Noles' 2nd scrimmage could lend answers

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
10:04
AM ET
Florida State heads inside Doak Campbell Stadium for its second scrimmage of the fall today, with the season opener just nine days away.

On one hand, there are few major questions still looming for coach Jimbo Fisher as FSU closes in on the start of the 2012 season. On the other hand, there's precious little time to find answers for the handful that still remain.

So, with that in mind, here are five particularly interesting storylines that today's scrimmage might help answer.

1. How healthy is EJ Manuel?

The FSU quarterback hasn't shown much discomfort since rolling his ankle Aug. 15, an injury that caused him to miss the first scrimmage of the fall. But given Manuel's history of injuries, it'll be nice to see him get on the field under game conditions and test the ankle out.

After the last scrimmage, Fisher said he was happy to get some extra work for backups Clint Trickett and Jacob Coker, but at some point getting Manuel and the offense ready for the season will take on more significance.

2. Who's going to win the field corner job?

Ask a coach or player about FSU's secondary, and odds are you'll hear the name of Ronald Darby come up quickly.

Darby has impressed during the first two weeks of fall practice, and after last week's scrimmage Fisher erased any doubts that he'd be willing to start a freshman in his secondary, noting the impact freshman receiver Sammy Watkins made for Clemson a year ago.

Sophomore Nick Waisome has at least a nominal hold on the top of the depth chart for now, but if Darby continues to wow his teammates, that might not last long.

3. Which JuCo transfer starts at right guard?

Daniel Glauser missed last week's scrimmage with a minor foot injury, but he's made progress since then and stepped in with the No. 1 offense earlier this week when Menelik Watson went down with a stinger.

Watson is back, but Glauser continues to get a look with the first-team offense, and Fisher said he still considers the job open for the taking.

4. Will the Seminoles stay healthy?

The number of minor bumps and bruises has been a source of some consternation among fans, but aside from defensive tackle Anthony McCloud and offensive lineman Jacob Fahrenkrug, none of the anticipated two-deep on the depth chart is in danger of missing the first game of the season.

FSU came out of its first scrimmage relatively healthy, with only a minor injury to running back James Wilder among the notables. Fisher has applauded the depth on his roster repeatedly, but he'll certainly be pleased if scrimmage No. 2 wraps up with no further additions to the injury report.

5. Can FSU keep up the energy?

Fisher praised last week's scrimmage performance, noting some ups and downs on both sides of the ball but assuring that the team was well ahead of where it was at that point a year ago.

Where Fisher found fault was with the way the scrimmage wrapped up, as high temperatures and a heavy dose of frustration among a number of players began to take its toll. The energy level dipped, and Fisher didn't like what he saw.

"That's one of the things you don't ever want to know as a football player is you're not tough or you're not finishing," Fisher said. "I don't think it was out of conditioning, but just some mental weakness on some guys."

Surely Fisher let his team know about his frustrations, and it'll be interesting to see how the Seminoles respond this time around.

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