Fisher Sees ‘Controlled Edge’ in Defense as Maryland Game Nears

Sophomore defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. is expected to return Saturday


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said on Thursday he was impressed with the way his team practiced this week leading up to Saturday’s game against undefeated and No. 25-ranked Maryland.


The eighth-ranked Seminoles (4-0) will look to win their ninth consecutive ACC game and third this season against the Terrapins (4-0), who are opening their 2013 conference schedule at noon at Doak Campbell Stadium.


Florida State and Maryland rank 1-2 in total offense in the ACC this season and the Noles come intoSaturday with the fourth-highest scoring offense in the nation (51.2 points per game). However, FSU will be looking for a bounce-back performance from its defense after allowing a season-high 34 points at Boston College last week.

Fisher said he saw a controlled edge from his defense during preparation for the Terps this week.


“Every time you don’t play as well, as a competitor, as you know you are capable of or know what you can do or have in the past, I think there is a natural edge that comes to guys,” Fisher said. “They want to play well. And you have to be careful with that – you want that edge, but you don’t want to get it so much that (you’re) trying so hard that overdo it. I liked the way we practiced. I really did. I think there was edge there, but there was some control.”


The Noles’ defense is expected to be bolstered by the return of defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. Fisher said the sophomore had one of his best weeks of practice of his career this week. Edwards missed the past two games because of a hand injury after playing in the first two contests, including a start against Nevada.


Fisher announced FSU will be without junior safety Tyler Hunter (neck) for the second straight game and that senior defensive end Demonte McAllister (concussion) will also sit out.


Fisher said freshman offensive lineman Ira Denson had shoulder surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.


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