FSU's Fisher defends calls, blames poor execution
TALLAHASSEE - Florida State's dream of contending for a national championship might have disappeared on a pair of fourth-quarter decisions by coach Jimbo Fisher. Not that the third-year coach was second-guessing himself on Monday. "I wouldn't do it differently," he said. "There's nothing we regret." The most mystifying call may have been Fisher's decision not to attempt a 51-yard field goal that would've given the Seminoles a nine-point lead and virtually sealed a win at N.C. State. Instead of giving Dustin Hopkins a shot at his fourth field goal in Saturday's game, the Seminoles punted and moments later watched their 16-point lead completely disappear in a 17-16 loss."Could he have made the field goal, yeah," Fisher said during Monday's news conference. "It had nothing to do with that." Fisher also doesn't feel the loss can be pinned on a questionable play call on third down, which cost the Seminoles 15 yards. Instead of playing it safe, the Seminoles ran a play on third-and-2 at the N.C. State 19 that resulted in QB EJ Manuel being sacked for a 15-yard loss — a play called during their second timeout of the game. Fisher blamed his team's failures on poor execution. "A technique issue," Fisher said. "Offense and defense. There's no one guy. They're costly." This one may have cost Florida State a shot at the national championship. The Seminoles dropped nine spots in the poll to 12th. It's the second straight year that Florida State's hopes for a possible run to a national title seemingly have disappeared by midseason — this time after the Seminoles blew a 16-point halftime lead. Fisher's 13-7 record against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents includes five losses in games Florida State was favored by double-digits.