November 8, 2011

Insider Report: Despite records FSU-UM rivalry still special for players



It is one of the more overused sports clichés, but Florida State players swear that when Miami is involved you can throw out the records.


FSU comes into the matchup wiht a record of 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the Hurricanes are 5-4 overall, and 3-3 in the ACC. Despite neither team being ranked in the Top 25, FSU players say the game still has primetime feel to it.



"It's Miami-Florida State. It has so much tradition and so much more than just us and this team and this year," senior wideout Bert Reed said. "I think it'll never change, whatever our record is. People still have pride in the tradition from both teams, really deep. It'll never change our rivalry whatever our record is."


Fellow senior Shawn Powell thinks that both teams' records are not indicative of their talent.


"They're the kind of team-- just like us, our record doesn't show how good we really are," he said on Monday. "It's the same way with them."


Both teams are still mathematically eligible for the ACC title game, but both need plenty of help to actually win their division. Still redshirt sophomore Xavier Rhodes said like any other year, FSU expects the Hurricanes' best shot.


"It means they're going to throw everything at us," Rhodes said after practice Tuesday night. "They see that we have a chance still and they're going to try to take it away. We've jut got to hold our ground and just play to the best of our ability."


While records don't come into play in FSU-Miami rivalry, neither has home field advantage in the previous five meetings with the road team winning each time. That means Reed, a fifth-year senior, has never beaten Miami in Doak Campbell Stadium.


"It would mean a lot to me," he said of beating UM in Tallahassee. "To beat them here at home my senior year, we haven't done it in awhile. It would mean a lot to me, and that's something we really want to do."


Miller will challenge FSU run D


With 147 yards last week against Duke, Miami running back Lamar Miller became the first Hurricane to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season since Willis McGahee in 2002.


The redshirt sophomore is averaging 112.89 yards per game on the ground and 5.9 yards per carry.


"He's a homerun threat right off the bat," head coach Jimbo Fisher said of Miller on Tuesday. "Then he has size, he can run with power, he has wiggle, catches the ball, he's a complete player. He's one heck of a football player, he's going to be a high drafted guy and make a lot of money one day."


Stopping the run has been the Seminoles' specialty this season. FSU is giving up just 78.89 yards per game on the ground; only Alabama and LSU are allowing less.


Sophomore linebacker Telvin Smith said FSU has been able to stop the run because they're playing assignment football.


"Just our effort and our discipline," he said of why the run D has been successful. "We just keep trying and keep doing what the coaches tell us, and we're in the right spots making plays."


Stork still out



After missing last Thursday's game against Boston College with concussion like symptoms, sophomore center Bryan Stork has yet to practice this week for FSU.


He missed both Monday and Tuesday's practice making it more likely that true freshman Austin Barron will make his second career start on Saturday.


"He wasn't out there (Tuesday)," Fisher said after practice. "There's a chance he could be out there (Wednesday)."


Senior guard David Spurlock, who has been out since the Wake Forest game with a knee injury, has been able to return to practice this week and his working his way back into playing shape.


He's starting to get back in," Fisher said. "He got a few reps and trying to get him going again."


Notable


  • Freshman receiver Rashad Greene, who has missed the last four games with an ankle and achilles injury, was able to practice on Tuesday.


    "He took reps all day (Tuesday)," Fisher said of Greene. "I was very pleased. I'm anxious to see what he does (Wednesday), but it was good to see him."


  • Junior kicker Dustin Hopkins was selected as one of 13 finalists for the 2011 Wuerffel Trophy, a national award honoring the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.






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