« September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »

66 posts from October 2012

October 27, 2012

Halftime: FSU 31 Duke 7


We're half-way through Florida State and Duke and it didn't take long for Florida State to jump out in this one. After forcing Duke to punt on their opening possession, it took just three plays from scrimmage for EJ Manuel to find Rashad Greene for a 71-yard touchdown to get the scoring kicked off.

It was a good sign for Greene, who was replaced by Tyler Hunter as the Florida State punt returner earlier this week. The sophomore WR took the opening play on a reverse and then went deep on the third play for the long score.

Then a series later Hunter, who had replaced Greene at returner, housed the first punt he got his hands on. After two that went out of bounds, the sophomore safety took a punt 75 yards to put FSU up 14-0 following an EJ Manuel fumble.

I don't think Seminoles fans are going to notice much of a drop-off returning punts. Hunter threatened again on a punt-return later in the first quarter. Duke may want to start kicking away from him, he's returning punts like he's playing PlayStation right now.

Aside from the long pass to Greene, it was a shaky opening couple of series for EJ Manuel. Manuel bounced a ball to the flats to James Wilder on the first series and then overthrew Rodney Smith on the second. Couple that with a fumble in Duke territory that took points off the board and it wasn't the kind of start Florida State fans are used to from the fifth-year senior QB.

Florida State's defense was on its game in the first half though. The first three Duke possessions ended in punts and Tank Carradine played on the other side of the line of scrimmage for much of the first quarter. 

By the end of the first period it was 17-0 Seminoles.

The second quarter started much the same way that the first did, with Florida State forcing Duke to punt and then scoring in three plays. This time a Rodney Smith 52-yard reception set up a James Wilder Jr. touchdown from the one. 

Duke got on the board on a 90-yard drive that included about 30 yards of Florida State penalties at the end of the half. Sean Renfree made a horrible throw that got one of his tailbacks destroyed down the sideline by Lamarcus Joyner first. The hit was legal, but Joyner launched and at game-speed, the hit looked bang-bang and drew a flag. That extended the series for the Blue Devils. Later on the drive, Renfree was knocked out by Karlos Williams as he got through the line on a blitz. That hit drew another flag which set Duke up inside the FSU 10 and let them score.

The Duke QB left the field under his own power but is out with a concussion. Both teams traded possessions at the end of the first half. Florida State's momentum looks to have waned a little after surrendering the 90-yard scoring drive, but the Seminoles will take the ball first in the second half.

Florida State's defense, aside from the one drive, has held Duke to 67 first-half yards.

Statistical Leaders

Passing: EJ Manuel (4/11, 182, TD)

Rushing: Devonta Freeman (5-37, TD)

Receiving: Rashad Greene (1-71, TD)

Pregame: Duke at FSU


We're a little over an hour from kickoff between the Duke Blue Devils (6-2, 3-1) and the no. 12 Florida State Seminoles (7-1, 4-1). This is a game Florida State should have if they play the game they've played at home all season. Thus far, through five home games Florida State is averaging 55 points and over 600 yards of offense.

This game should be no different, the 'Noles outclass the Blue Devils across the board. But don't write this Blue Devil team off either, they're a scrappy bunch that's bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 and they're looking to snap a 17-game losing streak at the hands of Florida State.

Here's your preview capsule:

Game Preview (print)

Three Things to Watch For...


And here's some coverage from this week:

Seminoles' Six Pack Defensive Set

Telvin Smith Learning to Harness Aggression

Chris Thompson Loss Weighs Heavy

Tank Carradine Earning his Money this Season

Inside the Program: A Look at FSU Film Study


Announcers: Anish Shroff (play-by-play), Dan Hawkins (color), Tom Luginbill (sideline)

Three Things to Watch For: Duke vs. FSU


Today Florida State hosts Duke in their homecoming game. While Duke is still a pretty safe bet for a homecoming game, this is not your usual Blue Devils squad. Lead by QB Sean Renfree and receivers Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder, Duke ranks 23rd in the nation in passing.

Florida State's defense is no slouch either. They're ranked in the top seven in all five major defensive categories, they've got the best tandem of defensive ends in the country and they are more athletic than Duke across the board.

But this is a scrappy, upset-minded Duke team. They went into Blacksburg and forced Virginia Tech to make the biggest comeback in the Frank Beamer era to beat them. And aside from a tough road trip to Stanford, Duke has won out. They're 6-2, currently sitting atop the Atlantic division of the ACC

This could be a preview of the ACC Championship game...

Here are here three things to watch for:

1.) How do the Seminoles play Conner Vernon?

Vernon is one of the most prolific receivers in ACC history. As evidence, he's coming up on Peter Warrick's conference record for receiving yardage, needing less than 100 today against Florida State to accomplish it on the same field that Warrick played on.

“I wouldn’t even say we focus on one guy like that," said Terrence Brooks this week. "We respect him. We know what he can do but we’re not like doubling and doing all these things with him because we have confidence in all our DB’s.”

While that's true to an extent, you know Florida State's defense is aware of how many yards Vernon needs to get to Warrick's mark and– though it's inevitable he reaches it– he's not getting it today.

We'll see if the Seminoles can keep Vernon from getting to Warrick's mark at Doak...

2.) The Florida State RB Rotation

With the loss of Chris Thompson, Florida State finds itself without a senior leader and with a lot of extra touches for James Wilder Jr., Devonta Freeman and Lonnie Pryor. But how do those get divided? Jimbo Fisher said this week it would be Wilder at the outset, but that it's 1 and 1a with him and Freeman.

The wildcard is Lonnie Pryor who has been effective carrying the ball this season and will need to be in the game a little more if the two younger guys can't pick up their performance in pass-pro. I really do believe Fisher when he says he's going to go with the hot hand, it's just a question of who that will be. Both Freeman and Wilder improve over the course of a game with more touches. It will be interesting to see who gets more early and who finishes late.

I also expect Lonnie Pryor to have a big final four games of the season.

3.) It's a Trap!

This game has all the classic fixings of a trap game. From the very publicized 0-17 all-time record against Florida State, to the fact that Duke is an easy team to overlook on the schedule all the way on down to the fact this is the Seminoles' ninth game in nine weeks, this could be a trap game.

Aside from UF, this is the last home game Florida State will play. They have played six in the past nine weeks, nine straight games in all, and eventually that can start to wear on a team physically and mentally. FSU gets a break after this when they play just two games over the next 20 days, but as of now, the 'Noles are banged up... though in fairness, Duke is yet to have a bye week too. 

But this Duke team would love nothing more than to come in and knock off Florida State. They're already bowl eligible, they're enjoying a dream season just being in the ACC conversation, Duke has nothing to lose today.

That could make them dangerous.

Florida State should win this one handily, but if complacency creeps in it's anyone's game. 

October 26, 2012

FSU Hoops: Seminoles Starting Season Ranked 25th by AP


Florida State's basketball team will start the season ranked 25th by the AP Poll. 

This has been a pretty solid preseason for Florida State, Michael Snaer has been recognized as a top player nationally. The 'Noles are ranked 24th by the coaches and 25th by the AP. Leonard Hamilton has already signed a top prospect for next year, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and figures to factor heavily in Andrew Wiggins' (the nation's top HS junior) college choice too.

Plus Florida State still gets to play the underdog role. 

Despite winning the ACC last season and return four of their five top scorers, Hamilton's Seminoles are just the fourth-ranked team in the ACC (behind NC State (6), Duke (8) and UNC (11/12)), at the ACC media day the coaches picked FSU to finish 5th this year behind Miami.

So Florida State is getting the best of both worlds. 

Florida State plays their first exhibition game on Tuesday, their season begins on November 9th when they host South Alabama to start the Coaches vs. Cancer tourney. 

The Early Read: The Seminole Six-Pack


You may have noticed over the past couple weeks– and you will definitely notice this afternoon– that Florida State is playing more of a defensive package that is a variation off the dime to defend the spread. 

“It’s not so much they’re trying to burn us downfield because everybody in our secondary is pretty fast and they know that," said junior safety Terrence Brooks. "But I feel like just the teams really try to scheme us more and get people open and try little things to just get our keys off and get our eyes in bad shape. But we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that, we get more in tune as the weeks go on.”

It was likely on film before, but NC State really exploited this against Florida State's defense. Almost akin to death by 1,000 cuts, opposing offenses are trying to spread Florida State's defense out and then run crossing routes and hope for picks to develop while they grind out drives. 

Anyone who has watched Florida State over the past several years knows exactly the kind of offense I'm referring to, and with two very good, possession-style receivers of their own you can expect Duke to attempt it Saturday.

Lately the Seminoles have been rolling out a package aimed at mitigating this approach, they call it the six-pack and it's essentially a modified dime package.

When teams try to spread Florida State's defense out, the 'Noles bring six defensive backs and a linebacker on to the field (in addition to their usual four d-linemen). What Mark Stoops does is asks Terrence Brooks to come up to the line and play the nickel or dime role (depending on alignment). The 'Noles also bring sophomore S Tyler Hunter, the usual nickel-back on to the field and put sophomore Karlos Williams back at free safety.

Telvin Smith, with his speed and athleticism, is the linebacker in this package.

“That’s pretty much dime, just get me down there and play a little bit of nickel, well I guess that’s more dime because I face more tight ends," said Brooks. "I’m a little closer to the line and if there’s a number two out on the boundary I’ll go out and guard him or three by one I’ll go out on the third guy so I’m either two-weak or three-strong, but it gets Karlos in there too, that’s why I like that package.”

The package brings Florida State's athleticism out in droves and makes it harder for teams to have success spreading them out. There are no longer match-ups to be had one-on-one for opposing offensive coordinators. 

“It just puts more DB’s on the field," said junior LB Telvin Smith. "Because they’re just trying to get match-ups on us so the coaches out there have a plan and we’re just out there trying to execute.”

Now the match-ups start to work in Florida State's favor.

“That’s more of just a speed type package for teams that are trying to stretch us out and throw it all over the place," said Brooks. "Telvin he can cover a lot of ground too. He’s been doing that [a while]."

Telvin Smith is more or less the linchpin of the package. While he's good in coverage, Stoops has also given Smith some flexibility to roam and make plays while he's on the field. Smith is a highly instinctual linebacker, I wrote earlier this week he's as good as he wants to be as long as he can harness his agression.

Part of the benefit of the six-pack, is that sometimes he doesn't have to. Obviously he has responsibilities on many plays, but with the ability to tie up a line with the front four and the ability to account for all five skill players and the quarterback with an extremely athletic secondary, Smith does occasionally find spots to free-lance.

“I feel like they try to coach me to a point where I’m assignment perfect but at the same time I still can go out there and make that instinctive play at times," said Smith.

"[Coach Stoops] will call a coverage so I can make that instinctive play so I don’t feel like they’re trying to take it away from me I just feel like they’re trying to build on and make me a better athlete on the end of the day.”

Definitely watch for the Six-Pack as the 'Noles take on the Blue Devils on Saturday. 

October 25, 2012

Florida State Injury List: Week Nine


No major changes to the Florida State injury list during week nine aside from the obvious addition of Chris Thompson, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Beyond that, Florida State is relatively healthy for their homecoming game against Duke this weekend.


DL Moses McCray (head)

DL Derrick Mitchell (back)

OL Garrett Faircloth (hip)

S Justin Bright (head)

LB Ukeme Eligwe (hand)

OL Trey Pettis (head)

WR Josh Gehres (hamstring)



TE Dan Hicks (knee)

DE Brandon Jenkins (Lisfranc)

RB Mario Pender (sports hernia)

DB Colin Blake (shoulder)

DE Chris Casher (knee)

DT Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle)

OL Dan Foose (back)

RB Chris Thompson (ACL)

For Florida State's Telvin Smith Success is a Balancing Act


Telvin Smith plays like he's the angriest guy on the football field. His 6-3 215-pound frame flies around with reckless abandon and delivers some of the hardest blows Florida State has to give. Whether it's on special teams or on defense, Smith is enjoying an impressive junior season.

Last week against Miami, Smith was so good that he was named ACC linebacker of the week after making eight tackles, two TFL's, breaking up two passes and causing a crucial fumble. Jimbo Fisher called him 'Walking Chaos' after the game.

As both Fisher as indicated in his weekly press conferences, and the film has shown, Smith has become a bigger and bigger part of Florida State's defense. The team has even designed a package– the six-pack– essentially a dime with Smith in the middle, that helps shut down the spread and lets Smith run loose a little bit amongst other things.

[Tomorrow's Early Read: A look at the Six-Pack defensive package]

Telvin Smith can be as good as he wants to be if he can learn to harness things and play within the scheme just long enough.

“It’s very hard because I was watching film on the [Miami] game and if you kind of watch the first few plays I kind of was running a little bit because I thought I could make a play and maybe go under and stuff like that and at the same time I did get to the ball but I didn’t do my job or assignment like I was supposed to do," said Smith.

"So that comes with a good and a bad [side], at times I end up making a big play and other times I kind of get eaten up or stuff like that but I take it because maybe there’s that one chance or one play that could make the game, but everybody just knows I like to fly around and play ball.”

Smith is an extremely instinctual player. Jimbo Fisher mentions at least once a month that a linebacker must have good instincts. Some guys do and some guys just don't.

Smith does.

"I like Telvin a lot, I like him a lot," said junior safety Terrence Brooks. "The kid plays with all his heart he’s got a different feel for the game he just knows what to do out there and that’s why I love playing with him so much.

“We watch film sometimes and he just flies like a bullet out of no where and we don’t know where he’s going but then we see he’s going to make a play or a stop and that’s what we like. We like kids flying around and just being excited and wanting to play and he’s hungry, I think that’s what makes him so good.”

The problem with Telvin Smith is getting him to harness those instincts. He has had a tendency to free-lance at times, as he alluded to earlier, and it can really cost a defense. Just like Telvin Smith could make a big play to impact a game, he could also be out of position at a key time.

For every time he free-lances and gets a tackle for loss or breaks up a screen, there's also an instance like the Wake Forest game when he missed a first quarter assignment and gave up a 34-yard play to Josh Harris. The Demon Deacons mustered just nine more rushing yards all day. 

While that play didn't even cost FSU points, it illustrates how one blown assignment can give up a big play– even when the two units are so brutally mismatched.

Unfortunately for Smith, harnessing his instincts and playing within the system can be tough.

“It is, you know just trying to stay assignment perfect," said Smith. "And that’s what I work on, trying to keep my eyes on my man and off of the quarterback.”

“At Lowndes we didn’t really look at the man, we were taught to play the quarterback. So I have a feel for the stuff around me but most of the time I try to look at the quarterback and go off him. “

Terrence Brooks joked they must put something in the water at Lowndes (in Georgia, where Smith hails from). I think Telvin was closer when he just brought up how they're coached. But all three Lowndes kids, Smith, Tyler Hunter and Greg Reid play that brand of instinctual football. 

Greg Reid was no stranger to getting caught looking into a backfield himself. 

For Smith especially, as a linebacker, he has to make sure he maintains his responsiblities and avoids free-lancing as much as he can. But that doesn't mean the Florida State coaches are trying to get it completely out of him either.

“I feel like they try to coach me to a point where I’m assignment perfect but at the same time I still can go out there and make that instinctive play at times," said Smith.

"[Coach Stoops] will call a coverage so I can make that instinctive play so I don’t feel like they’re trying to take it away from me. I just feel like they’re trying to build on and make me a better athlete on the end of the day.”

October 24, 2012

Thompson Leaving a Void in More Than Just the Backfield


News of Chris Thompson's season-ending injury– his second in two years– hit Florida State's players hard on Monday. Thompson is like a brother to many of the guys on this team. As a senior leader who fought back from a near career-ending broken back last year, Thompson had developed into an emotional leader on the team.

To see why, one need only talk to him. He's intelligent, thoughtful and modest, the kind of player that's easy to root for.

So unsurprisingly the Seminoles are taking Thompson's loss hard.

“Considering the year he’s been having it’s been tough," said EJ Manuel. "I feel bad for him. He’s like a brother to me and, you know, his locker’s right across from mine. So him and I talk evey day, I just texted him last night to let him know that I love him.

"I wish him the best, because it’s his senior year, he’s come back from an injury last year and had a fabulous season. So to see it end like that is to tough to see. But knowing Chris, he’ll be resilient, he’ll get back up and he’ll have a great career.”

Said senior fullback Lonnie Pryor: “I sent him a long text, I was just telling him everything happens for a reason, just keep your head up and just different things like that.”

From fellow seniors, to fellow running backs, everyone has struggled with Thompson's loss. Not so much for what it will mean on the field, but because of who Chris is and what he means to this team.

“The guy can’t get a break," said redshirt junior center Bryan Stork. "I don’t know maybe God has a different plan for him or whatever, but he’s resilient he’ll come back. But if one guy goes down another guy has to step up.”

That's true from both a leadership standpoint and on the field. 

Fortunately for the Seminoles, Thompson isn't going anywhere. Much like you can still find Brandon Jenkins around campus and team facilities, Thompson has been no less visible this week. On Monday evening, his leg still swollen, Thompson appeared with his teammates on crutches for team dinner. 

He's been here all week.

But it's hard to lead from the sideline come gamedays, which is why the Seminoles know they'll need to lean heavily on seniors like Pryor and Manuel as well as team leaders like Stork.

That also means sophomores James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman will need to pick up Freeman's slack in the running game.

“We had a talk, I told them Sunday when we found out Chris wasn’t going to be there. I just told them you’ve got to step up, which they do," said Pryor. "You know when Chris did get hurt in the [Miami] game Freeman came in and did a phenomenal job, James did a great job and I was just saying that Chris isn’t going to come back so you all have to step up and be the lead backs.”

The silver lining is Florida State has replaced Thompson once before. Last season Freeman lead the Seminoles in rushing and was one of the few bright spots in a beleaguered 2011 FSU ground game. This season with a revamped line and two backs that have another year of experience under their belts, Florida State expects a smooth transition.

“I know I can do everything, I’ve just got to be smart," said Freeman. "[Chris] knew that playbook like the back of his hand, I just need to get on that level.”

Both Freeman and Wilder have made huge strides in learning the playbook and shoring up the nuances associated with being an every-down back at Florida State. But, there is still work to be done, Thompson was still the best at blitz pick-up, knowing assignments and making adjustments of any of the backs. While both Wilder and Freeman have improved their knowledge of the offense, that's going to be seriously tested the rest of the year.

“I talked to him," said Freeman. "I just told him that me and Wilder were going to do our best to do what you do do when you’re out there, just keep moving forward and everything is going to be alright.”

The Seminoles probably should be alright. Lonnie Pryor is still in the backfield and Freeman and Wilder are both more than capable of producing big plays.

But it's going to take a while for Florida State to get over the hurt that comes with losing a brother. After Thompson returned, almost every player on the Seminole offense would tell you their biggest goal was to protect Chris. Whether it was blocking for him at the line, down-field or picking him up after the play, nobody touched Chris.

That's why losing him the way they did, as he came down awkwardly– well past where any of his teammates could help him– hurts them so much.

“[I was] mad, so mad," said Stork, who was powerless to protect Thompson as he was injured when his foot caught in the turf following a 32-yard pass in the first half against Miami. "That’s my Chris, you don’t touch him.”

“Chris is a better person than a football player, and that’s saying a lot because he’s a great football player but his character off the field says so much about him," said Manuel. "That’s what I love about him he’s not a big guy, he’s not one way off the field and one way on the field, he’s the same person. He’s a quiet guy but at the same time he’s a great person.”

He was a pretty darn good Seminole, too.

October 23, 2012

Inside the Program: FSU Video Staff Taking Film Study to New Levels


Quick, who are the hardest working, least heralded group of guys in Florida State's athletic department?

If you guessed the video staff, you may be right. While trainers, equipment managers and grad assistants all play a key role in the success of the Seminoles' athletic programs, FSU's video staff have taken hard work and innovation to a new level and are helping Florida State, particularly the football team, prepapre for games in ways that just a decade ago would have been impossible.

Lead by Craig Campanozzi, Florida State's video department is taking a new-age approach to how they film, cut and make available game tape for athletes at FSU.

It all starts with the coach's tape, and the name of the game is a quick turnaround. 

"Immediately after the game, typically we like to be around 35-40 minutes, the game is inter-cut, scoreboard, sideline [and] endzone angle and broken down by phase, offense, defense and then your kicking phases," said Christian Fiero, who acts as the director of football for the video staff. "45 minutes after the game is over our coaches have that on a laptop or I like to give coach Fisher a hard-drive, he takes it home to his house and watches it on a laptop to grade it immediately.”

That means before Jimbo Fisher is done with his post-game interviews the tape is already being cut, edited and put together so that Fisher and his coaching staff can grab it on their way out the door, and review it that night or the next morning.

“In coaches video we’re really about speed and getting it out fast, so we’ll start during the game, we’ll send it down in phases so that we can do all that," said Fiero. "Once that’s done, we still have to make a copy for trade. Which we load on to an FTP site that sends to everyone in the conference, the conference office, there’s open exchange amongst the conference and then we will also download our opponent’s game through that site.

“Sunday morning, sometime Saturday night we put in our next opponent’s game, we also frequently use the sports information office for XML sheets that have all the play-by-play. We have a program that we can basically convert that into something that we can use so that I can import down, distance, ball-carrier and all that into the video that we already have. It’s nice to have that data immediately after the game also.”


The same is true for practices, it takes about 15 minutes after the completion of practice for the video staff to have broken down the tape, categorized it correctly and made it available to coaches, GA's and players.

"I go out and shoot and I make sure that our [student-assistants] are in the right lifts and they’re safe and all that," said Campanozzi. "Meanwhile Christian and another guy in our office, Kevin [Gadowry] are inside trimming and cutting so that 15 minutes after a practice our coaches walk in off the field and literally in 15 minutes they can watch everything from practice, two hours of practice, and it’s all intercut, it’s all matching, the GA’s can go in and type in data if they want from practice.”

Florida State films everything in high definition, their video department is set up to train student assistants while still maintaining a high quality of film. When a student first starts under Campanozzi, they begin by standing beside him and filming the same practice or event that he films. They also get experience cutting recruiting tapes in the film offices. When they're ready to move up and handle more responsibility, they're given that opportunity. 

To The Cloud

Where Florida State is really making waves is in the ways they've embraced new technology to make their film more accessible to players though.

"We have a sports specific program, XOS Digital that provides all of our stuff in-house," said Fiero. "With that there is a parent company, a company they’ve joined in with, Huddle, that is more of a cloud-based software. We will take stuff directly off our server that we have here and I place it on to the cloud. All of our athletes have a username and a password, they have different permissions on what they see and what they don’t. And I’ll load it all from my office, right from our server, and they can watch it on their iPad, their iPhone, their computer.”

Now, using any mobile device at their disposal, players can watch film anywhere, anytime. Got a few minutes before class? A guy can whip out his smart phone and check out some opposing team film. Bored in the dining hall? Just open your laptop and break down some film. 

This new approach also allows the video staff to specialize the film to different players and coaches needs.

"There are filters we’ve created that will- as soon as we get our opponent’s video or our video- that we can run through these filters and it will create, 'ok this is all the base formation first-down plays,' so that’s already up there for the coaches," said Campanozzi. "So now to put it on the cloud through Huddle is easy.”

Essentially players need only select parameters and they can study any type of play or situation they need. 3rd and short? There's a filter for that. Want to look at how a team lined up in obvious passing downs? In a matter of seconds those plays are all filtered and at players' and coaches' disposals.

FSU uses this system for all their sports, men's and women's. All Florida State teams have their tape uploaded to the cloud in HD so that players and coaches have easy access to it whenever they like. The approach has also helped Florida State's athletic program mitigate costs.


By having the film team cover all sports as opposed to specialization by sport, the school saves money on cameras and equipment and maintains greater continuity within their film offices. And by switching from DVD's for film study, to cloud technology, Florida State eliminates the cost of the discs as well as the considerable time it takes to burn them all (not to mention they avoid the space limitations inherent in the medium).

All things considered, Florida State is making their film study so accessible that proper film prep is no longer just something the coaches need to preach. Now players are expected to review the tape on their own time too. While some units, the offensive line for instance, still prefer to watch tape together so they can work together on adjusting calls and protections, the majority of Florida State's skill players can utilize the tape whenever they have a moment, not just when team meetings dictate. This puts more accountability on the players.

 A Day In the Life

So what does the average weekend look like for the FSU Video staff?

“[For the Miami game] we drove down, two of us drove down the day before, so when the team gets off the bus the meeting rooms are set up and ready to go," said Campanozzi. "And then two of our students and two of our other guys fly with the team. Christian’s here up until the last minute to make sure the coaches have everything they need, when Christian walks in that hotel everything’s set up for a meeting. Now usually we won’t meet right away, but if coaches decided to, we’re ready. If something would have broken during transit, we have time to go get a new one or get it fixed before the team gets there.”

Then after a 33-20 win over Miami on the road that ended around midnight, the work continued. The coaches had their tape before they get off the plane in Tallahassee, the players wouldn't have to wait much longer.

"We got back to Tallahassee, we got back to the stadium at 4 AM," said Fiero. "I left at 5:30, 6 AM that morning after I posted the game and did all that kind of stuff.”

This while the rest of the Seminoles' athletic department finally got some rest. Like many video staffs, the group at FSU is integral to Florida State's success and absolutely hidden from the public eye.

That doesn't bother them though.

“It’s great," said Campanozzi. "You don't need the reward of Joe Blow on the street knowing what you’re doing when the guys your doing it for and the ladies you’re doing it for appreciate it and understand it.”

October 22, 2012

ACC Suspends Head Official From FSU-Miami Game


Florida State fans make no secret of their disdain for the officiating in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Blown calls, non-calls and bizarre calls have all been the norm- in the minds of Seminoles fans, at least- for a couple of seasons.

So it will be with some satisfaction that 'Noles fans read this. Per an earlier statement by ACC commissioner John Swofford:

"The entire officiating crew that presided over the Florida State at Miami game will receive letters of reprimand, while David Epperley (crew chief and referee) has been suspended for one game for failure to properly administer the 10-second runoff rule at the end of the first half."

After Saturday night's FSU-Miami game- a game that was so poorly officiated even ABC commentators Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger commented on it- Swofford and the ACC had no choice but to act.

You cannot let your officials become a national joke. Whether or not that's already happened is debatable, but in the minds of many fans around the conference (including those in Durham and Blacksburg this week) that ship has already sailed.

The entire crew got reprimands, but the crew chief was suspended for one of the most egregious brain-farts in recent memory. Under 10 seconds in the half, after a Florida State penalty, Jimbo Fisher had to explain to referee David Epperley that he could negate the obligatory ten-second run-off with his last remaining timeout. 

Even then, another official on the crew had to confirm it for him. By that point three quarters of Miami's team was already in the tunnel and the game was delayed temporarily just to get the teams back on the sidelines.

Dustin Hopkins ended up connecting on a field goal to put FSU up 13-10 at the half, a field goal that wouldn't have occured had Jimbo Fisher not been aggressive in correcting Epperley. 

"They were running off the field, and I screamed at him that I had a time out and they can't take [time] off," said Fisher. "That's why I saved the timeout for penalty situations like that. You can do that. That's a rule. Finally, they had to bring them back." 

Credit Jimbo Fisher for not having an anuerism right there on the sideline.

This still won't be enough for many Seminoles fans, but it's more than the ACC has done in the past.

The ACC also suspended UNC LB Shakeel Rashad for a cheap-shot on Duke WR Conner Vernon. Rashad ran off the sideline as a late sub, hit Vernon (who was split out wide) in the back and then got in position. It happened right in front of the head linesman, Vernon had to be helped off the field and there was no call made.

On Monday morning the ACC tried to rectify that too. 



Powered by TypePad