Florida State’s Fisher turns focus away from officials

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was more reserved on Monday in his opinions about officiating.

Fisher didn’t hold back in criticizing the Atlantic Coast Conference crew following the Seminoles 37-34 loss to No. 3 Clemson. After expressing his strong opinions No. 19 Florida State (5-3, 2-3 ACC) was fined $20,000 on Sunday and Fisher was publicly reprimanded by the conference.

The calls that drew most of Fisher’s ire were a chop block on fullback Freddie Stevenson that negated a big Dalvin Cook run and a subsequent unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the FSU sideline.

When asked if his opinions about any of the calls had changed, Fisher just smiled.

“Officiating, there’s always questions and no one’s perfect. Trust me, I understand that,” Fisher said. “You got to voice your opinion when you think it’s right. Coaches, players, everybody’s accountable, and I think everybody should be.”

Fisher’s bigger concern for the final four regular-season games is hoping that the officials start watching the hits on his quarterback Deondre Francois. Florida State has allowed 27 sacks, which is the second most by a Power 5 conference school.

With Florida State’s hopes of making a New Year’s Six bowl game likely dashed, the Seminoles still have some team — and individual — goals they would like to accomplish down the stretch.

Going into Saturday’s game at North Carolina State, Dalvin Cook needs 193 yards to break Warrick Dunn’s school career mark of 3,959 yards. Cook had a career-best four touchdowns in the loss to Clemson and is averaging 218.8 total yards over the past five games.

The Wolfpack (4-4, 1-3) have given the Seminoles problems and have seven wins since FSU joined the conference in 1992. That also includes two wins in the past six seasons.

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