TALLAHASSEE — The sting of a program-changing victory that never materialized was still fresh when Florida State began looking ahead to what's next — the ACC season, which begins Saturday with the ESPN-televised matchup at Clemson.
"Our goals are still ahead of us," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said after Saturday's 23-13 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma at Doak Campbell Stadium.
And the regret of what could have been lies behind them.
FSU players and coaches pointed to tiny mistakes that added up to its first loss.
The 'Noles appeared to score a tying touchdown in the first half, but a holding penalty wiped away Kenny Shaw's diving catch. Shaw looked like he had a touchdown with a second-quarter grab, but two defenders jarred the ball loose. He was carted off on a stretcher and did not return. Shaw tweeted Sunday morning that he was feeling well and would continue playing no matter what.
"I thought that we had some great opportunities …" Fisher said. "They made plays. That's what happens in great games."
FSU had plenty of positives on defense to build upon.
The 'Noles held Oklahoma to 310 yards — its lowest total since 2009 — and held the Sooners' all-time leading passer, Landry Jones, to his second-lowest output (199 yards).
Backup QB Clint Trickett proved valuable in his first meaningful action. He tied the score with a 56-yard touchdown pass after replacing starter EJ Manuel (bruised left shoulder) in the third quarter.
Fisher said Manuel "could be fine by (this) week — it could be a week or two." Fisher said Trickett was playing well and he didn't want to risk further injury to Manuel, who had been cleared by trainers to return.
Trickett said playing the top team in the country revealed FSU's weaknesses. The loss will likely keep the 'Noles out of the national championship hunt, but the lessons learned could propel FSU to its first BCS bowl since the 2006 Orange Bowl.
"Against the No. 1 team in the country, we played a bad game, and it came down to the last second,'' Trickett said. "That shows a statement to where we are."
UF: Floyd back, happy
GAINESVILLE — DE Sharrif Floyd led a strong defensive effort after he regained his eligibility, helping pressure Tennessee QB Tyler Bray in a 33-23 win.
"Amazing," he said of his return. "Words can't even describe it. It's great to be back with my team."
He had three tackles, two QB hurries and a pass breakup.
"That's what the defensive (line) wants," said Floyd, who got an ovation when introduced as a captain. "Sacks. We want to hit the quarterbacks, pretty boys, you-can't-touch-me guys."
Coach Will Muschamp said that despite six pass interference calls and several dropped interceptions, he was happy with the play of the secondary.
"No, I don't want pass interference. I don't want a call, but we're going to play aggressive," he said. "We're not going to play soft, I can tell you that."
UM: Defense better
CORAL GABLES — With three starters back from one-game suspensions, Miami's defense was much improved in Saturday's 24-6 victory over Ohio State.
LB Sam Spence and DLs Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo helped hold the Buckeyes to 209 yards — including 35 passing, the worst for a BCS conference team this season.
"Clearly, the guys that we had back on defense made a big difference," coach Al Golden said.
UCF: QB takes blame
ORLANDO — UCF QB Jeff Godfrey took the blame for a 17-10 loss at FIU on Saturday.
"They just came out there and played faster than we were and they wanted it more," said Godfrey, who was under constant pressure and sacked six times. He entered with no sacks.
Godfrey fumbled when he was sacked and FIU returned it 51 yards for a touchdown, tying the score late in the first half.
"I take full blame for everything," Godfrey said. "And we just have to bounce back."
this and that: The Knights adapted their practice schedule because they play at BYU on Friday, with a rare Sunday night workout. … AD Keith Tribble called the Pittsburgh and Syracuse moves to the ACC "interesting … I think there's going to be a lot of different movement in the next 30 days. Where it ends, I don't know. As far as UCF, we're keeping our nose to the ground, participating in what's happening and doing our best to be part of this movement."
Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel