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Noles' move from Samford to Oklahoma

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- After ringing up an easy win in its season opener, Florida State heads west for a long-awaited rematch with Oklahoma of their 2000 national title game.

So much for taking a moment to celebrate Jimbo Fisher's first win with the 'Noles.

"It's going to be a great test," Fisher said Monday, two days after No. 20 Florida State romped to a 59-6 victory over Samford. "Hopefully we can handle a little pressure when we go out there. It's good for our young football team."

The No. 7 Sooners survived a test from Utah State in their opener, winning 31-24.

Fisher was on the sideline in charge for the first time since iconic football coach Bobby Bowden stepped down, and things looked pretty much like they did while he was in charge. The offense was fast, the defense was aggressive and the result was a landslide victory.

Things figure to be tougher against Oklahoma.

Fisher is counting on Florida State's veteran offensive line led by senior guard Rodney Hudson to stabilize matters in what should be a noisy and hostile environment.

"One way to sustain things and do things is control the line of scrimmage," Fisher said. "Your offensive line is the foundation of your football team."

The game also provides quarterback Christian Ponder another chance to showcase his talent not only against a top notch opponent in a nationally televised game, but also for friends, fans and coaches from his suburban Dallas home -- a relatively short trip away from Norman, Okla.

"He's mature enough to handle that situation," said Fisher, who sees the game "as a measuring stick" for Ponder and the rest of his club.

Ponder believes the young Seminoles are talented enough win at Oklahoma, and despite playing a school from a lower division, the experience of beating Samford will come in handy. Florida State played only six seniors in their opener on Saturday.

"We know it's going to be tough," said Ponder, who passed for 167 yards and four touchdowns while playing only the first half. "We have the talent to win any game on the schedule."

The Seminoles' visit to Oklahoma will mark the first meeting between the schools since the Sooners defeated Florida State 13-2 for the 2000 national championship in the Orange Bowl. That game was the finale for former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke.

Florida State's lone win in five games against the Sooners came in the 1965 Gator Bowl, when Steve Tensi and Fred Biletnikoff were too much for the Oklahoma defense. Biletnikoff caught 13 passes for 192 yards and four touchdowns and Tensi passed for 303 yards in a 36-19 victory.