TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As a few small injuries mount up, the No. 1-ranked Seminoles continue to roll heading into Saturday’s game at Syracuse.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is encouraged by the Seminoles’ depth heading into the second half of the regular season schedule.
“It doesn’t worry me, (injuries) just come and you have to deal with them,” Fisher said. “It is (different than last year), sometimes the Gods smile on you, sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t mean you can’t have success – you have to have a plan and everybody has attrition.”
Starting center Austin Barron (arm) and All-American wide receiver Rashad Greene (concussion) were knocked out last Saturday’s 43-3 win over Wake Forest with injuries, while Fisher said starting running back Karlos Williams (lower leg), backup quarterback Sean Maguire (hand) and rotation defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas (lower leg) could also miss time.
“Injuries, you train well and heal and you play good ball and you hope and pray those things don’t happen,” Fisher said. “That’s just ball, you get a bunch of big bodies falling around out there and that happened. The thing I’m encouraged with is the depth we have and you see us practice like we do. In other words, those freshmen, I say this, how quickly those freshmen develop will be the key for us because not only their ability to get on the field and make plays, but when guys get hurt, being ready to step up.”
Greene could be back to face the Orange, but if not sophomore receiver Jesus Wilson (17 receptions, three touchdowns) and freshmen Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph give the Noles other options that continue to develop and grow into roles. Lane and Rudolph each had 59-yard catches last game.
Redshirt sophomore running back Mario Pender would be expected to shoulder the load in the backfield more along with freshman Dalvin Cook. Pender led FSU with 70 yards rushing and a touchdown on just five carries last Saturday.
“He can bounce and slither and get skinny and is very natural as a runner,” Fisher said of Pender. “As I say, snake-ish, you think you’re going to get a piece of him and he twists or turns or gets a glance and he’s still going forward when you hit him.”
Redshirt freshman Ryan Hoefeld did will at center in the second half on Saturday and is expected to start there until Barron returns.
Fisher said quarterback Jameis Winston’s backups would be redshirt freshmen John Franklin III and Troy Cook or true freshman J.J. Cosentino in an emergency.
“We will have John Franklin have a package and we will also do some things with Troy Cook,” Fisher said. “He does an outstanding job. We will have J.J. [Cosentino] as an emergency guy as he learns the offense.”
FSU the Only Ranked Team with Two Wins over Currently Ranked Teams
The No. 1-ranked Seminoles are the only ranked team in the country to have wins over two current USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll Top 25 teams. FSU beat No. 18 Oklahoma State 37-31 to open the season on Aug. 30 and No. 25 Clemson, 23-17, on Sept. 20. South Carolina is not ranked this week, but the Gamecocks also have wins over No. 10 Georgia and No. 19 East Carolina.
Aguayo, Northrup Collect Weekly Honors
Redshirt sophomore kicker Roberto Aguayo and junior linebacker Reggie Northrup collected ACC Player of the Week honors following their standout performances in Florida State’s 43-3 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.
Aguayo was named ACC Specialist of the Week after he tied a school record by nailing five field goals against the Demon Deacons. He has made 21 consecutive field goals dating back to last season, breaking the FSU record of 18 straight set by Graham Gano in 2008.
Aguayo was also named a Lou Groza Star of the Week and the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Placekicker of the Week. He had a career-best 19 points versus Wake Forest and leads the ACC and ranks fourth in the country in scoring (11.6).
The Mascotte, Fla., native has made 79 straight kicks (including 58 consecutive PATs) entering this Saturday’s game at Syracuse. For his career, the 2013 Lou Groza Award winner has made 33 of 34 field goal attempts and all 116 of his extra points.
This marks Aguayo’s second ACC Specialist of the Week award of his career.
Northrup captured his first career ACC Linebacker of the Week award after totaling a team-high eight tackles and scoring his first career defensive touchdown. Northrup forced a fumble while tackling Wake Forest running back Isaiah Robinson and returned the ball 31 yards for a score. The Jacksonville, Fla., native leads FSU with 43 total tackles this season.
He was also name an Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week from CFPA.