Jimbo Fisher spoke to media for the final time before his team’s first true road test Saturday at NC State, and as he has for most of the season, said he was pleased with the week of preparation his team put in.
"Ready to roll, I liked practice this week," Fisher said. "I think our kids showed a good focus and rejuvenation of things. I think our minds are back in a good spot. I was very pleased with the practice and attitude we had this week—very detail oriented and that’s the mark of a good football team."
Simulated crowd noise was pumped into practice today to help the team prepare for the hostile environment of Carter-Finley, but Fisher said it didn’t deter the team’s focus or communication, but rather improved it, if only because the players have no choice but to focus extra hard through the noise.
"Sometimes those [sessions with the crowd noise simulation] are your best practices," Fisher said. "It makes you focus. We didn’t have probably any miscommunications."
Florida State’s offensive line has been an issue of concern all week, as Bryan Stork is the lone starter who has faced a true hostile road environment and Menelik Watson dealt with a back ailment, but it appears that the normal starting unit will be intact for Saturday.
"Yeah, he’s good," Fisher said of Watson’s status. "He’ll be ready to go." Fisher also said he wasn’t overly concerned with the relative novice status of the group when it comes to road games.
"They’ve been in practice with Trickett," Fisher said. "That’s a hostile environment everyday. They’ll be fine.
Fisher said the team had another good week overall health-wise, as there were no other new injuries to speak of with the exception of a possible concussion to reserve offensive linemen Trey Pettis, who is out for Saturday.
Aside from those insights into this week’s games, the announcement of the ACC’s move to an eight-game conference schedule moving forward was also discussed.
"I was a component of the eight-game deal in the first place," Fisher said. "I think it’s a good thing as far as how you can structure your schedule and give you some freedom."
Fisher said he couldn’t speculate yet on whether Florida State would consider playing an additional ACC school and not counting it as a conference game to help fill the schedule, but that the switch could open up some other interesting possibilities for scheduling.
"I think it frees you up with if you want to play more national games, more series," Fisher said. "But you still have to be careful about getting enough home games to pay your bills."
Fisher sounded more enthusiastic about the possibility of playing in neutral-site games like the ones that have become a staple of opening weekend than scheduling home-and-homes that leave the program short on revenue in the season when it fulfills its road obligation.
"When you watch that revenue," Fisher said, "If you’ve ever look at the numbers, and I have, there’s a big discrepancy when that game all of a sudden goes on the road and you’ve lost that home game."