Thursday, with Florida State’s potential Atlantic division clincher against Maryland just two days away, Jimbo Fisher spoke to the media for the final time before kickoff.
Fisher said the chilly conditions in Tallahassee this week served as good preparation for the Seminoles, who will play their second consecutive game in cool weather on Saturday. "I like the weather today, the last two days," Fisher said. "It’s been good to cool down and help simulate what you’re going into. I liked how our kids responded."
Fisher talked about the effort he expects from a hungry Maryland team, and also reflected on the struggles Florida State has experienced on the road thus far in 2012. "They’re going to be playing for a bowl game," Fisher said of the Terrapins, who are two wins shy of bowl eligibility. "So we know we’re going to get their ‘A’ game and they’re going to lay it all on the line."
When it comes to the disparity in performance at Doak and away, Fisher was more apt to credit the opposing teams than single out anything his own has failed to do.
"I think they’re better teams [than FSU has faced at home], I think NC State has a solid group, Miami played a good game down there that day. And then Virginia Tech of course, I’ve said, they’re not a 4-5 football team," Fisher said. "People defend their home better, when you’re home they feel more comfortable and lay it on the line and the teams have brought their ‘A’ game to us."
One positive bit of news Thursday came when Fisher confirmed that the surgery to replace Chris Thompson’s ACL went smoothly. "Everything was clean, there were no other problems with the knee," Fisher said. "It was just a straight ACL, they got it done very well, and they expect a full recovery in normal time."
It still remains unclear whether Thomspon would choose to return to Florida State if he were granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA, but Fisher said that the paperwork to appeal for one is in the works. "We’re going to find out, All they can do say is no," Fisher said. "And for his sake, we want to give him that option if he wants it."
Fisher concluded speaking about the challenge of having an overlooked team like Maryland sandwiched between two of the bigger games of the year in Virginia Tech and Florida, but said he expects the ‘Noles to be ready to roll.
"You always have to because those are two very monumental games for you, but this is a monumental game," Fisher said. "This is a big game, it’s a conference game. I hope we’re mature enough now to understand the importance of this game and what we have with it being a conference game and reaching one of our goals. We just talked about that again, we reinforce that every week." Fisher concluded that he would be "shocked" and "disappointed" if the team didn’t respond properly.
He'll find out soon enough with a noon kickoff set for Saturday.