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What We Heard: Florida State at ACC Kickoff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Day one of the 2017 ACC Kickoff has been filled with expectations and predictions for the upcoming college football season and reflections of last year’s player and team performances. The 14 head coaches, the 28 student athletes, and the media have filled The Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., with an eagerness to get back into ACC stadiums for the 2017 college football season.

For many reasons, Florida State stands out in the ACC limelight. To name a few, it won a national title in 2013, won three ACC titles in the last seven years, and produced a Heisman Trophy winner in former quarterback Jameis Winston in 2013.

Much of that success was produced and will be produced from Florida State’s head coach Jimbo Fisher and quarterback D’Andre Francois, who spoke to the media. The two touched on their upcoming schedule.

Here is what we heard:

“I`m extremely proud to be standing up here as the head coach of Florida State University with a great history and great tradition which we’ve able to be a part of and also help grow and keep — continue. And very blessed to have the two great guys we have here along with our great team, but we’re looking forward to another great season as we always do and have a lot of expectations,” Fisher said. “But those are things that go along with being at Florida State.”

What also comes along with being at Florida State is facing tough opponents. The two winning-est teams in college football in the last seven years, Florida State and Alabama, will face off in both its openers this coming season.

The questions, attention, and debates concerning this game have seemed endless.

“A lot of attention,” Francois said. “A lot of questions about that. We’re just working hard, excited for that game.”

Fisher believes this matchup is great for not only his program, but the league as a whole.

“I think it’s great for our league. I think it’s great for college football,” Fisher said “I think we find out where we’re at, and I think not every year you have those games, but I think sometimes you are, and I think this is a year that we’re both prepared to be able to do that.”

Florida State’s tough opponents don’t stop there. This year, the Seminoles play the eighth toughest schedule in the country. Fisher believes his team’s endurance through those challenging months is strictly up to his players.

“I think that’s going to be on our players to understand how demanding the first part of our schedule is and how much we have to be ready so we can finish the season the way we want, which is going to be very demanding, also,” Fisher said.

Last season, Francois took a plethora of hard hits. Heading into a difficult season, Francois was able to take his mistakes from last season and improve them in order to avoid that disruption.

“Just polishing up my game, polishing up my protections, where I call my mikes, my hots, and my sights, getting the ball out quicker, understanding the game,” Francois said. “I feel like for my redshirt season to my redshirt sophomore season, the game has slowed down, so I feel like just studying more film, knowing more ways that I can get the ball out quicker will prevent more hits.”

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