Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is hoping that one bad
experience might lead to a good one when his fifth-ranked Seminoles
host top-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday.
It’s been 53 weeks since Oklahoma whipped the Seminoles 47-17 on
Sept. 11, 2010 in what was just Fisher’s second game as a head
If nothing else, Saturday’s marquee game will show just how far
Florida State (2-0) has progressed since.
”It’ll be a measuring stick,” Fisher said. ”It’s not the
season, but it can be a great building block.”
Fisher said his coaches and players have matured since their
nightmare in Norman and that the experience provided a lesson on
what it takes to win big games.
”Hopefully our team has grown and we’ve gotten better,” Fisher
”We know our players better, they know us better,” he said.
”They know our scheme better.”
It’s the first real test of the season for the Seminoles, who
have outscored two inferior opponents by a combined 96-10. The same
can be said for Oklahoma which opened its season with a 47-14 win
over Tulsa on Sept. 3.
”They blew us out last year,” said quarterback EJ Manuel, who
replaced a struggling Christian Ponder in the second half of last
year’s game. ”They played great. Last year was their year.”
Oklahoma (1-0) had an open date Saturday and Sooners’ coach Bob
Stoops gave his players a three-day weekend to relax while his
coaches were most likely studying up on Florida State.
Florida State’s coaches, meanwhile, are tinkering with the
offensive line in an effort to get the running game untracked.
Center Jacob Fahrenkrug and guard Bryan Stork swapped positions
midway through last Saturday’s 62-10 rout of Charleston
”It’s a work in progress,” Fisher conceded at his weekly
Monday meeting with reporters. ”We’ll get better.”
Freshman James Wilder Jr. leads the team in rushing with 76
yards and he did that in one quarter. Remove Wilder and receiver
Bert Reed’s 35-yard gain on a reverse out of the team’s statistics
and Florida State is averaging 2.4 yards a carry despite playing
Jermaine Thomas, who had 58 yards on 11 carries in last year’s
Oklahoma game, has had just four carries all season despite being
Manuel is counting on the home crowd to make a difference. The
game is a sellout.
”I think our fans will make it very loud for those guys,”
Manuel said Monday. ”Hopefully it’ll rattle them a little
Fisher knows there’ll be plenty of distractions this week for
what has shaped up as arguably the biggest nonconference game here
against an out-of-state opponent since Pittsburgh with quarterback
Dan Marino visited in the early 1980s.
”We can’t concern ourselves with the hype,” Fisher said. ”You
go do what you know and play the game.”
Fisher expects to get safety Nick Moody back from an injury, but
said wide receiver Willie Haulstead remains day-to-day dealing with
the effects on a concussion suffered in practice last month.
Cornerback and punt returner Greg Reid and linebacker Telvin
Smith are both back after a one-game suspension for violating an
unspecified team rule.