NCAA FB

No. 9 Florida State has open date; Hokies up next

Share This Story

   
 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)

Although ninth-ranked Florida State is most likely out of the national title picture, the Seminoles head into their bye week with most of their preseason goals at hand if they can avoid being upset a second time.

Florida State (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) most likely lost its chance at getting to the BCS championship game when it inexplicably blew a 16-point halftime lead at North Carolina State earlier this month. But the Seminoles have rebounded impressively with three ACC straight wins, outscoring their opponents 132-34 in those games.

And thanks to North Carolina's win last weekend over North Carolina State, the Seminoles have been handed a second chance at winning the ACC championship and a BCS trip to the Orange Bowl, albeit most likely on New Year's Day.

''Now that we're back on that pedestal, we have to take advantage of it,'' junior safety Lamarcus Joyner said. ''We need this to get our minds right and come back together and play what's out there for us.''

Weighed down by the under-performing ACC and a weak nonconference schedule, it's hard to find a path for Florida State to the national title game with a half dozen unbeaten teams remaining and some with one loss who benefit from a superior strength of schedule that factors into the BCS ratings formula.

Coach Jimbo Fisher gave his players Monday off with Saturday's open date, giving him 12 days to get ready for a visit to Virginia Tech, where the Seminoles lost 40-21 in their last trip to Blacksburg, Va., in 2007.

''That's one of the toughest environments there is,'' Fisher said. ''I'm anxious to see how this team will grow and handle that situation.''

The Seminoles are 2-1 away from home this year, averaging 26.7 points on the road compared with 54 at home.

The only time they left Florida's boundaries, they lost - 17-16 at North Carolina State. And Florida State's next two games are not only on the road, but well north at Virginia Tech and Maryland, where the weather can also become a factor.

''We just need to play one at a time,'' Fisher said. ''We need to play better ... and learn to play on the road well.''

Senior wide receiver Rodney Smith says Saturday's open date comes just in time for a lot of banged up Seminoles to get healthy before their Nov. 8 visit to Virginia Tech, which is always a tough game for Florida State.

''We will go through some rehab to get our bodies back together,'' said Smith, who has caught 26 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns. ''This week is going to help us.''

The Seminoles lead the ACC in virtually all offensive and defensive categories and are second nationally in total defense and fourth in total offense.

''There' a reason Florida State was predicted to win the national championship,'' Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell said after the Blue Devils were swamped 48-7 last Saturday. ''We saw that.''

The Seminoles have been especially good at holding down their opponent's key playmakers. Duke's record-setting receiver, Conner Vernon, managed only a dozen yards on three catches against the Seminoles.

It's been a point of pride for the Florida State defense, which earlier in the season also smothered Wake Forest's Michael Campanaro.

''If you're a threat and get our attention, we need to take care of that,'' Joyner said.

And now it's those trips to Virginia Tech and Maryland before the season finale at home against eighth-ranked Florida in what could be a matchup of once-beaten teams.

But first, as Fisher repeats and repeats, first things first and that means Virginia Tech.

''They're going to be waiting for us,'' he said.

Tagged: North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash