Aug. 25, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The heavy lifting of two-a-days came to a close Thursday as No. 5 Florida State plunged head-long into preparation for the Sept. 3 opener against Louisiana-Monroe.
The Seminoles spent the morning workout session in shorts and helmets, introducing portions of the offensive and defensive plans for the Warhawks, who were 5-7 last season, losing to FIU in the Sun Belt Conference championship game. The setback prevent Todd Berry’s team from earning the school’s first bowl appearance.
“We did a lot (of planning) this summer but we got into it pretty decent today,” Fisher said. “I am telling you, ULM’s got 18 starters back guys and they are predicted to win the Sun Belt Conference and that league always, every year Middle Tennessee, Troy , FIU all those teams, they’re good football teams. We got our hands full because on defense they are very unorthodox and they are all over the place. Blitzing, crazy packages. I mean not crazy, it is sound but different looks than you see all the time.”
The Warhawks deploy a 3-3-5 defensive scheme, while the spread-based offense leans heavily on the ground game.
“On offense they are spread out, multiple formations, empties, runs, all the motions, all the gadgets,” Fisher said. “They still run that football with great power and things. I mean they are a challenge to prepare for. They really are.”
Fisher said the Seminoles had a, “good, solid morning” of introductory preparation for ULM.
Florida State was scheduled to return to the field Thursday evening, in what will likely be its final two-a-day workout of the preseason. The `Noles are scheduled for single practices Friday and Saturday.
Spurlock’s return provides lift for offensive line
Senior right guard David Spurlock’s return to the offensive line has provided the Seminoles with a big lift this week. Spurlock has not had any contact since the spring and received little then as he continued to recover from a pair of concussions, which cost him the final few games of the 2010 season.
“It shows so far that we handled him right,” Fisher said, after Spurlock completed his fifth practice of the week Thursday morning. “We’ve handled his situation with patience and he’s come out and scrimmaged for a week and has got hit, banged and bruised. It’s worked out.”
With senior tackles Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders missing a considerable amount of time over the past week with nagging injuries, Spurlock’s return could not have come at a better time. His 28 career starts rank third on the team, and fit nicely when he lines up alongside junior transfer center Jacob Fahrenkrug.
“It’s big for Fahrenkrug,” Fisher said. “The guy can help him with calls and stability inside; that’s been there and done it a bunch. It’s big from the maturity standpoint but I really think that Fahrenkrug benefits the most.”
The Seminoles expect both Datko and Sanders to be ready for next week’s opener.