Throughout the preseason, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher scheduled scrimmages for 11:30 a.m. so that his team would be used to the routine of preparing for Saturday’s game against South Florida.
When most students and fans are still sleeping after a Friday night of revelry, the 11th-ranked Seminoles and Bulls will have a morning kickoff.
“Everything we did was 11:30. Be up and have a pregame meal at 7:30 [a.m.] and everything else. That was part of it because I knew it would be something different,” Fisher said.
This will not be the earliest kickoff though that Fisher has experienced. He was an assistant at Auburn in 1995 when they played in the Outback Bowl. For many years, that New Year’s Day game had an 11 a.m. kickoff.
The early start should also give Florida State a couple extra hours of preparation and recovery time since it plays at Boston College next Friday. But Fisher isn’t overlooking USF. He was Florida State’s offensive coordinator in 2009 when the Bulls came into Doak Campbell Stadium and won 17-7.
That win happened during USF’s heyday. Once a giant killer of Top 25 programs, the Bulls have dropped seven in a row against ranked teams, including a 30-17 loss to Florida State in Tampa in 2012. USF hasn’t had a winning season since 2010 and has gone 7-18 under third-year coach Willie Taggart.
Both coaches are looking for their quarterbacks to continue to make progress. FSU’s Everett Golson, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns in last Saturday’s 59-16 season-opening win over Texas State.
Fisher said that Golson is doing a nice job of adapting to the offense and has the chance to be a very good quarterback.
USF’s Quinton Flowers, a Miami Jackson High product, will be making his third start. Taggart put in an up-tempo offense in the offseason that also has read-option elements for Flowers. He threw for 141 yards, rushed for 63 and had three touchdowns (two passing) as the Bulls routed Florida A&M 51-3 in their opener.
Saturday: USF at No.11 FSU
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m.; Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee.
TV/radio: ESPN; WFTL 850.
Favorite: FSU by 28.
Records: USF 1-0 (0-0 AAC); FSU 1-0 (0-0 ACC).
Series: Tied 1-1.
FSU injuries: Questionable — WR Nyqwan Murray (hand); OL Abdul Bello (knee); OL Chad Mavety (concussion); OL Cole Minshaw (ankle); DB Marcus Lewis (knee). Out — DB Ryan Green (shoulder); DL Lorenzo Featherston (knee).
USF injuries: Out — DB Hassan Childs (ACL); WR Stanley Clerveaux (ACL).