TALLAHASSEE — Last week, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher made hunting references in his Monday news conference. This week, the coach's quarterback went to the forest to make a comparison of his own.
"It's like chopping that wood," EJ Manuel said of the No. 3 Seminoles, their remaining schedule and the hype building around them. "Keep chopping down that tree. You just want to continue to keep at it. You always want to make progress."
Many believe FSU's metaphorical tree needs just a few more whacks before it falls.
"If we lose a game, that deteriorates what we want to get done as a goal," Manuel said.
FSU's goal has always been to win a conference championship, then do the same at the national level. Receiving its highest ranking since November 2003 doesn't change that, Fisher said.
"We're about preparation, not expectation," Fisher said. "That's all media hype and that's all great. But that's show-dog (instead of hunting dog) stuff."
Last week, Fisher compared the Heisman Trophy race to a show-dog competition.
TIME SET: The Oct. 13 home game against Boston College was set for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff, and will air on ESPN2.
Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel
USF: No dropoff now
TAMPA — Despite three straight losses, USF is a five-point road favorite Saturday for Temple's return to the Big East, and Bulls coach Skip Holtz said his team can't have any dropoff from what he felt was a higher level of play in Saturday's 30-17 loss to FSU.
"I thought we were crisper, we were sharper. If we can learn to take that same mind-set week in and week out, then I think we have a chance to … reach our potential," Holtz said. "We can't go out and play to the level of competition. We can't go out there and play to the size of the crowd. We can't go out there and play to the opponent. We have to play for each other at that level. This football team has talent and they're competing their tails off. I was really impressed with the overall atmosphere and energy of this football team."
Temple had a bye last week and will play its first league game in the Big East since 2004. The Owls drew an announced crowd of 23,322 for their last home game against Maryland, and had 32,709 for their home opener against crosstown rival Villanova.
THIS AND THAT: QB B.J. Daniels (72 rushing yards, two TDs vs. FSU) and CB Kayvon Webster (12 tackles, two for loss) were named to the Big East's weekly honor roll. … WR Chris Dunkley, suspended indefinitely by Holtz after his arrest Saturday night on a misdemeanor count of domestic violence battery, was released on his own recognizance from county jail after 39 hours.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
UM: Starting LB back
CORAL GABLES — With his right ankle taped, MLB Denzel Perryman jogged onto Miami's practice field Monday morning.
After missing two weeks of practices and games with the Sept. 15 injury, the starter showed no signs of a limp and was back atop the depth chart.
Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said injuries are becoming routine, almost.
"We've had a rash of injuries and I've said the same thing, right?" D'Onofrio said. "There's a silver lining. Somebody gets hurt and the other guys step up."
ABSENT: Coach Al Golden said backup OL Jermaine Johnson is "not with us right now," and added. "That's personal reasons that I'm not going to get into."
UCF: Still up to Bortles
ORLANDO — UCF coach George O'Leary said the Knights remain Blake Bortles' team, but he's challenging the sophomore to step up. O'Leary said he's pushing Bortles because he says it will help the quarterback's development as the Knights enter Conference USA play.
"He's not been out there for three years, he's been out there for one year, for four games," O'Leary said. "When you get hit a couple of times, all of a sudden you start looking around and you start to get a little bit antsy. Everybody's like that until they have enough experience to get over that."
Bortles set career highs in completions (29), attempts (43) and yards (267) but held the ball too long at times in Saturday's 21-16 loss to Missouri.