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Fisher likes FSU Seminoles' toughness

Florida State receiver Louis Givens (89) doesn’t back down, plowing to just short of the goal line against Clemson.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Florida State receiver Louis Givens (89) doesn’t back down, plowing to just short of the goal line against Clemson.

TALLAHASSEE — Though its young offensive line has received much of the recognition for Florida State's improved running game, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher credits the receivers as well.

The blocks downfield, Fisher said, are a big part of FSU ranking 19th nationally in rushing (205.2 yards per game).

Saturday against Clemson, QB Christian Ponder got in on the action. On a 27-yard reverse by WR Louis Givens, Ponder blocked two defenders.

"When your quarterback's tough, your team's tough," Fisher said. "That's always been that way. It's hard to have a tough team without a tough quarterback, because it's hard to follow somebody that doesn't look like he has his whole heart and soul into it and isn't doing everything he's asking you to do."

Cautious approach: Coach Bobby Bowden said the Seminoles have to be cautious when passing Saturday against Boston College. The Eagles lead the ACC with 18 interceptions, with seven in the past two games.

Bowden said many of those turnovers have been a result of pressure from the defensive line.

"They've got a good front four," Bowden said. "Their two tackles are probably the two best that we've played against. And they've got big defensive ends, so they put a nice squeeze on you."

UF: Serious task

GAINESVILLE — With a vote in the coaches' poll, Urban Meyer is well aware of the impact he could have on the national scene. It's not something he takes lightly.

"Sure, I take it real serious," Meyer said. "Every Sunday we do it, I have another coach help me, and we take it real serious because it's serious business."

At one time, some coaches were criticized for delegating the voting responsibility to staff members, but Meyer said he believes every coach is serious about the responsibility.

If Florida continues to win, Meyer can vote for his team to play for the national title.

"I, on purpose, didn't vote (when he arrived at UF) because I didn't want to be put in that situation, but the more I thought about it, I have an obligation as the head coach at one of the top schools in America," he said. "I watch a lot of football and I love football. I'm glad I'm doing it."

JOHNSON RETURNS: OL Carl Johnson (knee) returned to practice, but was limited. He is expected to play Saturday.

USF: Clearing the air

TAMPA — The Bulls have lost three of their last four, and that was enough for the seniors.

USF had a players-only meeting on Nov. 3, and senior S Carlton Williams said it helped team chemistry.

"We weren't having any fun, and we definitely didn't have the passion that I know we can play with," Williams said. "I think it helped a lot."

Williams said the meeting was a chance for everybody to air whatever was bothering them, and the results were noticed at the next practice.

"Everything has been a lot more relaxed," he said. "We are just trying to enjoy these last three weeks by playing football."

UM: Fox doubtful

CORAL GABLES — LT Jason Fox, the Hurricanes' best lineman, is doubtful for Thursday's ACC game against Virginia Tech, putting his team-best streak of 22 consecutive starts in jeopardy.

Fox sprained his right ankle Nov. 1 and has been unable to practice fully.

If Fox cannot play, Reggie Youngblood will likely start left tackle, with Chris Rutledge at right tackle.

Times staff writer Antonya English and correspondent Joe Rienz contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

>>Up next

Miami: vs. Virginia Tech, 7:30 Thursday, ESPN

USF: vs. Rutgers, noon Saturday, Ch. 28

UF: vs. South Carolina, 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 10

FSU: vs. Boston College, 8 Saturday, Ch. 28

Fisher likes FSU Seminoles' toughness 11/11/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:05pm]
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