Jimbo Fisher: ‘These Guys Are Younger, Hungrier’

It’s funny. Last year, the Florida State Seminoles couldn’t get out of the spotlight. This year, they can’t seem to find it – even though they’re 6-0 and ranked ninth in the country.

Not that Jimbo Fisher minds flying under the radar.

“Well, you knew a lot of the players on last year’s team because of the national championship the year before,” the Florida State head coach said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You heard of them. You knew of them. We had a phenomenal team. We went undefeated. We had 11 guys get drafted. We had 14 sign contracts. So you’re talking about a lot of faces you just haven’t heard. (We have) a whole new offensive line, a lot of new receivers, a lot of new guys on defense, a new quarterback – all those type of things. It’s just fun to watch these young guys keep emerging. (Media attention is) all name recognition, knowing who’s coming back. That whole perspective, no one knew it, so (people said), ‘Well, they’ll be down a little bit.’ We just keep evolving each week and trying go get better.”

Fisher is 35-1 in his last 36 games. This year, Florida State has beaten Texas State, South Florida, Boston College, Wake Forest, Miami and Louisville, with four of the wins coming by at least 14 points.

The Seminoles have gotten stellar play from Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson, who has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,449 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is also yet to commit a turnover this season, this after committing 22 a season ago in South Bend.

What’s been the difference for Golson this year?

“Well, I think the way he came in here,” Fisher said. “He had a great skill set. He can throw it, he can run it – he can do all the things. But I think just his acceptance to coming in and saying, ‘I want to be part of a team, I want to learn to do things the way y’all do things,’ and he bought in. When a guy gets that far in this career, it’s not (a huge change). Brian Kelly is a heck of a football coach. Guys mature, too. You’re talking about a fifth-year guy. He’s just been through a lot of situations. I think all those things combined – and him just being a great teammate – has helped him have success.”

Fisher was asked if this year’s team has been easier to coach.

“Different,” Fisher said. “Every team is different. I say this: Every team is like your own children. You say, ‘Well, this one’s easier to deal with than that one,’ but you still love them the same. These guys are younger, they’re hungrier. Sometimes they can be more frustrating because you’re not where you were a year ago in certain things, but then you (realize) how willing they are to learn and it’s fun to watch them learn. It’s just a different way you had to teach and go about the perspective of our team.”

Florida State plays at Georgia Tech (2-5) this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. The Yellow Jackets have lost five straight, but Fisher isn’t underestimating them.

“They could have won two or three of these games very easily,” he said. “On offense, they still move the ball. Lats week, even though they lost, they had 330 yards rushing at halftime. They still (control the) ball, they limit your possessions. It puts pressure on (your) defense, (but) it puts pressure on offense too because you don’t always get the ball back. So they’re still very dynamic on offense. The quarterback really makes them go. (Justin) Thomas, he’s a heck of a player. Paul (Johnson), I have a tremendous amount of respect for Paul. I consider Paul a friend. And defensively, they’re opportunistic creating plays. They could be sitting here 5-2. It’s just college football. You got to get ready to play every week.”

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