FSU Returns to Practice Field

The 25th-ranked Florida State football team returned to the practice field Thursday afternoon, shaking off the rust as they begin to look forward to the Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl showdown with Notre Dame in Orlando.

"It was a good practice," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said at the conclusion of the 2 ½-hour workout. "The contact was good; the effort was good. We've got to get back in football mode. You can tell we've been off for 10 days."

Idle since their 21-7 win at Florida, the Seminoles (8-4) held the first of four practices before the student-athletes begin final examinations next week. Fisher said his team will get in roughly 14 practices before squaring off against the Fighting Irish (8-4).

"This practice here is like a beginning two-a-day, like a fundamental day; a lot of individual work," Fisher said, adding that it provides the team a chance to get back to the basics and work off a little rust.

The Seminoles won't begin implementing any game plan work until final examinations are completed.

With the game already sold out – a first in Champs Sports Bowl history – there is already quite a bit of buzz about the first meeting between the ‘Noles and Irish since 2003. That excitement has also spilled over to the players.

"They're a name school so that catches your attention," Fisher said. "I think there was a great excitement when they realized we were playing Notre Dame. It's a national name."

Consequently, getting the team focused leading up to the bowl game won't be a problem.

"It does get their attention, when they know what they're going up against and the history," Fisher said. "There's no doubt about that.. … It's a great bowl game; it's a great venue."

Florida State will practice Friday-Sunday before breaking for final examinations.

Jernigan, Powell earn honors

Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has earned Freshman All-American honors from CBSSports.com. The Lake City, Fla. native led all Seminole interior defensive linemen with 27 tackles, which included six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Jernigan also tacked on three quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery in his first season, providing the ‘Noles with some added punch along the deep defensive front.

In addition to Jernigan, FSU senior punter Shawn Powell earned second-team All-American honors from CBSSports.com. It's the second of many expected honors this postseason for Powell, the nation's leading punter, who was named first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) on Monday. Powell was the only Seminole selected to the websites All-ACC team.

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