We haven’t had to wait long for the drama of the college football season to begin unfolding. In the very first week, we saw two top-five teams square off as LSU beat Oregon, planting itself in the early-season picture for the national championship. Two weeks later, we’ve already got another non-conference top-five battle as Oklahoma travels to Florida State.
The Sooners seemed to be just about everyone’s pick to win it all this season with Heisman Trophy candidate Landry Jones at quarterback. It should help them that they had last weekend off and have had more time to prepare. But Florida State has looked stout, outscoring opponents 96-10 through the first two games. I can’t wait for this matchup on Saturday.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher joined Team 1270 in Tallahassee with Jeff Cameron and Matt Millar to discuss the magnitude of this game, whether he’s watched the film of last year’s loss, handling adversity in big games, how Oklahoma has built a perennial title contender and what the difference will be in the game.
You’ve got the biggest game of the weekend with Oklahoma in town, which should make for a great atmosphere. What are you expecting?:
“It’s a great game, a great opportunity. It means a lot. We understand the opportunity that is presented. That’s what life is about, opportunities — do you take advantage of them and how you approach them? That’s going to be interesting, how our team approaches this thing and make sure we prepare during the week … and then being mature enough to go out there and execute.”
Did you burn the tape of last year’s game or are you taking a look at it?:
“It is worth taking a look at. I watched it already on Sunday. … There were some good things in there. We moved the ball. We had some good ideas. There were some things in there that we liked to do and you learn from the past. You learn from their defense, what did they do. The thing last year is they got ahead so fast. … It was 28-7 and then you’re playing catchup. … They were hot and played a heckuva football game.”
On managing adversity in big games:
“You’re on the road, there’s 85,000 folks from their stadium screaming and hollering in a tough environment and that’s part of it. Hopefully the atmosphere here will benefit us this weekend. … But that’s the big part of those things, how things snowball on you. They can just take off and roll and you’ve got to manage adversity. The other team’s going to make plays; they’re on scholarships, too. Can you manage it to where it doesn’t break you?”
What does Oklahoma do better than most everybody else to consistently be in the title hunt?:
“I think, one, they recruit well. They get good players and they’ve established a winning tradition. They expect to win and they play in games. And then I think they do a good job coaching. … It’s not a secret: They recruit well, they developed a winning tradition with the habits and things you have to do and then they do a good job coaching them.”
What do you think is going to be the difference-maker in a game between two top-five teams?:
“I think it goes back to everything — turnovers and big plays. Who can take care of the football and not turn it over? Who can make big plays and change field position? And then I think the kicking game will be a big part of it, too. And then our ability to deal with the no huddle.”