It’s Clemson week, and Wednesday night Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher took questions on his weekly Call-In show about what it will take to beat the reigning national champion Tigers and secure the Seminoles’ first two-game winning streak this season.
Clemson, ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff, could be the final game FSU is able to lose if it wants to remain bowl eligible. With a loss at Clemson, Florida State, currently sitting at 3-5, would need to win out vs. Delaware State, Florida, and the recently rescheduled game against Louisiana-Monroe — a game Fisher said they rescheduled because “these kids only get 48 games when they come to college, you want to play every one. Plus, it’s good revenue for our school and theirs, and it’s about completing an agreement you made at the beginning of the season.”
Fisher also addressed the return of starting running back Jacques Patrick, whether he has any tricks up his sleeve against the Tigers that Clemson may not see coming this week, and if he’d be willing to let the team wear the garnet pants on the road in its final road game against Florida this season, or possible for a road game next season.
PATRICK WILL BE AT “FULL FORCE” AGAINST CLEMSON: Worried about bringing back an injured Jacques Patrick before such a huge game against the defending national champs? Don’t be, said Fisher on Wednesday. A caller asked if Patrick was going to be brought back slowly and on a snap count against the Tigers, and Fisher didn’t mince words: “No, we’ll see him at full force. He practiced well today, looks good. And he’s ready to go. The injury wasn’t as bad as we thought, so it allowed him to heal quicker. He’s back and ready to go.” Patrick first learned about the knee injury against Louisville, and it was announced shortly after he was having surgery and would be out for the season. But his return — and the leadership he brings to the offense — will be a welcome sign Saturday for Seminole fans. Patrick had 434 yards rushing and a touchdown when he went down injured on Oct. 21.
FISHER’S KEYS TO THE GAME VS. CLEMSON: Fast-forwarding to the end of the show when host Gene Deckerhoff asked Fisher what his keys to the game were to beat Clemson, Fisher emphasized play in the red zone — both finishing on offense and playing better defense once teams hit FSU’s red zone. He also hinted to possibly going more up-tempo on offense against Clemson to catch them off guard, because this particular offense with true freshman James Blackman at quarterback has done very little of that this season. Fisher also said that if there are any trick plays in his bag — and there definitely are — you could see them this week, including using running back Cam Akers in the Wildcat formation.
IS FISHER DOWN WITH THE #PACKTHEGARNETPANTS MOVEMENT?: One FSU fan has been campaigning pretty hard on Twitter for the Seminoles to bring back their garnet pants for road games. @TaReefKnockout, a local Tallahassee hip-hop artist, has been using the hashtag #PackTheGarnetPants — and getting a lot of response. Tonight, he got through to the call-in show to remind Fisher how long it had been since the team wore the garnet pants in a road game and to ask whether Fisher would consider bringing them back for the Florida game (the Seminoles' final road contest of the year). Since I really don't get into the uniform debate, I'll just leave you with this: TaReef claimed it’s been 626 weeks — Nov. 12, 2005, to be exact — since Florida State wore the garnet pants in a road game, and he wondered how much input players had on uniform choice week-to-week. Fisher’s response? “If they keep playing better, we’ll let them have those garnet pants. But yes, they have input. Trust me.”
To read more about what Fisher said during this week’s call-show — including whether Fisher has considered using a “turnover chain” gimmick to ignite his defense like other teams around the country have done for theirs — check out the comments below.