Monday, October 8, 2012
FSU Notes: Noles moving on after loss
By David M. Hale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The plans were set not long after Saturday's game ended.
A Sunday cookout allowed Terrence Brooks and his teammates to heal after the upset loss to NC State on Saturday.
Florida State's players took the loss hard, but that emotion couldn't last, so Vince Williams found an alternative. A cook-out was planned, invitations were issued, and RSVPs weren't accepted.
"Just be there, no excuses," safety Terrence Brooks said. "It's not a huge thing. But it's small things like that, just getting your team together and doing something other than football."
If there are stages of grief, Florida State had done its best to work through most of them by Monday's practice.
When the game ended, heads were hung, but Bjoern Werner rallied the troops, insisted Saturday's loss couldn't end the Seminoles' season. Sunday's barbecue was the next step, a chance to get away from the chaos and refocus their priorities.
Monday represented acceptance of what had happened and a chance to turn the page.
"This was a tough game to go over," Telvin Smith said. "Everybody was kind of dreading going out there today, but it's part of the moving-on process."
There was still talk of the loss on the practice field Monday, but Brooks said it was only about learning from mistakes. There was still regret over what happened, a sense of shock that had yet to dissipate, but he insists that regret will be transformed into resolve.
"You don't want that feeling," Brooks said. "Everybody's [angry]. But we were ready to get back to practice, get back to the grind and take it out on the next team."
A year ago, Florida State's first loss of the season led to two more in the next two weeks. With a dismal Boston College team coming to Tallahassee on Saturday, a repeat seems unlikely.
But this week will be less about the final score and more about Florida State finding its footing again. Monday's practice marked a turning point, but it was the 24 hours of recovery after the game that were the first steps.
"I feel like everybody's taking ownership of what they did and didn't do in the game, and we're moving on," Smith said. "We've got a big game this weekend, and it's a statement game every week."
Thompson injury: Running back Chris Thompson left Saturday's game briefly in the first half after suffering an elbow injury.
Thompson went to the locker room for treatment and returned with the elbow heavily wrapped, but he continued to play. Thompson said after the game that the injury was extremely painful but Jimbo Fisher said Monday that he doesn't anticipate any longterm problems.
"He's fine," Fisher said. "He played a very good game."
What's the catch: Fisher said he spoke with the ACC about what appeared to be a catch made along the sideline by Kelvin Benjamin in the fourth quarter that officials ruled incomplete, even after viewing the replay.
Benjamin jumped to catch the pass and held the ball with arms outstretched as he touched one foot down before falling out of bounds. As he hit the ground, the ball bounced free, and an official indicated Benjamin never had possession.
"In the rulebook, that's a catch," Fisher said. "They say it's not interpreted unless you hit the ground. I don't understand that. We had that discussion, and we agreed to disagree."
Fisher said the league suggested it followed a similar rule to the NFL, but Fisher said the NFL's adaptations to that rule have changed and were not reflected in the official's ruling.
Rather than having a first down near midfield, Florida State was forced to punt -- and used its last timeout on the challenge -- but Fisher said he's not chalking up the loss to the ruling by officials.
"In my opinion, that's a catch, but that's not the reason we lost," Fisher said.