The dust hadn't even settled on Florida State's 63-0 rout of then-No. 25 Maryland before players were asked about the next challenge on the schedule: So when do you start thinking about Clemson?
"Right now," tight end Nick O'Leary said.
Florida State's game at Clemson is already being billed as one of the biggest games in ACC history and a game that could vault the winner into the national championship picture. So it's no surprise that FSU's bye week was full of talk about the game.
In some ways, it's the natural evolution of Clemson and Florida State's budding rivalry. The two rosters have both watched their respective programs grow into powerhouses in recent years. It's become a de facto rivalry for conference dominance.
There's been plenty of time for the hype to build for Oct. 19's upcoming game. Reporters weren't the only ones who switched their focus to Clemson quickly. On Tuesday, said FSU was already preparing for Clemson.
And even younger players like redshirt freshman quarterback [db]Jameis Winston already know the magnanimity of next week's game.
"We're going to prepare the same but we've got to perform better," quarterback Jameis Winston said. "We know this Clemson team is a great team and they're after our necks."
With the bye week, there's plenty of time for the hype to build - not that either side needs the extra push. FSU players say there's heightened trash talk between themselves and Clemson.
It's definitely a lot of trash talk," Linebacker Telvin Smith said. "We try to be more physical. we're the two teams that lead the ACC and we want to be able to say we're the best team."
Smith said beating Clemson at Death Valley was a personal goal. He and other FSU veterans had no problem remembering their previous visit to Clemson. Kenny Shaw said he remembered the ground shaking before kickoff. Smith described the crowd as "rude" and said it was strong enough to have an effect on the game.
"It's always a crazy atmosphere, especially at the beginning of that game," Smith said. "If you're not a strong-minded person you could be intimated by that atmosphere."
And while Smith said he wasn't aware of the FSU's 12-year losing streak in Death Valley, but once told of the streak, he said he'd be sure to spread the word.
"That would be big because this team is about overcoming obstacles and just being defiant," Smith said. "You're going to make me say that to the team. 12 years."
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