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First two weeks about hard work, not fireworks

Over the past couple of days since Florida State's 34-0 shutout win over ULM, there have been a number of people questioning FSU's preseason ranking solely based on the fact that the 'Noles didn't hang half a hundred on the scoreboard like Oklahoma, Alabama, Va. Tech, Stanford and Oklahoma State, among other teams. 

I've read columnists such as Shannon J. Owens of the Orlando Sentinel "raise her eyebrow" and declare that FSU didn't look like a national championship team, and the general consensus among students I've spoken to on campus has been less than satisfactory. 

But the reality is that Florida State will be 2-0 come Sept. 17 one way or another. Jimbo Fisher could have elected to put on a show against the Warhawks and score 50+ plus points, and he could very well score 80 this weekend against lowly Charleston Southern if he feels like it. But Jimbo--as Bud made note of after the ULM game--has chosen to use these two weeks to help his quarterback and receivers develop some chemistry and to let his young players get their feet wet against inferior opponents. Proving whether or not FSU is a team capable of winning a national title this year isn't important right now--that won't be determined against cupcakes.

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These glorified scrimmages shouldn't be judged by the point differential or how "dominant" the 'Noles appear--after all, they looked dominant while putting up 59 on Samford last year before getting taken to the woodshed in Norman. What's important about these two weeks is ironing out as many kinks in the offense as possible before the Sooners come to town and Jimbo opens up his playbook. Offensive execution is something that comes through patience and repetition, and FSU will get more valuable reps Saturday.

As much as fans love to see their team run up the score in the opening weeks, what Jimbo is doing will benefit his team more in the long run. 15 freshman got their first action on Saturday, 10 different receivers caught passes, and five different backs saw at least one carry. EJ Manuel was far from perfect, but his mistakes are correctable and it's much better to get those out of his system against teams that are incapable of capitalizing on them. We are well aware of his physical gifts and his ability to make plays in the running game, but there's no need to risk injury; let him work on what he needs to work on. If you can get  in 60 minutes of pass scale and still win by about five touchdowns, you'd be foolish not to.

The beauty of this weekend won't be the satisfaction of destroying CSU by as many points as possible and getting a longer cut of highlights  on Saturday night. It will be in watching the development of this team, especially on offense, before getting into the meat of the schedule where mistakes like the ones we saw this past weekend can cost you ballgames.