The Florida State Seminoles hit the road for the first time in 2012, traveling to Tampa to battle against a USF team that left Tallahassee with a victory the last time the two teams met. While the 'Noles left Tampa with the win over the Bulls, they also left with a new sense reality -- be prepared for life on the road.
With some tough road games on the remainder of the schedule, it was important for the Seminoles to meet a little adversity on the road and realize how important it is to not underestimate an opponent, especially on the road. Now firm at the #3 spot in the AP poll for the first time since 2003, the 'Noles can look forward to the opposition giving them their best shot every time around.
"You know they were going to try to make that season right here and try to get back into it and play hard," said Jimbo Fisher. "They did that and our guys fought through it."
There were some miscues on Florida State's side of the ball, but there was never much of a question of who was going to win the game. The Seminoles controlled the game throughout four quarters of football, but it wasn't the prettiest win and this can be credited to South Florida's effort.
"It wasn't pretty, there were some ups and downs, but a win's a win -- that's how we look at it," said fullback Lonnie Pryor. "They came out here and played a tough game. It's our first road game and it wasn't going to be easy."
While the 'Noles came out with the win against South Florida, it was still a humbling experience for these guys. Just like they've been preaching throughout the fall, they have to prepare week by week and team by team.
"it's pretty tough and we all learned a lesson as an organization," said Lamarcus Joyner. "It's pretty tough going into someone else's home. They are going to fight you hard, they are going to claw, and we just had to get our minds right."
These kind of lessons are crucial for the road ahead. The guys now understand that they'll get everybody's best shot wherever they travel. The lessons learned in this game may be crucial, but the 'Noles can still head back to Tallahassee with a smile, especially the older guys.
"They beat us a few years ago and we definitely wanted to come out and have a good game," said EJ Manual. "We didn't want to lose or slip up."
Florida State avoided the slip up, but now they prepare to travel to Raleigh to play NC State, where they haven't won since 2008. With the Wolfpack coming off a heart-breaking loss in Miami this last weekend, the 'Noles can expect another determined football team leaving their best game on the field. The game will be on ESPN 2 at 8pm.