Florida State Seminoles: FSU Notes

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It certainly could've been awkward, but Miami quarterback Stephen Morris said there haven't been any moments of bitterness with his new offensive coordinator, James Coley, who held the same position with rival Florida State for the past three years before joining the Hurricanes in January.

Sure, it's a bit strange to be working with a one-time rival, but Morris has been around long enough that he's not rattled by much.

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Steve Mitchell/US PresswireQuarterback Stephen Morris is looking forward to running the offense James Coley brought to Miami.
"At this point, I don't find anything odd," Morris said. "I know everything's a business, and you might be with a coach for one year, and that guy's gone."

Coley is likely to stick around a while.

Before he arrived at FSU, it was the Miami area that was home for Coley, and he's renowned as one of the most accomplished recruiters in South Florida. More importantly, after three years of implementing Jimbo Fisher's offense with the Seminoles, Coley finally is getting a chance to call his own plays, and Morris said the playbook already is earning raves.

"[The offense] is fun to play in," said Morris, who finished fourth in the ACC last season, averaging 279 passing yards per game. "The opportunity guys have to catch the ball and run with it, spread it out, go in the pro-set and run the ball -- it pleases the offensive line, the running backs, the receivers. We'll be in Wing one set, completely spread out the next. I'm excited for it. He's implemented his own stuff that he had before, and I think it's a great fit for us."

Fisher was notoriously reluctant to hand over play-calling duties, and that led Coley to depart when Miami made an offer this offseason. Randy Sanders replaced Coley as FSU's quarterbacks coach, but Fisher has not named a new offensive coordinator.

Meanwhile, Morris said Coley is mixing and matching the best of what he ran at Florida State with the best of Miami's 2012 playbook to build a diverse attack that nevertheless remains unique to Coley's point of view.

"He has an idea of what he wants, and he runs it by us," Morris said. "We tell him what we did last year similar to it, but at the end of the day, he has his own stuff he wants to run."

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FSU notes: Benjamin, Shaw sit out

October, 16, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State was down two receivers for Tuesday's practice, but Jimbo Fisher said he expects Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw to return to action within the next day or two.

The two receivers, who also happen to be roommates, missed Tuesday's full-pad workouts with an illness, though Fisher said both were showing signs of improvement by Tuesday afternoon.

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AP Photo/Don Juan MooreSix-foot-5 wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has become EJ Manuel's favorite deep target.
"They both got the bug together, but it's about run its course," Fisher said. "We thought it'd be better to hold them [Tuesday] and they'll be back [Wednesday]."

Shaw and Benjamin have both figured heavily into the Florida State passing game this season, ranking first and second, respectively, in receiving yards, while combining for six of the team's 15 receiving touchdowns.

Shaw's 77-yard touchdown grab opened the scoring against Boston College last week, while Benjamin has been EJ Manuel's top deep threat in the past two games. Benjamin has caught seven passes for 116 yards in the past two weeks, but his numbers could have been even better. Manuel has targeted him on a number of deep balls that just missed turning into big plays, including two that were reviewed by booth officials.

The first was a leaping grab along the sideline against NC State that was ruled incomplete after the ball bounced free when Benjamin hit the ground. Fisher said he thought the catch was good, but the ruling was not overturned on replay.

In last week's game, Benjamin made a spectacular one-handed grab of a ball Manuel slightly overthrew. As he fell toward the ground, the ball sprung loose, was tipped by the defender, grazed the ground and landed back in Benjamin's grasp.

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FSU Notes: Up-tempo offense a concern

September, 18, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's not just the talent on the field that will challenge Florida State's defense this week, cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. It's the tempo.

Clemson's offense moves quickly, playing a lot of no-huddle, and that means the Seminoles' defenders will have to patch that intensity.

"Urgency," Rhodes said. "Get the play and line up fast and be in condition."

Clemson ranks 16th nationally and tops in the ACC plays per minute of possession time, which should provide a challenge for Florida State on both sides of the ball.

For the defense, it's about getting plays in quickly and being prepared to execute without much time to catch their breath.

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