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November 22, 2011

Fisher wary of Florida's defense


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MORE FLORIDA FOOTBALL: Tuesday Notebook - Demps has a decision to make | FSU is Florida's chance at redemption | View from the pressbox - Football tidbits

Though he's been on the job one more year, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is in a similar position to that of Florida boss Will Muschamp in that both are at the helm of underwhelming teams searching for a signature win to cap the 2011 season.

Friends for well over a decade, Fisher and Muschamp co-own a beach house that each joked this week was for sale should anyone be interested. The house has been a hot topic of conversation since Muschamp took the Gators job but the two have never even used it at the same time.

"We never vacationed together. That's what everybody said," Fisher mentioned on Monday. "We were never there together. We both wanted a place at the beach. Both were coordinators. We didn't want to spend all that money to get a place where you're only going to be down there some. So you divide it and you split your time when you're there. So we were never ever there [together]. No."

The beach is not what is on Fisher's mind this week. He's focused on Florida and a Gators defense that he feels is underrated even though it is 17th in the country and 25th in points allowed.

"They had a couple rough outings with LSU and Alabama to get there, so they should be much lower," he said. "They played two really great football teams, and their [defensive] numbers would be even higher.

"You don't see many people move the ball up and down the field on them. What Alabama did was just pure muscle and might. Same thing kind of with LSU, which also hit a deep pass or two. It's a very good defensive football team."

In order to overcome Florida's defense, Fisher said FSU will be honing in on attention to detail and focus. It all starts at the line of scrimmage for the Seminoles, which did not run as well as Fisher had hoped last weekend in a loss to Virginia.

Fisher does not think things will get any easier on Saturday.

"On defense they're very good up front. They're physical, they're big. The linebackers can run," he said. "The secondary guys play a lot of press and man coverage and mix in some zones. They contest every throw."

He also noted that the Gators' offense has got playmakers in wide receiver Andre Debose and running backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, even if the trio has not been as consistent as Muschamp would have liked this year.

Though their general coaching philosophies are similar, neither coach would discuss how the other was doing with his program this season out of mutual respect.

They'll let their respective team's performances on Saturday do all the talking.

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