VIDEO: Florida State Gears Up For Road Test At Wake Forest Following Bye Week
By Tim Linafelt, Seminoles.com Senior Writer // September 29, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher meets with the media for his Monday press conference. (Florida State Seminoles Video)
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (Seminoles.com) – Jimbo Fisher met with the media Monday to look ahead to Saturday’s game at Wake Forest. Here are five things you need to know from that conversation.
1) Mario Pender is out for Wake Forest
Junior running back Mario Pender will miss the Wake Forest game while recovering from a collapsed lung suffered last week. Fisher said Monday that Pender is still in the hospital, but could be released later today.
Regardless, FSU will be without its second-leading rusher when its visits the Demon Deacons on Saturday.
“I’m not a doctor, but his lung was fine and they still had a little bit they had to inflate back to and they were waiting for that to fill up,” Fisher said.
“He definitely won’t play this weekend.”
Fisher remains hopeful that Pender could return for the Miami game on Oct. 10, but would not put any timetable on his recovery.
2) Expect to see plenty of Patrick and Vickers
Dalvin Cook will of course get the lion’s share of the carries against Wake, which was likely to always be the case regardless of Pender’s status.
Still, in Pender’s absence, Fisher said he expects underclassmen Johnathan Vickers and Jacques Patrick to each have increased roles.
Fisher has steadily praised Vickers, a Tallahassee native, for his versatility and toughness. And he said that Patrick, a true freshman from Orlando, has made big strides since hitting a bit of a wall in preseason camp.
“They’re ready to get (carries),” Fisher said. “(They have) size, speed, knowledge of what’s going on, strength. … (They’re) big, physical, fast guys that bring it downhill and are hard to tackle. (They) catch the ball well and pass protect well. … Like I said all along, I really like those guys.”
3) Hope for Lorenzo Featherston’s return
When Lorenzo Featherston suffered a knee injury in preseason camp, Fisher said Featherston might have been Florida State’s best defensive player.
With a little luck, the Seminoles could have Featherston back in the lineup on Saturday.
“He’ll continue to practice today, hopefully get back in the mix and hopefully be able to play this weekend,” Fisher said. “He was playing really, really well.”
The 6-foot-7 Featherston emerged as one of FSU’s most promising young players last year, managing five tackles for loss, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
He had arthroscopic knee surgery in August and has yet to make his 2015 debut.
4) Everett Golson continues to make strides
FSU spent the bye week hoping to clean up some miscues that have led to some slow starts on offense.
While Fisher was quick to point out that the offense’s success doesn’t hinge solely on quarterback Everett Golson’s shoulders, he also allowed that Golson still has room for improvement.
“I think he will (improve) as his knowledge of what’s going on gets better,” Fisher said. “I think he did that last week some and felt better and hopefully will continue to do that.
“It’s not a direct criticism on him or that I think he’s at fault for what’s going on. But what I do think is that, the quarterback, you get that ball all the time. We want to be perfect all the time, knowing we never will be, but we’ve got to be excellent in the meantime. I think that’s where he’s going to get to and I think that’s his mentality.”
Incidentally, Fisher said he’s very pleased at the way Sean Maguire has practiced since the season began. Maguire, he said, continues to compete whereas other players might lose their drive once a position race doesn’t go their way.
“He’s right in there, now,” Fisher said. “He’s getting better and better every week. He had a really good week of practice last week. I liked what he did. We still feel very comfortable with both quarterbacks.”
5) Reinforcements coming for the offensive line
The Seminoles should welcome two linemen back into the mix as freshman Cole Minshew (ankle) and redshirt junior Chad Mavety (concussion) return to practice.
Minshew (6-5, 340 pounds) has worked at both center and guard while Mavety (6-5, 337) has transitioned to guard after beginning his career at right tackle.
“Those guys are just great additions,” Fisher said.
Whether those two play their way into starting roles or just provide some extra depth remains to be seen. Regardless, Fisher is happy with how the line is coming together and sees good things ahead.
“It isn’t totally where we want to be, but I’m pleased with their progress,” he said. “They’ve been working hard. They’re going to be a good group.”