By Will Vandervort
Though Dabo Swinney and third-ranked Clemson have to keep their attention on Boston College this week, Jimbo Fisher and sixth-ranked Florida State have the luxury of concentrating only on the Tigers.
The Seminoles (5-0, 3-0 ACC) get there second bye week in the first six weeks of the season this Saturday, and it could not come at better time. Clemson and FSU will do battle next Saturday (Oct. 19) when the ‘Noles visit Clemson’s Death Valley.
Fisher says it is a good week to not only heal nicks and bruises, but to also put next week’s game into proper perspective and what it all means.
“Well, I mean, you’re going to have obviously two top-six ranked teams so it’s very important in the national title hunt, it’s very important in the Atlantic Division, in the ACC, all those things,” he said. “That’s why you come to Florida State, to be in those games, to be in those positions. You’ve got other common opponents which are in the league.
“Clemson is doing a tremendous job, Miami is doing a great job and so is Virginia Tech. All these teams are all doing a great job, so it’s a great league. But that’s why you play in college football, and that’s what you want to do as a player to get in these games that matter. We’re very blessed to be there and to have a great opponent like Clemson.”
Fisher says it has not all been about Clemson this week in Tallahassee, Fla.
“It’s about us getting fundamentally better and about other future opponents, too,” he said. “The other six opponents that we have, there are issues or things down the road that they may cause on offense, defense and special teams.
“We’ll work on Clemson some and we’ll work on all of our opponents this week, and just fundamentally have to get better and identify some things that we need to improve on and maybe add to our repertoire on offense, defense and special teams. But it’s going to have to be a very hard, physical week, and we’re going to have to get better, there’s no doubt.”
Obviously, Fisher and his staff have already been breaking down Clemson and will continue to do so as they plan out a game plan. However, he says he will not be watching too much of the Clemson-Boston College game on Saturday because he has other things to do.
“I’ll watch some maybe, but we’ll try to spend some time with the family on Saturday, spend some time with my wife and my two boys,” he said.
One person Fisher and the offensive staff have been watching this week is Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley. The Tigers’ top pass rusher leads the nation in sacks with eight, while Clemson as a team is tied for the national lead in team sacks with 19.
“I’m trying to get the ACC to give me 13 guys and give me two more linemen so we can block them,” he said jokingly. “I’m serious, they bring pressure. Their stunts, their inside — Beasley, (Corey) Crawford, the inside, (Grady Jarrett), they all do. They blitz, they bring different combinations. Brent (Venables) does a tremendous job as a coach. They present a lot of problems. You cannot be one-dimensional and you can’t be the same protection. You’re going to have to be multiple and to give them different looks, and they present a huge problem because they’re very good and they’re very well coached.”
ACC Home Away Over
Clemson 3-0 3-0 2-0 5-0
Florida State 3-0 3-0 2-0 4-0
Boston College 1-1 3-1 0-1 3-2
Maryland 0-1 3-0 1-1 4-1
Syracuse 0-1 2-1 0-2 2-3
NC State 0-2 3-1 0-1 3-2
Wake Forest 0-2 1-1 1-2 2-3
ACC Home Away Over
Virginia Tech 2-0 3-0 2-0 5-1
Miami 1-0 4-0 1-0 4-0
Pittsburgh 2-1 2-1 1-0 3-1
Georgia Tech 2-2 2-1 1-1 3-2
Virginia 0-1 2-2 0-1 5-3
Duke 0-2 2-2 1-0 3-2
North Carolina 0-2 1-1 0-3 1-4
This week’s ACC Games
Saturday October 12, 2013
Pittsburgh at No. 24 Virginia Tech, ESPNU, Noon
Navy at Duke, ACC, 12:30 p.m.
Boston College at No. 3 Clemson, ABC/ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
Virginia at Maryland ESPNU 3:30 p.m.
Syracuse at NC State RSN 3:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech at BYU, ESPNU, 7 p.m.