ACC Notebook: Seminoles eager for spring game

ACC Notebook: Seminoles eager for spring game

Published Apr. 12, 2012 8:53 a.m. ET

Saturday can’t get here soon enough for Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher.

The Seminoles will hold their annual spring game this weekend and the third-year head coach is looking for significant improvement by his team from this past Monday’s scrimmage.

“I thought we played very poorly on both sides,” he said. “I thought the first scrimmage was better than this one.”

In particular, Fisher was upset about sloppiness on offense and what he termed “not smart” turnovers. The defense gave up big plays and didn’t communicate properly. Fisher and FSU haven’t provided details yet, but the numbers probably wouldn’t have justified the coach’s displeasure. Intra-squad scrimmages rarely do.

Fisher was asked Tuesday how concerned he is that the second scrimmage didn’t positively connect with the first, that there was no progress.

“It does,” he replied. “It should get better, not worse. We need to take a look at why. We’ll make some adjustment, sit some guys down and play some other guys. There were some guys who some good things, (but) not enough.

“Another thing I was disappointed on both sides of the ball was we had some poor penalties, too, some not very smart penalties. Penalties will cost you a game. We had a drive stopped on defense and get a hold and a facemask. Make a big play on offense and jump offside, just silly things we haven’t been doing.”

The Seminoles practiced Wednesday and have another on Friday to clean up the messiness before Saturday’s game. Fisher is placing tremendous importance on the game, saying every job is open and position battles will be going on everywhere.

“Every spot on this team is open,” he said. “From receiver to tight end to quarterback to O-line to nose tackle to middle linebacker to safety. We’re going to find guys who are going to play winning football. There are too many talented players on this team.”

Spring games often reveal little, but FSU’s is setting up to be quite interesting.

Positives At Maryland?

Maryland football fans looking for positives after a dismal 2011 season, a rash of transfers and stories of internal discontent have something to grab on to, according to coach Randy Edsall.

The second-year coach was fairly pleased with the unit’s work in last weekend’s scrimmage and even more so during the ensuing practice earlier this week.

Edsall said the offense was solid in the scrimmage, but much better Tuesday. So much better that he ripped the defense for its performance.

“The defense stunk (Tuesday),” Edsall said. “They just absolutely stunk. Now you get a chance to go and tell them they need to come out here with the right mindset all the time.”

Something has to give considering how poorly the Terrapins played down the stretch of last season in finishing 2-10. And if generating interest in the program by the media, fans and recruits is key, losing exciting, high-scoring games is better than low scoring affairs. So the positive here is that Maryland’s offense is ahead of the defense.

But there’s still plenty of time for the defense to come together and the offense to smooth out its rough edges. As upset as Edsall was, he knows he has time to fix the problems.

“I don’t worry about that so much,” he said. “You’re mot looking to have your final product by April 21, so I’m thankful that it gives some other guys reps and that those guys aren’t seriously injured.”

Clemson Linebacker Anthony Injured

Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony has missed this week of practice and will not play in Saturday’s spring game after tearing a ligament in a finger earlier this week.

Anthony started three games as a true freshman last fall and is considered one of the top NFL prospects in the ACC. He was all-everything in high school, earning the distinction by just about every recruiting service as the top outside linebacker in the nation. Last summer, coach Dabo Swinney raved about him before August camp even opened.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound native of Polkton, NC, was in on 32 tackles overall, including six for a loss of yardage last fall. He’s expected to start this season.