Florida State still has plenty of room for improvement

Despite an overwhelming victory Saturday, the Seminoles say they have much to work on as they begin their ACC schedule at Boston College.

09/23/2013 12:01 AM

09/23/2013 12:36 AM

“We’ve got a lot of room to grow,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said after Saturday’s 54-6 win against Bethune-Cookman University.

“Now we get back in our conference; we need to play much better on the road and have to clean a lot of things up, but we’re getting to where we need to go.”

The eighth-ranked Seminoles are about to play seven consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference games starting with Boston College on the road Saturday and ending with Syracuse at home Nov. 16. By then, the Atlantic Division of the ACC is likely to be decided.

Early on, FSU has won all three of its games and is fifth in scoring offense and third in scoring defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Seminoles’ run game has looked prolific, and redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has shown early signs of greatness.

But judging by the way they’re talking in Tallahassee, you would think they’re 0-3.

“Still a lot of room for improvement, in my opinion. I think we have to clean some things up,” Fisher said Saturday night. “[We] had four dropped balls and one or two bad reads I would like to take back. We’ve got a lot of room to grow.

“We had two dropped touchdowns and fumbled inside the 5-[yard line]. Those things got to get cleaned up, and those are things that our players don’t do.”

Winston entered Saturday with more touchdowns than incompletions, then went 7 for 16 in the first half and finished 10 of 19 for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Although it wasn’t the caliber of performance he had given in his first two games, he settled in and the Seminoles offense amassed nearly 500 total yards against the Wildcats.

Still, Winston was unhappy.

“I was making bad decisions out there, and I was just so unfocused and making a few bad decisions, but the team as a whole did great,” he said.

Even Devonta Freeman — who rushed for more than 100 yards for the second game in a row and is on pace for more than 1,000 yards — was unhappy following Florida State’s win.

“I left a lot out there, I’ve got to get better,” Freeman said after the game. “I think we’ve got to get better as a whole unit.”

It’s unlikely Florida State will be tested until it travels to Clemson on Oct. 19. Its next two games — at Boston College and home against Maryland — will likely see it as double-digit favorites. But the Seminoles are also aware that Clemson looms, and their season potentially hangs in the balance.

For now, Florida State is taking it a day at a time. Trying to prepare for a road trip to Chestnut Hill.

“It’s coming,” Fisher said. “We have to keep improving in all three phases. I’m not happy in all three phases yet. We’re still not clicking on all cylinders.”

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