victory at Florida and look ahead to Saturday’s regular season finale against Louisiana-Monroe. Here are highlights from that conversation:
Noles need to move on quickly: A fifth-straight win over Florida is absolutely worth celebrating, but the Seminoles have more business at hand. ULM visits Saturday, and the Seminoles need to beat the Sun Belt Conference foe to reach the postseason.
Moving on from a big win and focusing on the next task is a sign of maturity, Fisher said.
“When you come off a rivalry game, there’s a natural tendency to ease yourself up,” he said. “Not because (the next game is) a lesser game, but because of the emotion you spent (the week before).
“Now we got to process and move on. That’s what mature teams do, and hopefully we’ve learned that lesson.”
FSU feeling the toll of retooled schedule: At the conclusion of Saturday’s contest, the Seminoles will have played 11 games in 11 weeks, a gauntlet of a stretch that would wear on any team in the country.
FSU was initially scheduled to have an open date on Oct. 7, but ended giving up its week off to play Miami after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Seminoles’ September schedule.
FSU opened the season with a game, then had an unprecedented two weeks off before embarking on the stretch they’re on now.
As a result, Fisher said he plans to lighten the load a little bit in practice this week.
“You cut practice, change meetings, do different things around to help the concentration level,” he said. “That’s where the GPS (tracking system) helps tremendously, as far as the physical part of it. What they think of practice, how hard it is on them mentally, physically, where their heart rates are, their speed. You can adjust whether the body is breaking down or not.”
Warhawks ‘very dynamic’ on offense: While ULM has a 4-7 record, the Warhawks aren’t wanting for points. They average 36.1 points per game, good for 22nd nationally, and have topped the 50-point mark four times this season.
“Very wide open,” he said. “A lot of run-pass options. They have a big receiver in (Marcus) Green, can make some plays.
“The other guys are very big, physical, run the ball very well, play over the top of you. … . I mean, very dynamic that way. Opportunistic. They let it hang out.”
Of course, the Warhawks had to lose seven games somehow. And they’ve mostly done that with a defense that surrenders more than 40 points per game.
Not much clarity following Jackson disqualification: There was more than a little confusion midway through Saturday’s game at Florida, when officials announced that linebacker Dontavious Jackson had received two personal foul penalties. NCAA rules call for a player to be ejected if he receives two personal fouls in the same game.
The only trouble is that no one could figure out when Jackson picked up his second penalty.
“That’s a great question,” Fisher said with a laugh. “I don’t agree with any of that at all. I mean, it was way off. Way off what we were told.
“The bad part about it, he got tackled on the play. He threw his guy off of him, which was allowed. The he tackled him. Should have been a holding call. We were standing there thinking it’s a penalty on them, going the other way. … It was a big shock the way that went down, it really was.”
Reaching bowl eligibility key for present and future: While winning a sixth game and clinching a bowl trip is important to FSU’s football legacy, Fisher looks at it with an eye on the future. Bowl trips come with 15 extra practice sessions. And, on a team like FSU that’s young in several key areas, those 15 practices can be important.
“You can develop young guys, work on specific things you have,” Fisher said. “It’s a huge deal in their development. …You can experiment with guys. You can change guys. You can get them to work on things, see what their future is going to be. Those 15 practices are huge, because it’s really (like) an extra spring practice.”