"Everytime someone even says NC State it kind of turns my stomach a little bit still to this day," said senior safety Terrence Brooks last night. "Even the guys that all got drafted if you still say NC State to them they're still going to cringe up a little bit."
While Florida State's players have mostly stuck to their script this week and talked about how they look at every game like it's their biggest, to a man they'll also tell you that they haven't gotten over last year completely either. It might not be in the back of their minds come Saturday night, but it will be in the pit of their stomachs all week.
"I definitely remember," said senior LB Telvin Smith. "In particular, I feel like on the play they scored, I was on No. 10 and he caught the pass. I tried to jump it and get an interception. But he caught it and ran it in for the touchdown. That feeling, I felt like I let the team down when I didn't make that play."
Every player that was on the field on that fateful play remembers where they were, what they were thinking.
"I was baiting the play, it wasn't my man but I kind of figured what was going on," said Brooks. "I kind of hesitated on it, but I didn't want to get off of my man and they throw it to my guy and he scores."
It's fair to say Florida State will come out of the tunnel angry on Saturday. Whether or not they can control that anger is another question all together, but harnessed or not the 'Noles are going to play with rage.
"I just want some payback, I hate losing and I still remember that," said Brooks. "I definitely owe them one. This whole team owes them one."
“It’s a bitter taste, you don’t want to be like that. Last year I felt like we were supposed to be in the national championship. We should have," said junior RB Devonta Freeman. "And the team that was in the national championship, I feel like we were better than them because we beat them the year before that in the bowl game. I feel like they stole our place, but with NC State we let it happen so it’s on us. And I just feel like we can’t let that happen anymore.”
“You always know what that feeling tastes like. I could tell you about all the losses that I’ve had. I don’t remember all the wins that I’ve had. But I remember that loss."
Jimbo Fisher has embraced that pain this week, using it to remind his team what a week of bad preparation can do to a season. And with the Seminoles ranked second in the BCS and potentially in line to reach their goals if they can just win out -- that message is more important now, than ever.
“Feel that pain, pain is preparation," said Fisher on Monday. "You want that pain again? Don’t prepare. You want to eliminate that pain? Prepare and take care of business.”
Seems to be paying off too.
“I feel like we play the game in practice," said Freeman. "The game’s been played Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And then Friday at the walkthrough. If we’re consistent that whole period of time the game’s going to take care of itself. The anger is just going to be there because that’s just in you.”
"I'm glad we're preparing like we are in practice," added Brooks. 'We're doing really good, we've got a good scheme going and I mean, the result's going to happen Saturday."
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