TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 11th-ranked Florida State football team continues to prepare for their Sept. 2 season-opener at Pittsburgh.
The Seminoles are 50-16 all-time in season-openers and 17-10 when opening the season on the road. The Seminoles are opening on the road for the first time since 2007 when they traveled to Clemson.
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher is excited, and is ready for the start of the Seminole season.
“Excited to be here,” said Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. “I’m glad we’re finally getting another opponent. All of us are camp weary. I think it brings the excitement level back up when a game comes towards the end of camp.”
“I like our team as far as the work ethic,” he also said. “I hope we continue to prepare this week, it will be very critical. We have a huge challenge this ahead of us going to the University of Pittsburgh. It’s a sold out game.
The Seminoles will be heading to Pittsburgh for their first ACC matchup of the season. The Panthers will be retiring NFL player and former University of Pittsburgh stand-out reciever Larry Fitzgerald jersey in front of a sold out crowd.
“It will be a very good environment and a huge challenge for our team,” said Coach Fisher. “I think one thing that we need to make sure we’re not worried about playing the game, but preparing for the game. We have great preparation so when those tough moments come – coaches always say that opening games are a challenge in many ways. New guys in new places, new situations – going in and out of the game, whether you’re a veteran or not, you’re still getting back in that game mode and having to do it for real.”
The biggest concern for the Florida State football team for the first game of the season is the fact that it is the first game and there might be a few jitters to get out.
“The first games jitters,” said Coach Fisher about the concerns of the first game. “The bugs that you have to work out – making sure all special teams are there, guys that are supposed to be on the field are on the field. Those communication things – no matter how often you do them, still when you go eight months without doing them, there is always a kink or two on your communication lines. You’ve got to take care of the ball on offense. On the road – big communication because you’re in a loud stadium. Making sure we communicate with the right calls and signals and things like that. ”
FSU is coming off their best season since 1999 after going 12-2 and winning the programs’s 13th ACC Championship – the first since 2005.
This game will also mark the first start for starting QB Jameis Winston, who earned the start role during camp. Winston will joins Chris Rix and Drew Weatherford, who were redshirt freshmen when they made their first career starts on opening day.
“My expectations are the same that we talk about every day for what’s required for you as a quarterback to lead our team to give a chance to be victorious,” said Coach Fisher. “That’s our base and how we talk about what you have to do on a day-to-day basis in order to do that. Then you go back and put your head on the pillow and do it again the next day and don’t worry about it and don’t get caught up in the results and stay in the process and work hard.”
The Seminoles will wrap-up their last practice of the week on Saturday, and will depart for Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Seminoles season will kick-off at 8 p.m. on September 2 on Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
“I look forward to going up and letting the country see our football team and how we’ve progressed and I’m anxious to see how our guys handle that situation.