TALLAHASSEE (AP) - First-year Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher can do something predecessor Bobby Bowden never did -defeat an Urban Meyer-coached University of Florida team when they meet Saturday.
Meyer is 5-0 against the Seminoles, who got their last win at Florida in 2003 when Ron Zook was still in charge. Now it's Florida State with Fisher walking the sidelines instead of Bowden.
"I think we've gotten much better," Fisher said Monday, cautioning that he believes the unranked Gators are still an elite team despite their four losses. "They're still a very, very talented football team."
They don't have Tim Tebow, who shredded Florida State defenses the last three games with his running and passing. This time around it's Florida State (8-3, 6-2 ACC) with the seasoned quarterback in third-year starter Christian Ponder.
"Every team is different," Fisher said. "The chemistry of people is the key to the whole thing."
Meyer seemed to agree.
"It's all team to team," Meyer said Monday. "We obviously are not executing at a very high level. We've got a bunch of young guys, so there might be more emphasis on the rivalry than maybe the last two years."
If nothing else, a win Saturday would give the 22nd-ranked Seminoles the mythical state championship and bragging rights in the final weeks of recruiting season. Florida State defeated Miami 45-17 last month.
"It would be pretty big for us, but it's not going to be easy," Ponder said. "That's one of our goals."
Florida State hasn't beat the Gators (7-4, 4-4 SEC) since 2003 on Chris Rix' last-minute 52-yard touchdown pass to P.K. Sam.