NCAA FB

No. 7 Florida State set for opener vs. Murray St

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has cautioned his seventh-ranked Seminoles not to overlook Football Championship Subdivision member Murray State in Saturday's season opener for both teams.

The third-year Florida State coach doesn't apologize for bringing in teams that are heavy underdogs to begin each season and says the Racers will present a good test for his squad.

''Everyone has some good skill guys, even in 1-AA,'' Fisher said. ''You see that in the NFL now.''

Fisher is especially concerned about Murray State's Casey Brockman, who passed for 3,276 yards and 25 touchdowns last year and was named offensive player of the year in the Ohio Valley Conference.

''They've got a quarterback who has thrown for a lot of yards, made a lot of plays,'' Fisher said. ''He can run and he can zone read too.''

Brockman, however, will have to contend with one of the nation's top defenses highlighted by a pass rush that has 88 quarterback sacks the past two seasons.

Defensive ends Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner and Cornelius ''Tank'' Carradine, combined for 21 1/2 sacks last year.

''We're a talented group,'' defensive coordinator Mark Stoops said. ''We have depth and experience up front.''

Linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith also had three sacks each. And they're all back along with an experienced secondary - minus Greg Reid.

Reid, a two-year starter at cornerback and one of the nation's top punt returners, was kicked off the team a month ago for repeated violations of team rules. But there is plenty of depth at cornerback where Nick Waisome edged out freshman Ron Darby for the starting job in Saturday's opener at Reid's former spot opposite of veteran Xavier Rhodes.

And with a virtually brand new offensive line penned in to open the season, Fisher is pleased to have a defense he knows can keep the Seminoles in games.

Both teams return most of their starters from a year ago.

Murray State finished 7-4 in 2011, posting successive winning seasons for the first time since 2000 and coach Chris Hatcher expects to compete for the OVC title this fall. Florida State, 9-4 a year ago and is a heavy favorite to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 2005.

Hatcher wants to see his team have a good showing in a game where it has nothing to lose.

''It'll be a fun day for our guys, a chance to play in a big-time stadium against a top-10 opponent,'' Hatcher said. ''We will make mistakes that we want to get out of the way by game two.''

Based on Florida State's last two games against FCS opponents, it might not be that much fun for the Racers.

''We've put together the best game plan that we feel gives us a good chance,'' Hatcher said. ''No matter who the opponent is, our goal is to go out there and play the best we can play.''

The Seminoles have outscored their last two FCS opponents 121-16 in Fisher's first two seasons as head coach at Florida State and are such a heavy favorite Saturday that there is no point spread on the game.

''I'm very anxious to get out in the stadium and see what we've got,'' Fisher said.

Tagged: Florida State, Florida, Greg Reid

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