TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - By the time the eighth-ranked Florida State football team hears the first chords of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" at Virginia Tech's raucous Lane Stadium on Thursday night, 12 days will have passed since the Seminoles last took the field.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is hopeful that what he's seen on the practice field since his teams' 48-7 homecoming win over Duke will translate well before an ESPN national television audience.
Fisher was decidedly upbeat after the Seminoles (8-1, 5-1 ACC) wrapped up their final practice Tuesday in preparation for their clash with the Hokies.
"It's capped kind of a good week, week-and-a-half of practice," Fisher said. "I'm pleased with our guys' execution and focus. I was very pleased with today. ...
"They were a focused team; very locked in. Hopefully we'll play well early in the game and carry it right on through. It will be a huge challenge and we need to do that."
Thursday night games were once problematic for the Seminoles, who have now won three of their last four weeknight encounters. They will try and stretch that run of success with a win over Virginia Tech, which would move FSU another step closer to an ACC Atlantic Division title.
FSU has rattled off three consecutive wins since stumbling in a 17-16 loss at NC State on Oct. 6. Fisher acknowledged that his veteran squad has been as impressive on the practice field since the setback as they have in convincing wins over Boston College, Miami and Duke.
"I think they understand the urgency, that if they don't have everything right all the time [they can lose]," Fisher said. "Even before that we were practicing pretty well, but the last four or five weeks they have hit a different notch in how consistent they've practiced."
Virginia Tech, which has won three Atlantic Coast Conference titles since the Seminoles claimed their last crown in 2005 with a win over the Hokies in the inaugural ACC Championship game, have ample motivation. The Hokies (4-5, 2-3) are coming off a Thursday loss at Miami and fighting to keep a streak of 19 consecutive winning seasons - the last eight with 10 wins or more - alive and stay in the race for the Coastal Division title.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Kenny Shaw missed practice after being involved in a minor car accident. Jimbo Fisher expects him to make the trip.
Florida State Injury Report vs. Virginia Tech
DB Justin Bright (head)
OL Jacob Fahrenkrug (foot)
OL Garrett Faircloth (hip)
DT Moses McCray (head)
DT Derrick Mitchell (back)
OL Trey Pettis (head)
Out for the Season
DB Colin Blake (shoulder)
DE Chris Casher (knee)
LB Ukeme Eligwe (hand)
OL Daniel Foose (back)
TE Dan Hicks (knee)
DE Brandon Jenkins (foot)
DT Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle)
RB Mario Pender (sports hernia)
RB Chris Thompson (knee)