The Jimbo Fisher era at FSU begins against his alma mater, and Fisher, left, is not taking the Division I-AA team from Birmingham, Ala., lightly. Fisher pointed out that the Bulldogs have a veteran quarterback in junior Dustin Taliaferro (341 of 546 passing for 3,437 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career) and that senior running back Chris Evans has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three previous years. Samford also had the summer to work on curveballs for the Seminoles. Since moving to I-AA in 1988, one year after Fisher was its star quarterback and the Division III player of the year, Samford is 0-14 against I-A opponents. But remember, FSU needed two touchdowns in the final minute to avoid an upset by I-AA Jacksonville State last year.
WATCH OUT FOR …
The kicking game was Samford's undoing in a hard-fought 28-24 loss to I-A UCF in last year's opener, offensive coordinator Steve Brickey said. That's when the speed and quickness disparities between the teams was most evident. So he and the Bulldogs are concerned with FSU kick and punt returner Greg Reid. "He is dynamic," Brickey said.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
No. 20 Florida State vs. Samford, noon, ESPNU, 1470-AM