Bouncing Back

Florida State linebacker <b>A.J. Nicholson </b>is preparing for the team's season opener against UAB, Saturday and paying particular attention to Blazer quarterback <b>Darrell Hackney. </b>He says the team is focused on proving their ability and rebounding from this past Friday's loss to Miami.

Florida State linebacker A.J. Nicholson will be the first to admit that the loss to Miami hurt.

"You put all that emphasis on one game and then when you lose that game it feels like the season is over, but you keep on working back at it," Nicholson said.

But he'll also tell you that it's just one loss. Last season, co-national champions USC and LSU were able to rebound from losses and that's motivation enough for Nicholson. On Saturday, he'll have a chance, alongside the rest of his FSU teammates, to begin to right their season when UAB comes to Tallahassee.

The Blazers enter the FSU match-up on the heels of a 56-14 win over Baylor. It was the team's highest point total since becoming a Division I-A school in 1996.

Nicholson says Blazer QB Darrell Hackney is one of the strong points on UAB's team and the success of the Seminoles will depend on their ability to control Hackney.

"He's an athlete, plus he has a strong arm and a good sense of where to put the ball," said Nicholson of Hackney, who threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns against Baylor. "He going to make his plays so we need to contain him and stop other players from making plays."

While the match-up on Saturday won't be on the same stage as the opener against the 'Canes, Nicholson isn't worried that his team will lack motivation.

"If you're a ball player and you like playing football then every time you get on that field you're going to play your hardest," Nicholson said. He added, "We're more focused than anything. We want to prove to the world that we're a team to be reckoned with."

Nicholson also says he feels that the hydration problems during the game against the Hurricanes, which resulted in several players cramping, are hopefully a thing of the past.

"We need to hydrate ourselves better. Drink a glass in the morning and drink one at night. It wasn't like we were fatigued and tired, it was more like our bodies weren't prepared like they should've been before hand," Nicholson said.

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