TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher met with the media Monday to further discuss last week’s 63-20 loss at Louisville and preview Saturday’s game at South Florida. Here are highlights from that conversation.
1) ‘We own it’
No, Florida State’s defeat at Louisville doesn’t look much prettier today than it did on Saturday. But Fisher said Monday that the only way to move forward is come to terms with what happened, learn from mistakes and miscues and then move on.
“We own it,” Fisher said. “We did it. Now it’s time to adjust to that, let them see the film, adjust to those things in which we’ve got to do and get ready for a very good South Florida team.”
Fisher admitted that he was “extremely mad” in the wake of Saturday’s game. But staying mad doesn’t do anything to help the team improve.
“You know, we say, That’s not us, that’s not us.’ Well, that was us,” Fisher said. “That’s how we played and that’s how we coached. Now we have to do a better job of fixing those issues and moving on. And as you look at the film, there’s plenty of issues that need fixing in all phases of the game, because we failed in all three phases of the game.”
2) Support for coaches on staff
During his time as offensive coordinator at both LSU and Florida State, Fisher often came under scrutiny if his offenses didn’t perform up to expectations.
So he understands exactly what it’s like when members of his own staff are questioned by fans and media after a difficult loss.
Dealing with that, he said, is fairly straightforward.
“You go back to work,” Fisher said. ‘Worrying about it ain’t going to change it.”
Criticism, as Fisher has often noted in the past, comes with the territory in this line of work.
“People question you all the time,” Fisher said. “When you’re in charge, everybody’s got answers. But (the key is) making sure you believe in yourself, what you coach and go back and coach it.”
3) Fisher wants Louisville game to push Noles forward, but not define them
There’s no erasing what happened in Louisville, but Fisher said the Seminoles can use the game as fuel for the rest of their campaign.
Starting Saturday at USF, the Seminoles will embark on a difficult stretch that sees them play the Bulls, North Carolina, Miami, Wake Forest and Clemson before the calendar turns to November.
Wins in those games could help take the sting out of the Louisville outcome and put some of FSU’s preseason goals back on the table.
“We’re going to find out what defines us,” Fisher said. “And it isn’t the scoreboard. It isn’t the national championship, it isn’t an ACC championship. It isn’t the Heisman Trophy, it isn’t the watch list for this. It’s about playing football. Going back to the process and remember why you play football and how you have success.”
4) Sweat ‘OK,’ other injured Noles getting healthy
Despite a number of Seminoles coming in and out of Saturday’s game with apparent bumps and bruises, Fisher said FSU emerged without any significant injuries.
Defensive end Josh Sweat, whose status was uncertain up until kickoff thanks to a knee injury, came out “OK,” according to Fisher, although he still has some swelling in his knee.
Elsewhere, Wilson Bell, who played toward the end of the game Saturday, continues to work his way back to full health. Fisher said that Bell’s recovery, as well as freshman Landon Dickerson’s emergence, led to Dickerson getting the nod to start against Louisville.
And Fisher said quarterback Sean Maguire is continuing to get healthy after having foot surgery last month. Maguire has yet to play this season.
5) Another test awaits at USF
When the South Florida Bulls lost, 34-14, at Doak Campbell Stadium last year, it was the start of a three-game losing streak that sent the Bulls to a 1-3 start. Since then, USF has been one of the hottest teams in the country: The Bulls are 3-0 to start the season, 10-2 in their last 12, and have two talented offensive players in quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack.
And USF runs an offense similar to what the Seminoles saw in Louisville, in which a dual-threat quarterback serves as the engine to keep opposing defenses off-balance.
“(Flowers) can run it, he can throw it,” Fisher said. “He played there at Miami Jackson, I remember him in high school. He’s a really good player. He was good against us last year.”