No. 5 FSU and No. 1 Oklahoma have big rematch game

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

coach.

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

said Monday.

”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

Southern.

”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

overmatched opponents.

Jermaine Thomas, who had 58 yards on 11 carries in last year’s

Oklahoma game, has had just four carries all season despite being

healthy.

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

bit.”

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.