Photo by Stephen M. Dowell
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State finished September with a 3-1 record under Jimbo Fisher and going undefeated at home. Now the Seminoles and their first-year coach want to show they can win on the road.
With three of the next four games on the road, including back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference contests at Virginia and at No. 16 Miami, Fisher hopes to avoid another meltdown. No. 8 Oklahoma embarrassed Florida State (3-1, 1-0 ACC) 47-17 in the Seminoles' only road game so far.
"I'm just hoping we handle the situation better, be more prepared and know what to look for," Fisher said Monday. "Hopefully we've learned those lessons from our last trip."
Although he doesn't plan to change his preparation, Fisher said sometimes it's easier on the road where the players can close ranks to get ready for a hostile crowd and adverse conditions.
"The last couple of years we've played just as well on the road as we have at home, or better probably," Fisher added, obviously excluding the most recent road trip.
Quarterback Christian Ponder believes the Seminoles were overconfident at Oklahoma.
"We played pretty well that first game (a 59-6 win over lower division Samford) and I think a lot of us thought that was going to transfer over," Ponder said Monday.
The senior quarterback, who was still wearing a sleeve over his bruised right throwing arm, said overconfidence won't be a problem going to Virginia.
"We've just got to be ready," he said. "We've got to prepare ourselves for a different environment and hope we respond a lot better than we did the last time."
Ponder suffered through one of his poorest performances in three years as a starter at Oklahoma, passing for only 113 yards and throwing two interceptions.
"We were kind of shocked at what happened when they kept responding," Ponder said of the Sooners, adding that two wins in a row hardly make a season.
"We've still got to find out if we can deal with success," he said. "You can never be overconfident."
Fisher also said offensive left tackle Andrew Datko's status remains uncertain for the remainder of the season. Datko, who has been bothered by a chronic shoulder injury, has not played since the Oklahoma trip and could possibly be redshirted and still have two seasons of eligibility left.
Redshirt freshman Henry Orelus and sophomore Garrett Faircloth both played at left tackle in Saturday's 31-0 win over Wake Forest.