TALLAHASSEE -- The test run is over. The gimmes are done. Florida State has looked impressive so far in the young season, outscoring its opponents 124-3 in just more than three halves of football.
But it was against FCS competition. Now the Seminoles embark on their real schedule.
“Talking about the games in general, I was very pleased with what we did,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I challenged our team to practice well, focus well, come out and do the things that we were supposed to do and we did that in all three phases.
“That’s the mark of a good team. We have to keep proving that. We have a lot more to prove.”
During their next 10 games, the Seminoles will work their way through a schedule that includes eight Atlantic Coast Conference games, one of which is a Thursday night trip to face a ranked Virginia Tech team in Blacksburg, Va., in addition to games against USF and Florida.
Now it’s time to see how good this Florida State team really is.
Florida State planned to test itself against West Virginia on Saturday, but the Mountaineers pulled out of the matchup at the last minute when their move to the Big 12 caused a scheduling conflict.
Instead, Savannah State stepped in and received a 55-0 beatdown that was called because of weather after 36 minutes.
“Under the circumstances, we had Murray State and West Virginia,” Fisher said. “That was out of our control — that had nothing to do with us. I think we’ll prepare well and play well next week.”
Next weekend the Seminoles will host Wake Forest in a game that bears some factor of revenge for Florida State. Last season the Seminoles lost 35-30 in Winston-Salem, N.C., This year they look to get even.
All offseason the Florida State coaches preached about consistency and developing the right habits for success.
That starts in practice, where the team regularly has its first-team offense and defense practice against one another, ‘good on good’ as Fisher calls it.
“Every week we practice hard, despite who we’re playing. If we are playing Wake Forest, Clemson, we are going to practice hard,” senior defensive tackle Anthony McCloud said. “Every day practice is always a challenge.”
Many Seminoles believe they will not face a better team on their schedule than the one they face every day in practice, but that doesn’t affect their approach to the game.
“We didn’t come out and play down to anybody,” said fifth-year senior QB EJ Manuel on Saturday night. “We wanted to come out and play our way, set the tempo, and we always tell each other that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re going to treat it like it’s the national championship.”
But before FSU can play for a national championship it will actually need to play somebody first.