Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) runs past Syracuse Orange free safety Durell Eskridge (3) and cornerback Brandon Reddish (4). FSU plays its final home game on Saturday. (Photo credit: Reuters)
TALLAHASSEE — The anticipated blowout is secondary to celebrating Florida State’s football seniors.
The second-ranked Seminoles host overmatched Idaho in the seventh and final home game of the season at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Vandals (1-9) have little prestige and their place on the schedule was secured with a $900,000 payout for the trip. FSU is a 56-point favorite and is expected to bludgeon Idaho worse than it has recent Atlantic Coast Conference foes.
FSU (10-0) will honor its 24 seniors, all of which have played a role in bringing the Seminoles back to national prominence. Some have been more involved than others, but Fisher said each player, even the walk-ons, can be proud of what they’ve built.
FSU won 10 or more games three times in Fisher’s four seasons as head coach. The Seminoles have qualified for a bowl in each season with victories in each, including last season’s Orange Bowl over Northern Illinois. The group has 41 wins and counting.
“This is the last time they walk out at Doak,” Fisher said. “This senior class has accomplished a lot. It will be an emotional time.”
The group includes four-year senior defensive backs Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks, fullback Chad Abram, linebacker Christian Jones and wide receiver Kenny Shaw. Defensive tackle Demonte McAllister, center Bryan Stork, defensive back Gerald Demps and defensive lineman Dan Hicks are among the fifth-year seniors who tasted the last bit of adversity as redshirt freshmen in Bobby Bowden’s final 7-6 season in 2009.
Fisher said the veterans have helped the younger players feel comfortable in the system. FSU also has several true freshmen that have contributed as a result of the senior leadership.
“Those older guys really set the tone,” Fisher said.
He said the elder guards’ consistency has trickled to each player on the team. FSU has been sharp because of the stability and it’s showing on the field.
The Seminoles haven’t been tested since trailing 17-3 against Boston College Sept. 28. They have played six games since and won by a combined score of 54-9 with routs of three ranked opponents. They haven’t scored fewer than 41 points in any game.
“We’re concentrating on playing well,” Fisher said. “We’re keeping focus on things, being able to have great execution and detail.”