James Wilder Jr - I love how this kid plays - remember his dad?
Florida State has been licking their wounds all week after losing in Raleigh last weekend by a point. The press here has been savaging Coach Jimbo Fisher for his weak and unimaginative play calling last Saturday. Their national championship hopes were dashed by a second half of timid deer in the headlights play calling after going into halftime with a 16-0 lead. To top off that poor performance - Fisher laid the loss on the players' lack of execution. He said after watching the video - he made all the right calls. Fisher took no blame for the loss and vowed to coach his way. Sure.
This week - the Seminoles opened the game with 8 straight passes. EJ Manuel threw for 448 yards - the first time a Nole exceeded 400 yards since Chris Weinke did it in 2009 to win the Heisman Trophy - have a perfect season - win the national championship - and be the only college team to be ranked number 1 from wire to wire.
The defense started the game right too. Boston College had the ball on the one yard line. Four plays later - the Seminole defense held - and FSU marched 99 yards to a touchdown.
Although Fisher claimed he did not change his style - the fans were clearly calling this game. Fisher continued to hold the game up - arguing with referees - and calling for plays to be reviewed that were not necessary. It was a sports blogger's day. They clearly got to Fisher's "rabbit ears."
FSU has now won 6 games in-state - and lost one game out-of-state. This year's schedule was clearly lined up for a run on the national championship. We will attend the only two games remaining outside the state - Virginia Tech and Maryland. They also must play Duke and Florida here - and Miami down there.
We left the house on our scooter at 4:30 - by 5:00 we had purchased 2 tickets and were in our stadium seats in sec 32 row 17. That is about on the 35 yard line - not bad for $10 each. There were tons of tickets for sale outside the stadium - I purchased the first pair I looked at. The couple wanted $20 each and quickly dropped to $10. I probably could have squeezed them down to $5 - because they were eager to get into the stadium. I am always amazed at how people are proud to tell you that you will be sitting right next to them - as if it is some kind of celebrity value. We thanked them and went into the stadium.
Lulu had a big bag of food and drinks. It is interesting how the gate attendants are checking your bags as if looking for "weapons" when really they just do not want you to bring food and drinks into the stadium. It is amazing how they hassle young people and do not allow them to bring anything in - even water - but they allow gray heads like us bring in anything. When they ask us about our bag - we said we had sandwiches. The lady asked if they were for medical reasons. I assured her that they were. You have to eat to live - right? Lulu packs a fantastic lunch - and their is a feeling of great adulation when you know you got the bag through "customs" safely.
We only had to go up 5 or 6 steps to get to our seats - they were on the aisle. We had an excellent view of the field and the actions on the sideline. I like to be near-sighted close so I can read faces. Whoever originally bought these seats must have paid a bundle - face value was $45 - then add on the seat license fees. Some people pay $25,000 just for their seat license - the right to pick first.
It was Parents Day - and the stadium filled remarkably well for bring right after a "season ending" loss. The pre-game ceremonies included 3 sky divers. It is pretty exciting - because it lasts longer - but my favorite has been the flyover of 4 World War II aircraft - a few years ago.
During the 4th quarter - much of the crowd drained out. We had a quiet walk back to our scooter at the end. It was dark now - we took College Avenue across town - and arrived home at 9:30. We did not watch the replay on TV - we chose to watch the South Carolina game. We miss playing Steve Spurrier. He was always fun to play.
Next week we play Miami at Miami. I am flying to Richmond to spend 4 days with Drew and the Kids. We will watch the game together.
FSU has 5 difficult games coming up - Miami at Miami - Virginia Tech in Blacksburg - Maryland at College Park - Duke here - Florida here. FSU always does poorly up north - at night - in the cold. I do not expect the Noles to run the table. If they do win all the games - they will get to play for the ACC Championship in Charlotte - and if we get by that they would be in the Orange Bowl - another game in Florida.
Lulu and I are traveling north for the Va Tech game and the UMD game. We will fly to Richmond - then take a rental car to both games. In between - Lulu has business in Washington DC. We will visit Keith and Liz in DC - possibly getting back to Tamaqua to see friends and family. We already have tickets for the Virginia Tech game - Drew and Keith will come along for that. We will meet Lulu's brother Jackie and Tami at the game - they are Hokie fans. By that time they should be driving their new camper - the one that is down here now.
Skydivers land at Doak Campbell Stadium as seen from our seats.
Three skydivers on way to stadium.
All three landed on the Seminole logo.
Dustin Hopkins kicks off - check out number 18. He became the highest scorer in FSU and ACC history with almost 400 points. Imagine a skinny little white kid being the highest scorer at the legendary Florida State powerhouse.